I remember not too long ago (I wish) when I was considered was of the longest hitters of the golf ball in the Kansas City area and played to an honest zero. Without coming out of shoes I could consistently drive in the 285-295 range. The average course played to around 7000 yards and there were few par 5's I couldn't hit in two.
So I'm watching the Open and Congressional is 7600+ and drives of 300 yds are commonplace. So on to my question(s). The rules were very strict as to the velocity of the ball coming off the face so as to not have superballs with balata the ball of the future. I get it that players condition better and the equipment is better. But can anyone tell me the one thing that has changed in the past 30 years that most directly accounts for these "long" courses and the distances players are now getting? Did the rules change with regard to balls? I sound ignorant because I can no longer hold a club and rarely read a golf magazine. So if someone can explain this radical departure from what I remember "long" to mean I would appreciate it.
Of course opinions are great, but I have to think that one thing in particular has changed that accounts for today's distances.
Thanks in advance and may your rounds be filled with one-putts.