or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Nicklaus suggests a 20% rollback in driving distance
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Nicklaus suggests a 20% rollback in driving distance - Page 11

post #181 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Prove it. People have already debunked the "time" part, so prove the cost part. I don't think you can.

 

Courses would still have to maintain tees, fairways, and greens. And bunkers. Sure, they'd have to maintain a little bit less rough, and a teeny bit less fairway, but the biggest costs are tees, greens, and bunkers. The rest is just mowed with a guy pulling some blades.

Land cost, for one.  It takes less land to build a 6000 yard course than it does to build a 7500 yard course.  Water cost is another factor, as it takes more water to water 7500 yards than 6000 yards.  Fairways and rough get fertilized, so that cost goes down.  Fairways get mowed, so that cost goes down.  Mowing takes longer and requires more crew and more equipment to get it done in the time they have to do it without interfering with play.  Come to think of it, rough also get mowed so there is that as well.  

 

As for the so-called time debunking, shorter shots do not go as far off-line, at a given degree of miss.  How much time do we waste watching a couple of powerhouses play where every blasted tee shot has to be tracked down in the outer reaches of the rough.  Or beyond.  The reason the guys who are near the top in driving accuracy are rarely the ones near the top in driving distance is not that they are intrinsically more accurate, it is that with the same degree of miss they are still in the fairway where the guy who it it 20 yards further is in the rough.

 

It is a little simplistic to take the difference in length and divide it by the speed of a golf cart.  I play damn fast and one of the reason is that I rarely hit it so far as to get myself in serious trouble.

post #182 of 223

There's a reason why Bubba Watson is near the top in GIR's per round. He's hitting wedge

post #183 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

 

 

 

I'm with you, David.  I don't see it as relieving any pace problems.  Yes, if you're walking and you don't have to walk as far, you'll get to your ball sooner.  But a lot of the pace problems I see, personally, stem from people looking far too long for lost balls and not being ready to hit when it's their turn.  A shorter ball won't fix either of those.

 

Balls hit long are a primary cause of slow play.  You can't see where they went, you have to go farther to look for them.  Any reduction in distance will mean finding balls faster and faster play.

 

Arguments for and against.   But what's the big deal?   If players are granted the OPTION to play a shorter ball, and to establish handicaps and compete in parallel with golf based on modern long balls, then some will give the shorter ball a try.  

 

It doesn't have to be all or none, just official recognition of and provision for playing a shorter class of ball by those who want to.

 

Me, I'd like to try a 50% ball on a 9 hole par three.  It'd convert those par threes to par 4s and 5s.    And a short ball on a standard course would get really interesting.   Par 9 holes, anyone?   More swings, more practice, more bang for the buck.   

 

Bored playing your home course?    Change to a different class of ball!   Totally changes the strategy.  Remakes the old course into something monstrous and new, just by trying a new ball.

 

The only downsides would be establishing multiple handicaps and mentally dealing with different distances for each club:   "That's a 9 iron, oops, I mean a 4."

 

Reminds me of chess.   Chess players get bored playing standard chess and try variations, like switching bishops and knights at the start, or placing pieces at random or adding a whole new piece called a chancellor.   Why not more variations of golf?   

post #184 of 223

I kind of like the idea of a "throwback tournament" where today's pros use early 60s era equipment on modern courses.  One tournament per year, that would be very interesting to watch.

 

 

Golf courses don't have to be long to be a challenging test of golf.  The course I learned on was a 9 hole (5 par 3s and 4 par 4s) that was hilly, tiny greens that were fast and very sloped, with lots of dropoffs, narrow, tree lined, and a lot of hard pan.  That little course kicked a lot of good golfers' butts.  A phenomenal short game, course management, and making sure your misses were below the hole were key.  Creativity and patience on that course meant more than anything.

 

It is no longer there, although I still keep in touch with the man that owned and operated the course.  I've never found another course quite like it.

post #185 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole_Tom_Morris View Post

 

Balls hit long are a primary cause of slow play.     

I think not.

 

Maybe balls hit off line but long and off line don't have to be synonymous. I know some short hitters that can hit it in the woods as often as anybody. Then they are in trouble and also farther away from the green.

