Over the past 5 years, the United States Golf Association (USGA), has imposed tough restrictions on golf club design, limiting the size, spring effect and now grooves in an attempt to rein in what they perceive as game altering technology. The argument for or against their position can be saved for another day, but the result of these limits has been making waves in the golf industry. If you ask the CEOs of the top 5 golf companies, "Has the USGA's restrictions on golf club design helped or hurt your business?" invariably, the answer would be "hurt". But to others the new regulations do not hurt, in fact, they help.
In the first 1/2 of this decade, Golf manufacturers worked hard to keep up with the advances in golf technology. It seemed that every year there was a new manufacturing barrier to be crossed, a new material that had to be integrated and the performance bar was ever being drawn farther and farther down the fairway. Now that the pace of technology in the golf industry has slowed somewhat, it is easier to manufacture equipment that performs as well or better than clubs purchased in the most prestigious pro shops.
Still 98% of the golf equipment purchased in the US is off the rack or standard. So if technology is not advancing the way it once did, what is the next performance break through? Certainly, it is customization. In a 2008 article on playing your best golf a major golf publication reported, "....customization may be the last and least know frontier in the golf equipment industry. Manufacturers that will be successful in the coming decades will embrace a customer-centric approach to fitting the golfer for improved play."