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Golf's Digital Divide 228

theodp writes "Are $50,000 simulators and $4,500 sensor vests driving a wedge between golf's haves and have-nots? That's the question posed by the WSJ, who reports that a new generation of expensive high-tech tools is stoking a costly arms race among golfers looking for an edge in a sport that already has an elitist reputation."
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Golf's Digital Divide

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  • Doesn't help (Score:5, Informative)

    by jimmyhat3939 ( 931746 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @08:43PM (#15169776) Homepage
    The funny thing about this stuff is that, except at the super-elite level, it's not proven to help very much. And, even guys like Tiger Woods don't really use equipment like this all that much. They spend most of their practice time either putting or working on specific shot situations on a real course.

    That's not to mention the fact that in golf a fair bit of the skill is in knowing what to do, not just how to do it.

  • perfect golf ball (Score:2, Informative)

    by mshurpik ( 198339 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @08:58PM (#15169841)
    I saw a report on TV a few years back about a golf ball that has 2 rows of dots, kinda like a baseball, instead of all over, and it doesn't slice at all.

    So good it was immediately outlawed. Which is fine but, you have to admit, golf is a pretty artificial sport.
  • by HomerJ ( 11142 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @09:23PM (#15169943)
    All of this is just to get money from people that already have too much of it.

    The only things you need for golf are a swing you can repeat, and knowing how to putt. Neither require anything more than a normal set of clubs, and some practice.

    Ben Hogan said it best that there is no reason the average person can't break 70. And there was no tricks, no $50k electric vests, no goofy clubs that collapse when you swing the wrong way, or anything else. It's just having a swing that repeats, and includes the fundamental things you need to have that all great golfers do.

    Best thing to be a better golf game is get the Ben Hogan book about the 5 fundamentals. About $5-$10 at any bookstore. Ben Crenshaw has a video on putting that's also good, and it's about the same price if you can find it.
  • Re:O RLY? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Dis*abstraction ( 967890 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @09:50PM (#15170046)
    That's one opinion. Other people see sport as a way to escape all that, to take a breather from the rat race that defines humanity in every other realm. That's why these people don't see medicine as a sport.
  • Re:perfect golf ball (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ignominious Cow Herd ( 540061 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:07PM (#15170409) Journal
    Nope, it is aerodynamics. The Bernoulli effect I believe, same as an airplane wing.

    Backspin makes the air on top move faster than the air on the bottom - relative to the direction of ball flight I think. Faster air has less pressure than slower air and generates lift.

    I also think it generates less drag, but I don't remember why.

    Partial side-spin creates hooks and slices. So less spin overall creates less hook/slice, but in some cases less distance.

    For a club like a driver, backspin can actually cause a loss of distance, because the ball ends up with a trajectory that is too steep, and you get no roll at the end of the flight.

    Nirvana is a ball/club combination with low spin off a driver and high spin off a wedge or other short club.

    Yes, I'm a Golf Geek.
  • Re:perfect golf ball (Score:3, Informative)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Thursday April 20, 2006 @11:20PM (#15170466) Homepage
    I also think it generates less drag, but I don't remember why.

    Because the dimples create turbulence and thus a smaller low pressure wake on the backside of the ball as it's flying through the air. At least, that's how I understand it. You can read more about it here. q0215.shtml/ []
  • Re:Running (Score:3, Informative)

    by wwwillem ( 253720 ) on Friday April 21, 2006 @12:05AM (#15170676) Homepage
    Swimming can be even cheaper as long as you're not using a wetsuit, ...

    Swimming can be really inexpensive, especially if you forget about the swimsuit !! :-)

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.