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Simple idea for making golf easier -- a bigger ball!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Tell me if you've experienced this commonly deflating experience on the course: new to golf or fresh off of an extended layoff, the golfer finds himself out on the course just trying to keep pace and not embarrass himself.  As the round progresses, confidence builds until finally a perfect drive is piped down the middle setting up a reasonably short approach to the green.  Brimming with excitement and suddenly sure of swing, the golfer proceeds to chunk the next shot taking out turf that begins a full two inches behind the ball, sending it no further than his divot.  At this moment he says to himself "Maybe I'm just not cut out for this sport".

 

I know the oversize ball was introduced in the 80s/90s with the Top-Flite Magna, but I think the general concept faded out without enough research or a general consumer understanding of what the technology is supposed to achieve.  Most importantly the "oversize" Magna was only 1.71" in diameter compared to the minimum allowable (or standard) size of 1.68".

 

Here is a proposal for a Maximum Game Improvement technology with corresponding attributes:

 

Anti-Hack golf ball having a diameter of about 1.88 inches.  Players with different levels of skill could fit into different ball size categories ranging from slightly oversize to way oversize.

 

Pros:

- USGA legal having standard weight through optimized materials.

- Higher MOI promoting reduced sidespin/backspin

- Easier to see and easier to FIND

- Center of Gravity when resting on turf could be as much as one groove higher off the iron, resulting in solid shots that can be executed without requiring perfect turf interaction.  Similar to the benefits of low-profile woods, but without the risk of pop-ups.

 

Cons:

- Loss of distance off long clubs

- Loss of "bite" off short clubs

- Lower likelihood of falling into the cup for center-line putts traveling too fast

- ???

 

The optimal player to fit into this technology is one we are all familiar with: Distance to burn with a tendency to overswing, thus resulting in poor ballstriking off the turf and massive directional misses off the tee (Hey, I resemble that remark!).

 

I think it could be more successful than the Magna ball ever was if the consumer understands that they are giving up distance and spin as part of the deal, and most importantly, sees an obvious and tangible difference compared to a conventional ball.  This would be mostly borne out with the ability to think "sweep" with the irons and produce good shots that feel solid without necessitating perfect placement of the "bottom" of the swing arc.  In short, play like every shot is sitting on a tee!

 

With mass adoption, suddenly more benefits to the game appear.  Courses are no longer rendered "too short" by high-COR drivers and graphite shafts.  Fairways are perhaps no longer littered with evidence of 3 chunked shots laying side-by-side courtesy of the "mulligan" crew.

 

What say you?

post #2 of 14

Out of all the things that make the game challenging ball size really isn't one of them imo.

post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tee2Trees View Post

Tell me if you've experienced this commonly deflating experience on the course: new to golf or fresh off of an extended layoff, the golfer finds himself out on the course just trying to keep pace and not embarrass himself.  As the round progresses, confidence builds until finally a perfect drive is piped down the middle setting up a reasonably short approach to the green.  Brimming with excitement and suddenly sure of swing, the golfer proceeds to chunk the next shot taking out turf that begins a full two inches behind the ball, sending it no further than his divot.  At this moment he says to himself "Maybe I'm just not cut out for this sport".

I know the oversize ball was introduced in the 80s/90s with the Top-Flite Magna, but I think the general concept faded out without enough research or a general consumer understanding of what the technology is supposed to achieve.  Most importantly the "oversize" Magna was only 1.71" in diameter compared to the minimum allowable (or standard) size of 1.68".

Here is a proposal for a Maximum Game Improvement technology with corresponding attributes:

Anti-Hack golf ball having a diameter of about 1.88 inches.  Players with different levels of skill could fit into different ball size categories ranging from slightly oversize to way oversize.

Pros:
- USGA legal having standard weight through optimized materials.
- Higher MOI promoting reduced sidespin/backspin
- Easier to see and easier to FIND
- Center of Gravity when resting on turf could be as much as one groove higher off the iron, resulting in solid shots that can be executed without requiring perfect turf interaction.  Similar to the benefits of low-profile woods, but without the risk of pop-ups.

Cons:
- Loss of distance off long clubs
- Loss of "bite" off short clubs
- Lower likelihood of falling into the cup for center-line putts traveling too fast
- ???

The optimal player to fit into this technology is one we are all familiar with: Distance to burn with a tendency to overswing, thus resulting in poor ballstriking off the turf and massive directional misses off the tee (Hey, I resemble that remark!).

I think it could be more successful than the Magna ball ever was if the consumer understands that they are giving up distance and spin as part of the deal, and most importantly, sees an obvious and tangible difference compared to a conventional ball.  This would be mostly borne out with the ability to think "sweep" with the irons and produce good shots that feel solid without necessitating perfect placement of the "bottom" of the swing arc.  In short, play like every shot is sitting on a tee!

With mass adoption, suddenly more benefits to the game appear.  Courses are no longer rendered "too short" by high-COR drivers and graphite shafts.  Fairways are perhaps no longer littered with evidence of 3 chunked shots laying side-by-side courtesy of the "mulligan" crew.

What say you?

I say that if the manufacturers thought there would be a market, they'd be making one.

