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Nicklaus suggests a 20% rollback in driving distance


dave67az
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Originally Posted by MS256

There's some of the same problem going on in golf that has always gone on in baseball. Plenty of people like to gripe about too many home runs but that sells and puts people in the seats.

that's a whole 'nother can of worms.  main reason for that is Selig being the worst commish of all time of any sport.  he turned a blind eye to players who were obviously 'roiding, because ratings were low and a home run race between McGwire and Sosa boosted them exponentially. nothing to do with the ball, which is the argument being made here in golf.  at least the USGA is attempting to make rules that make the playing field level, whereas Selig couldn't give two $#!*s.

in any event, i bet Rory wishes he had 20% taken off a few of his shots over the last 48 hrs.  he needs a towel and suntan lotion so he can at least get comfortable in that sand...

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  • 2 weeks later...

The US open 2 weeks ago totally ends this discussion, a golf course does not have to have a high yardage to be tough, looking at the Merion card I bet the pro's were licking their lips, nothing I like more than watching pro's have a hard time of it and play on some really demanding courses rather than the "drive it as hard as you can and go find it" courses, which even a 7 hc could probably shoot level par.

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Originally Posted by RetroJFrancisco

The US open 2 weeks ago totally ends this discussion, a golf course does not have to have a high yardage to be tough, looking at the Merion card I bet the pro's were licking their lips, nothing I like more than watching pro's have a hard time of it and play on some really demanding courses rather than the "drive it as hard as you can and go find it" courses, which even a 7 hc could probably shoot level par.

I don't know if I'd say it ends the discussion.  Yes, most courses can probably be changed to make driving distance irrelevant.  But I'm betting most courses don't have the kind of budget required to bring in a course architect and start a major project like that, not to mention the loss of revenue during the process.

I loved watching Merion because golfers were forced to use something other than a driver off the tee.  I realize there are a lot of people in this forum who have said they wouldn't want to watch golf if they didn't hit it that far (or at least they wouldn't enjoy it as much...Erik included) but I'm curious if you guys watched the U.S. Open and whether you lost any enjoyment because the golfers weren't able to use their full shots off the tee.

Like I said before...they were "bombing" them 270 when I started playing the game in the early 80s and it never occurred to me that they weren't hitting it far enough to be enjoyable to watch (or play, for that matter).

I still haven't seen enough evidence that the ball NEEDS to be crippled.  The only argument that I've made is that IF it becomes a problem someday, the easiest, most cost effective solution is to change the equipment (ball/clubs) to fit the courses.  No other sport would do it the other way around.  They're not going to allow a baseball/bat combination that goes 50% farther and then have to rebuild all the stadiums.  To think that they should let manufacturers make what they want and then force the course managers to redesign their courses every time they become obsolete isn't really smart business.  That's why the USGA has standards in the first place.

What makes very little sense to me is to have standards in a few areas but to completely ignore other advancements (kinesiology or shaft design, for instance) that make just as much of an impact on distance.

At some point you have to ask WHY is the USGA even testing golf balls and equipment to make sure they conform.  I mean, I thought it was to prevent them from going "too far" (among other things).  But clearly over the past few decades, the balls are going way farther off the tee than they used to (even for the average golfers, as many of you in this forum have said).  So explain the purpose of the  testing again?  Did I miss something here?  I thought they were doing the testing to make sure that golf courses didn't have to change their designs in order to accommodate advanced equipment.  But then they allowed equipment to evolve that allowed golfers to swing faster, thereby doing EXACTLY the same thing that would have happened if they allowed balls to go farther in the first place.

Somebody either forgot why they were testing equipment in the first place, or they just so closed-minded that they thought changes to the BALL design was about the only thing they'd have to worry about when it came to restricting driving distance.

According to their OFFICIAL position:

"The R&A; and the USGA believe, however, that any further significant increases in hitting distances at the highest level are undesirable. 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. The consequential lengthening or toughening of courses would be costly or impossible and would have a negative effect on increasingly important environmental and ecological issues. Pace of play would be slowed and playing costs would increase."

(http://www.usga.org/equipment/overview/Joint-Statement-of-Principles/)

So why the hell did you let it get this far to begin with?  You did the same crap with the long putters...waited until "everyone" started buying a belly/broomstick and then decided it wasn't a legal stroke.  You SHOULD have addressed it the first time you saw it show up on the Tour.

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I know this site has some very good golfers (myself excluded) and everyone on the internet can hit a drive 400 yards uphill against the wind but when I'm at the course playing in tournaments I don't see many guys that can hit their drives more than 250 yards.

I don't see the need for a 20% rollback of balls or clubs when only a small minority of non-pro's can hit their drives much further than the golfers from 30 years ago and even the pro's are only driving the ball about 12% further than they did in the 80's.   If the pro's want to play shorter courses maybe they can have a special ball that gets used just on those courses.  Any sort of across the board rollback is only going to make the game tougher for the majority of people that play golf.

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I know this site has some very good golfers (myself excluded) and everyone on the internet can hit a drive 400 yards uphill against the wind but when I'm at the course playing in tournaments I don't see many guys that can hit their drives more than 250 yards.  I don't see the need for a 20% rollback of balls or clubs when only a small minority of non-pro's can hit their drives much further than the golfers from 30 years ago and even the pro's are only driving the ball about 12% further than they did in the 80's.   If the pro's want to play shorter courses maybe they can have a special ball that gets used just on those courses.  Any sort of across the board rollback is only going to make the game tougher for the majority of people that play golf.

Agree completely. I drive like 220-230, most of the time even good people aren't that far ahead of me. I appreciate the Golfers on this site are fanatics, that's why we are on the site talking golf, but most people don't break 100 (95% I've heard) and most people don't need balls rolled back, they need to be teed forward!

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  • 1 month later...

http://blogs.golf.com/presstent/2013/07/pace-of-play-problems-the-golden-bear-blames-the-modern-ball.html?sct=hp1


I get his point, but its a lot of things. Amateurs thinking they are professional players so they back off the tee when the slightest wind pops up. Pro golfers being way to anal about the yardage, thanks tiger. Though the new young golfers are faster players, like Rory and Dustin Johnson. So, there is some hope here. I have to agree though, the curve for distance has been skewed to the right a bit. Meaning, there are a lot more golfers at the top end, use to be John Daly and Tiger woods topping out at 300+ yards. Now there are about 10 players who get there. Average hasn't jumped to high, but i think overall yardage has increase. Though its 30 yards over the past 20 years. But its been leveled off lately. Not much since middle 2000's.

So if we look at that in terms of golf courses, 30 yards, about 2.5 clublengths closer. So lets say you move each hole back 30 yards, your looking at 540 yards extra to the course. So yea, 6800 yard course jumps to 7340 yards.

Though i think architects are to blame though, i think they could have gotten a bit more innovative instead of say, 'Lets add 540 yards". They could make risk reward a bigger deal.

As for rolling back the golf ball, it would be tough to do. A lot of courses would become super tough then. Alot of courses would need to add in a few extra tee boxes to shorten the course down. So there is some upfront cost there. But i agree, shorter courses would help the game a ton in playability, cost, pace of play, enjoyability. If everyone takes a hit of lets say 20 yards on the drive.

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