Ogilvy Golf Digest Interview, Vol 3: "It’s just different."

ogilvy5.jpgGeoff Ogilvy's nuanced take on changes in the game as detailed in his Golf Digest interview with John Huggan:

You’ve criticized what has happened to the modern game. Is it that bad?

It’s just different. There’s a very large percentage of golfers who enjoy the game more with the large clubheads and the balls and all the rest of it. Playing with the old clubs was like driving an old car: They have a bit of charm about them. But it’s still nice to drive a new car with all the bells and whistles.

Is the modern game better or worse as a spectator sport? A lot of people think it’s less interesting to watch than even 10 years ago.

That’s true. But it has more to do with the way golf courses on tour play today rather than the equipment. The equipment is just the catalyst. The trouble is that 99.9 percent of golfers don’t hit the ball like a professional. They don’t want to look for their balls in the rough all day. They play to enjoy the company of friends and watch the ball fly through the air.

Still, I would counter that unregulated changes in the ball have driven the two things Ogilvy hates most: soft conditions (to help hold the harder, less spinnable ball) and high rough/narrow fairways (to try and take driver out of the player's hands).