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USGA/R&A Changes to the Equipment Standards?


iacas

Acceptable Amount of Yardage Decrease from USGA/R&A Equipment Change?   

59 members have voted

  1. 1. Percentage Loss in Distance

    • 0%
      38
    • -2%
      2
    • -5%
      7
    • -10%
      3
    • -15%
      3
    • -20% or More
      3
    • They should increase smash factor!
      3


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1 hour ago, hunterdog said:

Take away lasers and golf carts.

Why? They're not having to judge distance or carry their bags. Heck they don't have to even read greens if they want to. Most ams don't play with caddies.

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30 minutes ago, iacas said:

Thicker rough and narrow fairways favor longer hitters.

How so?  Because they can power through it, and/or if they’re closer they’re likely using a higher lofted club for their next shot?

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8 minutes ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

How so?  Because they can power through it, and/or if they’re closer they’re likely using a higher lofted club for their next shot?

This I think. Also, people often assume that short hitters are just peppering the fairways all the time. They’re not. So when they miss the fairway, often as often as a long hitter, they’re even worse off than the bombers.

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7 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

This I think. Also, people often assume that short hitters are just peppering the fairways all the time. They’re not. So when they miss the fairway, often as often as a long hitter, they’re even worse off than the bombers.

Pretty much that, yeah.

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

Thicker rough and narrow fairways favor longer hitters.

Yeah, no doubt about that.

I think there are three discussions going on in this thread. They kind of have been blended together. I am certainly as guilty as anyone of blending them.

One discussion is just purely about distance. Distance is clearly an advantage. Everyone from Zach Johnson to Brooks Koepka has stated that. People who don't think distance is an advantage are kinda like flat-Earthers at this point. If we/they are just trying to reign in distance, that's one discussion. 

There's another discussion here. Does scoring need to come up? I hear a lot of folks talking that these guys are scoring too low. Which (I personally) think is ridiculous. If the discussion is how do we bring their scores up? Then there are lots of ways to bring the winning score in a tournament up to 280 instead of 270, or what ever. I don't think you need to roll back the ball if you just want these guys to score higher. 

Then, there's a third discussion. Bifurcation. For what ever reason, I and others, immediately hate the idea of more bifurcation. I'm not even sure why I don't like it. Other sports have it. In baseball we mere mortals can use aluminum bats and the studs in the MLB can't. Most rec-league basketball courts the 3-point line is a lot closer than it is for the pros. So, I'm sure I'd get used to the golf ball bifurcation. But, honestly, at this point my strong feeling is if they are going to roll back the ball for the pros. I'd like them to roll back the ball for everyone. 

There might even be a fourth discussion in this thread about whether or not some of the old traditional courses can still be used, or if we'd continually need to build longer courses. 

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10 hours ago, GolfLug said:

Why? They're not having to judge distance or carry their bags. Heck they don't have to even read greens if they want to. Most ams don't play with caddies.

The issue, in my opinion, is not what amateurs and the PGAT do different but, if they wanted to, they can still play by the same rules of competition. Ams could carry and calculate yardages, wasn’t that long ago that we did that, or hire a caddie, and amateurs could play the new ball. My point is that over time we have, with local rules, bifurcated the game from what the PGAT plays and what we, as amateurs, play.

Most amateurs play different tees than the pros, use a handicap system, use equipment only similar to what the elite pros use, use carts, use lasers, and play courses that have the same layout but have different agronomy and mowing practices (for that one week a year that the Tour rolls into town). So we play similar games but certainly not the same game. And I’m okay with that.

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38 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

If the discussion is how do we bring their scores up? Then there are lots of ways to bring the winning score in a tournament up to 280 instead of 270, or what ever. I don't think you need to roll back the ball if you just want these guys to score higher. 

They already do this to some extent, 500+ yard par 4s. If the number is really what is bothering people, they can just change par for the Tour. These guys hit it long because they’re the best in the world. Maybe most par 5s become par 4 holes for tournaments.

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1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

They already do this to some extent, 500+ yard par 4s. If the number is really what is bothering people, they can just change par for the Tour. These guys hit it long because they’re the best in the world. Maybe most par 5s become par 4 holes for tournaments.

I totally agree with you. And I'm not bothered by the numbers being lower. 

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A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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13 hours ago, GolfLug said:

Why? They're not having to judge distance or carry their bags. Heck they don't have to even read greens if they want to. Most ams don't play with caddies.

This depends entirely on where in the world you go.  In places like America and Europe, labour is expensive and hence caddie fees become prohibitive.  In places like India for example, the most we would pay for a caddie is approximately 10 to 15 dollars for a round.  Generally it is around 5 or so in the smaller cities/towns.  Admittedly salaries on average are lower, but golf is generally more affordable once clubs are purchased and you don't lose too many golf balls.  In many parts of the developing world, golfers will take a caddie because it is cheap, makes your play quicker (caddies go ahead to spot and find your ball by the time you get there and carry your bag so walking is quicker) and generally help with club suggestion, putting line, distance etc.

