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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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30 minutes ago, iacas said:

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!

There is nothing in this post that I don't agree with. ... Or I agree with everything in this post. 

I would even add that watching BDC hulk up and hit monster drives actually ADDS interest to the game. I would leave everything alone if I'm in charge because I love watching golf as it is right now. 

Firming up the courses and letting the rough grow a bit higher would be the way I'd control the scoring.  

For my taste golf is great right now. I really enjoy it. Yeah, I'd like the COVID thing to go away so we can have galleries again. However, I'm even enjoying the golf without the galleries. For now, anyway. It's better with the galleries, but it's kinda cool to have no galleries as a bit of a novelty. (That's off topic.) 

So, I want them to leave everything as is, and maybe that's why I think they are going to change things and goof it up. Just my opinion. 

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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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1 hour ago, iacas said:

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!

100% agree with this. 

I think that’s in part why some longer players still hit down or play with more spin. Also, BDC won the USO largely on carry. Ppl talked about how some guys outdrove him at times but fail to mention that BDC carried the ball to that spot. He hit noon balls up around 190 mph ball speed with a crazy steep descent angle to keep it in play while others hit the 40* or shallower descent angle to roll it up to where he was. Hitting the ball high and with spin keeps the ball from rolling too much like you said. 

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14 hours ago, ncates00 said:

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

As @iacas said, we guess/predict the future all the time.  From my point of view, its interesting to see what inputs are driving the opinions that differ from mine.  Its always possible that I've missed something, something that might make me rethink.  I've read enough different things so that I it seems unlikely I'll be persuaded to change my mind on what I want to see happen.  But its entirely possible that something will change my mind on what I think is going to happen.

12 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 go back to the stroke and distance penalties, and the relief from divots.  Lots and lots of people have been screaming about these for decades, yet the rulesmakers have managed to avoid caving in.  

1 hour ago, ncates00 said:

Also, BDC won the USO largely on carry.

I'd suggest that Bryson won it with iron play and putting as much as with long driving.  Even most (not all, for sure) of the talking heads who want a distance roll back have accepted the Strokes Gained numbers that indicate that.

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7 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

As @iacas said, we guess/predict the future all the time.  From my point of view, its interesting to see what inputs are driving the opinions that differ from mine.  Its always possible that I've missed something, something that might make me rethink.  I've read enough different things so that I it seems unlikely I'll be persuaded to change my mind on what I want to see happen.  But its entirely possible that something will change my mind on what I think is going to happen.

We do try to predict the future all the time. That's called fun. It's just talk on a forum. I have to say I have no real logical reason for thinking they are going to roll back the ball. Nobody with any real influence has said they will. I just have this feeling.  

Of course, my feeling should be taken with a grain of salt. I remember having "this feeling" that Ryan Leaf was going to be a better quarterback than Peyton Manning. 

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1 hour ago, cipher said:

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

But their polls and surveys consistently show the majority of golfers don't want a roll-back, etc.

1 hour ago, runningrooster said:

The problem as I see it is equipment. Limit use of certain materials, length of shafts. etc.

We already have limits on those things right now.

1 hour ago, runningrooster said:

Also grow roughs, narrow fairways. This way all around skill prevails.

Counterpoint: 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. If the fairways are so narrow and the rough is so thick, everyone's gonna miss more fairways and the power players have an even bigger advantage.

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3 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

There is nothing in this post that I don't agree with. ... Or I agree with everything in this post. 

I would even add that watching BDC hulk up and hit monster drives actually ADDS interest to the game. I would leave everything alone if I'm in charge because I love watching golf as it is right now. 

Firming up the courses and letting the rough grow a bit higher would be the way I'd control the scoring.  

For my taste golf is great right now. I really enjoy it. Yeah, I'd like the COVID thing to go away so we can have galleries again. However, I'm even enjoying the golf without the galleries. For now, anyway. It's better with the galleries, but it's kinda cool to have no galleries as a bit of a novelty. (That's off topic.) 

So, I want them to leave everything as is, and maybe that's why I think they are going to change things and goof it up. Just my opinion. 

My opinion is an echo of this.

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4 hours ago, ncates00 said:

Also, BDC won the USO largely on carry.

I think being able to muscle out of that rough with great accuracy helped too. Power out of the rough made his drive accuracy less critical.

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Golf is the only sport where technology is used to make the game easier FOR PROFESSIONALS. I agree with Nick Faldo, make strike king again but only for pros. They make footballs that the average Joe can throw a country mile, smaller basketballs for younger players, big bats for junior baseball, light weight bowling balls, and on and on. But they can't use them in the professional game. If old timers, like myself, could carry a 7 handicap on 7000+ yard courses with persimmon woods and blades then the modern pros should be able to win with rolled back technology. Like Sandy Tatum said about the '74 US Open, "We're not trying to embarrass the best players in the world, merely identify them."

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40 minutes ago, Seenya said:

Golf is the only sport where technology is used to make the game easier FOR PROFESSIONALS.

I get what you’re saying, or trying to say, but no. They make equipment in every sport to try to help players play better.

They aren’t still using wooden rackets in tennis.

And nobody plays a Nerf football in an actual game. They make smaller clubs for juniors for the same reasons they make smaller basketballs. No?

You don’t think players would still be winning with older equipment? Huh? Of course they would.

Why didn’t you play a featherie?

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42 minutes ago, iacas said:

I get what you’re saying, or trying to say, but no. They make equipment in every sport to try to help players play better.

They aren’t still using wooden rackets in tennis.

The tennis racket doesn't make them hit the ball at 300 mph, though. That's a pretty flimsy example. So, yes. 

