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USGA's Davis Floats Idea of Reduced Distance Balls


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http://www.golfdigest.com/story/usga-executive-director-says-variable-distance-ball-could-be-part-of-golfs-future

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“We don’t foresee any need to do a mandatory rollback of distance. We just don’t see it. But that’s different than saying if somebody comes to us and says I want an experience that doesn’t take as long or use as much land, can we allow for equipment to do that?”

Then…

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Would one of those options include bringing the best players in the world to a course like Myopia Hunt Club for a U.S. Open in the future with a reduced-distance ball?

“We haven’t talked about that,” Davis told GolfDigest.com, “but if we were closed-minded to that, shame on us.”

Now, I don't see that happening, either. Why would the players voluntarily accept a limited distance golf ball, and how would that even work - the USGA has a list of approved golf balls.

Also… reduced distance balls will not affect everyone equally. Some players will lose more distance relative to others given different launch conditions, some will have a harder time with the change in spin, etc.

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7500 or more! That's why it was surprising a few years ago when they brought the Open back to Merion after an absence of more than 30 years. I had read in several golf publications that Merion was a f

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27 minutes ago, iacas said:

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/usga-executive-director-says-variable-distance-ball-could-be-part-of-golfs-future

First…

Then…

Now, I don't see that happening, either. Why would the players voluntarily accept a limited distance golf ball, and how would that even work - the USGA has a list of approved golf balls.

Also… reduced distance balls will not affect everyone equally. Some players will lose more distance relative to others given different launch conditions, some will have a harder time with the change in spin, etc.

But then again, Miopia Hunt Club is 22 miles from my house!

Still a bad idea IMO.

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I believe the USGA has established reasonable rules on equipment to keep distance in check.  Most pro golfers are stronger and in better shape than the pros of 30 years ago and can drive the ball a ton - not that the 460cc driver and modern ball do not help.  I think the pros are just about maxed out with distance and they work hard to get the yardage that they do.  Irons are less lofted than a generation ago so there is no reason to be in shock when DJ hits a 7 iron 180.  They all play the same course and if a few are obsoleted from PGA Tour play they are still great courses for 99.5% of us.  I hope  it never happens.

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I want an experience that doesn’t take as long or use as much land, can we allow for equipment to do that?”

     A goodly amount of golfers would get that experience if they moved up to the appropriate tees. Pros? Let em go let it fly

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Didn't the USGA recently release the results of a study that said the distance gain from the ball was rather small? Guess Mike Davis didn't bother reading it.

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2 hours ago, caniac6 said:

Didn't the USGA recently release the results of a study that said the distance gain from the ball was rather small? Guess Mike Davis didn't bother reading it.

I'm sure he's aware of it and read it.

I'm also sure he was talking about how it may work to play golf courses that can't stretch to 7500 yards.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

I'm sure he's aware of it and read it.

I'm also sure he was talking about how it may work to play golf courses that can't stretch to 7500 yards.

Agree.  Which is kind of silly, really.  Now instead of watching DJ hit driver/wedge into a 490 yd par-4, we reduce the flight of the ball and let him hit the same driver/wedge into a 420 yd par-4.  Yep, that's gonna change the game a lot!  ;-)

 

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

I'm sure he's aware of it and read it.

I'm also sure he was talking about how it may work to play golf courses that can't stretch to 7500 yards.

7500 or more! That's why it was surprising a few years ago when they brought the Open back to Merion after an absence of more than 30 years. I had read in several golf publications that Merion was a fine, old course that just couldn't handle the length of modern players.

It's a tough call. Nicklaus has advocated slowing the ball down for years, and I believe Palmer did as well. But fans love the big hitters and always have.

And the Myopia Hunt Club? Gotta love that name! Brings to mind a bunch of Mr. Magoos toting guns around. Thoroughly dangerous!

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If they desperately want to hold the US Open on a(n) historic course that is simply too short, I'd much rather they make it a par-68 or something than try to limit the ball.

29 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

And the Myopia Hunt Club? Gotta love that name! Brings to mind a bunch of Mr. Magoos toting guns around. Thoroughly dangerous!

HAHAHA - the "Myopic Hunting Club" is an SNL skit just waiting to happen.

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8 hours ago, iacas said:

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/usga-executive-director-says-variable-distance-ball-could-be-part-of-golfs-future

First…

Then…

Now, I don't see that happening, either. Why would the players voluntarily accept a limited distance golf ball, and how would that even work - the USGA has a list of approved golf balls.

Also… reduced distance balls will not affect everyone equally. Some players will lose more distance relative to others given different launch conditions, some will have a harder time with the change in spin, etc.

Completely agree with you. I just can't imagine playing a reduced distance ball would boost the entertainment factor. Let them bomb it. As I've said before, golf will always win. Let them play.

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I think it's an idea worth discussing. Land is expensive and will only get more expensive, and possibly more important, watering that land is also expensive and will only get more expensive. It would also be nice to bring back historic courses like Cherry Hills in the US Open or PGA Championship rota that are just too short to play a major at now.

That said, you can have my ProV1 when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers!

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11 hours ago, iacas said:

I'm sure he's aware of it and read it.

I'm also sure he was talking about how it may work to play golf courses that can't stretch to 7500 yards.

I always enjoy watching Hilton Head, and even though the course in Mexico was long, it played a lot shorter. I think the fitness, size, and athletic ability of the golfers has a lot to do with the increase in distance. Back in the day, there were a few guys that could really pound it, now even the shorter hitters are fairly long.

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