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Nicklaus suggests a 20% rollback in driving distance - Page 7

post #109 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

If the pro's all agree to a 20% rollback of the ball that's for them to decide, not Jack.  The pro's are already mandated to play conforming wedges that we're not so there's a precedent for different balls too if that's what the majority of Tour players want. 

 

I like Jack, but this position is a bit self serving in that he has a legacy to protect and with the current technology there's a greater risk his records could be beaten. 

 

I wonder what Jack's reaction (during his prime) would have been if Hogan had suggested a technology rollback after watching Jack's success using higher tech clubs and balls than Hogan had to play during his prime. 


I don't see where Jack is trying to protect his legacy. In the 20+ years since he retired from the PGA Tour only one player has threatened his records. He's concerned about golf courses becoming obsolete. And Jack's clubs and balls were hickory's and gutta percha's in comparison to what's used today. As a matter of fact Jack used Macgregor clubs that were terrible compared to what else was available at the time when he was contracted with them.

post #110 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I don't see anything wrong with the game as it is now.  And I do think he was only referring to the pros, because there are no courses that are "obsolete" for us amateur hacks.

I would be all for them putting some sort of rules in place for the ball now to make sure it doesn't go any further, like they've already done with the driver, but I just don't see a need to roll it back at all.

Or how about this:  Have one tournament a year where the pros are required to use these balls.  Pick an old classic course that the pros used to play but can't anymore because it's obsolete and hold it there.  At the very least, it might be a fun experiment.  Who knows, maybe they could show everybody that it would be a great thing to roll it back permanently

Agreed... The game is fine the way it is and most everyday Golfers can't afford to lose 20% on our yardage.

Beyond this: How are courses obsolete? All pros hit far so they would all just score lower, it's the short game in the end anyways. Stretching the courses out has always been a dumb idea to me anyways.
post #111 of 223
Given that the field is about 150 over par today at Jack's tourney, I'd say the ball isn't ruining the game too much.
post #112 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post

Given that the field is about 150 over par today at Jack's tourney, I'd say the ball isn't ruining the game too much.

Exactly.
post #113 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post

I didn't use the word boost Erik. Is there much advantage for a player with a lower clubhead speed in using a Pro V1 as a player with a higher clubhead speed? Is it proportionate?

 

  1. Please multiquote to respond to several posts in one post, rather than in two, three, four, or more posts.
  2. I didn't say you did. The word "boost" is in quotes because that's how it was referred to a few years ago when it was a hotter topic.
  3. Yes, it's proportionate. In fact, players with higher clubhead speeds see a slight decrease in the ball speed as a ratio of the clubhead speed.

 

usga_distance_myth.gif

 

No "boost." No "advantage." No "bonus."

post #114 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

If the pro's all agree to a 20% rollback of the ball that's for them to decide, not Jack.  The pro's are already mandated to play conforming wedges that we're not so there's a precedent for different balls too if that's what the majority of Tour players want. 

 

I like Jack, but this position is a bit self serving in that he has a legacy to protect and with the current technology there's a greater risk his records could be beaten. 

 

I wonder what Jack's reaction (during his prime) would have been if Hogan had suggested a technology rollback after watching Jack's success using higher tech clubs and balls than Hogan had to play during his prime. 

Quite the opposite.  Jack's records and legacy are based on his success playing against other players using the same technology that he was using.  And if the ball is rolled back then the players in the rolled back era will be competing against other players using the same technology that they are using.  And if the game is made more difficult by the roll back then it will become easier for the very best players to be more dominant.  Equipment improvements make it HARDER for the best players to separate themselves from the lesser players.

 

The reason to roll back the ball is to revitalize classic courses that have been made irrelevant because they do not have the land to extend out to 7500 yards.  It is also cheaper to build a 6500 yard course than a 7500 yard course and it is a lot cheaper to maintain a 6500 yard course than a 7500 yard course.  The 6500 yard course would also take less time to pay than the 7500 yard course in most cases.  The rollback would make the game less expensive and reduce the amount of time needed to play a round of golf.

post #115 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

If the pro's all agree to a 20% rollback of the ball that's for them to decide, not Jack.  The pro's are already mandated to play conforming wedges that we're not so there's a precedent for different balls too if that's what the majority of Tour players want. 