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30 minutes ago, phillyk said:


 

Interesting. Was the study published in a reputable journal or at least peer-reviewed?

It's a seductive argument, but one question I have is that since courses HAVE increased in length substantially during the same period (past 20 years), is that a significant reason for the negligible increase in 50-150 yd shots? If so, the logic of the argument becomes questionable.
 

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55 minutes ago, phillyk said:


 

Interesting.

17 minutes ago, chspeed said:

one question I have is that since courses HAVE increased in length substantially during the same period (past 20 years), is that a significant reason for the negligible increase in 50-150 yd shots? If so, the logic of the argument becomes questionable.
 

I thought the same thing. 

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A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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47 minutes ago, chspeed said:

Interesting. Was the study published in a reputable journal or at least peer-reviewed?

It's a seductive argument, but one question I have is that since courses HAVE increased in length substantially during the same period (past 20 years), is that a significant reason for the negligible increase in 50-150 yd shots? If so, the logic of the argument becomes questionable.
 

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I believe this may be it.

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I may be wrong but isn't this much ado about nothing when it comes to the armature game? I s there going to be some option if an armature wants to play the rolled back ball?

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8 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Other sports have it. In baseball we mere mortals can use aluminum bats and the studs in the MLB can't.

That's not the same thing. Nobody's called up in baseball to play in the World Series. The equivalent happens in golf.

8 hours ago, hunterdog said:

My point is that over time we have, with local rules, bifurcated the game from what the PGAT plays and what we, as amateurs, play.

Yeah… that's not bifurcation.

8 hours ago, hunterdog said:

So we play similar games but certainly not the same game.

No, we play the same game with the same kind of equipment. The hole is not bigger for us, the ball doesn't (currently) go farther for us, etc.

1 hour ago, Bucki1968 said:

I may be wrong but isn't this much ado about nothing when it comes to the armature game? I s there going to be some option if an armature wants to play the rolled back ball?

Probably. But, we're also in a comment period until August, so let's wait and see. For all I know it could turn into a full roll-back for all.

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30 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's not the same thing. Nobody's called up in baseball to play in the World Series. The equivalent happens in golf.

Of course it isn't the same thing. I'm just saying other sports have bifurcation and it doesn't bother me. BUT, for some reason I don't want any more bifurcation in golf. It bothers me. I don't know why.

Even if it ended up being possible to qualify for the US Open with one ball and then play the US Open with a different ball. That wouldn't affect me in the least. Yet I'm still hoping that they don't make a pro-ball and an am-ball rule. I'm hoping that's not what's decided during the comment period. 

36 minutes ago, iacas said:

we're also in a comment period until August, so let's wait and see. For all I know it could turn into a full roll-back for all.

I really hope so. I either favor no roll-back, or a full roll-back for all. 

I can't explain why I feel that way. But I just want everyone to have the same ball rules. I like having the same equipment limitations as the pros. Much like I know I could buy 0.86 COR and 0.89 COR driver heads, but I don't want those either. Even if I'm just playing with my buddies. 

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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I'm still against any roll back at all, but I guess I don't feel too strongly about this ball change. I have a couple thoughts and concerns:

  • From what I read, there will be anywhere between 10-25 yard reduction in distance hitting driver, and progressively less as clubs get shorter. I've heard statements about how this is going to bring shot shaping and shot making back into the professional game. But I just don't see that being the case. It seems like at most this means 1- or 2-club longer approach shot, so instead of driver/SW, it's driver/9-iron.
  • I don't see this changing how the game is played by the best players. Maybe there will be a bit more decision on what line to take off the tee to cover specific hazards, but I don't think this will change the product drastically.
  • How long will it take for players and equipment companies to optimize launch conditions for the new ball to minimize the initial distance loss. Or how long will it take for swing speeds to increase enough to make the new testing parameters obsolete. Mike Whan says 15 years, but what if it happens in 3 years?
  • If ball companies have to spend money developing and manufacturing a new ball, does the recreational golfer end up paying more for golf balls to offset the R&D investment?

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1 hour ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I really hope so. I either favor no roll-back, or a full roll-back for all.

I'm on the same page.

3 minutes ago, Darkfrog said:
  • From what I read, there will be anywhere between 10-25 yard reduction in distance hitting driver, and progressively less as clubs get shorter. I've heard statements about how this is going to bring shot shaping and shot making back into the professional game. But I just don't see that being the case. It seems like at most this means 1- or 2-club longer approach shot, so instead of driver/SW, it's driver/9-iron.

It's not going to do a damn thing for shot shaping, IMO. I agree with you there.

3 minutes ago, Darkfrog said:
  • How long will it take for players and equipment companies to optimize launch conditions for the new ball to minimize the initial distance loss. Or how long will it take for swing speeds to increase enough to make the new testing parameters obsolete. Mike Whan says 15 years, but what if it happens in 3 years?

A few weeks for the former.

3 minutes ago, Darkfrog said:
  • If ball companies have to spend money developing and manufacturing a new ball, does the recreational golfer end up paying more for golf balls to offset the R&D investment?

Probably, yeah.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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