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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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Bifurcate based on age! Once a person reaches about 70 years and 200 days* old, they get to play a conforming ball designed for swing speeds around 80-85 mph, that is 20% longer and 20% more accurate. Everyone else plays featheries. 🙂

 

* The age limit would be adjusted every September 21.

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Brian Kuehn

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  • 1 month later...
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7 hours ago, iacas said:

Read the article yesterday and again this morning.  I like how they covered the potential physical limits to which pro golf athletes will be able to train.  I am reminded of pro baseball pitchers and how the intense torque they place on their bodies, especially the pitching arm, has limited the number of times you see a starter much past the fifth or sixth inning.  Bryson as noted in the article has backed off on the distance pursuit, once he started getting injuries.  Same is true in all sports. Bifurcation is coming - and with it IMHTP you will see a deeper “mini-tour” format where players will do a longer stint in the lesser tours before coming to the “Show”.  Already the elite players are the ones who make college golf, the elite of the elite make it to the mini-tours and KFT, while the elite of the elite of the elite are the ultra top tier players in the Show.  A slower ball may provide distance reduction for awhile, make it easier for courses to accommodate tour events, but as we have seen - the players who want to make the Tour will do what is needed to train to overcome and gain what advantage they can to be there.  Will bifurcation cause more sport related injuries as athletes train even harder to get back the yardage or will they say it’s not worth pounding they bodies week after week and leave the tour?  Or will it make it that the Show is even more elite and your journeyman Pros will fade off into the stats of the guys like in pro-baseball where they were a 2A or 3A but never Show level?  I know it’s seen now, with players who never get past the minis to get to the KFT, but will it be even more so where the Tour maybe fields a no-cut field of 40 to 50 players at each tournament?  

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There are no real “journeymen” on the PGA Tour right now. There are only about 150 cards. That’s only 6 MLB teams worth.

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
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15 hours ago, iacas said:

I think Sasho is probably generally right, but there's some hyperbole in what's he saying. Rolling back the ball will make distance more valuable. It will probably end up benefiting the longer hitters. It's essentially like playing a 7600+ yard course now - the long hitters have a bigger advantage on courses like that. 

That said, I do take issue with some things he said. First, he doesn't really consider whether the PGA Tour will move tee boxes up in response to the rollback. If they do, it might golfers don't need to chase distance like they would otherwise. I don't know what the Tour or USGA is thinking on that.

I also don't think we're going to see an explosion in swing speed in 10 years. I'd bet it slowly creeps up like it has been. I don't think we'll have more than a couple of golfers swinging it 140 in 10 years, nor do I think we'll see an average of 130 mph in 10 years. 20-25 years? Maybe. Swing speed just hasn't increased that fast. From the 2022 USGA distance report:

Quote

While there is some season-to-season variability in these values, there is a consistent trend towards faster clubhead speeds. The mean of the fastest 1% of clubhead speeds has increased by 1.2 mph from 126.3 mph in 2007 to 127.5 mph in 2022, while the mean of the fastest 5% of clubhead speeds has increased by 1.6 mph from 122.6 mph in 2003 to 124.2 mph in 2022. Increases are also seen between 2007 and 2023 for the slowest 1% of clubhead speeds (0.9 mph from 101.4 mph to 102.3 mph) and the slowest 5% of clubhead speeds (1.5 mph from 103.2 mph to 104.7 mph)

In 15 years, PGA Tour golfers' have increased their swing speeds by 1-2 miles per hour. If distance becomes more important, sure, that could go faster. I'm not sure it will increase as fast as Sasho says, though. 

Edited by DeadMan
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  • 2 months later...

20 yards in 41 years. And I don’t think this will continue to increase linearly. I do agree that restrictions on equipment should remain so that we don’t get to where a 30hcp can grab a new club and hit it 300yds straight.
 

But, rolling back is asinine. Every sport has new feats and better athletes. And most importantly, we still haven’t seen anything remarkable regarding golf course changes. As @saevel25 mentioned they did lengthen Augusta but so what? We can’t expect nothing to change in golf. They’ve also added/removed trees, changed bunkers, some courses have added/removed water. It’s just part of golf course maintenance and architecture. 

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This is a topic that is looked at from two viewpoints. What a tour player can do with a golf club has no bearing on what I can do. Rory hit monster drives at the BO and still lost. If they roll the ball back tournaments will still be won by the guy who shoots the lowest score. There is more to wining than just how far the ball goes, and we all know that. The other viewpoint is the average Joe Six-pack still can't break 100 according to an article I just read by Bobby Clampet. To add to what @Vinsk mentioned. Is there really anything new on the horizon that will allow a high handicapper to crank out a 300 yard drive? I don't think so. At some point it comes down to the dude holding the club. It's like a guy that owns a Ferrari and can't drive a stick. Roll the ball back or not, guys are still going to miss cuts and Patrick Reed will still suck.

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I haven't seen note of this anywhere else, so take it with a grain of salt for now.

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
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golfballspgat.jpg

In a memo to players, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed the Tour won't support the USGA's proposed MLR golf ball.
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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
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32 minutes ago, iacas said:
golfballspgat.jpg

In a memo to players, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan confirmed the Tour won't support the USGA's proposed MLR golf ball.

We all know Monahan is a man of his word.

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Not very surprising. I wonder if the tour would agree to any rollback. Seems like the answer is no, as this proposal was pretty much the least the USGA could do outside of no rollback. 

-- Daniel

In my bag: :callaway: Paradym :callaway: Epic Flash 3.5W (16 degrees)

:callaway: Rogue Pro 3-PW :edel: SMS Wedges - V-Grind (48, 54, 58):edel: Putter

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  • 3 months later...
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So…

I think what this means (all slightly educated guesswork only):

  • No more bifurcation. They're going to announce a rollback for all.
  • Because of this, they're going to push back when this will start. Maybe as far back as 2028 to 2029.
  • I'm not sure if they'll do a staggered roll-out, or give the option to various bodies (like the USGA/R&A for their championships) to do so sooner.

