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is the USGA protecting the game?


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New technology. Ball goes farther. Courses get longer. More maintenance. Green fees go up. What's the point? We just end up paying more money and playing less rounds. Also, I was at the Honda a few weeks ago and you see all the same shots. Watching golf has become somewhat boring: 300 yard tee shot, 160 yard 9 iron out of the rough stops on the green, putt. Its become a bomb it and hope tour. Technology gets better and the talent on tour decreases. Too many robots. Much less creativity. I would like to see one exhibition match where these guys play with the same equipment Jack used in his prime. I'm not saying scale back that much, but we need to scale back. I wanna see the ball made from a list of standard materials come in 3 options: low spin, high spin, medium spin. I wanna see a shaft come in 9 options: regular, stiff, x-stiff with either a low, medium, or high kick point. I wanna see the driver head come in one material with a max size smaller than what we have today. I wanna see the talent come back on tour.

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the equipment isn't really the problem(and even if you believe so...theres no way the monster can be toned down)..its the size of the targets.  Big fairways and big greens.  You can't shrink them, though because the courses are not made for the sole purpose of PGA events.  They have members and or daily fee customers that play the rest of the year.

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I would agree and disagree.  The talent level of golfers is higher than ever, they have optimized their swings and skills to the equipment of today.  But... the golf ball and the clubs, especially the shafts, have changed the game completely.  Doral a monster?  Hardly, when compared ot where they were driving the ball years ago.

The same thing happened in tennis when high tech tennis rackets replaced wood.  Some artistry and shot making went out, but power and athletic ability went way up.  We are not going to change the march of technology, but I do wish the great golf courses of traditional design were played from the same places as years past, just so one could compare the skill level of various eras and perserve the greatness of previous era courses.  I am always a little sad when a venerable track becomes a pitch and putt due to the new gear.

Today a course is not long unless it has par 4's over 500 yards and par threes around 250 yards.  Yet, some of the more exciting golf is the driveable par fours that require accuracy or one pays a heavy price.  Such holes are exciting.  What that tells me is course design is also part of the problem.  Great tracks like Pine Valley do not need to be more than about 7,000 yards to challege the best in the world.  Opening up the landing areas and encouraging a blast it and hope mentality changes the game almost as much as a ball that goes 30 or 40 yards longer. It is still a joy to see a great design like Pine Valley essentially render the greatly improved length much less important.

So, I agree a little bit, but I think the athletes of today are much better trained in general.  The talent has gone up.

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Originally Posted by twittek

I wanna see the ball made from a list of standard materials come in 3 options: low spin, high spin, medium spin. Why?

I wanna see a shaft come in 9 options: regular, stiff, x-stiff with either a low, medium, or high kick point. Why?

I wanna see the driver head come in one material with a max size smaller than what we have today. Why?

I wanna see the talent come back on tour. So no more hackers like Woods, McIlroy, Donald, Garcia and Ishikawa, D.J. Jason Day and Mickelson on tour? Great idea.


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I like hitting my Titlist Velocity ball with my graphite-shafted 6 iron hybrid.  It goes a long way.  Its not that hard to hit straight.

I've hit a range ball with a blade 6 iron.  Its really hard.  Its not very much fun.  Not nearly as much fun as hitting my razr x 6 hybrid with a long-distance ball.

Golf is more fun with better technology for those who can't play all that often.  Its that simple.

Re: More talent on the PGA Tour, I don't think so.  Long hitters have always had an advantage.  McIlroy has done so well in the past few weeks b/c he has gotten up and down 21 out of 24 times or something insane like that - not because he hits it far.  I don't think the statistics would bear out your argument - wedging and putting wins now, as it always has.

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I would agree with that it takes more than length these days to make a course difficult for the PGA guys to struggle.  But having said that the USGA still manages to "enhance" a course so that par isn't and easy task, albeit the winners always seem to find a way. But that is because the winners play better than the losers. But the advance in technology means that guys like me in later years can still play the game and enjoy it because if we are talented enough you can shoot your age.  That would not have been possible 25 years ago for the average elder amateur.  So I like the new equipment and hope technology can keep up with the ravages of age.

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The equipment has improved,but the equipment has improved since the game started. The talent level of the players may or may not be better, but todays players are bigger and more athletic. In the old days, players didn't work out after their round,unless 12oz.curls are considered a work out.This athleticism is evident in every sport. When I was in high school in the early 70's very few kids could dunk a basketball, now,it seems that most high school players can dunk.I think even if equipment standards were cut back, these guys would still be long.

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I think the USGA does a pretty good job of protecting the game.  Its not all about the pros, part of their job is to make the game more fun for the average weekend player too.

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The first graphite driver I ever hit was one my Grandma's sisters - husband owned, back in the late 80's. It was at a family reunion and the conversation switched to golf. And he pulled the Cobra graphite driver from the 70's out with some old shag balls and we began to hit them into the woods on the backside of the property. He was thrilled that I played as he had stopped playing, but still had his clubs in the garage, stored for safe keeping. After seeing me hit, he asked me to keep the Cobra driver and continue playing. That driver was the most whipy club I've ever swung. It was terrible to hit and I can't imagine using it today after playing with today's technology. But I respect that at one time - that driver was 'the' driver to have back in the day. I actually carried it in my bag during tryouts my freshman year of high school. At that point in time, late 80's and early 90's, steel shafted drivers and metal woods were the clubs found at most pro shops. Technology sure has changed. For the better.
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I agree with you in terms of professional golf.  500 yard par 5s used to be a driver and 3 wood and then only the big hitters were getting on in 2.  Now it is 500 yard par 4s and they are hitting driver 9 iron.  It is rare for there to be a true 3 shot par 5 for anyone on tour anymore.  The fact that the short par 4s seem to be the most exciting and most challenging holes should tell everyone something about technology, distance, course design, and strategy.  Pro golf has lost some of the strategy, shot making, and creativity of the earleir years of golf.  It is indeed a different game today.  Better or worse?  That's a matter of opinion.  It is difficult (if not impossible) for the people who only know the game as it is today to appreciate what it used to be.  Will the technology piece ever be scaled back?  No.  There's too much money in golf and selling the latest technology for it to ever go back.  The only thing that can really impact it now is course design.  Short tricky par 4s, small target par 3s with trouble everywhere, 90 degree dog legs that can't be cut over...and like someone indicated they are not going to build a course that everyone else hates just to trick it out for one tournament a year.  Realistically, it will only get worse.  One of these days 400 yard par 4s will be considered drivable, par 3s will be 300, and par 5s will cease to exist.

