Golf Club Technology Has Changed The Industry Golf club makers today use a process that is a far cry from that employed by Scottish craftsmen in centuries past. Modern clubs are made of titanium, aluminium, steel and other man-made materials, in a system that extends from massive foundries to the workbenches of equipment inspectors. Because golf club technology has changed the industry, individuals shaping wood, one club at a time, are usually nowhere to be found. Some of the first golfers, those Scottish gentleman farmers who invented the game, made their own clubs. In some cases, these men employed bow makers and other craftsmen to fashion individual clubs from local woods. As scientific progress uncovered secrets to stronger materials, early club makers began to put iron heads on wood shafts, so the club would stand up to the repeated striking of a round stone or the more primitive golf balls. Because the first golf balls were made by stuffing a leather casing with feathers, almost any wood was suitable for use in a golf club. But as golf balls progressed to the much-harder gutta percha and then to today's almost indestructible plastics, it became necessary to use the hardest of woods, such as hickory and persimmon. Some of these woods were brought to Scotland and England from the United States, an early version of the worldwide industry that golf has become.
The detailed history of changes in club design covers hundreds of pages, progressing from general guidelines to specific rules about club construction found in the manuals of the Royal & Ancient (which takes its name from the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews) and the United States Golf Association. Suffice to say that golf club technology has changed the industry and new man-made materials have spawned a billion dollar golf equipment industry A directory of industry participants today includes dozens of club manufacturers, shoe and clothing makers, golf ball manufacturers, turf equipment companies, seed companies