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Length of courses

3 posts in this topic

I remember not too long ago (I wish) when I was considered was of the longest hitters of the golf ball in the Kansas City area and played to an honest zero. Without coming out of shoes I could consistently drive in the 285-295 range. The average course played to around 7000 yards and there were few par 5's I couldn't hit in two.

So I'm watching the Open and Congressional is 7600+ and drives of 300 yds are commonplace. So on to my question(s). The rules were very strict as to the velocity of the ball coming off the face so as to not have superballs with balata the ball of the future. I get it that players condition better and the equipment is better. But can anyone tell me the one thing that has changed in the past 30 years that most directly accounts for these "long" courses and the distances players are now getting? Did the rules change with regard to balls? I sound ignorant because I can no longer hold a club and rarely read a golf magazine. So if someone can explain this radical departure from what I remember "long" to mean I would appreciate it.

Of course opinions are great, but I have to think that one thing in particular has changed that accounts for today's distances.

Thanks in advance and may your rounds be filled with one-putts.


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If it was just one thing, I would say the ball has been the biggest factor. Once a ball came out that was great for distance, but still offered control and durability, the game got a little easier. Overall, I would say it is the combination of balls, shafts, and heads. You can get a shaft now that is nearly perfect for your swing and the conditions. 25 years ago you had regular, stiff and extra stiff, that was about it. Club heads are lighter and more durable. Combine that with better a better shaft and now you have a club that is lighter, will hit the ball harder, and you can swing harder. Add in a ball that goes a club further, the 6800 yard course is obsolete for the pros.

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I'd say over the past 30 years the ball's changed golf more than any other piece of equipment I believe.


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