What is bifurcation and why do many golfers find it a very important topic in golf right now?


In nearly every sport you see professionals making vast improvements. In tennis hitting with more power and spin, golf the ability to hit further and further. Is this down to improved fitness, better training or does the equipment used play too big a part in how many sports have progressed in the last 50 years.

If you haven’t heard the term, what is bifurcation and why is there a lot of debate about the topic currently. Bifurcation at its top form is dividing something into two branches or parts, in golf terms it is largely relating to the ongoing discussion that the current single set of rules regulating golf equipment should be split in two, creating one set of golf equipment restrictions for professionals and top amateurs and a different set for all other golfers. The main impact being that a professional golfer who with his current equipment could hit over 300 yards, with bifurcation implemented this will reduce this shot yardage down significantly.

Now the topic can be rather divisive and when looking into it further many would start deciding which side of the debate they fall under.

A prime example of how this could impact golf is seeing what Bryson DeChambeau was able to achieve on the par 5, 6th at Bay Hill During the 3rd round of the Arnold Palmer International this month. The hole is over 530-yards, but it doglegs left around a lake, and the green, theoretically, could be hit with about a 340-yard carry off the tee.

Bryson DeChambeau one of the best players today managed to pull off this amazing shot, invogorated the crowd who knew they were witnissing a player at the peak of his skills. Would reducing the possibility of recreating this shot in the future impact the enjoyment for both the professional golfer and also may spectators who watch around the world?

What are the current pro golfers thoughts on the topic

There are many players who feel that there should be a review in clubs current specifications for equipment, including Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy. Woods has mentioned previously that designers were “running out of property” in trying to cope with the increased hitting distances and that if professionals were required to use different equipment from recreational players, it would affect “only one per cent of the guys or women”.

McIlroy offered a slightly different number in his press conference ahead of the Genesis Invitational, but the message was the same.

“A lot of the stuff about the ball going too far and technology, it really pertains to 0.1 per cent of golfers out there,” McIlroy said.

“So if they want to try to contain what we do, as touring professionals, I’m all for that. Selfishly I think that’s only a good thing for the better players.”

If you have any opinions on the topic of bifurcation in golf please comment below, we would love to hear your thoughts.

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Written by Stephen Page

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