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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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I say let ‘em score.  Fans, especially casual ones, love to see scoring.  Big risk and bigger reward for length is a lot more fun to watch.

John

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And for anyone thinking that this will only impact “elite” golfers, the only issue will be finding a mfg that will produce the highest quality non-conforming golf balls for non-competition events.

At my age and game it doesn’t impact me.  But for those young bucks out there, there will be a change as it eventually trickles down to local rules.

John

Edited by 70sSanO
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I may have missed it, but do we know which, if any, of the curent crop of balls from the major vendors would be nonconforming under the proposed new rule?

 

Mike

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48 minutes ago, mohearn said:

I may have missed it, but do we know which, if any, of the curent crop of balls from the major vendors would be nonconforming under the proposed new rule?

Probably better to ask it the other way around: Are there any currently conforming golf balls that also conform to the proposed model local rule?

I'm assuming the answer is no, since those would be placing the player at a disadvantage. 

Craig
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5 hours ago, Archie Bunker said:

Some of the classic courses that professionals played in years past were designed when 250 yards was considered to be a good drive. And many don't have enough room to push the tees back. With the industry using technology in an attempt to turn par 4's into par 3's someday, it makes sense that something needs to be done other than just making new longer courses. 

Name three of these "classic" courses (and I don't just mean old, I mean good courses) that used to host a PGA Tour event in the 80s or 90s that no longer do solely because of yardage, and not because they lack the room for infrastructure, etc. needed to host a modern PGA Tour event.

1 hour ago, mohearn said:

I may have missed it, but do we know which, if any, of the curent crop of balls from the major vendors would be nonconforming under the proposed new rule?

None would be.

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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7 hours ago, Archie Bunker said:

Some of the classic courses that professionals played in years past were designed when 250 yards was considered to be a good drive.

This right here is exactly it. Maybe 250 used to be ok. Todays crop of players hitting longer is largely due to fitness and body efficiency. I can take an old persimmon wood and hit it 275+. I do it often for my classes. Saying that old courses are being made obsolete due to equipment is BS.

Obviously technology has improved to make the game longer to an extent. But not as much as the USGA suggests, imo. 

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I’ve been letting this stew a little bit before chiming in.  At the end of the day, I don’t have an issue with limitations to golf ball performance.  I think equipment limitations are the only reasonable path to address the distance concern.  There are only so many options to lengthen courses (not every course has the ability to buy more land to lengthen their courses, whether financial or land availability).  And a player’s ability to swing fast can only be governed by their individual physical limitations.  A human being is only capable of swinging so fast, so that will cap out at some point.

My only real concern is bifurcation.  For the weekend warrior who doesn’t post scores, who cares.  But for anyone who plays competitive golf at any level, we should all play by the same standards.

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5 hours ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

There are only so many options to lengthen courses

I just don’t think that’s the only aspect in making a course more difficult. How many times have we seen,  a US OPEN for example, where players complained about the conditions being ‘unfair’? And of all those times I don’t recall a single player complaining that it was too long. Bryson took distance to quite an extreme. How’d that pan out for him? Cameron Champ? Pretty much a flop. Leave the game alone. IMO the cap of human ability will not exceed the difficultly of the game of golf if we leave it be. 
With that I do agree that equipment ‘limits’ are necessary. Face thickness, size, and whatever rules are in place now should remain. But rolling back, I do not agree.

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There's not much new I can add about the length debate except add to the chorus that it doesn't need to be rolled back.

I am more annoyed with the idea of bifurcation. It's patronizing. What avid golfer, a weekend hack or +cap am, hasn't experienced a moment of magic in their golf 'careers', and thought "damn, that's a shot even a top pro would proud of". 

I know it's just distance that they want to roll back but I wouldn't be able to shake off the thought that the ball ain't the same. Bifurcation would put a asterisk on those moments of magic IMHO. I don't like it.

Vishal S.

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7 hours ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

I think equipment limitations are the only reasonable path to address the distance concern.

You do know we have had limits for decades, of course, right?

These are just new limits.

I am pretty sure you do, but there are a bunch of people out there who seem to legitimately think that the ball has no rules limiting its performance right now.

1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

I just don’t think that’s the only aspect in making a course more difficult. How many times have we seen,  a US OPEN for example, where players complained about the conditions being ‘unfair’? And of all those times I don’t recall a single player complaining that it was too long.

They generally don't complain that it's too long (and it has happened, yes)… because they hit the ball so damn far, @Vinsk.

1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Bryson took distance to quite an extreme. How’d that pan out for him?

Ummm, he won a U.S. Open?

1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Cameron Champ?

Three-time Tour winner despite really not being good with his irons (202nd in SG:APP) or wedges (209 in SG:ATG) (or putter - 132nd in SG:P)? In other words, he's done something few have done… despite kinda stinking at golf?

Bad examples, man.

1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Leave the game alone. IMO the cap of human ability will not exceed the difficultly of the game of golf if we leave it be.

But… they're not making a "golf is too easy" argument. So I'm calling "straw man argument" on you.

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/articles/2023/03/USGA-Distance-Update-2023.html

Quote

The USGA and The R&A set out to address the long-term trend of increased hitting distances and course lengthening that they believe threatens golf’s long-term sustainability and undermines the core principle that a broad and balanced set of playing skills should remain the primary determinant of success in golf.  

The findings of extensive research by the governing bodies into distance (along with the supporting research and data) were set out within the Distance Insights report into the Implications of Hitting Distance in February 2020 under two key themes: the pressure on courses to continue to lengthen and ensuring that distance did not become predominant in the balance of skills required in golf.

