Origin of the Game: Golf became very popular in the 20th century. It is a cross country game that probably originated in the Netherlands, though there is evidence that it was played in Scotland as Europe. In the 21st century it is played all over the world and TV viewership of golf championships is increasing rapidly.
The objective of the game is to hit the ball into a series of holes from a series of corresponding starting points, using as few strokes as possible. The standard round of gold has 18 holes spread over well. There is not much known about the early venues of the game, but it was played mostly in a golf course that is between 5900 and 6400 meters. The distance between individual holes varies between 90 and 550 meters.
The Golf Ball: Golf balls were originally made of feathers, but now- a-days professional golfers use a ball made of rubber thread wound tightly round a core. Amateurs use a ball called the two piece ball in which the core is covered with a dimpled material. It is easier to control the flight of a two piece ball.
The Golf Club: Golfers us a golf club to hit the ball. There are different types of clubs. A golfer chooses a club for a shot according to the distance the ball must travel and the height required. The position of the ball in relation to the hole also determines the choice of club.
Golf clubs essentially consist of three parts, the grip, the shaft and the head. The grip is at the upper end of the club. The golfer holds this part. The shaft connects the grip to the head. The head is the part that transmits the energy of the golfers swing to the ball.
Golf club heads fall into three broad categories, the woods, the irons and the putters. Originally the heads of the club were called irons. They were forged from thin blocks of carbon steel and shaped by hand at first and later by machine.
Irons: The original irons were thin and a golfer needed to work hard to acquire the skill of striking the ball dead centre of the head. If not, the ball would fly off course and an unpleasant vibration would travel up the golfers arm.
Blades: Irons are now known as blades. In order to make the game more player friendly, the manufactures of golf clubs created blades that had more metal on the lower back of the hitting area. This vastly improved the shots of an amateur player. Golfers called them muscle backs. Unfortunately they were very expensive as creating a muscle back was very time consuming and labour intensive.
Cavity back: Manufacturers then created a cavity back that was much cheaper and even easier to hit. Ping, a gold club manufacturer, developed the technology of creating golf clubs using a casting process that moulded molten metal. This method was economical and provided many more options for shaping the blades. The weight, if carried in the sole made it easy to hit the ball off the ground. An average player could hit the ball much further. The weight moved to the base or edges of the club, meant that the striker did not need a perfect shot to avoid high distance penalty. If the golfer did not hit the ball squarely with the centre of the blade, the shot was still acceptable. The ball did not go as far off line as it would have if the weight was concentrated in the middle of the blade.
Game Improvement Clubs vs. Player’s Clubs:
Blades are called Player’s Clubs. This is because the blade gives the player greater control over the ball and also provide feedback to the player regarding the quality of the shot. Thus professionals and advanced players prefer to use blades. They also prefer the more graceful form of the blade as compared with the cavity back.
Cavity backs are called Game Improvement Clubs. The shifting of the weight to the periphery of the head ‘forgives’ some of the inaccuracy of an inexperienced players shot.
Today with the use advanced technology blades are being forged with shallow cavities making it easier for an amateur to use. At the same time cavity backs are being modified to give the user increased feel and manoeuvrability. The blade and the cavity back are merging to create a modern club that is easy to use as well as accurate and graceful.