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USGA/R&A Distance Insights Project (Updated Feb. 2021)


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(From 2011), forget bifurcation, John Solheim wants/wanted TRIfurcation!

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John Solheim, chairman & CEO of Ping, believes golf's distance debate is about to heat up again, and he thinks he has an idea that might help cooler heads prevail.With the PGA Tour driving distance...

 

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

(From 2011), forget bifurcation, John Solheim wants/wanted TRIfurcation!

1588636298811.jpeg

John Solheim, chairman & CEO of Ping, believes golf's distance debate is about to heat up again, and he thinks he has an idea that might help cooler heads prevail.With the PGA Tour driving distance...

 

IMHO 3 different balls isn't cost effective.    I'm sure the ball manufacturers wouldn't approve.    

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Regarding course lengths, there is some data presented in References 24 to 26 here:

I didn't see anything that directly answered your questions about how many courses have seen the need to  add length, although there are a few "examples", I think in R024. 

I haven't said much recently about this, because I really don't see that the new release says anything different from the release a year ago.  There are some more details about the equipment regulations they may study in more depth, and more detail in the ways they might consider to effect an "optional local rule" (bifurcation).  I don't have a problem if they find ways to minimize future distance gains from equipment advances.  Really, bifurcation wouldn't effect me significantly, but I think there are far too many hurdles for it to become reality.   

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19 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Regarding course lengths, there is some data presented in References 24 to 26 here:

Yeah, that only talks about the length of courses as they're built. It doesn't really speak, as you say, to changes made to lengthen existing courses.

And the 90th percentile of the second tees are at 6700 yards (an increase from 6450 yards in 1950) with the median at 6300:

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And the longest tees haven't gotten much longer — going from 7000 yards or so for the 90th percentile in 1960 to 7250 or so in 2010?

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One thing people mention as a positive for a rollback is that pace of play would get faster. I'm not sure that's true, because it's very dependent on the players. But throwing that out there as a pro-rollback argument.

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46 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

One thing people mention as a positive for a rollback is that pace of play would get faster. I'm not sure that's true, because it's very dependent on the players. But throwing that out there as a pro-rollback argument.

Okay, I don't even think that needs a response. Surely people can understand that rolling back the ball, especially if it's just for the game's best, won't affect pace of play.

But yeah. Maybe I'll add a brief section on that.

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Here is what Peter Kostis has to say about the distance issue.

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After years of looking at golf swings through the trusty Konica Minolta BizHub Swing Vision camera, I have learned to see things differently than most people. So, with the distance debate raging on…

 

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Mr. Kostis makes a lot of good points. Distance is king and it is exciting. Yesterday when I went to the range there were 14 disperate golfers occupying the mats. 12 of them were hitting drivers.

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Oy, Phil. I know most of this is a "bit" but c'mon.

The line of "amateurs running the game" is such bullshit, anyway. They're actually professional… rules makers. Engineers. Etc. Mike Whan isn't doing it for free, and neither are most of the other people.

They're not professional golfers, but Phil isn't a professional rules maker.

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I see Phils point about a shorter swing. A tall golfer could swing a longer driver.  I’m short so it would be a telephone pole to me. 
My view on this is that they are ignoring competition. Pros play against each other. Cam Smith pushes his tee shot OB and loses in a playoff to Finau.  Billy Horschell won this year, Phil and Steward Cink won (older guys) and one of my favorites, Kevin Na is still competitive.  You have to beat 140 other guys who have a caddie, coach, physiologist, head shrinker, and one in a million talent with a percentage of them playing at their peak.  The amateur, weekend warriors are trying to win a skin looping their own clubs, on courses that aren’t pristine, with equipment that hasn’t been tweaked on a Trackman.  The game is already bifurcated! I wish I had a green book yesterday so my approach shots were on the correct tier of the green, or a caddie to remind me to club up. But its fair because my playing partners are playing under the same conditions. I think this is a non problem thats why their solutions are being embraced by no one. The guys looking back to the good old days should remember those days meant most people could not afford to play and some were barred from it.

 

 

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