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


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They have four choices as I see.  #4 is the most likely while #2 has potential.

1. Dial the ball back for everyone.  Unfair to us hackers.

2.  Create a technical standard applicable to tour balls only.  Fair to us hackers.  Fair to the ball manufacturers as they can still market off tour results.  Fair to the old curmudgeons, armchair architects, and others lamenting the great old courses being torn apart.

3.  Create one tour ball that everyone plays on tour.  I can't see this as feasible.

4.  Do nothing.  Keep the status quo.  Only the armchair architects and members of places like Somerset Hills, Merion, National, Old course, etc. cry foul.  

My opinion is pretty lame but want to share it.  I was never much better than scratch but I was very, very long even in the 70's with persimmon and balata, I used to break the face and the actual wood all the time.  I am saying this not to brag but to share a perspective that few people have.  I played a completely different game than other players and I know how much of an advantage length is.  I was not polished at all but the length is a huge advantage allowing one to totally avoid trouble often.   I have gone eagle eagle and plenty more but that is just length, not ability.  Driver 8 iron to 564 yards and 3 wood to 1 inch on 334 yard hole.  Someone who hits it 260-270 off the tee is not going eagle eagle ever.  I would just blow it over all of the trouble, so, I can kind of see where the amateur architects are coming from.  Is it a huge loss to fans if Shinnecock or the Old Course eventually can't host a Major? For me?  Yes.  I like to see the professionals play the old historic courses that I know.  So, I would like to see a technical standard for the golf ball dialing it back about 10%.  Make 290 a really good drive and make something 260 an average tour drive.  Very unpopular opinion but that is how I feel.  Just don't take my B330 from this 61 year old.  LOL

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I have a few thoughts on the distance debate in golf. Except for the first, they're in no particular order. I'll try to be brief, but we all know how that tends to go… 1. I don't care about the 0

This right here, all my opinion. It's based on what I believe to be true, based on some relevant facts, and it's said with full understanding that none of us can truly know what would happen, so any o

I took the time to expand a little on my stance on distance on another forum, and thought I might post it here as well. I would say, in that vastly different scenario, that the courses should b

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33 minutes ago, Rippy_72 said:

Fair to the ball manufacturers as they can still market off tour results.

Not really. "We make this ball for you, but we also make this other ball that he didn't use to win the Masters…" That's not the same.

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8 minutes ago, iacas said:

Not really. "We make this ball for you, but we also make this other ball that he didn't use to win the Masters…" That's not the same.

Not to be too negative, I don't think most people are so astute.  Tiger played a Nike, so, golfers say, "I'm playing a Nike".  I was too cheap.  I went with the B330.  Same ball.  Bridgestone.

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6 minutes ago, Rippy_72 said:

Not to be too negative, I don't think most people are so astute.  Tiger played a Nike, so, golfers say, "I'm playing a Nike".  I was too cheap.  I went with the B330.  Same ball.  Bridgestone.

My point still stands.

Now they can say “he plays this ball.” They couldn’t in your scenario.

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6 hours ago, lastings said:

Long is a comparative term.  When you’re watching on TV, 325 isn’t all that entertaining when it lands in the middle of 30 divots from earlier that day.   It was more sexy when Daly would hit it 310 and it would be 25 yards out in front of the group of divots.

But if they dial back the ball and a long drive becomes 285, it’s still going to be landing in the middle of 30 other divots. Players’ length relative to each other isn’t likely to change, only the club in their hands for the next shot.

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Of course your point stands, your opinion is just as valid as mine.  

I don't think the average Joe cares that much or knows enough to make such a fine distinction.  Let's say there is a Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1-T.  The T version is the tournament ball that looks the same as today's Pro V1 but goes 10% less distance, I really don't think the average 100 shooter will care.  People on forums like this are not the average Joes, they know a lot.  I am not saying nobody here would not notice, I am just saying the majority of golfers would neither notice nor care.

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2 hours ago, Rippy_72 said:

People on forums like this are not the average Joes, they know a lot.  I am not saying nobody here would not notice, I am just saying the majority of golfers would neither notice nor care.

Right… the average Joe isn't buying Pro V1s very much, either. They're buying cheaper balls, often. So those that "know" and are more serious, would also know they weren't buying the same ball.

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13 minutes ago, iacas said:

Right… the average Joe isn't buying Pro V1s very much, either. They're buying cheaper balls, often. So those that "know" and are more serious, would also know they weren't buying the same ball.

huh?  Titleist has been the #1 selling golf ball for 70 straight years, with the ProV1 being by far their best selling model. 

Gonna be impossible for that to happen without a very large percentage of average Joe's buying ProV1's.  

 

 

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7 minutes ago, lastings said:

huh?  Titleist has been the #1 selling golf ball for 70 straight years, with the ProV1 being by far their best selling model. 

Gonna be impossible for that to happen without a very large percentage of average Joe's buying ProV1's.

Avid golfers buy a lot more balls.

