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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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7 minutes ago, jlbos83 said:

I just don't see the point in the whole exercise.

If you'd like to understand the issue better, there's a lot of information here:

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/advancing-the-game/distance-insights.html

I suggest as a starting point to read the Distance Insights Conclusions, the link is about halfway down that page.  You don't have to agree with the conclusions, but its a starting point to understand the broader concerns.

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I think the USGA/R&A are going to see that they don't have as much power as they did in the past.

The PGA Tour has it's hands full right now trying to fight off LIV, so it's not going to be helpful. The manufacturers don't want anyone to tell them what to market so they're going to fight it no matter what, and they're bigger and stronger than they were the last time we went though all this.

My bet is that nothing much is going to happen.

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I think the LIV thing is real here. PGA Tour needs to stay relevant. 

If they do go with this rule, I hope the write in limited to something like 2.0 or better tournaments only. They need to define elite. 

Matt Dougherty, P.E.
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2 hours ago, Double Mocha Man said:

So, from what I read, the ball restrictions for everyone except touring pros and elite golfers, will be relaxed.  Also, sweet spot on clubs will be allowed to be bigger.  Looks like we'll all be able to outdrive Rory...

I'm not sure what you read, but it doesn't say that.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

If you'd like to understand the issue better, there's a lot of information here:

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/advancing-the-game/distance-insights.html

I suggest as a starting point to read the Distance Insights Conclusions, the link is about halfway down that page.  You don't have to agree with the conclusions, but its a starting point to understand the broader concerns.

Whether these increases in distance emanate from advancing equipment technology, greater athleticism of players, improved player coaching, golf course conditioning or a combination of these or other factors, they will have the impact of seriously reducing the challenge of the game.
 

I find this to be utter nonsense. Golf continues to be challenging for all of us. Rahm just got through commenting how difficult TPC Sawgrass played. In 2023. And he’s a long hitter. Even if every player on tour was hitting it 375yds, it’s still a challenge. Still have to have a honed short game and putting.
 

And hitting it long is a skill. MW Lee hits it further than Gary Woodland. Stupid little graphs and thinking that a 16yd increase in 24 years is alarming is laughable. It’s an extrapolation of the same mindset of people who think warming their golf balls before playing significantly improves their tee shot. 

It’s just a bunch of ‘I walked uphill both ways to school’ guys over thinking a game with traditions that have tainted their ability to accept an inevitable change in a sport. 

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1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

I think the LIV thing is real here. PGA Tour needs to stay relevant. 

Exactly. Can you imagine how much fun LIV would have showing their players outdriving the PGA tour?

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

I'm not sure what you read, but it doesn't say that.

 

1 hour ago, iacas said:

 

Erik, you might be wrong here  Blasphemy!  This, below, from Golf.com, written by Dylan Dethier.  Though I probably should have said, "...might be relaxed."

"On the recreational side, golfers won’t have to worry about losing distance in the near future. Along with keeping the current ball testing standards in place, the USGA and R&A will look at the possibility of easing or eliminating the initial velocity test altogether, something USGA CEO Mike Whan confirmed was being discussed during his press conference at last year’s U.S. Open.

“We’ve actually talked about removing some of the other tests that have been in place for a long time,” Whan said. “One is called initial velocity of a golf ball, and the other is the limitation on how big a sweet spot can be. We’re potentially analyzing removing those two tests, and the benefit of that is we think if we removed that, there’s a potential — not a guarantee — it’ll free up innovation space for the manufacturers to create a ball that would actually be better for low club speeds, be better for beginners … but actually give the manufacturers a little bit of freedom.”

With an easing or elimination of the initial velocity test — the test is defined “as the speed of the ball as it travels 2π feet after impact with the striker” — could potentially increase the distance gap between a potential MLR ball and recreational offering. In other words, weekend golfers could actually see more distance in the long term."

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8 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

Erik, you might be wrong here  Blasphemy!  This, below, from Golf.com, written by Dylan Dethier.  Though I probably should have said, "...might be relaxed."

