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Nicklaus suggests a 20% rollback in driving distance


dave67az
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Originally Posted by Mordan

The blurring of the lines is between social golf and competitive golf. Only rounds played in a competition, played on a course overseen by a committee and signed for by a fellow competitor should count towards a handicap. That you can put it cards from social golf and use that handicap in a competition severely dilutes the whole concept in my opinion.

And when social golf rounds aren't being submitted for handicap you don't need to worry about dropping a ball if one goes missing, or wanting to play two balls etc. It doesn't count for anything other than whatever you've decided to do within your group that day, and thus you can sort it out amongst yourselves. No complaints about the rules because they make sense in a competition with a committee to resolve issues and where fairness sometimes needs to come before practicality.

If I'm inferring correctly, it sounds like your primary complaint is the potential for dishonesty in establishing handicaps and the negative effects that would have on formal competitions?

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If I'm inferring correctly, it sounds like your primary complaint is the potential for dishonesty in establishing handicaps and the negative effects that would have on formal competitions?

Well recently it's probably been prompted by the complaints about the complexity and difficulties of playing by the rules. Not once have these related to play during an actual competition, so take away the USGA's insistence on posting social rounds for handicap and let these players do whatever they want. Chances are they do anyway but still end up including these rounds in their handicap. But I do also think that it's sad that the cries of bandit would detract from the kudos that a golfer would otherwise receive for putting together that 1 in 100 round that beats their handicap by 10 shots.

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Originally Posted by Mordan

Well recently it's probably been prompted by the complaints about the complexity and difficulties of playing by the rules. Not once have these related to play during an actual competition, so take away the USGA's insistence on posting social rounds for handicap and let these players do whatever they want. Chances are they do anyway but still end up including these rounds in their handicap.

But I do also think that it's sad that the cries of bandit would detract from the kudos that a golfer would otherwise receive for putting together that 1 in 100 round that beats their handicap by 10 shots.

If the only handicaps allowed in handicap tournaments are handicaps obtained in handicap tournaments, wouldn't you see a problem in obtaining that first handicap?  How would anyone play in a handicap tournament the first time?  Do all first-time players have to play scratch?

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Originally Posted by dave67az

If the only handicaps allowed in handicap tournaments are handicaps obtained in handicap tournaments, wouldn't you see a problem in obtaining that first handicap?  How would anyone play in a handicap tournament the first time?  Do all first-time players have to play scratch?

Dave,

From what I understand, in Australia and perhaps even the UK, that is how they do it.  Only competitive rounds count towards their handicap.  As far as I'm concerned, it makes a heck of a lot of sense.  It's just like we do it in bowling, right?

Imagine the shenanigans in your league if people could show up on Saturday mornings by themselves, play 3 or 4 games, then post those scores toward their handicaps?

Regardless ... I don't really know what this has to do with rolling back the ball 20%, so I should probably digress. ;)

BTW, excellent job of using the word "handicap" so many times.  If my math is correct, it's 14% of your words in that entire post.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

Quote:

Originally Posted by dave67az

If the only handicaps allowed in handicap tournaments are handicaps obtained in handicap tournaments, wouldn't you see a problem in obtaining that first handicap?  How would anyone play in a handicap tournament the first time?  Do all first-time players have to play scratch?

Dave,

From what I understand, in Australia and perhaps even the UK, that is how they do it.  Only competitive rounds count towards their handicap.  As far as I'm concerned, it makes a heck of a lot of sense.  It's just like we do it in bowling, right?

Imagine the shenanigans in your league if people could show up on Saturday mornings by themselves, play 3 or 4 games, then post those scores toward their handicaps?

Regardless ... I don't really know what this has to do with rolling back the ball 20%, so I should probably digress. ;)

BTW, excellent job of using the word "handicap" so many times.  If my math is correct, it's 14% of your words in that entire post.

In many clubs it would take 2 years of participating in tournaments without being a competitor just to establish a proper handicap if only competition rounds were allowed.  I can't see any way that would be good for the game.

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If the only handicaps allowed in handicap tournaments are handicaps obtained in handicap tournaments, wouldn't you see a problem in obtaining that first handicap?  How would anyone play in a handicap tournament the first time?  Do all first-time players have to play scratch?

You have 3 cards marked by a club member and submit them to the handicap committee who allocate you an initial handicap. So it's not difficult to get started. Clubs also run more competitions over here, I've heard of some having one running most days of the week.

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i think you can shorten the ball if you chose to shorten the course. the only reason a course needs to play 7400 or whatever is to protect it from being over power - not that it has worked.

When Jack and the rest were averaging 270 or whatever they were playing courses 6800 to 7000. at least that is my understanding, not old enough to have seen that and certainly not going to research it!!

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Originally Posted by Ole_Tom_Morris

What is Nicklaus' concern here? Newtogolf suggested it is a matter of protecting his records. I think his concern comes from being a golf course designer too, that courses themselves are rendered obsolete as designed, that the parameters of the game are changing and that course designs are no longer potentially perennial.

