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The Golf Ball "Problem": PGA Tour Players Hitting it Far is a Problem for All of Golf?

The Golf Ball "Problem"  

110 members have voted

  1. 1. Does the distance modern PGA Tour pros hit the ball pose a problem to golf as a whole?

    • Yes
      29
    • No
      81
  2. 2. What is the main source of the "problem" above?

    • The golf ball goes too far, primarily.
      21
    • Several factors all contribute heavily.
      11
    • I voted "No" above, and I don't think there's really a "problem" right now.
      78


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1 hour ago, Jack Watson said:

@Vinsk

I am sorry you shank.  I am and I offered a suggestion to help not sure if you tried it.  I only ask that if you disagree with me please present supporting evidence.  

Snedeker agrees with @joro and I.  You have yet to make a counter argument.  

I don't think you have one.  

Not sure what my shanks have to do with this. Pretty childish of you really. But anyway, I believe @billchao did just fine. And you didn’t address the idea that the older guys would think Hogan/Snead era gear was garbage? You’re playing the classic “when I was young I walked to school uphill both ways in the snow” cliche. Every sport evolves as well as its athletes. You’ve thrown the towel in on becoming your best by simply convincing yourself Golf is too easy too put any work in it.  And yes, my shanks are under better control than ever. I just make sure my pre-frontal Cortex is communicating with my medulla oblongata all while ensuring the corpus collosum isn’t allowing too much interference. 

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@Vinsk 

You have not shown a shred of evidence to support your view as I did.  Snedeker agrees with me and he shot 80 with vintage gear. 

Where is your evidence?  I offered mine.

Platitudes do not qualify as arguments.

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@Jack Watson, I think you know as well as I that the USA Today article is garbage in terms of saying pros want to play full tournaments with hickory. In fact, one of the first quotes in the video was, "Wouldn't want to play them from the tees we play nowadays". The the most praise they got was that the person "enjoyed the hit" or that it felt soft, but the soft wasn't necessarily good considering one of the pros likened it to "a bar of soap".

7 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

The new stuff makes golf easier.

In other words, the old equipment is garbage (crap) by comparison. It's the same as if you compared a Ford Pinto to a modern Ford Focus: the Pinto is crap by comparison (though there are a few who have a nostalgic infatuation with the older one).

 

7 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

My point is that tour players have some pride.  They would want to win regardless.  I'd bet many on tour couldn't break 76 with vintage gear because their ballstriking is not good enough to use it.  Snedeker tried it and look what happened.  They should have enough pride to actually want to do this.  Let's see who can REALLY hit it.

My point is that what you think, "They should have enough pride to actually want to do this," has absolutely no bearing on reality. The pros have nothing to gain from playing this event, besides maybe to blow off some steam as a joke. It certainly wouldn't count towards the FedEx cup and they'd have to devote extra time to practice with equipment that, quite frankly, no longer is relevant or matters anywhere outside of a history museum. 

I'd be willing to bet $100 that a survey of all pros on tour would show more against such an event than in favor of it. I understand that you very much want to see the event happen, but you should also be able to understand the reasons why such an event would never happen and why a majority of the golfers would be against it.

 

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7 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

@Vinsk 

You have not shown a shred of evidence to support your view as I did.  Snedeker agrees with me and he shot 80 with vintage gear. 

Where is your evidence?  I offered mine.

Platitudes do not qualify as arguments.

One tour player agreeing with you out of hundreds doesnt really make for strong evidence. 

Interesting how you felt the need to start an additional forum post/poll just to prove your point, even though the majority of the people so far 9 out of 16 votes have said they either dont want to see it, or dont care. Keep in mind that is on a forum for dedicated golfers. If more than half of dedicated golfers in a forum wouldnt want to see it, surely the general public would have very little interest in it, which is the reason that tournaments even exist, because there is enough public interest for the course/PGA to make money on each event. 

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14 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

@Vinsk 

You have not shown a shred of evidence to support your view as I did.  Snedeker agrees with me and he shot 80 with vintage gear. 

Where is your evidence?  I offered mine.

Platitudes do not qualify as arguments.

I think you’ve lost it. What evidence are you thinking exists? You’re stating one of your many nonsensical opinions. Tour players prefer old gear? New stuff is crap? It has made golf easy? Honesty, you sound pretty silly. I’m done with your trolling.

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@Vinsk

Find a mod PGA guy who says the olden times players were not as good as they are now.  Present evidence...

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/how-would-modern-tour-pros-do-hitting-ben-hogans-old-clubs-we-had-them-try-and-it-wasnt-pretty

I challenge anyone to present evidence that modern tour players think that they are better than their predecessors...

This is a simple fact.  The old times players had to strike with greater precision.

Edited by Jack Watson

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This is all getting a little OT so I may move it, but...

