Tiger Woods plays the 10th during a pro-am round of the 2022 PNC Championship in Grande Lakes Orlando. (Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports)

Designer 1: At my company, we advocate a unified game with all golfers in all countries playing to the same rules and equipment standards. It’s a key part of the game’s enduring and ambitious appeal. Differing gear standards, based on skill level, will break one of the game’s great attributes, which has unified the game throughout history. .

At what level would there be different equipment standards? What about juniors, college players, mid-ams and club professionals aspiring to qualify for the US Open, British Open or play on one of the professional tours? Would these golfers be required to purchase different equipment for different levels of play? The cost for golfers would increase dramatically, as would the complexity for golf professionals and the retail community.

Equipment design and manufacturing would become more complex and expensive as products are developed on parallel tracks.

Designer 2: As a business, this would likely have a small impact, with an increased number of SKUs and additional time and resources needed to develop two sets of products, but it would ultimately come back to the consumer who would be charged more for everything.

The smaller quantities requested for “Tower” level stuff would mean higher costs simply due to economies of scale. Additionally, the “handcuffless” version of traditional clubs would likely lead to new technologies, materials, and manufacturing processes that, again, would drive up the price to the consumer.

All in all, pros are pros for a reason. They will discover exactly how to get the most out of whatever they are allowed to use. It’s also important to remember that the PGA Tour and LPGA are ultimately entertainment value. If everything was recalled, so that every course was as tough as a US Open, the number of viewers would drop. Once that happened, the course layouts would change to encourage more excitement, whether it was shorter holes or easier pins or something else. People like to watch birdies and low scores. There’s a reason everyone loves the back nine in Augusta. Anyone (golfer or not) can enjoy watching the load. If you sit a non-golfer down to watch the players play sideways and hope to get out of the rough at Shinnecock, you’re going to lose them.

Designer 3: It would be a challenge because we would have to make additional tools for the drivers, inventory those parts and manufacture them, so those are additional business costs, but they’re not huge. Many companies already manufacture separate tools for touring player products. It’s not something we’re not already doing, but it could confuse the market, especially at the elite amateur level. Will college kids have to play this thing? What about club champions at local clubs? These types of players might want to have, or need to have, two sets of clubs created to different performance specifications. But we see that in other sports, like baseball, where if you’re a professional player you have to use a wooden bat and in some levels of amateur play you can use an aluminum bat.

Designer 4: The bifurcation could certainly be a blessing and/or a curse. Taken in the positive, it is a chance to optimize the equipment of professional golfers and amateur golfers separately. It’s a new challenge for the team.

However, it takes a lot of time and testing to develop new golf clubs. It would take a long lead time and the investment in R&D in clubs for professionals would not be recovered directly. This would effectively double research and development activities to design and develop two ranges of clubs. There would also be uncertainty as to who uses (and possibly buys) the “pro” clubs. Do some golfers need two pieces of equipment? Confusion is generally not a good thing in the market.