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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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This is one tweet in the middle of a thread, so you can read them all if you'd like.

I liked this one, though (above). I don't agree with Rory, here, and he's missing the point that even if they do play "different" equipment it's not different by rule.

I liked this one:

and this response:

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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
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 been looking for the right place to talk about this and this seems like the right one. I think bifurcation is a really bad idea and here's why:

Speaking personally, I play almost all of my golf in tournaments of one description or another. This year, I've played four practice rounds, three "friendly" rounds and about 12-15 tournament rounds. My tournament rounds range from flighted events in the Amateur Players Tour (my flight is 3.9 index and below) to local events, to State level events, to national events up to US Open qualifying. My friendly rounds are normally playing for a few bucks with friends. 

So in a typical year I play 20-30 rounds of golf. If they bifurcate, then one of the following things happen:

1- I play in some events with one type of ball and other events with another type of ball (i.e. the bifurcation point lands in the middle of the level of events I play in)

2- I play all my events with the same ball and then US Open qualifying is played with a different ball than the US Open itself (i.e. the bifurcation point is above everything I play in, so it doesn't directly affect me, but it affects someone better than me the same way that 1 affects me)

3- I play all my events with the same ball and then some poor sods who are close to switching a flight in the APT are going to have to change their ball if they do (i.e. the bifurcation point is below everything I play in, so it doesn't directly affect me, but it affects someone worse than me the same way that 1 affects me)

I think that's it. No other alternatives with bifurcation at least if I don't deliberately hamstring myself by playing a suboptimal ball in some events.

I don't like 1 because I already only play 20-30 rounds in a year and it's hard (really hard) to stay sharp - if you make me switch balls up from time to time it's going to be even harder and I don't have time to practise, so I'm just going to be playing in tournaments with a ball that I don't know how it's going to react or how far it's going to go.

I don't like 2 because it's really weird to have different balls in play for qualifying vs the tournament. It's extremely unlikely that's ever going to affect me, but there are going to be some players who make it through qualifying who are going to have to switch. 

I don't like 3 because it's going to be unreasonable for someone who has to switch. And this group is far, far larger than the ones above.

Basically wherever you draw the line, there are going to be players who straddle that line, playing some of their golf one way and some of it the other way. Bifurcation is going to make their golfing lives much more challenging for no good reason. So if you're going to roll it back, then you've got to roll it back for everyone. I say all of this without caring particularly about whether we play the same equipment or whatever as PGA Tour players and without caring about the ball manufacturers losing their marketing strategy. 

If bifurcation is out (which it should be IMO) then either you leave it as is or you change it. If you're changing it, you're really changing it because of PGA Tour players and you're going to reduce the fun for everyone else as a result. So I am anti rollback. The fun incidentally is on a hole like number 4 at Bethpage Black. Can I carry the bunker on the left. If I hit it really well on a good day with a little helping wind, then yes I can. So if they roll the ball back, then I can't ever do that again. I'm going to walk onto that hole every time and remember how I used to be able to do it, but can't anymore because the powers that be decided I shouldn't be able to.

</rant>

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Bifurcation will never happen because the equipment producers will object.  Currently they are selling their equipment like race cars.  Race on Sunday drive to the office on Monday.  If you cannot "buy" the same equipment as the pro's then sponsoring them is worthless and makes their industry suffer a great deal of loss.

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  • Taylor Made r5 dual Draw 9.5* (stiff)
  • Taylor Made Rescue 2H (stiff)
  • Cobra Baffler 4H (stiff)
  • Taylor Made RAC OS 6-9,P,S (regular)
  • Golden Bear LD5.0 60* (regular)
  • Aidia Z-009 Putter
  • Inesis Soft 500 golf ball
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1 hour ago, Ty_Webb said:

If bifurcation is out (which it should be IMO) then either you leave it as is or you change it. If you're changing it, you're really changing it because of PGA Tour players and you're going to reduce the fun for everyone else as a result. So I am anti rollback. The fun incidentally is on a hole like number 4 at Bethpage Black. Can I carry the bunker on the left. If I hit it really well on a good day with a little helping wind, then yes I can. So if they roll the ball back, then I can't ever do that again. I'm going to walk onto that hole every time and remember how I used to be able to do it, but can't anymore because the powers that be decided I shouldn't be able to.

Well said. 

Every sport in on the planet is trying to increase offense. 

Leave it to golf to try to reduce offense. 

