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Will a Ball Rollback Be Announced by 2023?


Ball Rollback by 2023?  

35 members have voted

  1. 1. Will the USGA/R&A announce that they are rolling back golf ball distance by January 1, 2023?

    • Yes, for all golfers.
      4
    • Yes, but only for top players.
      5
    • No.
      26

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  • Poll closes on 01/01/2022 at 04:59 AM

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I voted No.  That some golfers, amateur and pro alike, can out-drive the competition is a fact of life.  Long-hitters would still have an advantage if we went back to featheries.

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I've never really understood the argument that golf on TV isn't "exciting" anymore, and blaming that on distance or guys hitting shorter shots into a hole. The way we see it now: A guy hits

Is there something here that has anything at all to do with whether you think the USGA/R&A will roll back ball distances?  Anything at all?  After the short digression into other sports which you

I think it’s just too damn much to do with such poor arguments for whatever benefits they think it may bring. Golf has been hard for hundreds of years and it will continue to be so. Leave it be.

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12 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

What will they do about club head speed? How will the stop Bryson, DJ, Wolff, Koepka, JT, Rory, Cameron, etc from swinging faster? They can swing a persimmon faster than anyone back in the old timer days, by a lot. They just flat out are better athletes no matter what Jack fans say. Will they require PGA pros to stop working out?

Just dumb.

They can require flaps on drivers that open up at a certain speed to create additional drag. 

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I voted No. 

It seems to me, an over weight grumpy old hacker, that distance for a large % of golfers is not an issue.

The impacted courses appear to be those that house PGA (mini tour) events. They are extremely wealthy and extremely private and if land is available, can expand to what ever length they want.

If the USGA and RAA really represent all golfers, they will not make those changes.

There is a question tho: are they driven by the majority of golfers or contract revenue.

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I voted no because its hard to put the ball genie back in the bottle and it would take away from the regular guy's game to roll it back. We have seen things we love taken away before (croquet style putting, anchoring, square grooves) but this seems different. Millions of aging golfers have been brought back in time to hit it where they did 30 years ago thanks to the ball and fitness. You can't take fitness away so equipment is left. I think the governing body should hold the line on the ball and if they wanted to tighten tolerances slightly on spin then fine, but a rollback I would be against.

By the way, I talked to a 72 year old Tour Veteran (won 4 PGA Tour events) last month and he said that Sam Snead couldn't miss croquet style. Sam wasn't too happy about the ban specifically aimed at his new found success but adopted a side saddle approach so as not to straddle the line. Interesting perspective as we talked about how pros got around the anchoring ban and how the arm lock may catch on like the claw has. His take on the ball was that the game was more curvy and that in order to be a player you had to control your spin otherwise the balata would get away from you quickly. What started as him checking out my putter at the local club fitter turned into a 45 minute conversation. 

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5 hours ago, CarlSpackler said:

I don't care for anything they've done. I have not renewed my USGA membership and do not intend to. They keep sending me crap and it goes right into the trash can.

That's a pretty ridiculous position to take, but whatever. Not the topic for that.

5 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

Just a reminder, the OP asked what will happen, not what we believe should happen.

Yes, thank you.


BTW, I love how everyone calls it a "rollback." That's the word they all use, but the Overall Distance Standard has been in effect since 1976 and, while they added a higher speed limit, it was in the same type of ratio as the earlier speed limit. A Pro V1 that conforms now would have conformed in 1976, too.

All that's changed is that we've gotten urethane covers on a Pinnacle core.

So, when they say "rollback" I always want to ask them… to what? You can't really say "oh, you have to make liquid core balls with balata covers, or else make surlyn balls with solid cores. Those are your only two options." The manufacturers made a choice back then, as did players, because they wanted the spin from balata and they went "far enough" that they could still play good golf, but now we have more materials and more knowledge, so we can pair a solid core ball with a skinny cover and mantle.

There's no real "time" to roll back to. A ball legal now would have been legal in 1980.

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5 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

Just a reminder, the OP asked what will happen, not what we believe should happen.

Sure but we don’t have a crystal ball, so what the OP asked is kinda pointless. 

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7 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Sure but we don’t have a crystal ball, so what the OP asked is kinda pointless. 

