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Should the PGA Tour throttle back technology or lengthen courses?


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  1. 1. Should the PGA Tour throttle back technology or lengthen courses?

    • Dial Back Technology
      9
    • Lengthen Courses
      4
    • Neither
      32


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Quote:

Originally Posted by jgreen85

I'm not seeing the issue.

Apparently not many here want to see the bigger picture. A par score, or the number of strokes taken per round has never been the issue. The bigger issue, is the fact that many older classic courses have become obsolete. Golf Digest just published their newest 100 greatest American courses for 2015-16. If I'm not mistaken Cypress Point was number three. Too bad it's a short course and will never again challenge the greatest players in a tournament setting. I'd love to see how many other courses on that list are too short for tournament play. I bet the number is substantial. I'd also like to see how many have been lengthened in order to remain viable.

That leads to another critical factor in this discussion which is course maintenance. For golf courses to survive and prosper going forward water usage needs to be reduced. Chemical use also needs to reduced. Can you imagine how much money in water and chemicals would have been saved over the last 20 years if all the courses that added length had not had to do so?

I think the reluctance to a new ball is, more than anything, an ego thing. I can't for the life of me see any negatives if ball  flight was reduced by 10 or 15 percent. All I see are the positives.

I know your all tired of me repeating myself, but I think this is an important issue and one that most likely will not go away. I'll try to give it a rest for now.

cubdog

I suppose this boils down to the "progressive" versus "classic" argument, but I also think of the course changes that took place when feathery balls were replaced.

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There's no issue with the tour playing different courses though. One tournament a year (The Masters) is plenty for me where they pay the same course every year, and part of that is the mystique of Augusta National. Variety is the spice of life, and not all change is bad.
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Yeah I don't care if the tour outgrew a few classic courses. Those courses are still enjoyed by everyone else. We have some very long courses here and most are setup to not have higher than necessary maintenance costs due to length. Back tee boxes are just small areas of grass on the box and you hit over native areas. A 600 yard hole doesn't have to mean more grass. They don't water that stuff and it's lush in the summer just from the rain.

Dave :-)

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Seriously, there's no going back in terms of holding back distance with balls and drivers... Purely for the fact golf companies would suffer mightily trying to sell that kind of limited performance equipment to the rest of the world. There's a thing called sponsorship... -it's there to promote products to sell to us.. In their bags, on their shirts and hats etc.... The old courses are outdated because of pro length.. Not amateurs...we pay for the equipment.... Pros get it for free... So they need us...
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[QUOTE name="jgreen85" url="/t/79029/should-the-pga-tour-throttle-back-technology-or-lengthen-courses/72#post_1094552"]   I'm not seeing the issue.   [/QUOTE] Apparently not many here want to see the bigger picture. A par score, or the number of strokes taken per round has never been the issue. The bigger issue, is the fact that many older classic courses have become obsolete. Golf Digest just published their newest 100 greatest American courses for 2015-16. If I'm not mistaken Cypress Point was number three. Too bad it's a short course and will never again challenge the greatest players in a tournament setting. I'd love to see how many other courses on that list are too short for tournament play. I bet the number is substantial. I'd also like to see how many have been lengthened in order to remain viable.  That leads to another critical factor in this discussion which is course maintenance. For golf courses to survive and prosper going forward water usage needs to be reduced. Chemical use also needs to reduced. Can you imagine how much money in water and chemicals would have been saved over the last 20 years if all the courses that added length had not had to do so? I think the reluctance to a new ball is, more than anything, an ego thing. I can't for the life of me see any negatives if ball  flight was reduced by 10 or 15 percent. All I see are the positives. I know your all tired of me repeating myself, but I think this is an important issue and one that most likely will not go away. I'll try to give it a rest for now.;-) cubdog

There is no way I can accept that arguement. I dont care if they shoot 48, because I know 18 is the lowest number possible. This is not a viable arguement in my mind. Not viable? Why? There is so much cushion from 72 down to 18 par that some other unfooted thinking is prevalent to make someone say that. I would never be the first to accept a magazine opinion before a white paper however. If they are golfing gods they should be able to show it. I however, recieve no income from the support of the distribution channel so I have no problem being antagonistic about this point.

Tom R.

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There is no way I can accept that arguement. I dont care if they shoot 48, because I know 18 is the lowest number possible. This is not a viable arguement in my mind. Not viable? Why? There is so much cushion from 72 down to 18 par that some other unfooted thinking is prevalent to make someone say that. I would never be the first to accept a magazine opinion before a white paper however.

If they are golfing gods they should be able to show it. I however, recieve no income from the support of the distribution channel so I have no problem being antagonistic about this point.


Sorry, but I have no idea what you are trying to say.

cubdog

Ross (aka cubdog)

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Actually, Iron Byron has been retired.  They use a more scientific testing method now, the Illinois Tool Works impact reaction tester.

