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USGA/R&A Changes to the Equipment Standards?


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

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Percentage Loss in Distance

    • 0%
      16
    • -2%
      1
    • -5%
      0
    • -10%
      1
    • -15%
      0
    • -20% or More
      1
    • They should increase smash factor!
      1


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3 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Bifurcate.  Fine.  Shorten distances for the touring pros.  Increase distances for the amateurs.  Balls that go further but still stop on the green like a "dropped cat".  More trampoline effect on the drivers.  I'm sure every OEM has R&D ready to go on their irons... let them take those secrets out of the vault.

Trifurcation! Even better, quadrification! I’m against any separation in the rules. 

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In the year 2025 TaylorMade runs TV ads with a disclaimer that says the pros can't play this Stealth driver.  But you can.  And with your 95mph swing speed you'll hit it longer than the pros. 😀

 

4 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

I’m against any separation in the rules. 

As am I.  But casual golf will fail if they effectively shorten the distance amateurs can hit the ball.

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  • iacas changed the title to Acceptable Amount of Yardage Decrease From USGA/R&A Equipment Change?
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2 hours ago, jbishop15 said:

I put -20%. Ball flies too far, incentivizes boring golf, and forces courses to get too long or put boring obstacles like super high rough. 

There are two problems with that, though.

  1. What courses? PGA Tour?
  2. Who says it will be "less boring"? You don't know that.

I'm going to quote myself (a few times):

On 2/18/2021 at 12:41 PM, iacas said:

Pro Golf is Boring
I don't think pros playing worse golf (which we'd see if they are hitting it shorter and thus having longer clubs into the greens) would be "less boring" or "more exciting." And I don't think distance is in the top three reasons why golf is often "boring." I think golf is boring because of the money involved and because of how it's presented on TV, and because the players lack personality. And the money actually affects the latter two, because players can't have a personality or they risk offending the fan base and/or sponsors, and the coverage is crap because CBS or NBC have to pay for the money they lay out to cover the events, and they do it with commercials out the ass.

Pro golf is exciting when players have to make decisions, when they face real risks. That doesn't have much to do with the ball. Three-shot par fives are just short par threes. They're not "more exciting." Pros hitting a 6I to 35 feet isn't "more exciting" than a guy hitting a 9I to 12 feet. It likely takes more skill, and we can appreciate that, but "exciting"? Nah. Often, the shorter holes on the PGA Tour are the more exciting ones. The 10th at Riviera. The 17th at Sawgrass. Real risk. Real reward. Not length.

On 2/18/2021 at 12:41 PM, iacas said:

Overall, I'm against "doing something" (rolling back the distance) with the HOPE that it will change something. I think that, if you're going to roll back the ball, you'd better be damn sure it's going to have the effect you think it will have.

You don't know that it will make pro golf less boring, so it'd be a helluva thing to go through it all… only to come out the same (or worse!) than we are now.

2 hours ago, jbishop15 said:

Bifurcate the rules, let amateurs play the old ball, make the pros play the new, rolled back ball. Or, hell, make everyone play the rolled back ball. We’ll adjust to the new reality.

No thank you. Again, to quote myself:

On 2/18/2021 at 12:41 PM, iacas said:

Bifurcation
This isn't an argument pro-rollback, but it's proposed as a "they're not coming for your guns" situation to say that a rollback won't affect most golfers. I won't get started here, except to say two things:

  1. Why would the PGA Tour bifurcate and roll themselves back? Unless absolutely forced to do so, I don't see the upside for them to gladly go along with it if given a choice. If the PGA Tour doesn't roll back, what's the point?
  2. Bifurcation affects (and harms) thousands who are just below whatever cut-off line you establish, and it harms everyone who appreciates that Tiger plays under the same Rules with the same equipment regulations that they do.

Bifurcation would suck. If I had to pick between the two, I'd take a universal roll-back over bifurcation.

1 hour ago, jbishop15 said:

20% is a lot, but it'll force courses to change and stop being these over-long, boring monsters. Plus, 300+ is only impressive in context. 240 would be just as impressive if the ball only allowed you to hit that far.

No, 240 would take decades to become "impressive" again. We wouldn't be alive to see it.

