Altering your equipment specifications will help you to change your impact dynamics and ball flight. You can try as hard as you want to change the aesthetics of your swing, but if your clubs are not set up properly, your impact dynamics will not change... meaning your ball flight tendencies will NOT change.
The problem with conventional equipment is that golf club specifications are now designed to go longer as opposed to going straighter. For most golfers, length is not the real issue. The ego of the golfer should not be underestimated. Golf club manufacturers know this... they are in the business of making money.
The real issue most golfers have is improving their contact. Length will come with improved contact. Improved contact comes from improved impact dynamics.
It is no surprise that today's off the shelf specifications are quite different from the specifications that the very best ball strikers of all time have utilized. This is also why their ball striking and impact dynamics are so different/superior.
New technology has also altered the feedback we get from golf clubs. Is it necessary to have the latest and greatest technology to play well? Have scores lowered since new advances in technology?
Practicing and playing with equipment that requires greater precision will make you better. This is not a revolutionarily new idea. Just look at how some of the other great players train:
The best wedge players have understood the importance of altering their wedge specifications. Most PGA Tour players set up their wedges with different lie angles, bounce angles and weighting for improved contact, feel and control. Wedges should not be set up for distance, they should be set up for control.
As discussed in the PUTTING section of this site, there is no one correct way to swing the putter. However, you can set up your putter to give yourself the best chance at aiming consistently along your target line.
Is it necessary to need to aim perfectly at the hole to be a great putter? No. Does it help? Maybe… Maybe not...
WHAT'S IN MY BAG (OLD AND NEW)
I like to train with old gear and compete with my modern gear. I find that if I go too long playing modern clubs, especially the woods, I lose my feel for the club, lag and impact dynamics. It is easy to alter modern irons to be like my older clubs, but harder to do so with the woods that are hollow. I feel that I play my best when I have a strong relationship with the golf club. The heavier clubs of the persimmon era help me to tap into that feel and produce the lag and impact protocols I desire. I also have to be more precise with the older clubs, which gives me greater feedback.
I have used a total of three different putters during my life. My first putter was a Cleveland Classic blade that I still use today. Using this putter for the first seven years of my life, I established a solid putting foundation. My next putter was a Scotty Cameron Newport that I won in a junior golf tournament at the age of 15. I used this putter all through college and made a lot of putts with it. When I turned professional, Ping built me a replica of the putter that I used for the rest of my professional career.
Similar to irons and woods, playing with putters that demand more precision builds impact dynamics, touch and feel.