Curious: Tennis Racquet and golf?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by DaveJTR, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. DaveJTR

    DaveJTR New User

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    Hey guys/gals. Wasn't sure if this belonged in this category. Perhaps "Odds and Ends"? But people there were talking about Atlanta Falcons, John Lennon, and cockroach infestations. So I went with "Racquets."

    We all know that the top tennis players use paintjobs because of feel, familiarity, confidence, etc. But what about golfers? I used to play golf growing up and have had the privilege of meeting a lot of tour pros. It seems as though they are always looking for the next best thing.

    In other words, tennis players seem to want to stick with the old equipment while the golfers want to find the newest equipment. Golf is a very intricate sport (a game of inches, if you will. More precise, to me, than tennis) so wouldn't golfers want to stick with the gear they were using growing up like the tennis players?

    I'm not sure if I'm being articulate enough to get my point across, but I think you all know what I'm trying to get at. Just saw all the comments on why pro tennis players prefer paintjobs over old technology... and thought to myself... seems as though golfers would want do the same thing (given the intricacy of the sport), but they don't.
     
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  2. Dave M

    Dave M Hall of Fame

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    odds and ends would be the place but I think there have been a couple of law suits where the companies have been made to make avaliable the stuff the pros use.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Most golfers keep their short irons of old, the wedges, and maybe the higher woods, but are seeking new technology on drivers and putters.
    No real gain in technology to hit the ball 150 yards (7 iron).
    But huge technological advances in drivers.
    Putters are a mental thing, as you know. It's about confidence, not the ability to hit hard.
    Tennis, you use the ONE racket for all strokes.
     
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  4. veloduffer

    veloduffer New User

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    The biggest factor in golf equipment is not the heads, but the shafts. So while the heads change, most pro golfers use the same shafts their previous clubs, usually True Temper steel in the irons. Irons are the precision clubs and pro golfers dial in their distance with them. Drivers are constantly changed, even week to week, as the pros do get money for using them. But these are power and not precision instruments. Again, you can use the same shaft in the driver heads, but pros are more willing to try different driver shafts.

    As noted, putters and wedges are usually unchanged and often different makes from their main sponsor (it's allowed in the contract). Many wedges are customized by grinding the sole and bending to get a stronger/weaker loft.
     
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  5. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    I think drivers are the thing they change the most, along with putters.

    They seem to bring a new one out every year that adds 20-30 yards, that's the difference between going for a par 5 in 2 and having to lay up, going into a par 4 with a shorter iron etc.. If you don't move with the times, you get left behind.

    As others have mentioned with the putter, it's all about confidence really. Sometimes you want to look down and see a blade behind the ball, sometimes your eye needs to see a bigger mallet kind of putter to give you the confidence.
     
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  6. krz

    krz Professional

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    Golf technology actually changes and you are at a disadvantage using old tech. Tennis not so much.

    I mean I guess there is some tech that makes a difference. The move to graphite, Wilson's "Perimeter Weighting System."

    But, I don't think anybody really believes karophite black or ncode injected graphite as materials is making any sort of real difference. Or that the "Flex Point" is cupping the ball more.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    As some of us agreed, the shorter irons and woods, and wedges don't change much, if at all, over the last 30 years.
    Only the drivers are changing.
    Putters, as said, is a mental game, but any changes are not physical.
    I"m not qualified to talk about long irons, which I avoid like the plaque because my 5 and 3 wood play is actually very consistent.
     
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  8. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Shafts and balls are the biggest technological advantages IMO. At least for pros.

    For rec golfers, its all about increasing the hitting area and making crappy shots still go somewhere (and somewhat straight).
     
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  9. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Funny. I can play with pretty much any clubs and hit about the same (changing the shats is a different story).

    But playing with a different tennis racquet is really hard. They all play so differently IMO. I really have my swing dialed into **my racquet**. When I play with something else, my timing is crap.

    Strings of course make a really big difference as well.
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Try a flexy carbon shaft on your trusty 7 iron, and you spray the ball all over the map. 150 yards is pretty much standard, no reason to try to increase the distance.
     
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  11. bigmatt

    bigmatt Rookie

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    Even pros have switched from blade irons to cavity-backed clubs in recent years, so there has been a sea change in irons. the big deal, though, always seems to be drivers.
    Golfers can more ably switch because they're hitting a stationary ball, I think. If they had to do what we do, they'd be less likely to change. Driving a ball 300 vs 275 can be very helpful; hitting a forehand 80 feet vs 78=LOSER!
     
