Dave Felker is CEO of Polara Golf, which makes a slice- and hook-correcting golf ball and is marketing a driver that exceeds the USGA rules on clubhead size and springlike effect. He answers five questions from Mike Stachura.
Q: What's wrong with today's equipment rules?
The USGA likes to say they're here to preserve the game. Well, they've been around since 1894. Why didn't they just keep everything the same as in 1894, or 1910, or 1940? One of the traditions of golf is the evolution of the game's technology. The USGA should let technology evolve. There will continue to be challenges. It's never going to get so anybody can shoot an 18.
Q: Your products are geared to average golfers, not tour players, right?
Two I feel like I invented them for myself. Because I can hit it very straight off the tee now, golf is so much more fun. That's what we're shooting for: to make golfers have more fun.
Q: Do you think that's what golfers want?
If you can give people some hope that maybe they'll do a little bit better next time, that brings people back. Also, if you can lower the embarrassment factor. I think they're embarrassed because they hit it into the woods and slow up play.
Q: How would a nonconforming driver dramatically improve distance for average golfers?
What we're talking about here is a secondary effect. Once you get the proper loft, you can still get more distance if you go beyond the USGA regulations.
Q: How big can the market for these products really be?
Forty percent of golfers told Golf Datatech in 2010 they'd be willing to play nonconforming equipment if it provided a performance benefit. We repeated the survey using Google in 2012, and it was 63 percent. I think the time is right.