I'm currently hunting for the time in history when reducing the amount of offense increased the popularity of the sport. 

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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4 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Well said. 

Every sport in on the planet is trying to increase offense. 

Leave it to golf to try to reduce offense. 

I'm currently hunting for the time in history when reducing the amount of offense increased the popularity of the sport. 

Devil's advocate… you can increase the offense on a football field, on a baseball diamond, on a hockey rink… without making the football field 120 yards long between the end zone lines, the baseball field 490 feet to left-center, the hockey rink 240 feet end line to end line… a basketball court could increase the size of the hoop without making the arena take up more resources.

I'm mostly disappointed at this point it wasn't 10%. I don't think they had to do it, but they felt they did, and the one argument that carried weight IMO was sustainability/resource usage.

Courses around here may not be expanding much (and they aren't), but that's not true everywhere.

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 GCQuad is gonna need a firmware update. 😉 

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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2 hours ago, iacas said:

Devil's advocate… you can increase the offense on a football field, on a baseball diamond, on a hockey rink… without making the football field 120 yards long between the end zone lines, the baseball field 490 feet to left-center, the hockey rink 240 feet end line to end line… a basketball court could increase the size of the hoop without making the arena take up more resources.

I'm mostly disappointed at this point it wasn't 10%. I don't think they had to do it, but they felt they did, and the one argument that carried weight IMO was sustainability/resource usage.

Courses around here may not be expanding much (and they aren't), but that's not true everywhere.

While I agree that is the "best" argument. I'll be the devil's advocate to the devil's advocate. 
I think there are several better ways to increase the sustainability and reduce resource usage while expanding the course... if expanding the course is desirable. 

.... Which I'm not convinced it is desirable.

 

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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4 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

While I agree that is the "best" argument. I'll be the devil's advocate to the devil's advocate. 
I think there are several better ways to increase the sustainability and reduce resource usage while expanding the course... if expanding the course is desirable.

That's not devil's advocate. That's just saying "nuh uh."

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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28 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's not devil's advocate. That's just saying "nuh uh."

Oh crap, Okay. Here goes. 
Firstly, I don't think you need the courses to be bigger. But lets say you think you have to. Off the top of my head. 

  • Just Eliminate Backpack Leaf Blowers. One study (NY Times, I think?) stated that backpack leaf blowers alone account for 1/7 of all the fluorocarbons produced in the United States. Running a backpack leaf blower for one hour produces more fluorocarbons than driving your car 1100 miles. 
  • Locally Sourced Food. All businesses could look at the amount of waste their food delivery produces. 
  • Better Waste Management. Once again, every business can do better at this. 
  • Solar Power. Cut into the amount of electricity your course consumes. 
  • Single Rider Golf Carts. Some of the new single rider golf cart have about 1/4 the carbon footprint as a 2 person cart... or even less. Plus think of all the times there's only one golfer in a two person cart. There are now even solar powered golf carts which would reduce even more.
  • Improve Your Courses Biodiversity. - Golf Courses provide green space in cities and towns and therefore should be cherished, not gotten rid of. There are plenty of places to add things other than just grass and/or sand. 
  • Reduced Pesticide and Fertilizer Use. I read someplace that courses in the US use nearly 500 times the amount of pesticides and fertilizers than were used as recently as the 1950s. 
  • Optimized Watering. Most golf courses water when it's not even needed. 
  • Minimize Mowing. If you want to mow your greens every day fine. But you don't need to mow the rough every day. I might argue the fairway doesn't need to be mowed every day either. 
  • Use Energy Efficient Equipment. Electric equipment when appropriate. 

 If courses did all of these things I'm going to suggest that would make a bigger impact than shortening the course by 600 yards or so. 

 