Uhm, no.

Pointless? C'mon man.

  • "Who do you think will win the election?"
  • "What do you think Tiger will shoot today?"
  • "What will his girlfriend say when he proposes?"
  • "Would my mother like this as a birthday preset?"

So many "pointless" questions in the world, eh?

It's a poll, and a discussion, not about what the USGA/R&A should do, but what you think they will do.

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I voted no. I think any ball roll back would be DOA with the PGA Tour. I think they’d be more likely to break away from the USGA and R&A rules than accept a rollback. I think they’ll let the USGA know that while the USGA is ruminating and it will kill the whole thing. 

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I voted yes for both. I don’t know, if you have so many people crying foul, eventually they’ll cave. They’ve had discussions and more already. If it wasn’t in consideration, those would never have happened. 

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Just now, phillyk said:

I don’t know, if you have so many people crying foul, eventually they’ll cave.

This is a good point, and I considered this when I was thinking about it. The USGA caves to the whiny players all the time. I think they could easily cave to a bunch of whiny journalists.

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1 hour ago, phillyk said:

I voted yes for both. I don’t know, if you have so many people crying foul, eventually they’ll cave. They’ve had discussions and more already. If it wasn’t in consideration, those would never have happened. 

You go with those making the most noise, really. If you cave so easily on this what next, stick with your belief....

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I voted no.

Most of you guys are surely more in tune with the USGA and its decision-making process than I am, but I'm guessing they aren't going to do anything. 

For whatever consternation people might feel about the distance the pros are hitting, the USGA needs to worry more about the amateurs and I don't think any of them have the appetite for a bifurcated set of rules.

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1 minute ago, mcanadiens said:

I voted no.

Most of you guys are surely more in tune with the USGA and its decision-making process than I am, but I'm guessing they aren't going to do anything. 

For whatever consternation people might feel about the distance the pros are hitting, the USGA needs to worry more about the amateurs and I don't think any of them have the appetite for a bifurcated set of rules.

Another thought is distance seems to be a draw on TV now. The announcers talk about it with awe and not just with Bryson. If it becomes a ratings bump then the PGA Tour will definitely fight changes more.

The NFL did that with passing. They adjusted the rules to make it easier to pass and scoring went up. Then ratings went up. Ratings are King.

The old guy whiners about distance are getting fewer now. Jack can lament about it, but these new players are just better athletes.

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10 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

Another thought is distance seems to be a draw on TV now. The announcers talk about it with awe and not just with Bryson. If it becomes a ratings bump then the PGA Tour will definitely fight changes more.

The NFL did that with passing. They adjusted the rules to make it easier to pass and scoring went up. Then ratings went up. Ratings are King.

The old guy whiners about distance are getting fewer now. Jack can lament about it, but these new players are just better athletes.

I've never really understood the argument that golf on TV isn't "exciting" anymore, and blaming that on distance or guys hitting shorter shots into a hole.

The way we see it now:

  • A guy hits a ball.
  • We see the ball flying through the air, often against a sky background (shot tracers help here as they stay with the ground level camera shot longer)
  • We see the ball land somewhere and roll somewhere, sometimes forward, sometimes backward.

The only thing that would really change about watching golf on TV if guys were hitting 4I instead of 8I is that… the balls wouldn't end up as close to the hole anywhere near as often.

How is that more exciting?


I also think some people are talking out of both sides of their mouths when they say the Presidents Cup was a challenge and interesting and great golf (and I agree)… and the course is actually quite short… it’s just FIRM. Firm makes width and angles matter. Firm makes controlling your ball and the spin and the landing angle and spot precisely matter.

Firm up golf courses and players will “roll back" themselves!

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9 hours ago, phillyk said:

I voted yes for both. I don’t know, if you have so many people crying foul, eventually they’ll cave. They’ve had discussions and more already. If it wasn’t in consideration, those would never have happened. 

I agree, I think they will cave in as well.  

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The ball is not the problem. The longest hitters will still be the longest hitters. The problem as I see it is equipment. Limit use of certain materials, length of shafts. etc.. Also grow roughs, narrow fairways. This way all around skill prevails. Question is does the same player win every week? The answer is no. Bottom line I hope that the powers to be think this through..

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