Golfing : We Owe It All To Trees And Golf Balls
Golf clubs have come a long way from the earliest days when roughly hewn branches many have used to knock around stones or wooden balls. You may have found, to your dismay that your young son practicing the same trick with rocks and stones, only with your new high tech, very expensive set of golf clubs. Early golf clubs were almost certainly made entirely of wood with the club head and shaft being made of different types, glued together a bound in twine. Hazel and ash were used for the shaft wile apple, beech; blackthorn and pear were popular for the head of the golf club, whether it was used for driving fairway or approach play. These clubs were satisfactory for use with the “feathery” golf balls but when the “gutty” golf balls arrived in the mid nineteenth century it put a strain on those golf clubs. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the golf club started to look very different, as an alterative wood hickory was used for the golf club shafts, and iron heads were developed to withstand the battering of the “gutty”, as well as to gain extra difference.
It was also realized that golfing clubs with different lefts could be used for different shots, and top players began carrying nine or ten clubs, as opposed to three or four. While the wooden clubs could meet the demands of the “gutty” golf balls of the times, they could not stand up the “Haskell” golf ball, and it was necessary to find new material for the golf club heads. The North American wood persimmon was discovered to be more than ideal for the choice of golf club shafts, but to prevent damage ivory or bone inserts were added to the clubface of the golfing clubs. After World War I, hickory was in short supply, and it became necessary to seek an alternative material for golf club shafts. Manufacturers turned to steel, and so the steel shafted golf club was born.
By the 1920’s golf club manufacturers had moved out of the hand of individual craftsman and the mass production of golf clubs was in full swing. Golfing club sets now consisted of 14 golf clubs and for the first time, golf players and sportsmen could buy a complete set of clubs that matched each other in style and design. The steel shafted golf clubs gave extra length and more control to the golf shot, yet manufactures were still taking advantage of constantly improving technology to develop golf club design. Laminated plastic and then light aluminum replaced persimmon for use in club heads and graphite and titanium golf club shafts were developed to enable more movement to the club head through the ball. “Cavity-back” clubs ( irons with the cavity hollowed out of the back of the club head) were also designed and introduced for golfers to give a more exact center of gravity , to provide the golfer with a greater relationship with his clubs. Computerized technology is now helping to advance the design of the golf club more and more today. Golfers – both professional and amateur benefit on the links with golf equipment that makes their golf game ever easier and more enjoyable. Golf is a hard enough game. Why handicap yourself with poor or inadequate golf clubs.
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