Crazy Golf - Will 2013 go down as the year the golf manufacturers totally lost the plot?
Driver technology is not advancing anywhere near as fast as the manufactures would have us believe.
The strict limits on driver performance, imposed by golf's governing bodies, have slowed things down considerably over the last few years.
The latest drivers are actually no more powerful than the drivers of four or five years ago - that's the truth.
But the big golf companies are not about to let the truth stand in their way. They want your money - and they will do anything to get it.
TaylorMade clearly have nothing new to offer - so they have painted their latest drivers with really ugly, cheap-looking Go-faster stripes.
They tell us that the "new grey/orange/black crown graphics look fantastic at address and promote a squarer alignment". Of course they do!
You could give Taylormade's research and development budget to a chipmunk and it would come up with something better than that!
Callaway are building drivers in partnership with Lamborghini - using "Forged Composite technology"
This allows them to place "Over 12 million turbotrastic carbon fibres in golf club head." Who can argue with that?
It's only a matter of time before they introduce drivers with air-vents "to reduce drag", and intelligent rear spoilers "to create down-force".
Nike have "NexCOR face technology" AND "FlexLoft technology" in their new Nike VR_S Covert Driver. How impressive is that!
What the hell does it mean! What is a Covert Driver? And you could bet your boots that Nike have a "Black-Ops" version in the pipeline!
Cobra are offering us "E9, MyFly & SmartPad technology" in their AMP Cell drivers - (AMP stands for Advanced Material Placement).
These drivers look like cartoon ants! But Cobra say they are so advanced that "All you have to do is make sure you get the right colour!"
Cleveland also have nothing new, which has clearly depressed them - because they have painted all of their new drivers black.
Ping - yes even Ping! The most solid, dependable golf manufacturer of them all has fallen! They have given their latest drivers dark grey
paint jobs - because "The charcoal, non-glare matte finish looks superb at address, adding bags of confidence for massive distance."
So, forget about the evolution of the driver, blended with revolutionary new technology - all that really matters is the colour!
Thankfully, Mizuno and Yonex, have continued to build proper, traditional drivers. Their philosophy appears to be about
perfecting the existing technology, improving build quality and making solid, honest, dependable clubs. Well done to them!
Hopefully, these two excellent companies will stick to their guns, because what the other manufacturers are doing has nothing to do with driver
improvement. It's just a bunch of panic-stricken executives trying to keep their jobs - even if it means making a mockery of the golf industry.
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