That article (which I linked to earlier, and which includes the odd "2π feet" bit, was published yesterday.

There's nothing in the release today to indicate what you said. Dylan cited something Whan said last June.

https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/pdf/2023/Notice-Proposed-MLR-Golf-Balls-Final.pdf

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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Just now, iacas said:

That article (which I linked to earlier, and which includes the odd "2π feet" bit, was published yesterday.

There's nothing in the release today to indicate what you said.

https://www.usga.org/content/dam/usga/pdf/2023/Notice-Proposed-MLR-Golf-Balls-Final.pdf

I still read it.  And I still posted about it.  Maybe Mr. Dethier has retracted what he said.

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21 minutes ago, Double Mocha Man said:

I still read it. And I still posted about it.  Maybe Mr. Dethier has retracted what he said.

Yes, you were wrong. You said:

4 hours ago, Double Mocha Man said:

So, from what I read, the ball restrictions for everyone except touring pros and elite golfers, will be relaxed.  Also, sweet spot on clubs will be allowed to be bigger.  Looks like we'll all be able to outdrive Rory...

I'll move on if you're done.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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Would like to get more clarification on what they mean by elite competitions. Is something like the U.S. Mid-Am elite competition? If I try and qualify for the Mid-Am, do I have to use the "reduced" ball during the round? Do I have to use it only in the event? Also, in order to enter qualifying I have to have a low enough index but it's based on me playing 99% of my rounds with the non-conforming ball.

How about college players that play in Am, NCAA and pro events? Would make sense they'd have to play the reduced ball because the new feeder system to the tour.

Just seems like it's going to create confusion in the marketplace and for manufacturers.  Manufacturers won't just have to make tour balls but they also have to build drivers with designs that optimize launch and spin with the reduced ball.

I can't see the PGA Tour being in favor of this, wonder if they will fight it or decide not to implement. Bifurcation isn't good for the game. There may also be consequences for the top players. A lot of them have built their games and swings around the modern ProV1 type of ball. Let's say the tour doesn't go with it, potentially the only event this matters would be the US Open (for the pros).

 

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I don't think making changes to equipment, especially leading to bifurcation is a good idea.  A simpler potential solution is accepting the greater increased length and adapting your courses for par accordingly, especially for the high level tournaments.  Most amateurs struggle to reach greens at 500 yards in two for example, but most pro's can do it easily.  Make it a par 5 for amateurs and par 4 for professionals.

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7 hours ago, mvmac said:

Would like to get more clarification on what they mean by elite competitions. Is something like the U.S. Mid-Am elite competition? If I try and qualify for the Mid-Am, do I have to use the "reduced" ball during the round? Do I have to use it only in the event? Also, in order to enter qualifying I have to have a low enough index but it's based on me playing 99% of my rounds with the non-conforming ball.

How about college players that play in Am, NCAA and pro events? Would make sense they'd have to play the reduced ball because the new feeder system to the tour.

@mvmac, Mike Whan spoke to this in the early parts of the NLU podcast here, Mike:

That timestamp should take you to about 21:17.

Too little time right now for me to copy down what he said, but please let us all know if that answers your questions somewhat.

7 hours ago, mvmac said:

Just seems like it's going to create confusion in the marketplace and for manufacturers.  Manufacturers won't just have to make tour balls but they also have to build drivers with designs that optimize launch and spin with the reduced ball.

I'll push back there and say that, honestly, I think the change is so small (to the actual golf ball, not to "golf" or to the manufacturers processes) that this won't be the case.

7 hours ago, mvmac said:

I can't see the PGA Tour being in favor of this, wonder if they will fight it or decide not to implement. Bifurcation isn't good for the game. There may also be consequences for the top players. A lot of them have built their games and swings around the modern ProV1 type of ball. Let's say the tour doesn't go with it, potentially the only event this matters would be the US Open (for the pros).

British Open. Masters.

I think the PGA Tour will have to go along with it, or they'd be further diminishing their product as compared to the majors. They won't want to, but again… I think this change is actually small. I almost don't see the point. It's so small compared to the disruption it's going to cause if implemented.

