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Nicklaus suggests a 20% rollback in driving distance - Page 3

post #37 of 223

When it comes to distance -vs- the old days there are more factors than just the ball that nobody likes to talk about. Golfers are atheletes now like they weren't before (big one). They have launch monitors and fitting to dissect their game down to the nearest 100'th of a millimeter. Super duper graphite shafts. Even though they capped certain things on the heads they cant prevent all of the toying around with weight and such that optimizes lauch/spin, or standardized aerodynamics of the head.

 

That said, I am just not in favor of any rollbacks on the ball. Cap maybe, but not a rollback.

post #38 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

He suggested a 20% rollback in distance, which would bring many obselete courses back into play and make it cheaper to build and manage new courses due to reductions in space required for a course, reductions in watering costs, etc.

 

Sounds cool to me, but then again I'm a "traditionalist".

 

Your thoughts?

 

- Dave

Well I'm a traditionalist too, except I was 5 years old in 1995. So to me this shorter ball is a contrivance that is set to upend the game as I know it. 

 

I can hit distance limited balls on the range, it's less fun than real ones. 

post #39 of 223
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sofingaw View Post

Can I say again? Pause button. Not rollback.

It is what it is now. Players at all levels would throw a shitfit if thier distance was 'taken' from them. Regardless of the fact that it was, to a degree 'given' to them.

Smartest, least traumatic move, IMO is to verify and make slightly more specific as necessary, the limits we currently have on the ball.

 

Not trying to offend anyone, but if the ONLY thing some guys get out of golf is satisfaction from bombing a long drive, they're missed the point of the game.

Reminds me of the guys who show up at my driving range, pull out a driver, hit 40 bombs with it, and never touch another club.

When I've played with some of those guys, they suck when they have to hit anything but a short-iron to the green (especially from the rough).

How about instead of giving up golf because they can't bomb it 250 they try learning how to play the entire game?  You know...with all 14 clubs?

 

A pause may be the safest option, and a necessary compromise if there's really that many guys who feel threatened by a rollback.

 

As for the average scores, it hasn't changed much at all.  I saw on the USGA website (can't find it now) where it's been around 100 for years.  But this is exactly why I don't think a rollback would have any effect on the average golfer's scores.  The fact is the INCREASE hasn't helped scores so the DECREASE shouldn't hurt scores overall either.

 

Just my two cents.

post #40 of 223

Has anyone hit an older ball lately? I found a Titleist Tour Balata 100 a few weeks ago, looks to be new. Will have to give it a crack next time out. If someone wants to play a crummy ball and see how it shakes out really no need to reinvent the wheel. Head out to KMart and grab a box of Nitro's or something like that.

post #41 of 223
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

Has anyone hit an older ball lately? I found a Titleist Tour Balata 100 a few weeks ago, looks to be new. Will have to give it a crack next time out. If someone wants to play a crummy ball and see how it shakes out really no need to reinvent the wheel. Head out to KMart and grab a box of Nitro's or something like that.

 

I've still got lots of balls from "the olden days".  Kept them in climate-controlled conditions, too, so they're in awesome shape.  I still play them, as a matter of fact.

 

I have bought new balls, but depending on where I happen to reach in my golf bag, sometimes I pull out a sleeve of Top Flite XLs or something like that.  I shoot around 100, so I consider myself an average golfer (according to USGA standards).  It doesn't change my game.  It does change which club I may hit on approach, but seriously if you guys swing like I do there's a greater than 20% margin of error in most of your shots already.  Unless you're way better than me, of course, and all your drives go at least 240 but never more than 260.  If that's the case, congrats on reaching that point.  MY game, and most of the golfers I play with, aren't there yet.

 

I may hit a 250 yard drive with a sweet "rise" off the tee followed on the next hole by a 200 yard drive that seems to lack the same backspin.  My 7 iron may go 155 and stop on a dime, or it may go 130 with a bounce and roll.  Just depends on whether I hit that perfect sweet spot or not.

 

But ya know what?  If you're so good that your margin of error is THAT small, I'm betting money that a rollback wouldn't affect your game either because you don't have to change anything other than what club you pull out of your bag from specific distances.

 

And that's gonna make people quit the game?  Seriously?

post #42 of 223

You are right about the "athlete" part for sure.

 

Do any of the older guys (like me) really think that any of the players of old could match today's athletes for distance?

(Not a chance).

 

Example:

Dustin Johnson: 6'4", 190 lbs. 8% body fat, 38" Vertical leap, 10' Broad jump.

