West Coast Swing
WEST COAST SWING VALIDATES S-CURVE OF INVENTION IN GOLF TECHNOLOGY
By Wally Uihlein
The S-Curve of invention application imparts that little manifest progress will be seen at the front end (The Breakthrough Phase) as the user community (golf equipment manufacturers, players) attempts to refine the invention (first generation large headed titanium drivers and multi-construction solid golf balls) for maximum benefit and gain.
In 2004, results from the recently completed West Coast Swing further validate the S-Curve premise and indicate that we have entered The Mature Phase where, regardless of effort, improvements and increases will be gradual and modestly incremental.
Upon review of the recently completed PGA Tour West Coast Swing we see the following trends:
Winning Score in Relation to Par
Average Score for Players Making the Cut
Average Driving Distance
All of the above confirm and validate what golf equipment manufacturers argued last year. That is, letís not jump to irrational conclusions. The past few seasons, and most particularly in 2003, have featured a textbook demonstration of the S-Curve of technology at work where during The Exponential Phase; performance enhancements are distinctive and significantly incremental. However, as we have seen before, this Exponential Phase, this spike in the letter S, is soon followed by The Mature Phase, where there is a return to a slow and gradual increase in performance improvement.
Golf on the PGA Tour is now in The Mature Phase, and the statistics from the West Coast Swing are early, solid proof.
This helps explain why the anti-technology hawks that were so eager to swoop last year have been so quiet.
It helps explain why the USGA, R&A and PGA Tour have taken the judicious wait-and-see position they currently hold.
And, most of all, it helps explain why we as manufacturers continue to advance the idea of balanced and objective coverage of the so-called Distance Debate.