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Voluntary Bifurcation

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Lots of rules talk about the tall putters and the too long courses. Seems that nearly all believe that any discussion of the tour players using any equipment that separates the pros from the masses is strictly 'taboo'. In some cases local golf courses and the golfing business is going down the drain due to excessive land use, drought and tight water supplies, maintenance costs and other issues.  Each year it seems that the golf ball factories make balls which render the previous ones obsolete, esp in terms of distance.

Bifurcation in current golf talk refers to the pros on tour using a dedicated ball which does not exceed certain distance parameters. Thus, if such a rule were taken up, Bubba would hit his best drive and the ball would travel only 275 yds, not 325.  And yes, Luke's drive would only go 225 yrs.  All shots would likewise be reduced in distance. Jack Nicklaus 'invented' such a ball to be used on an island resort where land was extremely limited and folks use only that ball on that course. Besides the internal construction the ball is indistinguishable from ordinary balls, putts true, etc.

Why taboo? Ball manufacturers, and maybe all equipment makers, see such a rule as interfering in and restricting free and open competition. They want to sell their huge markup balls to everyone and point to all the top dogs and 'how you too can look like and play like' Rory, Tiger, Bubba or whoever you fancy. If you believe that the ten dollar ball would permit you to play like Rory, have a go.

I suggest that Jack Nicklaus use his status in the game to support the short distance ball at his Memorial Tournament. In Jack's tourney only the short ball can be used and the tourney would provide the ball free to all pros. Give the pros a month to practice with the ball, tee it up on some Thursday in May and learn the result. So, instead of a 6i to the green, 202 yds off, Bubba reaches for the hybrid. Don't want to use this ball at Jack's tourney, fine? Stay home. It's strictly voluntary.

What would this solve? Nothing, except to give us  information where today none is found. Today it's all ideas and hearsay, so let's get a few facts.


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I think that's a solid idea. I'm sure manufacturers would not be thrilled about it, but seeing it in action is worthwhile, even if the experiment doesn't have a positive result-we'll never know if isn't attempted.

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I think it would be fun to watch, but I don't think even Jack could pull it off. There's so much on the line for those guys that I don't think many of them are going to run the risk of messing up their game for even a couple of weeks around the tournament.

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