From the Nov. 20 edition of Golf Digest Stix:
After 17 years with TaylorMade, Tom Olsavsky recently left to become vice president of research and development for Cobra Puma Golf. He answers five questions from Mike Stachura.
Q: Through all the advances in technology, are there some universal ideas that haven't changed?
It probably sounds like we've been talking about ideas like lowering the center of gravity forever, but that's because it's the most important thing we do. It affects playability, it affects speed, it affects everything.
Q: What's driving innovation today: ideas, materials or manufacturing?
It's all three. There are still improvements to be made, whether it's the design, the shaping, or the processes. In some cases, these are incremental improvements in performance, but in some cases, they're quite more than that.
Q: Which group of golfers aren't benefiting from new technology?
It's the group still in old equipment. Some golfers doubt that new clubs can make a difference because of their swings, but I think that's the place where the benefits of new technology can really kick in.
Q: Are average golfers taking enough advantage of club adjustability?
We've struggled as an industry to make these clubs simpler. There are all kinds of resources, like a fitter or a golf professional, that can help them make the right adjust- ments so they don't have to do it on their own.
Q: How's the equipment industry's relationship with the USGA?
I wish the ruling bodies would look more at what might help average players. Like the rule limiting clubhead size to five inches wide by five inches deep. Some amateurs might benefit from this change, but tour pros wouldn't want that, so it's one thing where we could say, "Do we really need that rule?"