Originally Posted by RetroJFrancisco
The US open 2 weeks ago totally ends this discussion, a golf course does not have to have a high yardage to be tough, looking at the Merion card I bet the pro's were licking their lips, nothing I like more than watching pro's have a hard time of it and play on some really demanding courses rather than the "drive it as hard as you can and go find it" courses, which even a 7 hc could probably shoot level par.
I don't know if I'd say it ends the discussion. Yes, most courses can probably be changed to make driving distance irrelevant. But I'm betting most courses don't have the kind of budget required to bring in a course architect and start a major project like that, not to mention the loss of revenue during the process.
I loved watching Merion because golfers were forced to use something other than a driver off the tee. I realize there are a lot of people in this forum who have said they wouldn't want to watch golf if they didn't hit it that far (or at least they wouldn't enjoy it as much...Erik included) but I'm curious if you guys watched the U.S. Open and whether you lost any enjoyment because the golfers weren't able to use their full shots off the tee.
Like I said before...they were "bombing" them 270 when I started playing the game in the early 80s and it never occurred to me that they weren't hitting it far enough to be enjoyable to watch (or play, for that matter).
I still haven't seen enough evidence that the ball NEEDS to be crippled. The only argument that I've made is that IF it becomes a problem someday, the easiest, most cost effective solution is to change the equipment (ball/clubs) to fit the courses. No other sport would do it the other way around. They're not going to allow a baseball/bat combination that goes 50% farther and then have to rebuild all the stadiums. To think that they should let manufacturers make what they want and then force the course managers to redesign their courses every time they become obsolete isn't really smart business. That's why the USGA has standards in the first place.
What makes very little sense to me is to have standards in a few areas but to completely ignore other advancements (kinesiology or shaft design, for instance) that make just as much of an impact on distance.
At some point you have to ask WHY is the USGA even testing golf balls and equipment to make sure they conform. I mean, I thought it was to prevent them from going "too far" (among other things). But clearly over the past few decades, the balls are going way farther off the tee than they used to (even for the average golfers, as many of you in this forum have said). So explain the purpose of the testing again? Did I miss something here? I thought they were doing the testing to make sure that golf courses didn't have to change their designs in order to accommodate advanced equipment. But then they allowed equipment to evolve that allowed golfers to swing faster, thereby doing EXACTLY the same thing that would have happened if they allowed balls to go farther in the first place.
Somebody either forgot why they were testing equipment in the first place, or they just so closed-minded that they thought changes to the BALL design was about the only thing they'd have to worry about when it came to restricting driving distance.
According to their OFFICIAL position:
"The R&A and the USGA believe, however, that any further significant increases in hitting distances at the highest level are undesirable. Whether these increases in distance emanate from advancing equipment technology, greater athleticism of players, improved player coaching, golf course conditioning or a combination of these or other factors, they will have the impact of seriously reducing the challenge of the game. The consequential lengthening or toughening of courses would be costly or impossible and would have a negative effect on increasingly important environmental and ecological issues. Pace of play would be slowed and playing costs would increase."
Edited by dave67az - 6/28/13 at 1:56pm
So why the hell did you let it get this far to begin with? You did the same crap with the long putters...waited until "everyone" started buying a belly/broomstick and then decided it wasn't a legal stroke. You SHOULD have addressed it the first time you saw it show up on the Tour.