This could miss aerodynamic and spin optimization / tweaking, though USGA standards group may have determined that the potential extra distance from this is minimal. It does seem that with current limits in place average distances may plateau, but in my view some damage has already been done that could be beneficially mitigated.

I think a factor in the ball technology improvements is spin reduction (along with club tweaks) which allows all level of golfers to swing harder (and miss sweet spot a bit more) with less worry of really sending one far offline. I'm not a Luddite, but I do think lengthened courses have affected accessibility of the game. The reduction in spin tendency also makes it harder to 'trick up' shorter courses to 'tournament level since the accuracy edge applies through the whole bag, though more significant for driver & woods.

No I want the rules on golf balls changed, across the board.  Same throttled back ball for everyone.

Somehow I am confident that the marketing flacks will figure out other ways of marketing their products.  I don't think marketing considerations should affect doing what is best for the game.

I'll also mention that I disagree with those (not you) who suggest using a throttled back ball for a couple of events.  Players are not going to want to play intermittently with strange equipment. We are not talking the difference between a ProV1 and a ProV1x we are talking about balls with completely different characteristics.  I doubt they would want to risk messing up their feel for a couple of tournaments a year.

I think a few 'special events' could help test the waters for any possible transition. As another poster noted, there used to be a difference between USGA and R&A; standards, yet European players came over and competed successfully and vice-versa.

I've read a lot of responses indicating to dumb down the ball. Why?

Seems like longer and more athletic courses would attract more young athletic types into the game?

I agree that the Pro game will spill into amateur golf as well, because it is a big marketing factor to say you have a course of 'championship caliber'.

For me anyway, ever longer courses seem to contribute to two things that make golf less accessible / enjoyable. First is cost. Longer courses will definitely cost more - especially in more urbanized areas - and because of the higher maintenance costs have higher fees and/or lower profitability. I think that longer courses also contribute to longer rounds, but that's personal speculation. Not sure what actual studies say on it. To me the cost factor is enough by itself - effects permeate into all corners of the game like people not playing due to cost and making classic tracks obsolete without tricks, which is a loss in terms of history of the game.

If the ball was rolled back for everyone, then the athletic types would still have a potential advantage to hit it further than the average player, and I think they might finish their rounds quicker too. Accessibility in time and money I expect keeps more potential players away than the challenge of walking or speed golfing a long course.

The longer courses that have been created to accommodate longer distances wouldn't be wasting space. They could play super-long from the tips or move everyone up by adding more lower-handicap friendly tee boxes. 'Extraneous' acreage could be reapportioned to expanded practice facilities, club amenities, or expanded land conservation / natural areas.

Kevin

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[QUOTE name="trickyputt" url="/t/79029/should-the-pga-tour-throttle-back-technology-or-lengthen-courses/90#post_1094653"] There is no way I can accept that arguement. I dont care if they shoot 48, because I know 18 is the lowest number possible. This is not a viable arguement in my mind. Not viable? Why? There is so much cushion from 72 down to 18 par that some other unfooted thinking is prevalent to make someone say that. I would never be the first to accept a magazine opinion before a white paper however. If they are golfing gods they should be able to show it. I however, recieve no income from the support of the distribution channel so I have no problem being antagonistic about this point.[/QUOTE] Sorry, but I have no idea what you are trying to say. cubdog

Why are the courses not viable? Because the pros of today are better at playing the old courses and get a lower score? This may come down to whether a pro should be challenged. Its not something I care about, them being impinged by design I mean, I want them to tear up the regular courses on the score card. They have all their competitors to pursue their 54 score or whatever, so why should we effort anything extra like a bigger course with the expense? If I had a concern, it would be along the lines of a tie that could not be broken with a playoff, because the holes chosen for playoff were too easy and it ended in tie after tie after tie.

Tom R.

TM R1 on a USTv2, TM 3wHL on USTv2, TM Rescue 11 in 17,TM udi #3, Rocketbladez tour kbs reg, Mack Daddy 50.10,54.14,60.14, Cleveland putter

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Why are the courses not viable? Because the pros of today are better at playing the old courses and get a lower score?

This may come down to whether a pro should be challenged. Its not something I care about, them being impinged by design I mean, I want them to tear up the regular courses on the score card. They have all their competitors to pursue their 54 score or whatever, so why should we effort anything extra like a bigger course with the expense?

If I had a concern, it would be along the lines of a tie that could not be broken with a playoff, because the holes chosen for playoff were too easy and it ended in tie after tie after tie.

But a technology-aided low score is less meaningful in comparison to the legends of the past. That's one reason (perhaps not significant to you or many others) why some of the classic tracks being relevant can matter. I think that's one reason the USGA makes the U.S. Open setup very tough.

