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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, ChetlovesMer said:

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.

Yup.

For my entire stance see my four bullet points.

7 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

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. 

That is in the distance study. I think it literally reduces drives 2 yards or something.

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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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So Rory says "It will make no difference what-so-ever to the average golfer."

Can that possibly be true or is it more a matter that he doesn't care what it does to the average golfer?

What distance I do manage to hit the ball wasn't easily obtained. Have no interest in going back to hitting woods on the second shot of par-4 holes. 

 

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56 minutes ago, mcanadiens said:

So Rory says "It will make no difference what-so-ever to the average golfer."

Can that possibly be true or is it more a matter that he doesn't care what it does to the average golfer?

He’s wrong.

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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1 hour ago, boogielicious said:

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. 

They were referring to hydrocarbons. That's a type-o by me. I actually know the difference, but I typed that last night when I was way too tired. 

 

1 hour ago, mcanadiens said:

So Rory says "It will make no difference what-so-ever to the average golfer."

Can that possibly be true or is it more a matter that he doesn't care what it does to the average golfer?

What distance I do manage to hit the ball wasn't easily obtained. Have no interest in going back to hitting woods on the second shot of par-4 holes. 

I think what he meant to say was "The average golfer will get used to it." 

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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3 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

I think what he meant to say was "The average golfer will get used to it." 

And how long is that going to take? I'm not getting any younger. Guess I'll move up to the ladies tees so my 220-yard monster has a chance to reach the green in two. 

These guys are so worried about pro golf. Who do they think watches pro golf to start with? Never watched a minute until I started trying to play the game myself. Better be cautious with how they do this. If too many amateurs get frustrated, I think their ratings take a hit. 

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On 12/1/2023 at 7:53 PM, iacas said:

To the last one, I mean… c'mon. They're not going to have a choice unless they stockpile a TON of the previous model of golf ball. Sounds like a bunch of people talking tough but… in four to six years, they're going to be playing mostly the "new" balls. What are they going to do: hit their old distance balls shorter so they can try not to lose them? 😄

Is there anything about manufacturers not being allowed to continue to produce non-conforming balls? If there's a market for it, they (or someone else) will keep on making them.

That said, I would take any survey of what golfers say they will do in 5 years with a grain of salt.

I'm firmly in the no-rollback camp. We'll see how this all plays out. Maybe there will be a giant class action suit and the whole thing will get delayed 20 years.

Edited by chspeed
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7 minutes ago, chspeed said:

Is there anything about manufacturers not being allowed to continue to produce non-conforming balls? If there's a market for it, they (or someone else) will keep on making them.

They won’t. Nonconforming stuff doesn’t sell.

Official: https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/articles/2023/12/revised-golf-ball-testing-conditions-to-take-effect-in-2028.html

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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12 minutes ago, chspeed said:

I'm firmly in the no-rollback camp. We'll see how this all plays out. Maybe there will be a giant class action suit and the whole thing will get delayed 20 years.

I love it. Wouldn't it be great if the litigation world we now live in actually paid some dividends. 

Feels like there are certain powers-that-be that are dead set on doing this though. 

Perhaps, this will just become the way of the world. Every ten years roll the ball back some more. In 100 years they'll be teeing off with a marshmallow. 🤷‍♂️

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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11 minutes ago, iacas said:

They won’t. Nonconforming stuff doesn’t sell.

True, and no reason to think that will change.

Thx for link. Interesting that 30% of balls on market are already conforming to new rules.

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I have played with people who won't notice any difference. People who rarely finish the hole with the same ball they started with. I wonder if that type of player is who Rory views as "average". If you're talking about average golfer who plays with some regularity and keeps a handicap then they'll notice - even the 4% or whatever it is that they are actually proposing. 

On a separate note, I'm not really sure how 4% is going to change the footprint significantly. Fairways don't need to be any bigger to accommodate longer players. The back tee just needs to move. Maybe you can eliminate one or two back tees as a result, but presumably you're also going to have to make a couple of new front ones as well. So total teeing area isn't changing. I don't imagine total fairway area is going to change much and I think that fairway area is the biggest "cost". Greens aren't going to change. So where do those savings come from? I wouldn't be surprised if courses leave the tees where they are, but just cut the fairway further back towards the tee, so fairway space actually increases as a result. That'll use more water, not less. 

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1 minute ago, chspeed said:

Thx for link. Interesting that 30% of balls on market are already conforming to new rules.

A sign that you didn't do much of anything:

Quote

A significant portion of golf ball models that are currently in the market – and more than 30 percent of all golf ball models submitted for conformance across the game – are expected to remain conforming after these changes are applied.

What's even the point? Four years out and over 30% already comply?

1 minute ago, Ty_Webb said:

On a separate note, I'm not really sure how 4% is going to change the footprint significantly. Fairways don't need to be any bigger to accommodate longer players. The back tee just needs to move. Maybe you can eliminate one or two back tees as a result, but presumably you're also going to have to make a couple of new front ones as well. So total teeing area isn't changing. I don't imagine total fairway area is going to change much and I think that fairway area is the biggest "cost". Greens aren't going to change. So where do those savings come from? I wouldn't be surprised if courses leave the tees where they are, but just cut the fairway further back towards the tee, so fairway space actually increases as a result. That'll use more water, not less. 

I don't see 4% as much of a change at all. It's almost pointless. Disruption for so little change.

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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1 minute ago, iacas said:

Dang-it, you beat me to it 😛 

Just now, iacas said:

What's even the point? Four years out and over 30% already comply?

I am kind of shocked by this. I wonder if there is a common thread in the type of golf ball. The conforming list of golf balls is around 1185 make and models (about 15 golf balls per page, and 79 pages). Maybe 30% of golf balls just suck. Yea, it might just tell us more about how much variance there is between golf balls that 30% of them are already 4-5% worse. Which probably makes sense. 