Given that the "cons" you note pretty closely mirror the features that the vast majority of golfers want in their ball, I can understand why they don't.
post #4 of 14

In 1931 the USGA was concerned about the ball going too far since it was too small, and so they started to work on an acceptable solution and in 1932, the 1.68" diameter ball became the must-play ball size. I don't think ball size is really the thing that needs to be thought about when it comes to making the game easier. Golf is golf, we don't want it to be easier because that is what makes it fun. 

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakepalm View Post

In 1931 the USGA was concerned about the ball going too far since it was too small, and so they started to work on an acceptable solution and in 1932, the 1.68" diameter ball became the must-play ball size. I don't think ball size is really the thing that needs to be thought about when it comes to making the game easier. Golf is golf, we don't want it to be easier because that is what makes it fun. 

Sorry, that's incorrect. 1.68" is the minimum ball size. You may play a larger ball.
post #6 of 14

@David in FL

 

So what is the maximum then because I can't find anything on it.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakepalm View Post
 

@David in FL

 

So what is the maximum then because I can't find anything on it.

 

There isn't one.

 

Theoretically, the maximum size would be 4.25"… since that's the size of the hole.

post #8 of 14
Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

 

There isn't one.

 

Theoretically, the maximum size would be 4.25"… since that's the size of the hole.

 

Now that would be a sight to see if someone used a ball of that size.

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakepalm View Post
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

 

There isn't one.

 

Theoretically, the maximum size would be 4.25"… since that's the size of the hole.

 

Now that would be a sight to see if someone used a ball of that size.

 

My home course used to hold a silly season tournament of their own, always scheduled for the Friday after Thanksgiving.  It could only be played on a year when the late fall weather allowed it, about one year out of three - they called it the Frostbite Open.  They set up the entire course with a gimmick on each hole, even including some special clubs that had to be used for certain shots.  They had a driver with a 6 foot shaft (both LH and RH), a putter with a golf ball sized round brass ball for the head.  On one hole they cut four "water hazards" (embedded 12oz plastic beer cups) in a 2 foot square around the hole that you had to putt between (if you hit a "hazard" you were considered to have holed out, but added a 2 stroke penalty).  The event was just a blast to play in.  They quit holding in the early 90's.

 

To the point of the topic, on one hole, once you reached the green, you were required to exchange your golf ball for a tennis ball and putt with that.  If you want a difficult putt, try that sometime.  :loco: 

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your inputs.  Perhaps I should have made my case in one of the Taylormade "hack golf initiative" threads (assuming there is one).  I think people would get most of the benefit TMAG was going for without the need for introducing special clubs and a 15" hole, just upsize the ball!  Personally, I'm fine with the challenges the game presents on its own, but many of the issues newbies face could be mitigated with the option of playing a bigger ball.  It must be discouraging for someone to play an entire round without experiencing the feel of hitting even one solid iron shot (I've seen it happen out there!) which certainly limits the growth of the game.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post
 

 

My home course used to hold a silly season tournament of their own, always scheduled for the Friday after Thanksgiving.  It could only be played on a year when the late fall weather allowed it, about one year out of three - they called it the Frostbite Open.  They set up the entire course with a gimmick on each hole, even including some special clubs that had to be used for certain shots.  They had a driver with a 6 foot shaft (both LH and RH), a putter with a golf ball sized round brass ball for the head.  On one hole they cut four "water hazards" (embedded 12oz plastic beer cups) in a 2 foot square around the hole that you had to putt between (if you hit a "hazard" you were considered to have holed out, but added a 2 stroke penalty).  The event was just a blast to play in.  They quit holding in the early 90's.

 

To the point of the topic, on one hole, once you reached the green, you were required to exchange your golf ball for a tennis ball and putt with that.  If you want a difficult putt, try that sometime.  :loco: 

 

This sounds completely hilarious and awesome.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strandly View Post
 

 

This sounds completely hilarious and awesome.

 

I want to make this possible. :-P

post #13 of 14

The simple idea has been put out there already it's called "tee it forward" the problem is most people especially the younger generation will not listen to this logic, just because someones young and strong and can on rare occasions hit a ball 300 yards doesn't mean that qualifies them to playing from the tips, players like that who probably play to a 18-27 would be better off playing tees that they can hit 3 wood or hybrid from and have a much better chance at a lower score, unfortunately too many think bombing the ball is all this game is about.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flopster View Post
 

The simple idea has been put out there already it's called "tee it forward" the problem is most people especially the younger generation will not listen to this logic, just because someones young and strong and can on rare occasions hit a ball 300 yards doesn't mean that qualifies them to playing from the tips, players like that who probably play to a 18-27 would be better off playing tees that they can hit 3 wood or hybrid from and have a much better chance at a lower score, unfortunately too many think bombing the ball is all this game is about.


People who are struggling to pick up the game don't card whether the final score on the cards reads 100 or 150.  It's about hitting solid, memorable golf shots.  Tee it forward is good in that it gives the geezers a better chance at having a short iron into the green after a good drive, but for the rest of us it just takes the fun out of it because a good drive is "rewarded" with something less then a full shot of any kind into the green.  And with the advent of the 460cc driver, most beginners have a better chance at successfully bombing that club into the fairway than they do with a small-headed hybrid.

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