Ultimately it's the 'story' relative to records of past achievement (relative to personal bests, the field, and past legends) that makes pro golf compelling. I think it if was just about ripping a course record apart we could do away with technology limits entirely and have rocket-assisted balls on 4,000 yard tracks. Would that increase or diminish viewership and interest in the game... in the long term ?

As far as past technology changes I think they happened a bit more slowly than recent times. The transition from featherie to guttie lowered the cost of the ball significantly and made the game more accessible and popular. Don't know the effect on average distances, though I expect they increased. It would be interesting to know the relative (percentage increase) in average distances from the introduction of steel shafts and the wound rubber ball relative to the prior technologies. My expectation is that the percentage increase was less than what has occurred in the past 20-30 years, but they could be comparable.

Kevin

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[VIDEO]http://youtu.be/amOH2B9FkzQ[/VIDEO]

Excellent choice! I think those older courses do have a problem, but its more about sorting out the winner, which can be tough. Perhaps if they adjust 4 holes longer for a potential playoff that would suffice. I dont know, and while I would preserve the older courses, I most certainly could not speak for the professional mindset, just my over-geeked amateur interests.

Tom R.

TM R1 on a USTv2, TM 3wHL on USTv2, TM Rescue 11 in 17,TM udi #3, Rocketbladez tour kbs reg, Mack Daddy 50.10,54.14,60.14, Cleveland putter

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I cannot find it now but I remember being shocked when I read somewhere how long The Country Club played for the Ouimet-Vardon-Ray playoff in 1913.  As I said, I do not remember the yardage but I remember being shocked.  It may have even been under 6000 yards, but I do not assert that.  But then again, they were using wooden shafts and gutta percha balls.  Which is why the scores weren't that different than the guys today playing courses 1000+ yards longer with space age equipment.

6245 yards

http://www.thegolfballfactory.com/Hall-of-Champions/Francis%20Ouimet%27s%201913-United-States-Open-Playoff-Scorecard.htm

And I voted for no changes.

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Christian

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Quote:

Originally Posted by golfbarefoot

Excellent choice!

I think those older courses do have a problem, but its more about sorting out the winner, which can be tough. Perhaps if they adjust 4 holes longer for a potential playoff that would suffice. I dont know, and while I would preserve the older courses, I most certainly could not speak for the professional mindset, just my over-geeked amateur interests.

"Why do I want to hit the ball 100 yards? I might lose it. I want to hear the clink of solid wood, now that's golf" :-D

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I'm not seeing the issue. The problem is the PGA Tour can't go to some of the "classic" courses? I don't care. More weeks of the year I can play them. In case you missed the commercials "[Those] guys are good."

Well I do.One of the great golf moments of recent years is when the Golf Channel played an old match between Byron Nelson and Gee Littler at Pine Valley, an iconic American course that is hardly ever seen by us unwashed masses.  I'd like to see Cypress, and Spyglass, and Merion, and other classic courses on which much of golf's history was written being played by today's finest golfers in some semblance of how they were played while that history was unfolding.  One of the things that is so attractive about golf for a lot of people is its connection with the past.

But then again, what the hell do I know?

Rich - in name only

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Well I do.One of the great golf moments of recent years is when the Golf Channel played an old match between Byron Nelson and Gee Littler at Pine Valley, an iconic American course that is hardly ever seen by us unwashed masses.  I'd like to see Cypress, and Spyglass, and Merion, and other classic courses on which much of golf's history was written being played by today's finest golfers in some semblance of how they were played while that history was unfolding.  One of the things that is so attractive about golf for a lot of people is its connection with the past.


I couldn't agree more!

cubdog

Ross (aka cubdog)

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I can't remember where I saw it, but somebody had Rory hit a persimmon driver after hitting his own, just for comparison, and I think he hit it about 270 yards in the simulator. I think he even used an old wound balata ball. So, If I'm not mistaken, that's about average distance off the tee for that era (Jack, Trevino, Miller), is it not?

Maybe they should just have five tournaments a year on those old courses, where they can only play wooden woods and blades. I bet Davis Love III would kick ass.

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Well I do.One of the great golf moments of recent years is when the Golf Channel played an old match between Byron Nelson and Gee Littler at Pine Valley, an iconic American course that is hardly ever seen by us unwashed masses.  I'd like to see Cypress, and Spyglass, and Merion, and other classic courses on which much of golf's history was written being played by today's finest golfers in some semblance of how they were played while that history was unfolding.  One of the things that is so attractive about golf for a lot of people is its connection with the past.


I don't see the issue. Pine Valley was never used as a regular stop or anything of the sort.

So some old courses don't get used. Oh darn. Some great new courses DO get used. And we still go to Oakmont, Augusta National, and so on. Those courses aren't exactly new. Yes, they were fortunate to have a little extra land, but they're not new.

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