 

I like Jack, but this position is a bit self serving in that he has a legacy to protect and with the current technology there's a greater risk his records could be beaten. 

 

I wonder what Jack's reaction (during his prime) would have been if Hogan had suggested a technology rollback after watching Jack's success using higher tech clubs and balls than Hogan had to play during his prime. 

 

Jack is much more a course designer than he is a player.  His concern is very real that trying to design a course which will stand the test of time is impossible if the equipment isn't curtailed soon.  Jack started his design business long before he semi-retired from competitive golf, and as seen this week at Muirfield Village, some of his best designs are showing signs of obsolescence.  That is a crime.  If his courses are having this issue, then what is happening to courses which were built 30, 40, 50 years before his time?  Golf was just fine when the longest hitters were knocking it 280 yards.  It would be fine again that way.  

post #116 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post


I didn't use the word boost Erik. Is there much advantage for a player with a lower clubhead speed in using a Pro V1 as a player with a higher clubhead speed? Is it proportionate?

 

No, in fact shorter players get better results proportionate to their swing speeds. But it's not much of a drop off. Obviously tour balls are designed to work well for fast swings compared to others, but the "boost" is a myth. You can see this with long drivers, they can get 140-170mph clubhead speed and ridiculously good launch and spin, but their smash factor and ball speed at the high end are quite poor compared to tour players, even though they make great contact. North of 200mph ball speed is considered necessary to compete, but it only needs to be done once out of several tries with a huge target. That's why the guy with the 170 swing speed doesn't just win every year and the 150ish guys hang around into the finals. The tour guys are able to get more out of their swing speed than most long drivers but the raw power of those guys makes a difference. Obviously they don't exactly use a prov, but it demonstrates that there's no boost.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSchott View Post

True, Nicklaus was the longest hitter in his day but the difference today is the increases in distances are outstripping the length of some of the classic courses and there is little that can be done to change them. In baseball, the bats and balls supposedly have not changed in decades. There is a reason the MLB has banned metal bats.

The MLB banned metal bats because they're ruled by a commissioner rather than 500 moronic rules organizations. No democracy and the fact that umpires do most of the rule enforcement rather than how it's done in golf. Also all the steroid users would turn the pitchers, fans and infielders into chunky salsa. There's also a bit more of an advantage in using illegal bats and balls than illegal clubs in golf, hitting it 20 more yards on average is a huge advantage that might save a stroke or two a round. Even hitting it 20 extra feet in baseball means a much higher BA due to the difficulty in fielding, and probably a large number of fly balls would get out of play rather than being caught, not to mention being able to get a hit on a shattered bat type pitch. It would drive up scores and place a huge emphasis on strikeouts, since there's no way they're able or willing to lengthen every ballpark.

 

I'd say it's also due to the fact that bat manufacturers make more money either way because wooden bats are 50$ or more now, and break all the time. Plus there's a balance of power between pitchers and hitters, whereas in golf the player wants the club and ball to work together. If you changed either in baseball, one side would complain whereas in golf every player benefits and only the course designers complain.

post #117 of 223
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post

 

No, in fact shorter players get better results proportionate to their swing speeds. But it's not much of a drop off. Obviously tour balls are designed to work well for fast swings compared to others, but the "boost" is a myth. You can see this with long drivers, they can get 140-170mph clubhead speed and ridiculously good launch and spin, but their smash factor and ball speed at the high end are quite poor compared to tour players, even though they make great contact. North of 200mph ball speed is considered necessary to compete, but it only needs to be done once out of several tries with a huge target. That's why the guy with the 170 swing speed doesn't just win every year and the 150ish guys hang around into the finals. The tour guys are able to get more out of their swing speed than most long drivers but the raw power of those guys makes a difference. Obviously they don't exactly use a prov, but it demonstrates that there's no boost.