And I'm sorry, but what over-long, boring monsters are you playing? Because it sounds a lot like you think we should cause massive upheaval in golf for 0.01% of the game's players.

6500 yards is more than enough for like 95% of golfers, and for that 5% who want longer courses… they exist. They're out there.

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I've heard all this before about "we're not coming for your guns." This is a "they're coming for your guns" moment. They just haven't said the quiet part out loud. This is a line in the sand, and I hope the PGA says, "NO" to this tomfoolery. 

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They don't need to do anything. If you really push them as to why this is so necessary, it's just an onion where you can keep peeling away layers. At the bottom are a bunch of people who are mad because their course ain't what it used to be, or so they think. 

All of the arguments as to why this is "needed" have been debunked in one way or another, I think anyway. I realize it looks sort of odd to avid golfers when we watch pros play. Such as, that they can cut of so many doglegs, that there are almost no 3-shot holes, etc., the balls are so good they can still stop them from rough, etc.

So what?

No sports look like they did 50 years ago. Why are some people so fixated on the number of the club, or the concept of par? Just make par 68 for them. What difference does it make? The lowest score wins, and the game is still impossible. 

But at least with this equipment, we can get the pleasure of a good shot rewarded a bit more often and in a bit bigger and better way than we used to. 

I don't see why bifurcation is so bad, if the tour or the ruling bodies think they absolutley must curtail the top level players. I would think that elite players would just adjust to the equipment change. Maybe it wouldn't be easy, but they could do it. And the handicap system could be modified in a way to account for which type of equipment you use. 

I'm not in favor of bifurcation. I'm in favor of doing nothing. Nada. Zip. But bifurcation is, IMO, better than rolling it back for all of us. That would be criminal.  

 

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9 minutes ago, Big Lex said:

All of the arguments as to why this is "needed" have been debunked in one way or another, I think anyway.

The sustainability/resource usage one isn't "debunked." It's the only one that I think is valid, though at the same time, we're where we are now already.

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12 minutes ago, iacas said:

The sustainability/resource usage one isn't "debunked." It's the only one that I think is valid, though at the same time, we're where we are now already.

You're right, and I have read of superintendents and architects speaking about the added cost and environmental impact of longer courses.

But unless you host championships for elite level players, do you need to lengthen? Don't alot of these lengthening decisions boil down to the ego of golf club owners?

Are we actually at a point in golf where a course shorter than 6600 yards is not sufficient for a significant number of players? Seriously, because I know there are young people who aren't on pro tours and are handicap golfers who can hit the ball 300+ yards. But is it that widespread that all these courses are really forced to lengthen? 

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There are four courses in my area that can't lengthen. Two are maxed with the blue tees at 5900 at one, and 5700 at the other. These are nice friendly public munis that are a lot of fun to play. No one who hits a 300 yd drive will play here. Or if they do they'll work on their iron game. The other two are maxed at 6500. All four are public courses. My home course is 7100 at the tips and can play at 7300 - blue tees are 6600. I suppose if they wanted to make this course harder, they could make the 500 yd par 5 a par 4, and change the 10th hole to a par 4 and make the course a par 70 for tournaments. But we have Chambers, Snoqualmie Ridge, and Washington National in the area, so there's really no reason to lengthen.   

I play with a lot of random groups. I don't see many players who can hit 300+ yds. Not to say I haven't been grouped with players who can, but it's well under 5% of the time. Not enough to warrant lengthening the course. There's been the odd pro in the group who decided to stop by for a comp round and got grouped with our threesome, and even they're hitting between 270 and 280 - and I learned a lot about course management.

In the summer around here, brown is the new green. They only green are fairways, tee boxes and greens. This is the future, though with water shortages.

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1 hour ago, Big Lex said:

But unless you host championships for elite level players, do you need to lengthen? Don't alot of these lengthening decisions boil down to the ego of golf club owners?

Define "need."

Golfers hit the ball farther now than they did in the 1950s when many of the courses around where I live were built.

Not many were lengthened (much), and some new courses (par 72, like Whispering Woods) top out at 6850 from tees people rarely play… but define "need."

You don't need to be an "elite level player" to hit it 250+.

1 hour ago, Big Lex said:

Are we actually at a point in golf where a course shorter than 6600 yards is not sufficient for a significant number of players?

