Badly Misleading Potential Golfers of Tomorrow Today: No Psychic Needed to Accurately Predict Future Consequences on the Game with its Continuance
A poster on the Worrisome Reasonless Xenogolf forum website, with the member name of golfer55082, recently posted an inquiry regarding golf club swingweight. He first very briefly expressed his learned belief that “swing weight is the only deciding factor of ‘how heavy a club feels like,'” but then expressed confusion when a club (swung and evaluated by his 13-year-old son) having a heavier swingweight value actually felt no heavier when swung than a different club having a lighter swingweight value.
The few responses received were, as usual, for the most part incorrect and uneducated tripe, with at least one such response given by a supposed “expert” that had posted more than 22,000 times already on the forum. By itself, this chronic occurrence comprises nothing new at all and is pretty standard fare. I foretell considerably more damage being done to the game of golf by the forum referred to and similar forums of today due to the way they are commonly structured and/or run.
For example, the independent clubfitting trade (a potentially strong, positive, and driving force to lead the game of golf into the future) has been all but annihilated in more recent times. And the incessant ignorant comments by so many totally unqualified people (and so publicly) that seem to regularly participate on such forums have had a bigger hand in this annihilation than other potential factors like being forced out by any larger entities.
It remains to be seen whether the damage already done (damage that is still taking place rampantly) might ever be reversible or not. Even if it is, there certainly is a long, tough road ahead for the game. For instance, a free, researchable library of sorts has increased in size exponentially in more recent times due to the Internet. And as it pertains to the game of golf, this rapidly growing library has already literally become stuffed with some of the poorest, most inaccurate and technically invalid instructional materials and advices imaginable for any activity regarding various aspects of the game.
And a substantial part of this ghastly online information comes from present and archived forum responses from countless “experts,” now part of a permanent, embarrassing public record that can be easily and freely searched through and referenced. And this library is still hastily growing and spreading on a daily basis, its technical correctness completely unchecked by any truly qualified entities. And golfers as a general whole still tend to be more gullible for various reasons than those involved in many other activities regarding believing what they read and/or hear as examples. Resultantly, there are more supposed fully grown adults and an industry these days stating things that are more senseless about the game than ever. And when even children for instance observe some of this behavior, the game can appear less attractive to them. The trickle-down effects of incompetence at a high level like this diminish the entire golf industry down to its roots.
Adding more correct materials to try to supplant the dreadfully faulty materials currently saturating the game is one thing, and that would be difficult enough. But an even more challenging task would be trying to eliminate the almost unfathomable pile of technically faulty golf swing and clubfitting materials of the past. I am not referring to minor errors here but extremely major, industry-affecting issues, and it seems likely that some of these faulty materials will linger on and hinder any growth of the game for quite a time to come. Now many of these faulty materials were actually originally produced by various entities long before computers and the Internet even commonly existed. So it is not as if parts of the golf industry abruptly turned bad since more modern technology has come into being.
The current issue(s) have been developing more slowly and over a longer period of time than most people realize. But advancements such as the Internet have certainly resulted in technically badly flawed golf swing and clubfitting materials being spread much more quickly and widely than ever before. And incredibly unqualified Internet “experts” like (but hardly limited to) those commonly associated with online forums have repeatedly added to and/or altered such already-flawed materials. Now, these materials are even more erroneous and bizarre than the original materials. And they take already-gullible golfers to more absurd places than ever, seemingly not possible for otherwise healthy human brains. Maybe in the longer run this might (or might not) help the game of golf, as this has brought more to the surface and further magnified critical issues perhaps not seen (or cared about) previously, but that have actually been coming about in the game for a long time already.
In light of the above, what is especially sad in this instance is the specific situation described by golfer55082, that being a father trying to help his young son. Any future that the game may have might largely be in the hands of such people. So to see some of the horribly misleading responses to such people, potentially wondering how this might affect them when they eventually learn the truth is kind of tough and scary to think about right now (and it should be). But the golf industry and countless people with various ties to the industry have made their decisions to this point, and time will tell what the short- and/or long-term effects will be on the game.
After coming across the original inquiry and certain subsequent alarming responses, it affected me to an extent that I felt induced to write and post the following on the forum after first displaying it here:
The traditional swingweighting system for golf clubs has been solidly proven among millions of golfers for nearing a century now, and it continues to essentially be the gold standard for matching clubs at the moment, a credit to its inventor.
However, the system was basically formed for the best, most experienced, adult golfers of the day. As a result, there are certain types and/or groups of players for whom the specification may not function well at any given point of golfing development, at least not consistently well. And very broadly, kids and younger players will commonly fall into such a group. Yet as they grow and practice more, the specification will commonly end up working superbly for them.
With good comprehensions of both the technical elements of the swingweight specification and golf swing performance, it would not really be difficult to navigate through this particular issue(s) on behalf of your son. After observing him making just a few swings, anyone decently educated regarding swingweighting would be able to competently determine whether the specification is relevant to your son at this specific time. So your current knowledge appears a bit lacking in a least one of these areas.
Since you contend that he is swinging very well with the D7 driver and the results are acceptable, I would suggest leaving that swingweight value as it is at least for now. But down the road the same question/concern will feasibly come up again, and at least one of you will need to become more knowledgeable about the above in order to capably navigate through the issue(s).
Unfortunately, your knowledge will not really increase (at least not correctly) based on the responses you received as a whole to this point regarding your inquiry. For instance, anyone stating that the true swingweight value of a golf club is what the scale reads only when a 50-gram grip is installed is proving (very publicly) that he/she has no idea whatsoever of what swingweighting is all about. These unknowing statements have extensively damaged the clubfitting trade over time (especially the independent trade).
Such inexperienced, deficient, and poor advice does not appear to be given intentionally. Nevertheless, it still literally makes me cringe when I see how badly people like you and your young son (in a nutshell where any future of the game may lie) are still constantly being misled concerning this and numerous other subjects. This has already done and continues to do severe damage to the game of golf overall (maybe even irreversibly at this point), with seemingly no end in sight. That is a shame, but good luck.