 

Short and down the middle is fairly fast. Long and down the middle is really fast. Eagles are faster than birdies, birdies are faster than pars, and pars are faster than bogies. 

 

I doubt if restricting the ball is going to influence anybody to give up trying to hit the ball farther than they can control. Might even make those players swing more out of control.

 

All anyone looking for a change up has to do is leave everything over a 5 iron at home.

post #186 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ole_Tom_Morris View Post

 

Balls hit long are a primary cause of slow play.     

I think not.

 

Maybe balls hit off line but long and off line don't have to be synonymous. I know some short hitters that can hit it in the woods as often as anybody. Then they are in trouble and also farther away from the green.

 

Short and down the middle is fairly fast. Long and down the middle is really fast. Eagles are faster than birdies, birdies are faster than pars, and pars are faster than bogies. 

 

I doubt if restricting the ball is going to influence anybody to give up trying to hit the ball farther than they can control. Might even make those players swing more out of control.

 

All anyone looking for a change up has to do is leave everything over a 5 iron at home.

 

The only time I ever got tagged with a pace of play penalty in a club tournament was when I stuck in the same group with a guy who only had one shot off the tee - long and wrong.  The club rules don't allow us to leave a fellow competitor behind, and the entire group is penalized when they finish out of position.  It's a sucky policy, but that what they use, and we spent the entire round stomping the 3 foot high native rough looking for his ball.  He isn't the only player like that in the club either, just the one I go stuck with.  You will never convince me that long and wild is no different than short and wild.  I'm close to being the latter, yet I'm one of the faster players I know, because my shorter shots just don't go quite as far astray, and since they aren't 300 yards out there, the ball is also easier to follow.

post #187 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

 

The only time I ever got tagged with a pace of play penalty in a club tournament was when I stuck in the same group with a guy who only had one shot off the tee - long and wrong.  The club rules don't allow us to leave a fellow competitor behind, and the entire group is penalized when they finish out of position.  It's a sucky policy, but that what they use, and we spent the entire round stomping the 3 foot high native rough looking for his ball.  He isn't the only player like that in the club either, just the one I go stuck with.  You will never convince me that long and wild is no different than short and wild.  I'm close to being the latter, yet I'm one of the faster players I know, because my shorter shots just don't go quite as far astray, and since they aren't 300 yards out there, the ball is also easier to follow.

I'm really not trying to convince anyone of anything (that would be a first on the internet).

 

Just stating my opinion that a long ball down the middle allows a faster pace than a short ball down the middle, and that hitting it long doesn't mean you have to miss the fairway. The players that are a problem are the ones that think they are a long hitter because every once in a blue moon they come out of their shoes, catch one just right, and hit the fairway. A shorter flighted ball isn't going to change their ego any. 

post #188 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

It takes less land to build a 6000 yard course than it does to build a 7500 yard course.

 

That's a heck of a significant reduction in yardage. Heck, why not just say 3500 yards and then you could tout 50% savings!

 

The truth of the matter is that it doesn't scale quite like that - with acreage scaling with the yardage. Many golf courses have been "lengthened" without additional land, and many would be "shortened" just by building new tees farther forward.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

Water cost is another factor, as it takes more water to water 7500 yards than 6000 yards.  Fairways and rough get fertilized, so that cost goes down.  Fairways get mowed, so that cost goes down.  Mowing takes longer and requires more crew and more equipment to get it done in the time they have to do it without interfering with play.  Come to think of it, rough also get mowed so there is that as well.

 

Not nearly as much as you think.

 

Let's take a 420 yard hole. There are four tees, one green, and six bunkers. None of that changes - the same cost(s). The fairway starts at 240 yards out from the center of the green, and the guy playing the 420 yard tee has to carry the ball 180 to land in the fairway. Pretty typical.

 

Let's shorten the hole 40 yards to 380. Now the fairway has to start at 160 from the 180 yard tee, so it starts at 220. Congratulations - you've saved a whopping 20 yards of fairway, but done absolutely nothing to save the expensive parts of the hole - the tees, greens, and bunkers.

 

 

Courses don't mow the rough every day. Again, you don't get to just say "I chopped off 20% yardage (that's way too much anyway), so I save 20% costs!" It doesn't work that way, when the greens, hazards, and tees are something like 80% of your budget anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

As for the so-called time debunking, shorter shots do not go as far off-line, at a given degree of miss.  How much time do we waste watching a couple of powerhouses play where every blasted tee shot has to be tracked down in the outer reaches of the rough.  Or beyond.