Did you read my earlier post, or just my quick response to your line about how everything has been debunked (inaccurate)?

I used 6500 yards, but…

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

There are two problems with that, though.

  1. What courses? PGA Tour?
  2. Who says it will be "less boring"? You don't know that.

I'm going to quote myself (a few times):

You don't know that it will make pro golf less boring, so it'd be a helluva thing to go through it all… only to come out the same (or worse!) than we are now.

No thank you. Again, to quote myself:

Bifurcation would suck. If I had to pick between the two, I'd take a universal roll-back over bifurcation.

No, 240 would take decades to become "impressive" again. We wouldn't be alive to see it.

And I'm sorry, but what over-long, boring monsters are you playing? Because it sounds a lot like you think we should cause massive upheaval in golf for 0.01% of the game's players.

6500 yards is more than enough for like 95% of golfers, and for that 5% who want longer courses… they exist. They're out there.

I didn’t think it had to be specified that these were my opinions, but to be clear, I’m speaking only for myself. I’m fairly confident I would enjoy PGA Tour golf more if the ball was rolled back. 

Golf and golf courses would be better if the ball was rolled back, in my opinion. I’m comfortable with all of my thoughts on the topic. 

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1 minute ago, jbishop15 said:

I’m fairly confident I would enjoy PGA Tour golf more if the ball was rolled back. 

Why? How?

And your "confidence" isn't enough, I'm sorry to say, to affect the entire game of golf, IMO.

2 minutes ago, jbishop15 said:

Golf and golf courses would be better if the ball was rolled back, in my opinion. I’m comfortable with all of my thoughts on the topic. 

You seem to have no thoughts, except the above. It seems to lack a foundation.

"I think the game of golf would be more exciting if players were required to carry their own bags and not use a caddie." Why? Because I think so. In fact, I'm convinced of it. Really? No, but that's what it feels like you're saying.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Why? How?

And your "confidence" isn't enough, I'm sorry to say, to affect the entire game of golf, IMO.

You seem to have no thoughts, except the above. It seems to lack a foundation.

"I think the game of golf would be more exciting if players were required to carry their own bags and not use a caddie." Why? Because I think so. In fact, I'm convinced of it. Really? No, but that's what it feels like you're saying.

…I’m aware my confidence isn’t enough to impose my ideas on everyone. It was a poll with a place to respond after, and so I explained that I think the game would be better. I thought we were having a conversation, not a debate.

 

1 hour ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Mr. Bishop, are you also saying it would be okay if your personal distances were rolled back???

Yeah, I’m cool with that

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If it actually benefits golf, I am ok with some loss in distance with equipment. I just don't think the benefits are enough to warrant it, or I need to get more information on the benefits the USGA are seeking outside of being upset that golfers are able to bomb it more than ever. 

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33 minutes ago, jbishop15 said:
1 hour ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Mr. Bishop, are you also saying it would be okay if your personal distances were rolled back???

Yeah, I’m cool with that

Dang! They roll my distances back and it'll be dangerous to stand behind me!

My personal opinion, unsupported by any facts and most likely held only by my own self, is that golf is fine as it is. Make it tougher on the pros by letting the rough grow deeper before a pro event. Cut it back down again after the event is over for everyone else. Anyone who finds golf too easy on the courses we have today should maybe try wingsuit gliding.

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2 hours ago, jbishop15 said:

…I’m aware my confidence isn’t enough to impose my ideas on everyone. It was a poll with a place to respond after, and so I explained that I think the game would be better. I thought we were having a conversation, not a debate.

So you think what you think without any foundation? Just because? Cool.

A debate is a conversation.

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(edited)
12 minutes ago, iacas said:

So you think what you think without any foundation? Just because? Cool.

A debate is a conversation.

No, I think what I think because of many conversations with other golfers, research into golf and golf courses, the influence of other sports and their changes on me, and countless other reasons.

I just didn’t think anybody would be interested in hearing the entire text of my reasoning, and assumed that it would be understood as the opener to a discussion, not as a provocation.

Yes, a debate is a conversation, in the most literal sense of the word. But you already knew exactly what I meant by that.

Edited by jbishop15
Typo
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