Edited by ChetlovesMer

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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12 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:
  • Just Eliminate Backpack Leaf Blowers. One study (NY Times, I think?) stated that backpack leaf blowers alone account for 1/7 of all the fluorocarbons produced in the United States. Running a backpack leaf blower for one hour produces more fluorocarbons than driving your car 1100 miles. 
  • Locally Sourced Food. All businesses could look at the amount of waste their food delivery produces. 
  • Better Waste Management. Once again, every business can do better at this. 
  • Solar Power. Cut into the amount of electricity your course consumes. 
  • Single Rider Golf Carts. Some of the new single rider golf cart have about 1/4 the carbon footprint as a 2 person cart... or even less. Plus think of all the times there's only one golfer in a two person cart. There are now even solar powered golf carts which would reduce even more.
  • Improve Your Courses Biodiversity. - Golf Courses provide green space in cities and towns and therefore should be cherished, not gotten rid of. There are plenty of places to add things other than just grass and/or sand. 
  • Reduced Pesticide and Fertilizer Use. I read someplace that courses in the US use nearly 500 times the amount of pesticides and fertilizers than were used as recently as the 1950s. 
  • Optimized Watering. Most golf courses water when it's not even needed. 
  • Minimize Mowing. If you want to mow your greens every day fine. But you don't need to mow the rough every day. I might argue the fairway doesn't need to be mowed every day either. 
  • Use Energy Efficient Equipment. Electric equipment when appropriate. 

Cool. Now do all of those things AND take up less land, less water, etc.

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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4 minutes ago, iacas said:

Cool. Now do all of those things AND take up less land, less water, etc.

Maybe that is why @ChetlovesMerwas at his desk all day “trying to solve the world’s problems”

Stuart M.
 

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

Cool. Now do all of those things AND take up less land, less water, etc.

So, by rolling the ball back are we going to shorten the courses and give that land back to nature?

Cuz, if you shorten the course and give the land back to the city, they are going to pave over it and build a strip mall... or houses... or restaurants. 🤪

Just now, StuM said:

Maybe that is why @ChetlovesMerwas at his desk all day “trying to solve the world’s problems”

Oh it's been a day.

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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4 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

So, by rolling the ball back are we going to shorten the courses and give that land back to nature?

Maybe.

But probably not with a 3.9% reduction. 😉 

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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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

Maybe.

But probably not with a 3.9% reduction. 😉 

I still agree with you that the save water/other resources argument is still the best one put out there. I'd just contend that it's not actually going to make an appreciable difference when all is said and done. 

What I do wonder about is it seems to me that deadening the ball will actually be an advantage to the longer hitters. I hear people (not people in the know, just people) saying that this will bring the shorter hitters back into the game and give them a chance. I also hear it will create a situation where you can "win with your short game". I feel as though the opposite is more likely. The shorter hitters will have even more of a disadvantage.

What do you think?

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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Just now, ChetlovesMer said:

I still agree with you that the save water/other resources argument is still the best one put out there. I'd just contend that it's not actually going to make an appreciable difference when all is said and done.

It’ll do more than doing nothing, no?

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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34 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Cuz, if you shorten the course and give the land back to the city, they are going to pave over it and build a strip mall... or houses... or restaurants. 🤪

 

Edited by dennyjones
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7 hours ago, iacas said:

It’ll do more than doing nothing, no?

Yes, it's more than nothing. That point is impossible to argue against. So, yeah. It's still "the best" reason to roll-back the ball. 

I don't see any courses saying, "Thank God! They rolled back the ball. Now we can shorten the course and stop manicuring parts of the grass." 

It may stop some courses from trying to expand. And that will help a bit. ... I think that's a tiny piece of it. 

The biggest impact might come when folks build new courses. I'm not educated enough on what goes through a new course designer's head to know how much that impact will be. To your point it's more than zero. I also think it may have a greater impact depending on where you build. I've often heard folks lamenting that courses cut through the desert "are killing the desert". The courses introduce moisture where the climate otherwise would be more arid. 

It may also help a bit from a pure PR standpoint. Golf, in general, can say we are trying to reduce our impact. Which is true. 

Not sure if this is off topic. But this is an interesting read: 

https://www.gcsaa.org/docs/default-source/Environment/phase-2-nutrient-survey-full-report-update.pdf?sfvrsn=10a4173e_0

 

7 hours ago, dennyjones said:

 

I've always liked that song. 👍👍

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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9 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Just Eliminate Backpack Leaf Blowers. One study (NY Times, I think?) stated that backpack leaf blowers alone account for 1/7 of all the fluorocarbons produced in the United States. Running a backpack leaf blower for one hour produces more fluorocarbons than driving your car 1100 miles.

There are no fluorocarbons in gasoline. Fluorocarbons were/are in refrigerants. Ozone depleting ones were outlawed in the ‘70. Not sure if the source was referring to them in the article. There’s other bad stuff produced by those two stroke engines though. Maybe they meant hydrocarbons.

One thing I think that would reduce distance for drivers would be to let the fairway grass grow longer. Some of the really long drives Tiger had last weekend were 50-75 yard rollouts. 

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