 

They'd still be doing that. Especially if designers took into account the "increased accuracy" due to shorter drives and made fairways a little bit narrower.

post #189 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

As for the so-called time debunking, shorter shots do not go as far off-line, at a given degree of miss.  How much time do we waste watching a couple of powerhouses play where every blasted tee shot has to be tracked down in the outer reaches of the rough.  Or beyond.  The reason the guys who are near the top in driving accuracy are rarely the ones near the top in driving distance is not that they are intrinsically more accurate, it is that with the same degree of miss they are still in the fairway where the guy who it it 20 yards further is in the rough.

 

It is a little simplistic to take the difference in length and divide it by the speed of a golf cart.  I play damn fast and one of the reason is that I rarely hit it so far as to get myself in serious trouble.

A bad slice or hook is going deep in the woods regardless of whether you can drive the ball 200 yards or 300 yards.  You're an 18.5, which is probably half of what the average golfer (that's way off pace of play) on a public or muni course is playing off of. 

post #190 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugDude View Post

I kind of like the idea of a "throwback tournament" where today's pros use early 60s era equipment on modern courses.  One tournament per year, that would be very interesting to watch.

 

 

 

 

I doubt the pros will be enthused about crewing up their swings for some gimmick event.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

That's a heck of a significant reduction in yardage. Heck, why not just say 3500 yards and then you could tout 50% savings!

 

The truth of the matter is that it doesn't scale quite like that - with acreage scaling with the yardage. Many golf courses have been "lengthened" without additional land, and many would be "shortened" just by building new tees farther forward.

 


 

Not nearly as much as you think.

 

Let's take a 420 yard hole. There are four tees, one green, and six bunkers. None of that changes - the same cost(s). The fairway starts at 240 yards out from the center of the green, and the guy playing the 420 yard tee has to carry the ball 180 to land in the fairway. Pretty typical.

 

Let's shorten the hole 40 yards to 380. Now the fairway has to start at 160 from the 180 yard tee, so it starts at 220. Congratulations - you've saved a whopping 20 yards of fairway, but done absolutely nothing to save the expensive parts of the hole - the tees, greens, and bunkers.

 

 

Courses don't mow the rough every day. Again, you don't get to just say "I chopped off 20% yardage (that's way too much anyway), so I save 20% costs!" It doesn't work that way, when the greens, hazards, and tees are something like 80% of your budget anyway.

 

They'd still be doing that. Especially if designers took into account the "increased accuracy" due to shorter drives and made fairways a little bit narrower.

Well, since you seem to know more about it than Mr Nicklaus I'll just resign from the discussion.

post #191 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

Well, since you seem to know more about it than Mr Nicklaus I'll just resign from the discussion.

 

That kind of response has always struck me as silly. Jack was a great golfer. But point out to me how anything I said - which has little to do with being a great golfer - is wrong.

 

Again, shortening a course will not significantly alter a course's operating budget, or the cost to build it, etc. Most of the expenses in both phases go into tee boxes, bunkers, and greens. Those won't be shrinking. Time has been addressed, and I addressed cost. A 10% rollback in ball distance will equate to roughly a 2% rollback in costs - land, construction, maintenance, etc.

post #192 of 223
Thread Starter 

In all fairness, reduction from 7500 to 6000 yards is exactly 20% which is what Jack proposed.  He has sometimes proposed a more conservative reduction of 10%, but the thread was based on a 20% reduction.  A 7500 yard course with the current ball is the same as a 6000 yard course with a shorter ball.

 

Having said that...

 

Other than building a course on less land, I'm with Erik in that I don't see how it's going to save a significant amount of money.  New construction may cost less, but current courses would have to be modified and THAT is a huge cost compared to what they'd recoup from decreased irrigation and maintenance fees.  The only courses that could afford to re-arrange their holes in order to fit on that smaller footprint are courses that aren't struggling with finances to begin with.

 

No disrespect to Jack, but he just doesn't present a logical argument that I can jump on board with.  He's a great golfer and in my opinion a great man, but even great men sometimes have bad ideas.