28 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

This is your evidence? Guys can't hit Ben Hogan's clubs which are well known to be something like 7° flat or something ridiculous like that? Wooden clubs are heavier, too, aren't they? So they gave a bunch of players a club that's shorter, heavier, and flatter than anything they're used to hitting. No duh they can't hit it properly.

Why don't you try building some wooden clubs that suit their swing better and then see how they do?

28 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

Find a mod PGA guy who says the olden times players were not as good as they are now. 

I challenge anyone to present evidence that modern tour players think that they are better than their predecessors...

Of course you're not going to find that. Nobody with any respect for their peers and predecessors or the tradition of the game will come out and say these things, at least publicly. This proves nothing about your position.

31 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

This is a simple fact.  The old times players had to strike with greater precision.

I even acknowledged this in my post earlier, which you didn't respond to.

Yes, today's pros can get away with mis-hits more because of modern equipment. That doesn't mean they aren't capable of this mythical greater precision you seem to only attribute to past PGA Tour players. It's just that their equipment is more forgiving so they swing for the fences more. If they had to dial it back and swing solely with the purpose of hitting the sweetspot every single time, they'll figure out how to do it.

Golf skill didn't magically disappear through the generations. The best players of previous generations swung hard with a lot of precision. The best players today do, too.

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1 hour ago, Jack Watson said:

I challenge anyone to present evidence that modern tour players think that they are better than their predecessors...

Jack Nicklaus has said so.

Said the modern top 30 or do would have been superstars in his era. Said the players are all better nowadays.

Jack competed against Club pros for crying out loud.

Paging @Phil McGleno?

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Jack Nicklaus has said so.

Said the modern top 30 or do would have been superstars in his era. Said the players are all better nowadays.

Jack competed against Club pros for crying out loud.

Paging @Phil McGleno?

That's not a correct paraphrasing of what he said in my way.  He said the players at the top today would equal the superstars.  Not top thirty.  He also said this:

even more unfortunate to my mind than the impact of equipment advances on our finest courses is their contribution to the homogenizing of the players. Simply put, the more forgiving the tools, the tougher it becomes for the best to rise above the rest. Much as Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo, for example, stood out from the crowd in their peak years, I believe their talent and dedication would have separated them even more had all the players still competed with the equipment of my early professional years.

Facts are facts.  Less forgiving equipment took more skill.  No one can argue that.

he owned his swing and almost no one thinks that's even possible now and that's sad.  

Edited by Jack Watson

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8 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

That's not a correct paraphrasing of what he said in my way.

I disagree. He's said players today are higher skilled. They are. He's said the top players would have been superstars in his day. "Top players" is a larger number than the number of "superstars" in his day. He played against club pros. The modern player is more skilled.

8 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

Facts are facts.  Less forgiving equipment took more skill.  No one can argue that.

That doesn't mean - not one little bit - that the players WERE more skilled. Too many other things changed, too, for you to say anything.

I think history would side against you. Players in EVERY sport have gotten better. Golf is no different. Players today are more skilled than players in the past.

The facts are against you there.

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

I think history would side against you. Players in EVERY sport have gotten better. Golf is no different. Players today are more skilled than players in the past.

Jack said, "I used to be called Big Jack. I'm really huge now, about 5'8". But now the guys are all 6'3", 6'4", 6'5", big long arms, and can hit it nine miles and they just take it right over the top of the trees."

Jack even admits this by understanding that breed of golfer today is significantly different than the golfers in the past. Just look at the golfers who treat themselves as athletes. Jack didn't do that. Arnie didn't train like a athlete of the time. Maybe the only golfer we have record of is Gary Player.

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Ok,  so back on topic,  I think the distance thing is very bad for the pro game but great for everyone else.  

I relate the pro situation to baseball.  What if pro baseball allowed graphite and titanium bats and a new ball that goes farther?  They would have to rebuild stadiums.  Baseball has retained its essence very well over time.  Golf has not.  Baseball wouldn't be right if they had to move the green monster to 400 feet because of technology.

Essentially this is exactly what has happened in golf.  The new ball and clubs have required changes to the playing field.

Look at basketball,  they have not raised the rim or made the court bigger.

In auto racing they have different classes to provide equal competition.  Even formula one is limited in what they can do.

I am not advocating hickory but steel and persimmon because that's golfs golden age and I am not advocating changing the world here,  just a retro even 9 holes on a Wednesday to begin with to create more buzz by doing something very different.  I am a golf fan but I don't watch except all the majors.   Normal tourneys are a snooze fest.  I would definitely watch and even buy a ticket and attend a retro day though if it was within a few hour drive.  I think the clothing thing is a fantastic idea too.  Make it for a purse but it doesn't have to be huge.  Players bragging rights in the locker room account for something and I am sure you could get some names out there and I am sure the players would like it.  No one has given a single example of a pro against this and I have given several where the PGA guys are clearly getting a kick out of using clubs that the olden times golfers used.  