42 minutes ago, iacas said:

I get what you’re saying, or trying to say, but no. They make equipment in every sport to try to help players play better.

They aren’t still using wooden rackets in tennis.

And nobody plays a Nerf football in an actual game. They make smaller clubs for juniors for the same reasons they make smaller basketballs. No?

You don’t think players would still be winning with older equipment? Huh? Of course they would.

Why didn’t you play a featherie?

Number one, because I'm not a pro. If you actually read what I wrote you'd see that what I said was for pros only. Secondly, featheries were hand made and cost a fortune which meant the average person couldn't play because they couldn't afford it. Lastly, the golf courses were roughly the same length as when they were using featheries. I'll also add that just about ANY pro from the persimmon/balata era could play professionally with modern equipment and make lots of cuts. Many of todays pros wouldn't be on tour if they had to use clubs that emphasized strike. 

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39 minutes ago, Seenya said:

The tennis racket doesn't make them hit the ball at 300 mph, though. That's a pretty flimsy example. So, yes. 

Dude, no. They certainly hit the ball harder with composite rackets and bigger heads that weigh less.

And you missed the point on the rest.

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I just listened to the Hank Haney Podcast interview with Tom Weiskopf this morning. They had some interesting takes on the idea of how the ball striking skill has been eased by technology and they may have warmed me up to some differentiation for professionals. They did say that if it did happen, it would most likely come from the Tour not the USGA, because they don't have the fortitude or vision. In fact, Haney said their biggest contribution (sarcastic) in 20 years (USGA) has been to let people keep the pin in and to drop from knee-height and that they probably missed the boat on distance 20 years ago. As far as course length, they both agreed that length shouldn't be the determining factor in what makes a tough golf hole. It is more about what you have to do on that hole that makes it tough. Anyway, it was interesting to hear some thoughts from those guys and Weiskopf tells a great story about playing 5 rounds with Hogan that really is the highlight of that podcast. 

I also want to relay a comment from a Shell's special from Pinehurst #2 in the late 90s between Palmer and Nicklaus (Nicklaus putted really well that day). Jack Whitaker made a comment about how the course would still be iconic even 50 years from now when John Daly's grandsons would be forcing course architects to design 15,000 yard courses. I laughed when I heard the comment so it's not like we didn't see this coming. 

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10 minutes ago, TourSpoon said:

They had some interesting takes on the idea of how the ball striking skill has been eased by technology and they may have warmed me up to some differentiation for professionals.

You sure it's not just a variant of "back in my day…"?

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15 minutes ago, iacas said:

You sure it's not just a variant of "back in my day…"?

Perhaps, but they also acknowledged that this is the best time in history to be playing golf. The point they were making was that these guys are really playing a different game and how tough the competition has become because golfers are more athletic than ever before. 

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21 minutes ago, TourSpoon said:

I just listened to the Hank Haney Podcast interview with Tom Weiskopf this morning.

I haven't heard Weiskopf lending his opinion to this, I may have to try to find the episode.  Haney, on the other hand, has complained about the USGA consistently for years and years, if Mike Davis says the sky is blue Haney will claim its green.  As for the possibility that the PGA Tour will voluntarily develop its own equipment restrictions, it seems really unlikely to me.  They've been marketing distance for a long time, and I don't see them changing their tune anytime soon.  You hear occasional players talking about having separate "PGA Tour Rules" but they never take any kind of action.  I have a hard time believing that they'll develop their own more restrictive equipment rules.  It is much more conceivable that they'll work with the USGA/R&A and the manufacturers to develop a more restrictive Local Rule on equipment, as mentioned in the Distance Insight Conclusions, but even that seems a very long shot.

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9 minutes ago, TourSpoon said:

 The point they were making was that these guys are really playing a different game and how tough the competition has become because golfers are more athletic than ever before. 

This is definitely a variant of "back in my day" and I think the whole point.  The game has been and should be moving forward, not going backwards.  There is such a diverse genetic pool to choose from (physically), we should have very athletic guys who can smash it.

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7 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I haven't heard Weiskopf lending his opinion to this, I may have to try to find the episode.  Haney, on the other hand, has complained about the USGA consistently for years and years, if Mike Davis says the sky is blue Haney will claim its green.  As for the possibility that the PGA Tour will voluntarily develop its own equipment restrictions, it seems really unlikely to me.  They've been marketing distance for a long time, and I don't see them changing their tune anytime soon.  You hear occasional players talking about having separate "PGA Tour Rules" but they never take any kind of action.  I have a hard time believing that they'll develop their own more restrictive equipment rules.  It is much more conceivable that they'll work with the USGA/R&A and the manufacturers to develop a more restrictive Local Rule on equipment, as mentioned in the Distance Insight Conclusions, but even that seems a very long shot.

I could tell (in a Captain Obvious kind of way) that Haney is not a fan of the USGA. They do talk about the Ping lawsuit that cost them and the R&A a lot to fight. Hang in there for the Hogan discussion if you can make it that far. 

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3 minutes ago, phillyk said:

This is definitely a variant of "back in my day" and I think the whole point.  The game has been and should be moving forward, not going backwards.  There is such a diverse genetic pool to choose from (physically), we should have very athletic guys who can smash it.

True, but it wasn't a debate of what era was better kind of rabbit hole. It was more about how the ball and the equipment have lent themselves to the equation along with the athleticism of the players. Their discussion on putting was interesting too, but aside from not having the detailed green constructs and balanced putters, you still need to get the ball in the hole and that seems to be what it comes down to on the Tour that separates the winners from the field no matter the era. If you have a great ball striking week and combine it with an above average putting week, you are competing for the W. 

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