If you’ve been wondering where manufacturers would go after introducing drivers with square clubheads, your wait is over. This year’s Big Idea is a driver with an interchangeable shaft/head system. Three companies—Callaway Golf, Nickent, and TaylorMade adidas Golf—are already out of the gate with the new technology.
The introductions result from a change made last year to the USGA’s Rules of Golf. The new Rule impacts club fi tting options and makes these new interchangeable shaft systems legal and conforming. And there’s no doubt: the ability to change shafts based on course and weather considerations will appeal to the golfer who likes to tinker with his or her game. As the USGA’s Dick Rugge put it during a symposium held at the PGA Merchandise Show in January: “The significance of the adjustable club ruling is that it gives the average player the opportunity to enjoy the same benefi ts as Tour players enjoy.”
Like every new Big Idea before it, this one has its proponents and its detractors. But that’s okay: in fact, it’s even democratic. Having greater choice as a consumer is never a bad thing, and it’s exactly what you’ll get this year, whether you’re looking for a performance driver or a more comfortable pair of golf shoes.
From my perspective, the most interesting thing about Big Ideas is watching them take hold—the way square drivers evolved into square fairway woods this year, for instance. No doubt next year, I’ll be writing about hybrids, fairway woods, or maybe even irons with interchangeable shafts. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. Have a great season—however you choose to play the game.