But that's not all of it.   30 or so years ago, Nicklaus and others got behind a new kind of ball that played (as I recall) half as far as balls of that era.   This addressed the costs associated with golf course operation, and ecological concerns.     Why not play at courses that are half as long as standard?   Lower cost, faster play, all walking, save on water and land area.   Where's the downside?

The downside is psychological.

To be honest, a lot of the appeal of golf to me is the chance to hit the hell out of a golf ball.   Length brings bragging rights.

Also brings guilt.   In my part of the country, water supply is not assured, and that is true throughout the whole southwest, at least 1/4 of the nation.   Long term, with population increase, there just is not enough water for dishwashing and long showers, let alone lawns.    And golf courses?  The way of the dodo and the mastodon.

A week ago I was in Las Cruces, NM and saw the old country club course, looking like something out of a post-apocalyptic movie, dust and dead trees, a for sale sign out front, probably future to be flattened out for a housing development, not that there is enough water for that either.   But that's the long term fate of so many golf courses.   Extinction.

But length is relative.  In a world where typical guys hit it 180, 240 is a bomb.  It is funny how most of the parties to the "grow the game' discussion pay lip service but really deep down hate the 2 biggest factors holding down the growth of the game.  Cost and time.

And dialing back the ball would be a huge help in both areas.  Courses would be way cheaper to build and maintain, and it would take less time to play, if the ball were dialed back and became the norm, again that recreational golfers played courses that were maybe in the 6000 yard range, and championships were played on courses of around 6500 yards.

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Originally Posted by turtleback

But length is relative.  In a world where typical guys hit it 180, 240 is a bomb.  It is funny how most of the parties to the "grow the game' discussion pay lip service but really deep down hate the 2 biggest factors holding down the growth of the game.  Cost and time.

And dialing back the ball would be a huge help in both areas.  Courses would be way cheaper to build and maintain, and it would take less time to play, if the ball were dialed back and became the norm, again that recreational golfers played courses that were maybe in the 6000 yard range, and championships were played on courses of around 6500 yards.

You gotta help me here.....

If courses are shortened, but the ball is dialed back, presumably it takes you just as many strokes to hit it fewer yards.  How does that take any less time to play?

.....and I can already point to pace of play issues on 6,000 yd courses, being played with current balls!

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Originally Posted by turtleback

But length is relative.  In a world where typical guys hit it 180, 240 is a bomb.  It is funny how most of the parties to the "grow the game' discussion pay lip service but really deep down hate the 2 biggest factors holding down the growth of the game.  Cost and time.

And dialing back the ball would be a huge help in both areas.  Courses would be way cheaper to build and maintain, and it would take less time to play, if the ball were dialed back and became the norm, again that recreational golfers played courses that were maybe in the 6000 yard range, and championships were played on courses of around 6500 yards.

Originally Posted by David in FL

You gotta help me here.....

If courses are shortened, but the ball is dialed back, presumably it takes you just as many strokes to hit it fewer yards.  How does that take any less time to play?

.....and I can already point to pace of play issues on 6,000 yd courses, being played with current balls!

I'm with you, David.  I don't see it as relieving any pace problems.  Yes, if you're walking and you don't have to walk as far, you'll get to your ball sooner.  But a lot of the pace problems I see, personally, stem from people looking far too long for lost balls and not being ready to hit when it's their turn.  A shorter ball won't fix either of those.

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Originally Posted by David in FL

You gotta help me here.....

If courses are shortened, but the ball is dialed back, presumably it takes you just as many strokes to hit it fewer yards.  How does that take any less time to play?

I could easily make a mathematical argument here ... Distance=Rate*Time.  If you hit the ball the same amount of times, and thus presumably play at the same rate, and the distance goes down, then the time also has to go down.

However, that's silly argument because we all know that the distance plays too small a part in everything.  Nevermind the fact that so many new courses are being put in places (around here at least) where the actual length of the course is a fraction of how much you actually travel during the round.  There are courses with 200 yard or more walks rides between holes, so shortening the course to save time will do nothing because you still have to get between the holes.

Originally Posted by dave67az

I'm with you, David.  I don't see it as relieving any pace problems.  Yes, if you're walking and you don't have to walk as far, you'll get to your ball sooner.  But a lot of the pace problems I see, personally, stem from people looking far too long for lost balls and not being ready to hit when it's their turn.  A shorter ball won't fix either of those.

Agreed.  It's a general lolligagging nature of people that slows pace down.  It's the guys who sit in the cart next to his partners ball waiting until the partner is done before they drive to his ball together.  It's the guy who leaves his bag at the front of the green, not the back.  It's the guy who doesn't start reading his putt until it's his turn to hit.  It's the guy who adds up the score and cleans his club/ball/whatever at the green instead of the next tee.  It's NOT the guy who chooses to walk instead of ride in a cart.  It's NOT the old lady or beginner who shoots 140.  It's NOT the guy who is overly cautious and waiting for the green to clear that he cannot reach (well, not more than once at least).

People either don't know the pace of play etiquette, or are too self-involved to care, and that is all that is keeping pace of play too high.