 

Those physical stats don't mean you can hit a golf ball, and they certainly don't mean you can win on Tour, but with all other swing skills equal, and equal fast twitch ability, it's no contest for distance.

post #43 of 223

I posted this on a Facebook group:

 

 

The average PGA Tour player swings much faster now than they did in Jack's day. Longer, lighter clubs, player conditioning, understanding launch conditions, agronomy, and yes, the fact that technology brought Pinnacle distance to a spinny ball. But laying the blame at the ball alone is silly. Jack hit the ball 300 yards on occasion, as did Bobby Jones.
 
Nobody wants to see PGA Tour stars "busting it out there 240" and almost no recreational golfers want to give up distance. The 10th at Riviera is a fine example of a hole that frustrates the hell out of the stars, and yet is 300 yards. Creativity in course design should rule the day, not just "let's add 50 yards to this hole!" It's incredibly simple minded to just "grow thicker rough and narrow the fairways." Someone else said it years ago - that favors the long hitter even MORE.
 
Scoring records aren't being obliterated. Driving distance, since 2001 or so, hasn't gone up appreciably (despite even more advances in the science of club/ball, fitness, etc.).
 
At the end of the day distance is an advantage, and PGA Tour players aren't ripping up courses (let alone par threes, regardless of what the number on the bottom of their clubs say).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Recreational Golfer View Post

When I was growing up, 220 yards was a good drive for an amateur golfer. Long hitters got 240. I'm reaching green in two today that in the old days I couldn't touch with a driver and a 3-wood, and these are long par-4 holes. Is that somehow a problem for the Game of Golf?

 

When were you growing up? In the 1890s? I still played balata balls as a kid, and 240 was not a "long hitter" then. BTW, 220 is still a good drive for more people than know it... :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post

Some folks here apparently can't even see an issue worth debating.  I disagree--I think there is an issue here.  More than in any other sport, tech evolution in one piece of equipment--the ball--has drastically changed the game.

 

Nah. Calling BS on that one. The ball is but one small piece of what's changed. An incomplete list:

  • Ball
  • Lighter, longer drivers with bigger clubheads
  • Agronomy (roll)
  • Understanding of launch conditions
  • Tighter manufacturing tolerances
  • Player fitness
  • Emphasis on distance (i.e. longer courses favor longer hitters)

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post

For starters, it's the ball, not the clubs, that accounts for 90% of the effect on the the pro game. Lighter shafts are nice, but pros have always had speed.

 

The average swing speed of the PGA Tour players has increased 11-13 MPH since 1993. That's 30 yards right there. Let's use facts where they're available, please.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post

But the 4.2 hasn't gotten any faster.

 

Yes it is: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/08/05/sports/olympics/the-100-meter-dash-one-race-every-medalist-ever.html . You're not considering the fact that NFL players have only been timed running 40-yard dashes for a relatively short period of time. Swimming too: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/08/01/sports/olympics/racing-against-history.html .

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post

Likewise, baseball parks are the same size.  The ball is the same ball.  Wood is still wood.

 

Pitchers have gotten better too. You can't compare sports where simultaneous evolution can have an evening-out effect.

 

(And the ball is not the same, no.)

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post

So, to make a course difficult, the tournament committee has to ... put the pins on 10* grades.

 

I realize you're going for the hyperbole here, but give me a break. 2% slope is pretty typical and that's just over 1°. Hyperbole hurts the rest of your argument, such as it is.

post #44 of 223

I don't get it...it's not okay to tamper with the size of the hole and make it bigger which would have a far greater effect on the enjoyment of the game for most but it is okay to tamper with every single other variable on the course...what gives !! It's too late to try and dial back the technology after it has already evolved.  I mean I guess next we should further reduce COR requirements on clubheads, and limit quality control on shafts...The golf companies have already created a monster and so we have to just address it from here forward..not revert backwards.  I can see it now..." Experience the new TaylorMade TS (Too Short) 5 golf ball....now the shortest hitting golf ball on the market!!" 

post #45 of 223
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Righty to Lefty View Post

I don't get it...it's not okay to tamper with the size of the hole and make it bigger which would have a far greater effect on the enjoyment of the game for most but it is okay to tamper with every single other variable on the course...what gives !! It's too late to try and dial back the technology after it has already evolved.  I mean I guess next we should further reduce COR requirements on clubheads, and limit quality control on shafts...The golf companies have already created a monster and so we have to just address it from here forward..not revert backwards.  I can see it now..." Experience the new TaylorMade TS (Too Short) 5 golf ball....now the shortest hitting golf ball on the market!!" 

 

The USGA has set standards on how far golf balls can travel since 1976.  They're responsible for the in crease in those numbers, allowing manufacturers to build balls that travel farther.