Okay, that's like two points, so I really didn't need to make it a bulleted list, but having done so now, I'll just leave it.

What do you guys think?

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
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I think I’ll be 68 when it happens and be lucky to hit my driver 200 yards. 😜

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What a coincidence. That's when my USGA membership fee is due.

Craig
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I wonder if the USGA is going to rate the 5600 yd tees at my home course 76/130 for women when this comes out. Those are the forward tees. If they reduce the ball 10% those tees will be brutal. A 10% reduction for the men will bring people who play the 6250 yd whites down to 5600 - do the math. Will courses like this have to put in more tee boxes? Yes, and the costs will get passed on to us.

I wish the USGA luck in enforcing this rule on the general public. Those of us who just play for fun and have a 3 yr supply of balls in the house. I doubt people who don't play competitive golf are going to just toss those away and buy new ones. Also the old balls will continue to be sold on Amazon until their supply runs out, too. Amazon is under no obligation to comply with the rule. 

I think Adam Scott mentioned that the driver used to be the most difficult club to hit, and now it's the most forgiving. Guys reach for it when they're nervous. So why didn't they just say, "Pros hit with a smaller, less forgiving driver head," - mini-drivers - and be done with it. Amateurs keep our 460 cc driver heads. Still the PGA could tell the USGA to go stuff it. With the ball they can't, unless they have their own ball made. You know like MLB where the big leagues use a wooden bat, and college and high school ball use aluminum bats. The game is already bifurcated for all practical purposes. The proto irons that we can buy but why when we can't hit them well? And then some of those custom made putters we can't buy. And who among us can hit Bryson's 5 degree driver? 

I turned 71 in October, and last year my avg drive was 195 yds. So I'll have a 175 yd drive. Hit 5W approaches into every par 4 and be short all the time. So I'm going to have to put a lot of work into my short game and putting. That's where golf is now. Short game and putting. Practice will be hit a small bucket and spend the rest of the time chipping and putting just so I can have a chance of shooting 90. Fun times ahead. Unless they put in more tee boxes. Or maybe I won't care about the rule?

Julia

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10 minutes ago, DrvFrShow said:

I wonder if the USGA is going to rate the 5600 yd tees at my home course 76/130 for women when this comes out. Those are the forward tees. If they reduce the ball 10% those tees will be brutal. A 10% reduction for the men will bring people who play the 6250 yd whites down to 5600 - do the math. Will courses like this have to put in more tee boxes? Yes, and the costs will get passed on to us.

I wish the USGA luck in enforcing this rule on the general public. Those of us who just play for fun and have a 3 yr supply of balls in the house. I doubt people who don't play competitive golf are going to just toss those away and buy new ones. Also the old balls will continue to be sold on Amazon until their supply runs out, too. Amazon is under no obligation to comply with the rule. 

I think Adam Scott mentioned that the driver used to be the most difficult club to hit, and now it's the most forgiving. Guys reach for it when they're nervous. So why didn't they just say, "Pros hit with a smaller, less forgiving driver head," - mini-drivers - and be done with it. Amateurs keep our 460 cc driver heads. Still the PGA could tell the USGA to go stuff it. With the ball they can't, unless they have their own ball made. You know like MLB where the big leagues use a wooden bat, and college and high school ball use aluminum bats. The game is already bifurcated for all practical purposes. The proto irons that we can buy but why when we can't hit them well? And then some of those custom made putters we can't buy. And who among us can hit Bryson's 5 degree driver? 

I turned 71 in October, and last year my avg drive was 195 yds. So I'll have a 175 yd drive. Hit 5W approaches into every par 4 and be short all the time. So I'm going to have to put a lot of work into my short game and putting. That's where golf is now. Short game and putting. Practice will be hit a small bucket and spend the rest of the time chipping and putting just so I can have a chance of shooting 90. Fun times ahead. Unless they put in more tee boxes. Or maybe I won't care about the rule?

@DrvFrShow, I disagree with a lot of what you've said, but I thank you for sharing it.

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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I’ve only ever really had four positions on this whole thing:

  • I don’t think ruling bodies need to base any change on 0.1% or even 1% of the world’s golfers. 6500 yards is enough for 95% of the golfers in the world, and there are enough 7000-yard courses for the other 5% to play. I don’t care what PGA Tour players shoot. The lowest score still wins.
  • The sustainability/resource usage angle was the best one to use in favor of a rollback. Not the “wedges are boring” or “that’s not how the course was designed to be played” or "we need to preserve old courses" stuff. For most of that stuff, see the first bullet.
  • If the ruling bodies do rollback, I want them to know exactly what they’ll get. I didn’t want a massive disruption to the game only to have the PGA Tour players and equipment manufacturers work around the new regulations in six months and get almost all the distance back. For example, I didn’t want a lighter ball or a “spinnier ball” pushed through without a full understanding of how that would affect the game (a lighter ball would narrow the gap in putting skill, a spinny ball would be worked around in no time, and not yield even much in the way of short-term changes).
  • I didn’t want bifurcation. Roll it back for everyone if you’re gonna do it. Bifurcation harms everyone just below the cut-off line.

So, if they’re going to roll it back (it appears so), I hope the third and fourth points hold. It sounds like the fourth will. I just hope the third does as well, whatever route they choose.

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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My aging has already accomplished the USGA/R&A goal of a distance rollback. 😉

It will be good to eventually know what changes are planned. All the speculation is not interesting to me. 

Edited by bkuehn1952

Brian Kuehn

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