The report also found that the overall trend of golf courses becoming longer has adverse consequences, including by increasing the cost and time to play, limiting the advancement of sustainability efforts and reducing the challenge of courses – in some cases creating a risk of them becoming obsolete.

 

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 obviously haven't read all nine pages (so far) of responses on this topic but I've decided I'm against golf ball bifurcation. It's the golf courses that need to adjust, and they don't have to do it by getting longer which, if they don't have the real estate, they can't do. Why not just dig bunkers, narrow the fairways or add other hazards out 320 - 350 yards from the championship tees to force the bombers to re-think their club selection in the tee box and hit it shorter? Widen the fairways 200-230 from and at the longer distances, narrow them. I blame Jack Nicklaus. He's been whining about rolling back the balls for years. The USGA obviously listened.

If the manufacturers do anything, they should stop calling 7-irons, 7-irons and call them what they are...5 irons! I hit a Calaway Paradym-X 7-iron the other day 175 yards and I'm 73 years old. I couldn't do that when I was 30! I checked the specs and saw that the loft was 27 1/2 degrees. I think that's what my 1970's era Wilson Staff 4-iron was.

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2 hours ago, xrayvizhen said:

I obviously haven't read all nine pages (so far) of responses on this topic but I've decided I'm against golf ball bifurcation. It's the golf courses that need to adjust, and they don't have to do it by getting longer which, if they don't have the real estate, they can't do. Why not just dig bunkers, narrow the fairways or add other hazards out 320 - 350 yards from the championship tees to force the bombers to re-think their club selection in the tee box and hit it shorter?

Probably should have read some.

That’s a terrible solution IMO.

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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5 hours ago, iacas said:

Ummm, he won a U.S. Open?

And he failed miserably at Augusta. How? He’s sooo long? 

 

5 hours ago, iacas said:

Three-time Tour winner despite really not being good with his irons (202nd in SG:APP) or wedges (209 in SG:ATG) (or putter - 132nd in SG:P)? In other words, he's done something few have done… despite kinda stinking at golf?

Bad examples, man.

You’re deducing that he’s only won because he hits it long? Many golfers with less length have more wins than him. So length isn’t so dominating that a roll back is needed. All the factors he stinks at seem to be more important.

Almost every squirrel gets a nut at one point. Golfers on the extreme end of distance are not dominating any courses. Bryson won before ever pursuing his crazy distance. Bad example. Zach Johnson won a Masters. Bryson hasn’t. 
 

Reducing the challenge? So golfers, unlike any other athlete , shouldn’t get better? One yard/year gain…which will cap, is hardly going to render a course obsolete.

Not seeing much of an argument for a roll back other than petty stats on single achievements. Golfers are still making bogeys every tournament. Rookies are still winning, established champions are still collapsing. They’re just tinkering with the system unnecessarily.

 

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Kevin, dude, you’re totally in the wrong here. Both on the advantage conveyed by distance and on why they are making this change.

Seriously bad argument.

You act like winning three times on Tour or winning a major is a blind squirrel finding a nut?

That’s silly.

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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10 hours ago, GolfLug said:

There's not much new I can add about the length debate except add to the chorus that it doesn't need to be rolled back.

I am more annoyed with the idea of bifurcation. It's patronizing. What avid golfer, a weekend hack or +cap am, hasn't experienced a moment of magic in their golf 'careers', and thought "damn, that's a shot even a top pro would proud of". 

I know it's just distance that they want to roll back but I wouldn't be able to shake off the thought that the ball ain't the same. Bifurcation would put a asterisk on those moments of magic IMHO. I don't like it.

But haven’t we played with bifurcation for a long time? PGAT doesn’t allow distance measuring devices or golf carts. Don’t want bifurcation? Take away lasers and golf carts.

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12 hours ago, Vinsk said:

I just don’t think that’s the only aspect in making a course more difficult. How many times have we seen,  a US OPEN for example, where players complained about the conditions being ‘unfair’? And of all those times I don’t recall a single player complaining that it was too long. Bryson took distance to quite an extreme. How’d that pan out for him? Cameron Champ? Pretty much a flop. Leave the game alone. IMO the cap of human ability will not exceed the difficultly of the game of golf if we leave it be. 
With that I do agree that equipment ‘limits’ are necessary. Face thickness, size, and whatever rules are in place now should remain. But rolling back, I do not agree.

Sure, there are ways to make courses more difficult without lengthening.  Some which are a little much, if you remember the greens at Chambers Bay a few years back.  Some which make sense, thicker rough to promote accuracy (although players like DeChambeau seem to power through it just fine).

I believe distance is one of the main factors when rating a course’s difficulty, for a reason.  And also why Augusta National is adding distance (remember Bubba Watson cutting the corner on #13 several years back).

And for sure I recall all the times players complained about unfair conditions. Thank goodness Poulter is on the LIV now though! 😀

10 hours ago, iacas said:

You do know we have had limits for decades, of course, right?

These are just new limits.

I am pretty sure you do, but there are a bunch of people out there who seem to legitimately think that the ball has no rules limiting its performance right now.

Yea, I know there are already rules on equipment/balls.

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1 hour ago, hunterdog said:

But haven’t we played with bifurcation for a long time? PGAT doesn’t allow distance measuring devices or golf carts. Don’t want bifurcation? Take away lasers and golf carts.

That's not the same.

People are saying that Tour players play different equipment than amateurs play, but they're missing out on the fact that it's not "by rule" that this is so.

48 minutes ago, Denny Bang Bang said:

Some which make sense, thicker rough to promote accuracy (although players like DeChambeau seem to power through it just fine).

Thicker rough and narrow fairways favor longer hitters.

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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