 

The MLB banned metal bats because they're ruled by a commissioner rather than 500 moronic rules organizations. No democracy and the fact that umpires do most of the rule enforcement rather than how it's done in golf. Also all the steroid users would turn the pitchers, fans and infielders into chunky salsa. There's also a bit more of an advantage in using illegal bats and balls than illegal clubs in golf, hitting it 20 more yards on average is a huge advantage that might save a stroke or two a round. Even hitting it 20 extra feet in baseball means a much higher BA due to the difficulty in fielding, and probably a large number of fly balls would get out of play rather than being caught, not to mention being able to get a hit on a shattered bat type pitch. It would drive up scores and place a huge emphasis on strikeouts, since there's no way they're able or willing to lengthen every ballpark.

 

I'd say it's also due to the fact that bat manufacturers make more money either way because wooden bats are 50$ or more now, and break all the time. Plus there's a balance of power between pitchers and hitters, whereas in golf the player wants the club and ball to work together. If you changed either in baseball, one side would complain whereas in golf every player benefits and only the course designers complain.

 

Might want to re-check your numbers.  Bubba's not even topping 130 on swing speed and he's consistently the fastest on the tour.

 

The average tour swing speed is 112mph.

post #118 of 223

As much as I respect Jack as one of the all time greats, I can't side with him on his views on golf. All games change over time. Technology allows for better clubs, balls, tees, gloves, even clothes and shoes. All of these things make golf more competitive. How can anyone be against a more competitive game? Players and manufacturers use science and technology to see what gets the best results. I understand that his generation didn't have these things, but current players shouldn't have to play below their capabilities. So players are hitting the ball further these days? That's what happens over time, especially in this bigger-stronger-faster generation. The way he talks, we shouldn't use the internet or color TV. 

post #119 of 223
Thread Starter 

I don't believe the tour needs a single, standardized ball.  What they do have is standards for the maximum distance a ball can travel, and every pro has the freedom to choose any ball from the ones that conform to the USGA standrads.  Nobody has an advantage over anyone else.

 

As for dialing back the ball, USGA tests showed that the ball isn't the problem.  It's a SMALL part of the problem, but club/shaft construction and scientifically-improved swing efficiency (thanks to genius sports physiologists) have increased swing speeds far beyond what they used to be.

 

Can you dial back the ball?  Sure.  You can reduce the distance a ball can travel while knocking off a percentage from each golfer, which would STILL give a significant advantage to longer hitters since they'd still be hitting it farther than anyone else.

 

The guys who design balls aren't stupid.  They have engineers who could simply design a ball that goes only 80% as far as it does now to compensate for the faster swing speeds we're seeing on the tour.

 

But it doesn't make much sense to have a single ball that everyone has to play unless you're also going to require them to play the same clubs and shafts, does it?

post #120 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

The average tour swing speed is 112mph.

 

He's obviously not talking about the PGA Tour players.

post #121 of 223
Thread Starter 

Here's an article I found interesting from 7 years ago with some interesting points from BOTH sides of the argument:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2006/jul/19/theopen2006.theopen6

post #122 of 223
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

He's obviously not talking about the PGA Tour players.

 

Sorry, I should have been more specific.  There are a lot of tours, after all.

 

Wait, did you mean me or him?  I was talking about the average PGA Tour swing speed.

 

Ryan Winther set a world record a few years ago with a 167mph swing speed resulting in a 239mph ball speed (in a simulator, tho).

 

Maybe he was talking about ball speed and not swing speed?


Edited by dave67az - 6/1/13 at 10:40pm
post #123 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

I was talking about the average PGA Tour swing speed.

 

I'll try again: He was obviously not talking about tour players. The point remains that as your swing speed increases your smash factor declines. The opposite of a "boost."

 

Please don't make multiple posts in a row. Edit to respond, multiquote, etc.

post #124 of 223
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

I'll try again: He was obviously not talking about tour players. The point remains that as your swing speed increases your smash factor declines. The opposite of a "boost."

 

Please don't make multiple posts in a row. Edit to respond, multiquote, etc.

 

My apologies.  Sometimes the "edit" icon isn't on some of my posts.

 

When you say "as your swing speed increases your smash factor decreases", I'm assuming you're talking about the COR.

 

According to the USGA's own testing (http://www.usga.org/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=2147496975&libID=2147496946) this is very true.