 

Some would argue that by allowing driver to increase in size until they are now 3 times as big than they were 30 years ago, and by allowing golf balls that travel faster and farther, that they have already tampered with the game to the point that now golfers have this attitude that if they can't bomb it nearly 300 yards they don't want to play anymore.

 

Yeah.  That's what golf should be about, right?  How far you can hit it and nothing else?

post #46 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

The USGA has set standards on how far golf balls can travel since 1976.  They're responsible for the in crease in those numbers, allowing manufacturers to build balls that travel farther.

Some would argue that by allowing driver to increase in size until they are now 3 times as big than they were 30 years ago, and by allowing golf balls that travel faster and farther, that they have already tampered with the game to the point that now golfers have this attitude that if they can't bomb it nearly 300 yards they don't want to play anymore.

Yeah.  That's what golf should be about, right?  How far you can hit it and nothing else?

For me golf is not all about distance (good thing or I would not like it), but to some it means a great deal.
post #47 of 223

I love power, distance, strength, speed, and skill.

 

When I watch a professional athlete I want to see them do things I could never do in a million years.

 

That said, if the standard for power was 250 yards and that was as far as anybody could hit a golf ball I would quickly get used to appreciating that new standard of power.

post #48 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

 

The USGA has set standards on how far golf balls can travel since 1976.  They're responsible for the in crease in those numbers, allowing manufacturers to build balls that travel farther.

 

Some would argue that by allowing driver to increase in size until they are now 3 times as big than they were 30 years ago, and by allowing golf balls that travel faster and farther, that they have already tampered with the game to the point that now golfers have this attitude that if they can't bomb it nearly 300 yards they don't want to play anymore.

 

Yeah.  That's what golf should be about, right?  How far you can hit it and nothing else?

That's what golf is regardless of what you may think. I will make a bold statement without even looking up the facts and say that no has ever dominated the sport without being on of the longest hitters of that particular era.  Sure Corey Pavin can win on tour and he has but he will NEVER dominate golf because he is at a huge disadvantage because of his lack of driving distance.  Guys hit it far and then have a short game to match and they have learned to score with it and that is golf whether we like it or not. So are we gonna play the "short" ball on the older courses and the the "long" ball on others?!!  I'm stuck in an airport in Dubai and so I am mainly just killing time right now if you didn't notice !!

post #49 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

 

The USGA has set standards on how far golf balls can travel since 1976.  They're responsible for the in crease in those numbers, allowing manufacturers to build balls that travel farther.

 

Some would argue that by allowing driver to increase in size until they are now 3 times as big than they were 30 years ago, and by allowing golf balls that travel faster and farther, that they have already tampered with the game to the point that now golfers have this attitude that if they can't bomb it nearly 300 yards they don't want to play anymore.

 

Yeah.  That's what golf should be about, right?  How far you can hit it and nothing else?

 

The USGA isn't "responsible for the increase" and they haven't allowed "golf balls that travel faster and farther." The modern ball is simply a Pinnacle from the early 90s that still spins a lot off shorter irons and wedges. We've had golf balls that fly a long ways for decades. They just weren't used by PGA Tour pros.

 

The ODS has been the same since its inception (they've changed the way it is measured once or twice, but not the total distances). Originally I believe it was measured at 100 MPH, and later they added a 120 MPH test or something, I believe.

 

United States Golf Association and R&A Rules Limited - USGA (PDF Link)

 

P.S. The answer to the trivia question "who manufactures the USGA's test ball" is in there. :)

post #50 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

The USGA isn't "responsible for the increase" and they haven't allowed "golf balls that travel faster and farther." The modern ball is simply a Pinnacle from the early 90s that still spins a lot off shorter irons and wedges. We've had golf balls that fly a long ways for decades. They just weren't used by PGA Tour pros.

 

The ODS has been the same since its inception (they've changed the way it is measured once or twice, but not the total distances). Originally I believe it was measured at 100 MPH, and later they added a 120 MPH test or something, I believe.

 

United States Golf Association and R&A Rules Limited - USGA (PDF Link)

 

P.S. The answer to the trivia question "who manufactures the USGA's test ball" is in there. :)

That comment about the ball is funny. I was talking to a PGA rules official, John Brendle, at the Wyndham Championship. He called todays golf balls "glorified Pinnacles".

post #51 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by caniac6 View Post

Why don't we all just go back to blade irons with lofts from 1965, wooden woods, bullseye putters, and a canvas sack full of Club Specials. Why does golf have the idea that things need to be harder? Every other sport, most people like to see offense. We like TD's in football, home runs in baseball, goals in hockey, but when highly skilled players hit the ball a long way, and shoot low scores, something is wrong with the game. I know I am bigger and stronger than some pro golfers, and use,roughly, the same gear, but they still hit the ball a lot longer than I do. I am a fairly good player at the club level, but those guys have skills that I don't have.