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  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    There are those who claim the PWS is empty inside and does nothing.
     
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  13. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    I'm with you there, my 6 iron is the longest iron I use. I can hit it 180 if i need to. Anything more than that and it's time for a 5 wood.

    I still use Callaway Steelhead III 3 and 5 woods, they must be 10 years old now but they're still the best i've found.
     
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  14. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Can you actually get a 5-wood to stay on the green from 185?

    I take half to 3/4 swings on all my clubs. So much easier to control as opposed to taking full strokes. I probably take the shortest stroke with my driver. Unless you are playing from the blacks, distance doesn't normally mean much to hacks like me. Hitting straight pretty much ensures bogey golf or better. Then its all down to chipping and putting as to how much lower your score is.
     
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  15. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    There's far more "tweaking" going on on the PGA Tour than the ATP, all the way through the bag. For proof, spectate at any event and take note of the large trailers on site with tour techs inside dialing in the equipment for all the competing players.

    On drivers, fairway woods and hybrids they mostly tweak with shafts and lead tape to change swingweight, launch angle preferred ball flight (does the course have dog lefts? Help me draw!).

    Irons get tweaked for lie and loft with tape and/or bending the heads. Again, course conditions have a big influence on the adjustments (heavier rough...perimeter weight gets added for more stability). Wedges may get tweaked or substituted with different bounce specs because of the greens areas and bunker conditions.

    Putters, too...slower conditions on the greens will lead to heavier set-ups.

    I applaud the work the top techs for ATP players provide but it's not nearly as intensive as what the PGA tour techs are called on for every week.
     
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  16. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    Absolutely, it's all about chipping and putting. Tricky long par 4's where you have to go into the green with a wood, a 4 is a very good score, no matter what your handicap is really. If you're anywhere within 40 yards after 2, you should have a good chance of making that.

    It doesn't really matter how close you get if you can't pitch it close or putt :)

    If you have good course management and a good short game, you're pretty much there I always think.
     
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  17. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    Different iron lofts now is it not? Also, nothing beats hitting the cover of the ball with a persimmon driver.

    I'll find my way out now...
     
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  18. krz

    krz Professional

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    I barely ever play golf, maybe once a year.

    But, I play more or less the same with every racket assuming it's strung with a poly.
     
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  19. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    For me, golf is all about minimizing the bad mistakes. If you can just keep the ball straight (pretty much regardless of distance), you'll score OK. If I'm playing that "long par 4", my goal is bogey. Par is just luck.

    With putting, nobody makes more than maybe a third of putts outside of 5 feet. Even pros only make around 50%. So while putting is important, its really lag putting that will help you score. Chipping and pitching to the "smart side" of the hole to make your lag putt easier.

    You'll hit a few "great" pitches, chips, and putts, but mostly its just about putting in spots that give you the best chance to make the next one.

    http://www.thegolfingblog.com/2010/11/pga-tour-putting-stat-how-do-you-compare.html
     
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  20. Feña14

    Feña14 Legend

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    Interesting stats! I've always loved putting, as a kid I would be on the putting green in the practice area until it went dark. Friends would want to go on the driving range, but putting has always been the part I enjoy the most.

    People seem to over analyse their swings and it causes more harm than good I find, if your mind is concentrating on 5 things at once, you tense up and that's when things start to fall apart, in my experience.

    With putting, it's just about being precise. There's no greater feeling than making that 15-20 foot putt and hearing the ball rattling it's way to the bottom of the hole :) Give me that over a 300 yards drive anyday!
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    185 with a 5 wood is easy, just half effort swing off the backfoot for slight increased loft.
    185 with a 4 iron is impossible for me. I shank, I toe, I club, I divot. 3 iron is worse. Long irons are difficult for duffers like me.
    a 5 iron out to 175 is still sweet and straight.
     
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  22. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    Back to topic...don't be fooled by endorsements; many of the top players have switched club brands without much change to their sticks. The new company tries to match what the player is used to, even if they don't make something similar. Mickelson and Els are now Callaway guys but they had much of their success from their Titleist gear. Ditto Woods (grew up playing Mizuno IIRC) and Nike.
     
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  23. chopstic

    chopstic New User

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    I heard it was just the opposite. I'm not a big golf fan myself, but I remember reading an article about some golf pros using older clubs that left incredible back spin (I think thats the terminology??) on the ball, mostly from the texture of the golf clubs surface. Newer golf clubs using the same texture were made illegal by the PGA, but pros were still allowed to use the old ones if they were produced before the rules went into effect.