When struck with a club going 90mph the COR is 84%.  When struck with a club going 130mph, it drops all the way to 80%.

 

That's not much, honestly.

 

As a matter of fact, Figure 1 in the USGA document (above link) pretty much shows that even though distance doesn't increase directly proportional to swing speed (which would result in a straight line) with only a 4% drop in COR between 90mph and 130mph, it's darn near close to a straight line.

 

What is NOT true (and this is one of the main points of the article) is that it isn't an upward curve.  Apparently there are some out there who think that if you get a high enough swing speed it will "hyperactivate" the ball's COR, causing an exponential increase in carry distance, and this simply isn't true.

 

You swing it faster, the ball goes farther.  That is true.  But if you swing it twice as fast, you don't get quite twice the distance.  Close to it, but not quite.

post #125 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

When you say "as your swing speed increases your smash factor decreases", I'm assuming you're talking about the COR.

 

No, I'm talking about smash factor, but TWO things become less efficient: the clubhead AND the golf ball.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

That's not much, honestly.

 

So? It's the opposite of a "boost." And it's nearly 5%. That's a good bit.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

What is NOT true (and this is one of the main points of the article) is that it isn't an upward curve.  Apparently there are some out there who think that if you get a high enough swing speed it will "hyperactivate" the ball's COR, causing an exponential increase in carry distance, and this simply isn't true.

 

That's the point I've been making… ;)

post #126 of 223
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

No, I'm talking about smash factor, but TWO things become less efficient: the clubhead AND the golf ball.

 


 

So? It's the opposite of a "boost." And it's nearly 5%. That's a good bit.

 

 

That's the point I've been making… ;)

 

Got it.

 

I keep hearing responses about how a ball that goes 20% less is going to kill your game because you can't "bomb" it anymore and you won't enjoy golf.

It's almost like there's only one set of tees on whatever course you play (or that's the way it sounds to me when you say that).

 

The USGA and PGA of America have a nice formula for choosing the appropriate tees from which to play based on your driving distance, and if they dial back distances on the golf ball those formulas will still work just fine.  I'm pretty sure you won't have to trade in your testicles if you have to move up from the tips.

 

And as I said a few months ago when I started this thread, I enjoyed watching PGA Tour golf 30 years ago just as much as I do today, so I don't understand how someone who enjoys watching golf will only enjoy it if they can see 340 yard drives.  Matter of fact, I enjoy watching the LPGA quite a bit, too, and they don't bomb it like the guys.

 

Since starting this thread, I've done a lot of reading on the topic and changed my mind on a lot of things.  Thanks to Erik and stuff he has on The Sand Trap, I think I understand it a little better now.  It's not the golf ball's fault it's going farther, but several factors that cause the ball to go farther.  Can you fix it by making manufacturers create a ball that doesn't go as far?  I'm pretty sure they can, considering they can create a ball now that goes exactly as fast and far as the USGA will allow but not any faster or farther.  That's a pretty exact science.

 

I respect Jack, and I once thought his 20% was fair.  That's pretty extreme.  Maybe 10% is a better option.  Or even 5%.  So how much would it affect Tour players?

 

Luke List, #1 right now in driving distance, would go from 305.0 to 274.5 after a 10% rollback, or 289.75 after a 5% rollback.

Mike Weir, the shortest hitter, would go from 268.6 to 241.74 after a 10% rollback, or 255.17 after a 5% rollback.

 

OH...and these numbers are TOTAL distance...not just carry distance.  The longest hitter on the tour is getting 305 total (and I'm assuming there was, what, about 10-20 yards of roll based on what I see on TV?).

 

Obviously Luke List would still have a big advantage over Mike Weir in driving distance, so it's not like you're eliminating any competitive advantage to long hitters.  Right?

 

I don't design courses, but I can see why Jack was a little peeved that Keegan Bradley carried a 317-yard fairway bunker at his course.  317 yard CARRY.  I'd love to know what his swing speed was on that one.  But it's clearly a fluke for him, because (well, until now) he was 7th in driving distance on the tour with an average of 301.9 (carry + roll).

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