Let’s keep this focused please. Ball manufacturers could not advertise as they do now if those changes were made.

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24 minutes ago, iacas said:

Let’s keep this focused please. Ball manufacturers could not advertise as they do now if those changes were made.

I believe that they absolutely could.   It would just be a bit of a different marketing strategy.

Callaway and Taylor made have no problem advertising their super game improvement irons, which are the highest selling irons in golf.   Even though they don't resemble the irons the pros play at all.   They market them by telling you that these irons will make golf easier for you.      Titleist would sell their ProV1-T to an elite level of tournament participants and blade using golf hardos, and they would market the regular ProV1 as the ball the makes the game easier for you.  

All of these big brands have proven they possess some pretty astute marketing teams.   I imagine they would continue to find a way to keep moving balls.  As a matter of fact, they may be able to utilize this new category to move more balls. 

 

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Just now, lastings said:

I believe that they absolutely could.   It would just be a bit of a different marketing strategy.

Callaway and Taylor made have no problem advertising their super game improvement irons, which are the highest selling irons in golf.   Even though they don't resemble the irons the pros play at all.   They market them by telling you that these irons will make golf easier for you.      Titleist would sell their ProV1-T to an elite level of tournament participants and blade using golf hardos, and they would market the regular ProV1 as the ball the makes the game easier for you.  

All of these big brands have proven they possess some pretty astute marketing teams.   I imagine they would continue to find a way to keep moving balls.  As a matter of fact, they may be able to utilize this new category to move more balls. 

 

Akin to having Tiger and DeChambeau advertising the Bridgestone e12, even though they play the Tour B series?

 

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2 minutes ago, lastings said:

I believe that they absolutely could.   It would just be a bit of a different marketing strategy.

Callaway and Taylor made have no problem advertising their super game improvement irons, which are the highest selling irons in golf.   Even though they don't resemble the irons the pros play at all.   They market them by telling you that these irons will make golf easier for you.      Titleist would sell their ProV1-T to an elite level of tournament participants and blade using golf hardos, and they would market the regular ProV1 as the ball the makes the game easier for you.  

All of these big brands have proven they possess some pretty astute marketing teams.   I imagine they would continue to find a way to keep moving balls.  As a matter of fact, they may be able to utilize this new category to move more balls. 

 

They mostly market the ProV1 as being the most popular ball on tour, so therefore it must be good for everyone.  Trying to advertise a blade in the same way will not work, because amateurs look for forgiveness and distance, of which blades are typically not the best at.  I'd guess ProV1's would see a drop in sales if pros were to switch to something different.  Eg. TW came out with Bridgestone BXS, and that ball saw a significant increase in sales purely because TW played it.

If the ball does change, obviously the marketing of balls would have to change. But I'd guess high performance balls will see a drop in sales.

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5 minutes ago, phillyk said:

If the ball does change, obviously the marketing of balls would have to change. But I'd guess high performance balls will see a drop in sales.

I would actually guess the opposite.   Marketing Strategy would be along the lines of, "The ProV1 makes golf so easy, they won't let the Pros use it on tour.    but, you can"  

Maybe the ProV1-Tour would take a small portion of the ProV1s market share, but of course thats why they price those as 54.99 rather than $47.99 or whatever.  

 

 

already making me want to go out and buy a new box of ProVs, actually.

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6 hours ago, lastings said:

Callaway and Taylor made have no problem advertising their super game improvement irons, which are the highest selling irons in golf.   Even though they don't resemble the irons the pros play at all.   They market them by telling you that these irons will make golf easier for you.      Titleist would sell their ProV1-T to an elite level of tournament participants and blade using golf hardos, and they would market the regular ProV1 as the ball the makes the game easier for you.  

All of these big brands have proven they possess some pretty astute marketing teams.   I imagine they would continue to find a way to keep moving balls.  As a matter of fact, they may be able to utilize this new category to move more balls. 

It's simple, golfers want to play what the pros play, reason they pay them to use their clubs/balls.

If the strategy didn't work they wouldn't sign players.

To get back to @iacas's "keep it focused", this is kinda off topic, thread is about the distance insights from the USGA.

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6 hours ago, lastings said:

I believe that they absolutely could. It would just be a bit of a different marketing strategy.

You just said “they could do the same it would just be different.”

7 minutes ago, mvmac said:

To get back to @iacas's "keep it focused", this is kinda off topic, thread is about the distance insights from the USGA.

Yes please. Final request.

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Discussing the potential marketing of a potential situation is so far into the fringe it’s pointless.

Discuss the topic. Not stuff miles from the topic even if you can take a few dirt roads to get there.

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Weren’t people saying that Merion GC was too short to host a US Open back in 2013? Justin Rose won at +1. There are ways to make golf courses challenging that aren’t based solely on distance.

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  • iacas changed the title to Usga/Ra Distance Insights Project
  • iacas changed the title to USGA/R&A Distance Insights Project (Updated Feb. 2021)

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