    An interesting case where older tech trumps the newer tech!
     
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  24. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Today's tour pros change gear all the time. It didn't used to be that way, but advances in technology and big money contracts have led to top pros changing gear almost annually. Gone are the days where a tour pro would play the same irons for 10 years. Most now change with every new model year. Since the USGA changed the rules on grooves, some pros put new wedges into play every week (although they don't change wedge models that frequently).

    The clubs that are changed least frequently tend to be putter and driver. The driver situation is interesting, because the driver is now one of the two or three most important clubs in the bag. Pros tend to hang onto their favorite drivers for a long time. However today's modern, thin faced drivers tend to crack under the rigors of pro use, particularly among the high-clubhead-speed players on tour.

    As for some of the distances pros hit the ball, it is not unusual for big hitters like McIlroy, Woods and Dustin Johnson to hit their pitching wedges 150 yards. Golf is now undisputedly a power game, and those boys hit the ball unbelievable distances.
     
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  25. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    Is golf a sport or a recreational and social activity mostly?
     
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  26. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Yes, but a pitching wedge used to be 52-degrees. Now it is 45-degrees.

    Though there is no real standard. Nobody really knows what the loft is on Tiger's pitching wedge.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_(golf)

    Golf is a power game on the tour, not really true at all for rec players. First of all, we all play from "the blues". And even if we play from "the blacks", I bet our blacks are nothing near what they play on tour (though I play at a course called Thanksgiving point that is 7728 from the blacks. Now THAT requires power. For the record, I play from the golds and do fine, but the blacks are OUTRAGOUS). But pro courses are nowhere near 7728 either. The advantage of power comes from the fact that they can be hitting 8-irons and up into greens instead of 4 irons. That's great for them because they are deadly accurate with short irons. Most rec guys will still make a mess out of a 150-yard shot, so it does them no good anyway.

    http://www.playutahgolf.com/provo/thanksgiving-point-golf-course

    Second, on most courses I play, if I hit drives as wayward as Tiger, I'd be in the woods or in a neighboring field. On tour, it is wide open for the most part. So just smack it. Even if you are 50 yards off the fairway, you probably still have a shot at the green.

    The golf I play requires **some** power, but mostly accuracy......at least if you keep track of all those pesky OB strokes and don't just take "another mulligan".
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
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  27. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I thought we were talking about the top players, as referenced in the OP.
     
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  28. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    I tried to play a little bit of golf today. It was too boring imo. What is it about golf that makes people like it?
     
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  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Golf, your enemy is yourself.
    Your body just won't do what you want it to do, under pressure.
    So you're trying to overcome your inner demons.
     
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  30. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    My inner demons say:' no sir ,you dont enjoy golf' .
    What bothers me is quite frankly how lazy an activity this 'sport' seems to be, besides somewhat or downright snobby too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
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  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Easy for you to say, since you suck at golf.
    Some golfer's say tennis is stupid too, and tennis players snobby with the "holier than thou" attittude.
    Golf...carry your bags for 27 holes, 4 days a week. Try swinging the racket with the slightest physical injury or stiffness.
     
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  32. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    You got me wrong here, its golf that i think sucks.
    Not my swings or golf.
     
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  33. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    What's happenning is that you dislike things you don't do well. Golf is hard. You thought it was going to be easy. You were wrong. You sucked, like everyone else who started golf. So you're giving up, and saying it's golf that sucks. That's the easy way out, isn't it?
     
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  34. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    A lot of people enjoy the challenge of golf--it is by far the hardest recreational sport. Tennis is a piece of cake compared to golf.

    People of vastly different skill levels can also play the game together. You can't do that with sports that you play against an opponent.

    BTW, sometimes the top pro players will play a driver that has a different manufacturer's headcover on it. They let the public think they are playing one manufacturer's club, but in fact they are play a club made by a different company. This is as close to a "paint job" as they get in golf.
     
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  35. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    I dont suck or do badly at golf. You are wanting me to be bad at it for some reason but you are wrong . No big deal.
    I just dont like the game that much and it does bore me .
    Thats all.
     
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  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sure, you're just an average golfer who think's golf sucks, you hate it, and you'll take the time an energy to tell people it sucks, even though you're OK at it...:):)
     
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  37. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    I like tennis a lot better.
    :)

    Mini golf is fun too. Compact and fun. No grandstanding.

    Golf , nah, not for me.
     
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