Originally Posted by twittek

New technology. Ball goes farther. Courses get longer. More maintenance. Green fees go up. What's the point? We just end up paying more money and playing less rounds. Also, I was at the Honda a few weeks ago and you see all the same shots. Watching golf has become somewhat boring: 300 yard tee shot, 160 yard 9 iron out of the rough stops on the green, putt. Its become a bomb it and hope tour. Technology gets better and the talent on tour decreases. Too many robots. Much less creativity. I would like to see one exhibition match where these guys play with the same equipment Jack used in his prime. I'm not saying scale back that much, but we need to scale back. I wanna see the ball made from a list of standard materials come in 3 options: low spin, high spin, medium spin. I wanna see a shaft come in 9 options: regular, stiff, x-stiff with either a low, medium, or high kick point. I wanna see the driver head come in one material with a max size smaller than what we have today. I wanna see the talent come back on tour.



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Originally Posted by twittek

I wanna see the talent come back on tour.

I think he means he wants to go back to the time when everyone had to be shotmakers, and we could tell who the real geniuses were.  The equipment has eliminated the need for some of that creativity, and made it so that anyone can hit a ball 240 yards that climbs quickly and stops where it lands.  It used to be only a few guys have that shot, now everyone does (including me, thanks to my Adams Idea Pro A12 Hybrid.  Thanks Adams Golf!).

Originally Posted by BugDude

One of these days 400 yard par 4s will be considered drivable, par 3s will be 300, and par 5s will cease to exist.


I think four or five more new releases from Taylor Made should do it.  So, maybe 2 years?

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Originally Posted by TitleistWI

I think the USGA does a pretty good job of protecting the game.  Its not all about the pros, part of their job is to make the game more fun for the average weekend player too.



I agree.

There is only so much that they can do (and it's not only the USGA, but the R&A; as well).  The ruling bodies don't have unlimited power.  They can't dictate everything in the game, or the ensuing manufacturers lawsuits would bankrupt them and undermine what authority they do have.  They have no choice but to compromise.  You don't have to look very far on this forum to find comments from players who feel that the ruling bodies have too much power.  I'm not in that camp, but it's because of opinions like those that the USGA has to step lightly.  Extremists like the OP will always feel that they are wimps who don't control the game enough, and the extremists on the other side will continue to call them dictatorial "Nazis".

All they can do is what they feel is best for the game within the bounds of control they are allowed.

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Well you're talking pros, but for the other 99.9% of golfers, the majority I see aren't breaking 100, even with modern equipment, but they're probably having more fun than they would be with persimmon drivers and blades.
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IIRC, tennis had that same problem some years ago.

Too much service speed, unreturnable.

They didn't try to change the rackets - as a lot of people say, the industry would go havoc - but they changed the size of the balls!

Bigger ball - slower speed.

Now, it's really fun again to watch the best players in the world, although rackets and athleticism of the players have improved! Still, good servers get their advantage!

I think, the best way to get old courses back into a seaons rotation would be to limit the balls for the pros. Today, every company makes pro-only equipment and the rest of the golfers get the standard things. Why not also for the balls?

Just define something like the COR in drivers for the ball, where a standardized robot hits the ball, and trackman tells the ballspeed and distance - balls are not allowed to go farther then XXX yds (say, 280/290).

Since all ball manufacturers already produce balls for different handicap groups, it wouldn't make much difference - a lot of amateurs would still want to buy the pro's balls (just like they buy proV1s now, without fitting their game), so there would also be a market for those limited balls.

greetings

michi

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I doubt its 99.9% arn't breaking 100. Living were i am at, thats 175 people. I play with 20 of them in my golf league alone. they can break 100 easily. I doubt my one golf league has 11% of the 175.

I agree, limit the balll not the club. Though i think pro drivers should go back down to around 400cc, but keep the COR to 0.830

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I don't think you would be able to realistically set a yardage cap because all guys are different..conditions are different..yada yada.

The only thing I reckon they could do with the ball is to lower and cap the compression.  Even then, I don't know how well that would work.  Maybe they would have to limit the type of materials the ball is made of in some way.  Increase the thickness of tour driver faces so they aren't as springy or something along those lines.

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I don't see driving distance increasing significantly according to the PGA Tour stats.  In 2008 the average drive distance was 287.1, this year so far it's 286.1.  I realize the statistics don't reflect their actual capabilities given how they are calculated but based on averages it doesn't appear that technology is as big a problem as some are making it.  If you want to say the driving accuracy at that distance is higher that may be true, but that also could be due to the course designs.

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Originally Posted by Paradox

I don't think you would be able to realistically set a yardage cap because all guys are different..conditions are different..yada yada.

That's why the USGA and R&A; are testing the COR in the lab and not with a player. The same could be done with a swing robot and a trackman. You wouldn't even have to leave the lab for this, the robot hitting into a net with a standardize club using trackman like in fitting centers would be enough.

That would be standardized and repeatable - just what is needed for an scientific experiment.

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