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USGA/R&A Changes to the Equipment Standards?


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

48 members have voted

  1. 1. Percentage Loss in Distance

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

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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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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. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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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:


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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