I almost wonder if Titleist, etc. are going to say "if you're going to do this, just make it a full rollback, and ditch the MLR. Just make it apply to everyone, always. Apply it to the PGA Tour in 2026, but let amateurs use their current golf balls until 2028 or something if they want, and then apply it to them. Like the groove rule."

1 hour ago, pganapathy said:

I don't think making changes to equipment, especially leading to bifurcation is a good idea.  A simpler potential solution is accepting the greater increased length and adapting your courses for par accordingly, especially for the high level tournaments.  Most amateurs struggle to reach greens at 500 yards in two for example, but most pro's can do it easily.  Make it a par 5 for amateurs and par 4 for professionals.

That isn't really a solution. I don't need to see guys playing 7800-yard "par 68" golf courses.

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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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24 minutes ago, iacas said:

I'll push back there and say that, honestly, I think the change is so small (to the actual golf ball, not to "golf" or to the manufacturers processes) that this won't be the case.

I'd probably agree with this. 

Balls-played-on-PGA-Tour.jpg

The golf ball is the only piece of equipment that all golfers, pros and amateurs, men and women, high handicap and low handicap all use…

Yea, It's at most two golf balls from each manufacturer that needs to have a slight change. It would be like them adding two more golf balls to what they release. 

26 minutes ago, iacas said:

I almost wonder if Titleist, etc. are going to say "if you're going to do this, just make it a full rollback, and ditch the MLR. Just make it apply to everyone, always. Apply it to the PGA Tour in 2026, but let amateurs use their current golf balls until 2028 or something if they want, and then apply it to them. Like the groove rule."

This would make more sense. 

I get the concern for length, and maybe it will not be as big of a deal as some initially thought. 

Edited by saevel25
It decided to save while I was typing the original post
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Short interview that I thought was worth sharing. Not a ton of info, but good to know nonetheless:

 

-- Daniel

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

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Dumb ball rule change is dumb. Solution in search of problem. That's all I have to say. Done.

Julia

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8 hours ago, iacas said:

Too little time right now for me to copy down what he said, but please let us all know if that answers your questions somewhat.

For the most part, yes. Seems like the new ball will be for junior to mid-am players (competitively) and for professionals. I would guess it will extend to state and local am events as well. Wonder if they will want used in qualifiers. 

8 hours ago, iacas said:

I'll push back there and say that, honestly, I think the change is so small (to the actual golf ball, not to "golf" or to the manufacturers processes) that this won't be the case.

Since it's so small, why do you think they're doing it? As a way to cap distances for the future? So they can say they did "something"?

8 hours ago, iacas said:

I think the PGA Tour will have to go along with it, or they'd be further diminishing their product as compared to the majors. They won't want to, but again… I think this change is actually small. I almost don't see the point. It's so small compared to the disruption it's going to cause if implemented.

I think they have to figure out what hurts the product less, adopting the new ball (more appealing when guys are hitting it farther) or going against at least two of the majors. 

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After taking some time to think about it, I am fine with this change. My preference would be no rollback and no bifurcation, but I think this is okay. I'm guessing I'm at the lowest end of golfers that might consider playing the new ball, because I aspire to compete in things like my state mid-am. Honestly, I'm fine if my driver goes 10 yards shorter. It might be less for me. I'd prefer to stay longer, but it's not going to keep me from playing golf. I don't really care how this impacts the professional game that much. It seems pretty much on the lowest end of what the USGA and R&A could have done, if they were going to do something.

I do think there's a good chance, even with bifurcation, that everybody moves to the new ball. There is almost no market for non-conforming clubs currently, even though nobody would care if your average hacker played a juiced ball and driver. Golf is strange like that. People (probably mostly tour players and hackers) will complain about it, but they'll adjust. Just like with the groove rule or the anchoring ban. (The one thing that worries me about that is the impact on the women's game, but for women, we're probably only talking 5 yards, so not a big deal. Elite women would lose about 10 yards like me. But we don't need to make the game any harder for women.)

-- Daniel

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

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