 

As for the "not as many people would lose their balls because they wouldn't hit them as far offline" argument, I don't buy it.  Why?  Because I've been standing on the tee PLENTY of times, watching guys who are maybe 150 yards out, looking for a lost ball that went maybe 20 yards off the fairway at most?  How many times have you walked a few yards off the fairway to hit your shot in the rough and you see an old, lost ball sitting less than 20 feet from the fairway?  The ONLY way to minimize lost balls is to put electronic tracking in them, or to just cut all the rough all over the course so your ball doesn't disappear into it (in my opinion, obviously).  But cutting the distance back doesn't automatically mean you're not going to lose as many.  Most of the ones that are lost probably don't go very far to begin with (which is one of the reasons they're never found...people are looking too far down the fairway because they think they can hit a ball farther than they can).

post #193 of 223

I've never put a pencil to it but that is eye opening. I can see you're not a supporter but I'd have to ask anyone that is what happens to the current 6000 yd courses with the shorter ball? The amateurs that play from that length now move up to 4800 yds? That's less than the reds at the courses I play.

post #194 of 223

I just severely handicapped the biggest hitters at the course where I work on a hole this morning.

 

All it took was ten 4X4s painted white and some post hole diggers. The hole has OB all of the way down the right side and the longest guys simply aimed left of that fairway (and right over another tee box for a par three). When they pulled it off they only had around a 50 yard approach shot. When they didn't they put anybody on that other tee box in danger, but there was no real penalty for hitting it there and they still had a very good look at birdie or par. Just about every time a "FORE" is heard on that course it pertains to that hole.

 

Now it's OB all of the way down both the left and right and people will have to either play the correct fairway or pay for it. Looking from the tee box when I got done it's definitely going to make most people think twice about even using a driver on that hole, and a birdie hole is now probably a fairly tough par.

 

It's perfect. Doesn't penalize a long straight hitter at all but will take the long hitter imposters out of the hole.

 

Once again, no need to make a hole long to make it tough. All it takes is enough trouble to make you think twice about hitting a driver and/or making the green smaller. If they would let me put in some St. Andrews style bunkers in some good spots I could have everybody shooting over par in no time. 

a3_biggrin.gif

post #195 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

 

I doubt the pros will be enthused about crewing up their swings for some gimmick event.

 

 

 

It all depends on how much money is at stake.  No one forces any of them to play any particular tournament.  They get to choose.  I just said it would be interesting to watch.  Heck, for that matter make it just a 1 day event, kind of like the skins games.  Those seem like a gimmick but they don't have trouble finding people willing to play in it.

post #196 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

That kind of response has always struck me as silly. Jack was a great golfer. But point out to me how anything I said - which has little to do with being a great golfer - is wrong.

 

Again, shortening a course will not significantly alter a course's operating budget, or the cost to build it, etc. Most of the expenses in both phases go into tee boxes, bunkers, and greens. Those won't be shrinking. Time has been addressed, and I addressed cost. A 10% rollback in ball distance will equate to roughly a 2% rollback in costs - land, construction, maintenance, etc.

It isn't his playing record that gives him credibility on this issue it is his very extensive experience in designing and maintaining golf courses, dealing with actual budgets and costs.  I'm silly enough to think that he knows more about it than you do.  

post #197 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by BugDude View Post

 

It all depends on how much money is at stake.  No one forces any of them to play any particular tournament.  They get to choose.  I just said it would be interesting to watch.  Heck, for that matter make it just a 1 day event, kind of like the skins games.  Those seem like a gimmick but they don't have trouble finding people willing to play in it.

 

make it for charity.  that way it's fun, it's for a good cause -- everybody wins.

post #198 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

It isn't his playing record that gives him credibility on this issue it is his very extensive experience in designing and maintaining golf courses, dealing with actual budgets and costs.  I'm silly enough to think that he knows more about it than you do.  

 

If you think Jack deals with "actual budgets and costs" on the courses he designs (particularly the post-construction costs like maintenance), then I've got some oceanfront property in Idaho to sell ya…

 

The true cost savings are less than 5%. Talk to an actual superintendent or something.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Golf Talk
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Clubhouse › Golf Talk › Nicklaus suggests a 20% rollback in driving distance