My basis for my opinion is that for me in its essence golf is a game of self discipline.  Sure,  it's fun to go out and try to hit as far as one can but imo that's not playing golf.   It's fun to be swing improvement guy on a mission with mechanics too but that's different from being a playah imo.   Playing golf to me is about fitting ones skills to the course and discretion is often the better part of valor.  Brad Gilbert's title in tennis winning ugly is to me relevant to how I view playing on course.  To me playing my best is about approaching my limits without getting the big ego and trying to go beyond a certain point.  I just think gear that's less forgiving exemplifies why I personally play.  

I went maybe three years playing vintage gear and had a blast.  I still take my old woods out every now and again...It's funny to see people react to that.  Sometimes I dawn patrol it on foot(rarely) but when I do I have a small flask and 2 good cigars and persimmons and that's a neat experience.  Lol I suck early in the morning generally so it's like the ultimate test for me.  A birdie gets a swig of some whiskey and often I finish with a full flask haha.

Yes,  modern clubs are a godsend as is a modern ball,  just don't think that it's all there is in the game.  I think mod golf is more sport and real golf is a gentlemans game.

 

 

Edited by Jack Watson

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2 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

Baseball has retained its essence very well over time.  Golf has not.

I disagree.

2 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

The new ball and clubs have required changes to the playing field.

Lot more to it than those two things.

Every sport has faster athletes. Golf is no different.

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14 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

Look at basketball,  they have not raised the rim or made the court bigger.

They have moved the 3-point line back.

14 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

What if pro baseball allowed graphite and titanium bats and a new ball that goes farther?  They would have to rebuild stadiums.  Baseball has retained its essence very well over time.

Baseball has allowed the ball to be juiced to increase home-run rates.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/in-mlbs-new-home-run-era-its-the-baseballs-that-are-juicing/

Spoiler

In total, the changes in ball drag explain about 25 percent of the variation in the ratio of home runs to fly balls over the last four years.2

The correlation was r=-0.52, p=.006.

Wind and weather can also influence drag, and although I controlled for those when I calculated the league-wide numbers, I also double-checked my analysis by looking only at Tampa Bay’s stadium, which is indoors and air conditioned. In the Rays’ home park, I found an even stronger correlation between home run rates and the ball’s drag coefficient.

No one was complaining about all the HR's in baseball until they found out that the players were taking steroids. They found it exciting, and baseball was at its peak popularity.

https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2014/2/10/5390172/major-league-attendance-trends-1950-2013

There has been a down turn since the implementation of more PED restrictions.

The primary issue is, if PGA Tour players think that playing with those clubs the day before the tournament starts will screw up their game, then there is no way this gets implemented.

 

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16 hours ago, Jack Watson said:

because that's golfs golden age and I am not

frankly, I think today is golf's golden age

in 20 years, I'll likely think that the 2030's are golf's golden age

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2 hours ago, saevel25 said:

They have moved the 3-point line back.

Baseball has allowed the ball to be juiced to increase home-run rates.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/in-mlbs-new-home-run-era-its-the-baseballs-that-are-juicing/

  Reveal hidden contents

In total, the changes in ball drag explain about 25 percent of the variation in the ratio of home runs to fly balls over the last four years.2

The correlation was r=-0.52, p=.006.

Wind and weather can also influence drag, and although I controlled for those when I calculated the league-wide numbers, I also double-checked my analysis by looking only at Tampa Bay’s stadium, which is indoors and air conditioned. In the Rays’ home park, I found an even stronger correlation between home run rates and the ball’s drag coefficient.

No one was complaining about all the HR's in baseball until they found out that the players were taking steroids. They found it exciting, and baseball was at its peak popularity.

https://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2014/2/10/5390172/major-league-attendance-trends-1950-2013

There has been a down turn since the implementation of more PED restrictions.

The primary issue is, if PGA Tour players think that playing with those clubs the day before the tournament starts will screw up their game, then there is no way this gets implemented.

Very nice retort to an equally nice post from @Jack Watson. It's funny that you mentioned "Juicing" players and balls. I remember those days when baseball players were slamming the bat into the balls and making that huge crack every time a home run was hit. One of my high school buddies and coincidentally captain of the football, baseball and basketball teams told me these guys were juiced up with steroids like Arnold. As I got a signature from Nolan Ryan, I asked quietly if he also thought. . .? And he immediately said "No".

It seems like baseball is more exciting with players on steroids and football was also more popular in the days when a 6'3" athlete could take down a bunch of giants when they went into a steroid rage. I remember stories of Lyle Alzado ripping off someone's car door for flipping him off on the road. It made for interesting stories and feats of strength that otherwise wouldn't have been possible.

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On 10/17/2017 at 8:10 PM, Jack Watson said:

I challenge anyone to present evidence that modern tour players think that they are better than their predecessors...

LOL. Sorry, I just read that again and enjoyed how silly that is.  Really? Come on Jack.

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