 

Don't knock it until you've tried it.  I learned with blades, played for many years with wooden woods and balata balls.  It didn't make golf less fun, or I might not have stuck with it.  It certainly didn't make watching on TV any less fun.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by caniac6 View Post

Oh, by the way, Nicklaus shot 17 under at the Masters 1n 1965 using old equipment. Bubba shot -10 last year using new equipment. Augusta National is not outdated.

 

In 1965 August National was a very different golf course.   It was a few hundred yards shorter, had no rough at all, and the greens weren't close to being  as fast as they are now.  

 

All that said, rolling back the ball isn't going to happen.  Just isn't even a remote possibility.


Edited by Fourputt - 3/2/13 at 5:56pm
post #52 of 223
Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

When were you growing up? In the 1890s? I still played balata balls as a kid, and 240 was not a "long hitter" then. BTW, 220 is still a good drive for more people than know it... :D

 

Early 1960s. I caddied at a private club and carried for every kind of golfer imaginable. There was a long par 4 on which the fairway fell away from the tee and came back up again to flatten out at about 210. If you didn't hit the ball onto the flat, the ball would hit into the upslope and stop. Forget about hitting the green. There weren't that many guys who could do it easily, and most couldn't do it at all. 

post #53 of 223
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

The USGA isn't "responsible for the increase" and they haven't allowed "golf balls that travel faster and farther." The modern ball is simply a Pinnacle from the early 90s that still spins a lot off shorter irons and wedges. We've had golf balls that fly a long ways for decades. They just weren't used by PGA Tour pros.

 

The ODS has been the same since its inception (they've changed the way it is measured once or twice, but not the total distances). Originally I believe it was measured at 100 MPH, and later they added a 120 MPH test or something, I believe.

 

United States Golf Association and R&A Rules Limited - USGA (PDF Link)

 

P.S. The answer to the trivia question "who manufactures the USGA's test ball" is in there. :)

 

I stand corrected.  The distance was increased from 297 to 320 yards in June 2004, HOWEVER (and this I did not realize until a few minutes ago) they also increased the swing speed used to test the balls as well (from 109 to 120 mph).

 

I also spent some time doing online research on historic Trackman numbers and Erik you're right on the money again.

 

Here's what I don't get though...the jump in driving distance isn't recent.  Matter of fact, from what I saw there's only been a marginal increase since 2003.  Most of the jump was between 1995 and 2003.  (http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-equipment/blogs/hotlist365/2012/08/is-distance-really-out-of-cont.html)

 

So a couple of questions...

 

1.  Is Jack Nicklaus just blowing smoke and doesn't have the data correct, throwing off his interpretation of the issue entirely?

2.  What happened between 1997 and 2003 that caused the big increase?  Why hasn't it increased any more over the past 10 years or so?

 

If it is swing speed as you said, has swing speed really not increased since 2003?

post #54 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

I also spent some time doing online research on historic Trackman numbers and Erik you're right on the money again.

 

Well I did say 100 MPH instead of 109. :)

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

Here's what I don't get though...the jump in driving distance isn't recent.  Matter of fact, from what I saw there's only been a marginal increase since 2003.  Most of the jump was between 1995 and 2003.  (http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-equipment/blogs/hotlist365/2012/08/is-distance-really-out-of-cont.html)

 

Callaway's Rule 35 ball (a solid core golf ball, not a wound ball) was introduced in 1996 or so. The Pro V1 made its debut on the PGA Tour at Las Vegas in 2000. That time period also coincides with the boom in graphite shafts and titanium or steel drivers (the original Big Bertha was from 1991, but they got bigger and better fairly quickly). Lastly, Tiger Woods won the Masters in 1997 and created a boom for "golf is a sport played by athletes."

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave67az View Post

1.  Is Jack Nicklaus just blowing smoke and doesn't have the data correct, throwing off his interpretation of the issue entirely?

2.  What happened between 1997 and 2003 that caused the big increase?  Why hasn't it increased any more over the past 10 years or so?

 

3. If it is swing speed as you said, has swing speed really not increased since 2003?

 

1. Maybe. I don't know exactly what he said about distances.

2. See above. Balls + club shafts + Tiger Woods. Just happened to coincide.

3. It hasn't really, no. Fitness is at about the same level, and drivers aren't getting much longer or lighter or bigger (rules and playability cap those).

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