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Originally Posted by Golfingdad

I could easily make a mathematical argument here ... Distance=Rate*Time.  If you hit the ball the same amount of times, and thus presumably play at the same rate, and the distance goes down, then the time also has to go down.

However, that's silly argument because we all know that the distance plays too small a part in everything.  Nevermind the fact that so many new courses are being put in places (around here at least) where the actual length of the course is a fraction of how much you actually travel during the round.  There are courses with 200 yard or more walks rides between holes, so shortening the course to save time will do nothing because you still have to get between the holes.

Agreed.  It's a general lolligagging nature of people that slows pace down.  It's the guys who sit in the cart next to his partners ball waiting until the partner is done before they drive to his ball together.  It's the guy who leaves his bag at the front of the green, not the back.  It's the guy who doesn't start reading his putt until it's his turn to hit.  It's the guy who adds up the score and cleans his club/ball/whatever at the green instead of the next tee.  It's NOT the guy who chooses to walk instead of ride in a cart.  It's NOT the old lady or beginner who shoots 140.  It's NOT the guy who is overly cautious and waiting for the green to clear that he cannot reach (well, not more than once at least).

People either don't know the pace of play etiquette, or are too self-involved to care, and that is all that is keeping pace of play too high.

Yup.

You only "gain" the delta in distance divided by the rate of travel.  Let's call it a 6500 yd course.....so a 20% reduction is 1,300 yds.  A golf cart travels at about 15 mph, or about 26,000 yds per hour.  That's 1300 yds every 3 minutes......  Even walking at 3 mph, you're less than 15 minutes difference in travel time.  Leave the ball alone and move up a set of tees and we're better off!

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As a purely recreational golfer, I wouldn't want to see a roll back of distance....a freeze, sure. Actually a freeze would be optimal for everyone involved. I would know for sure that any distance gained is purely based on my skill level improving.

As for the above posts...100% correct...Number of strokes has little effect on game speed...rather its the ass hats who go marching through the woods to look for a lost ball, guys who chat it up with the beer cart girls, people that leave their bags behind only to saunter back for them after their shot....etc. I've played many rounds with 120 players and our 18 hole time is within 20 minutes of mine if I was by myself....

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Originally Posted by turtleback

But length is relative.  In a world where typical guys hit it 180, 240 is a bomb.  It is funny how most of the parties to the "grow the game' discussion pay lip service but really deep down hate the 2 biggest factors holding down the growth of the game.  Cost and time.

And dialing back the ball would be a huge help in both areas.  Courses would be way cheaper to build and maintain, and it would take less time to play, if the ball were dialed back and became the norm, again that recreational golfers played courses that were maybe in the 6000 yard range, and championships were played on courses of around 6500 yards.

Prove it. People have already debunked the "time" part, so prove the cost part. I don't think you can.

Courses would still have to maintain tees, fairways, and greens. And bunkers. Sure, they'd have to maintain a little bit less rough, and a teeny bit less fairway, but the biggest costs are tees, greens, and bunkers. The rest is just mowed with a guy pulling some blades.

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I play at a 5700 yard course, tree lined every hole, tight fairways and thick choppy rough along with firm greens, the course record is -6 par, a well designed course does not have to be long to be tough. Case closed.

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Originally Posted by turtleback

But length is relative.  In a world where typical guys hit it 180, 240 is a bomb.  It is funny how most of the parties to the "grow the game' discussion pay lip service but really deep down hate the 2 biggest factors holding down the growth of the game.  Cost and time.

And dialing back the ball would be a huge help in both areas.  Courses would be way cheaper to build and maintain, and it would take less time to play, if the ball were dialed back and became the norm, again that recreational golfers played courses that were maybe in the 6000 yard range, and championships were played on courses of around 6500 yards.

One, golf would still be as difficult, because if you tone back the equipment, then the golf courses will get smaller, but your distances would still make it difficult, its all relative. This being said, you can't assume time of play will significantly speed up.

Lets say your able to cut down walking distance by 1000 yards. I am not saying golf course length, i am saying walking to each shot and off the 18th green. Your looking at 3000 feet less, at an average walking speed o 4.5 feet per second (pretty typical), your looking at saving about 12 minutes of golfing, not that significant.

Golf has always been expensive. Golf clubs really haven't changed prices in the past decade. Drivers are still 250-400 dollars, and irons sets are still 600-1200 dollars. Golf balls are still maxing out around 50 bucks per dozen. Golf lessons are still 45-60 bucks per half an hour. Nothing has really changed at all.

Building a golf course, lets say your looking at 3 million, USGA says 1.5-4 million. Most courses peak out at what, 6800 yards. I don't see to many 7000+ public golf courses. If that, the usually add a tee box to some holes, which isn't that costly. That's 441 dollars per yard. Lets say they do scale back and the golf courses become maxed out at 6400 yards. Your looking at 175,000 out of 3 million. 5-6% reduction in building cost. Heck, on a project like that, your contingency money to build is probably 10-20% the construction cost. That really isn't that significant.

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