 

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Not sure if my logic is sound but I'm thinking a @ 4% rollback is not a big deal.  True, I like to brag about the super long drives I occasionally get but those are exceptions.  

Assuming a typical Par-4 holes range from 240-490 yards.  The mid-point is @ 365 yards for a Par 4.

Assume a non-elite golfer today has a typical drive of @ 235 on a 365 yard Par-4 hole they have @ 130 approach to center after drive.  Now let's assume this player has 10 yard gaps in his clubs and his 9 Iron is typically his 130 club.  Depending upon hazards, etc. around the green he may play a PW, 9 or 8 for that hole.

Under new ball, the typical drive decreases to @ 226 leaving @ 139 into center.  Under same assumptions above the player may consider hitting his 9,8 or 7 iron.

True, longer shots have higher error rates but how many of us get upset when we have to hit a 9 Iron instead of a PW?  or a 7 Iron vs a 8 Iron.  

A longer hitter that goes 300 yards today loses @ 12 yards after a 4% rollback.  They go from 65 yards in to 77 yards on the approach.  Yes, longer, but maybe 1 club?  Or maybe a full swing vs 2/3rd swing on the same club?

I understand placement of hazards also comes into play but is hitting my Driver to 1 foot short of the hazard for the shortest possible 2nd shot to clear that much easier than being 10-12 yards back?  It may take going for the green in 2 on a par-5 more difficult but that should be difficult. 

Yes, the rollback has  an impact on us non-elite golfers as well as the elite golfers, but is it really all that bad for us?

And from a different view, a non-elite golfer can work to more than offset the distance rollback.  Take lessons to strike the ball more consistently & better.  Do Speed training.  If we can just add 10% to our typical distance we will have more than offset the rollback and would be hitting longer than with the current ball.  An elite golfer already has a great swing & higher speed and thus it may be harder for them to overcome a rollback.

 

Stuart M.
 

I am a "SCRATCH GOLFER".  I hit ball, Ball hits Tree, I scratch my head. 😜

Driver: Ping G410 Plus 10.5* +1* / 3 Hybrid: Cleveland HIBORE XLS / 4,5 & 6 Hybrids: Mizuno JP FLI-HI / Irons/Wedges 7-8-9-P-G: Mizuno JPX800 HD / Sand Wedge: Mizuno JPX 800 / Lob Wedge: Cleveland CBX 60* / Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG 7S / Balls: Srixon Soft / Beer: Labatt Blue (or anything nice & cold) 

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1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

I am kind of shocked by this. I wonder if there is a common thread in the type of golf ball. The conforming list of golf balls is around 1185 make and models (about 15 golf balls per page, and 79 pages). Maybe 30% of golf balls just suck. Yea, it might just tell us more about how much variance there is between golf balls that 30% of them are already 4-5% worse. Which probably makes sense. 

I think it’s mostly the “soft” and spinny  alls that were popular more so a few years ago. Callaway SuperSoft springs to mind, though @cedrictheo might disagree. 🤣

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'm waiting for someone to come up with a way that 125mph clubhead speed results in a dead reaction, but 124 or less and 126 or higher results in a fast reaction. Something like a ball with a fluid layer that you only get to if you swing faster than 124mph, but it's thin, so once you reach 126mph you are connecting with the layer inside that and it gets faster again. It's probably obvious by now that I am not a golf ball design expert 🙂 

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It seems like after the PGA and PGA Tour gave a thumbs down to the proposed reduced distance ball Model Local Rule, that would have solely affected professionals and elite amateurs, the USGA moved to plan B: limit everyone's distance. The USGA recognizes that there is no "distance problem" with 99% of the golfing population. Unfortunately, they decided to throw everyone under the bus in order to capture the professional and elite amateur golfer.

The 4% reduction does not seem like much. Also, the implementation date of 2030 is a long way off (2028 for pros/elites). Of course, there is nothing to stop the USGA from tweaking the Rule in a couple years or moving up the date if they see further issues develop. Potential litigation from manufacturers, however, would likely stop this. More likely they could announce a further reduction for 2032. Once we all become accustomed to the idea of a rollback, further reductions may follow.  Afterall, the original Federal income tax rates started at 1-7% in 1913.

Edited by bkuehn1952
typo

Brian Kuehn

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Now that it's official:

  • I'm fine with the rollback. It's not going to be that big of change for most of us. I'd still prefer no rollback, but this is fine. Heck, if it makes tee times easier to come by in 2030, great.
  • Somehow, I'm mad at the PGA Tour for being against this rollback. They said they wanted something more "modest." It's hard to imagine anything more modest than what the USGA did here.
  • I don't think this really solves much with distance concerns except with extreme cases. Maybe Augusta can close a few tee boxes or something. It won't affect most courses. I don't think it will impact the important of distance on tour at all. NGLA is not going to host a US Open anytime soon, either.
  • What are the odds that golf sees a downturn in the next 7 years that makes this rollback look like a really bad idea? Recreational golf is probably in its golden age right now. You can really only go down. It's possible that, in 2029, you don't want to scare golfers away by losing more distance.

PGA Tour statement, in case someone hasn't seen it:


Not everyone is happy with the decision by the USGA and The R&A to roll back the golf ball

-- Daniel

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I haven't been here in several years, but I know that there are a lot of serious golfers here, so I thought this would be a good place to ask this question.  Forgive me if it's been asked before.  

How will the rollback affect the average casual golfer who can on average hit his driver about 200 yards?  

The reason I ask is because I am getting older, and I think if I was forced to give up distance because of this ball rollback, I might just quit playing.  And I think a lot of people would agree with me.  

 

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