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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"  

111 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
      82
  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.
      79


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38 minutes ago, MarvChamp said:

Interesting stuff. I suppose improved technology of the testing might have had something to do with the ODS increase in 2011?

They didn't increase the ODS. They increased the ball speed and adjusted the distance to reflect that modern players swing faster.

Balls didn't suddenly get longer in 2011.

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42 minutes ago, billchao said:

Is that really his argument? If the course is too long for a player, they should be playing a shorter set of tees. Nicklaus should know this as a course designer.

More of a concern than an argument.

This was said in an interview in a copy of Todays Golfer Magazine (may still have it if the wife hasnt thrown it yet!).

His comments were aimed more at the pro's. His beleif is that with pro's hitting it longer the options are, as he sees it, to lengthen courses at quite an expense or to limit the golf ball.

The knock on effect of lengthening courses is that tee boxes would have to be changed to allow the regular golfers to still play the course, again adding extra cost.

He was all for Bi-furcation at the time in regards to balls and such, seemed to stir up quite the hornets nest as i remember it.

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17 minutes ago, iacas said:

Balls didn't suddenly get longer in 2011.

Right, I understand that...I saw the increase in ball speed in the technical stuff, but not being technical, it went by me. Anyway, I'm so far off-topic, I might as well be on the moon.

Bottom line is I don't see a problem for all of golf when pros hit it so far; I actually like to see a little guy like Justin Thomas hit it way over 300.

But I fear USGA, in addressing a non-issue, may shoot slow-swinging hackers like me in the foot. Nevertheless, I'm thinking ball manufacturers/suppliers may have the last word...I doubt they will want to re-tool or produce 2 or 3 different balls for different occasions of use. I'm stepping down from my soapbox.  -Marv

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2 minutes ago, MarvChamp said:

But I fear USGA, in addressing a non-issue, may shoot slow-swinging hackers like me in the foot. Nevertheless, I'm thinking ball manufacturers/suppliers may have the last word...I doubt they will want to re-tool or produce 2 or 3 different balls for different occasions of use. I'm stepping down from my soapbox.  -Marv

The USGA isn't addressing anything yet.

And if they do they may bifurcate. I hope we don't see that, though.

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I voted no.

The pros are better than us and that's why they're pros. I like to see them hit farther than us. The argument that courses are not long enough is not that strong to me because scores will simply drop until they hit some physical limit in the equipment.

What I see in the future is that all the players will be hitting about the same length as the longest hitters now. It will be a requirement to hit that long. There won't be a significant difference to the layman, and the scores will differ by a few strokes separation from the top to the worst performing player. You won't see any stars who out drive everyone else in the field.

It'll be a game of strategy that the average player can't make a comparison to themselves. That's the way it should be.

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36 minutes ago, RussUK said:

His comments were aimed more at the pro's. His beleif is that with pro's hitting it longer the options are, as he sees it, to lengthen courses at quite an expense or to limit the golf ball.

The knock on effect of lengthening courses is that tee boxes would have to be changed to allow the regular golfers to still play the course, again adding extra cost.

It's been addressed, but lengthening the course basically means they have to figure out how to add a tee box farther away. It doesn't necessarily require altering the existing hole or other tee boxes. It's not even something that needs to be done on most courses since the pros don't play everywhere.

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Personally I think the tour fairways play too firm and fast. There's no way a ball should be bouncing and bounding 60 yards down a fairway.

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Just now, billchao said:

It's been addressed, but lengthening the course basically means they have to figure out how to add a tee box farther away. It doesn't necessarily require altering the existing hole or other tee boxes. It's not even something that needs to be done on most courses since the pros don't play everywhere.

Very true. Even if Bubba turned up at one of our local courses and drove one of the par 4's, no one is going to rush out and lenghthen the hole "just in case".

There always seems to be a lot of hooha when this sort of topic comes up especially in the golf mags.

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15 minutes ago, colin007 said:

Personally I think the tour fairways play too firm and fast. There's no way a ball should be bouncing and bounding 60 yards down a fairway.

Or off the fairway in may cases with fast fairways. :-D

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55 minutes ago, Lihu said:

What I see in the future is that all the players will be hitting about the same length as the longest hitters now. It will be a requirement to hit that long. There won't be a significant difference to the layman, and the scores will differ by a few strokes separation from the top to the worst performing player. You won't see any stars who out drive everyone else in the field.

I disagree. The history of golf is filled with both longer and shorter hitters and today's game is no different. I think I linked an article earlier showing that driving distance for the pros hasn't increased relative to each other.

There are too many facets to the game and many ways to score well. Distance is an advantage, yes, but being long does not guarantee lower scores.

1 hour ago, Lihu said:

It'll be a game of strategy that the average player can't make a comparison to themselves. That's the way it should be.

Even if every player on tour hit the ball the same distance, execution is still a major component. They're not always going to hit their lines and stuff.

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48 minutes ago, billchao said:

I disagree. The history of golf is filled with both longer and shorter hitters and today's game is no different. I think I linked an article earlier showing that driving distance for the pros hasn't increased relative to each other.

There are too many facets to the game and many ways to score well. Distance is an advantage, yes, but being long does not guarantee lower scores.

Even if every player on tour hit the ball the same distance, execution is still a major component. They're not always going to hit their lines and stuff.

The fact is, more young players are hitting the ball longer now than ever before. I'm attributing that to the fact that there are proportionately more athletic types are playing the game now than before. We also have a global playing field with the pool of players growing even more.

Yes, there will be a difference, but I'm guessing it will be something like 10 yards variation?

Golf is a game of distance, and I'm guessing that the depth of the field will continue to decrease in the future as well.

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"You may have missed one of my points, @Keith White… the "pro game" and the "constant need to stretch" courses is only a small, tiny percentage of "golf." And it's not even true on the PGA Tour, as courses like Oakmont, Pebble, etc. still hold up. This discusses whether golf, as a whole, has a problem, and I don't think it's even close to demonstrable that it's so. !

Fair point and I don't think golf as a whole has a problem, most of the courses in my area still have holes regarded as short or long for most club members and they are still a good enough challenge.  I would also say that some people who play now possibly wouldn't if they had to use the balls of 30 years ago and possibly would struggle to enjoy playing the game?

Oakmont and Pebble may still stand up, but many have had to change, and there are some that are no longer deemed suitable, Sunningdale in the UK springs to mind. Improvements in golfers themselves plays a part, with a more athletic approach and technological training advances, but the ball goes further and when it comes to watching the big boys on the TV, I wish it didn't.

 

 

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Are basketball players getting too tall? Should the rim be raised to accommodate? 

Are there too many home runs in baseball? The pitchers throw too hard?

So long as everyone is playing by the same rules, imo, it doesn't matter. Right? 

Everyone plays the same course and the Lowest Score Wins! 

 

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2 hours ago, Braivo said:

Are basketball players getting too tall? Should the rim be raised to accommodate? 

Are there too many home runs in baseball? The pitchers throw too hard?

So long as everyone is playing by the same rules, imo, it doesn't matter. Right? 

That brings up a good point. Home run hitters decided the size of the field early on in baseball. They hit their limits with wooden bats and horsehide balls. Pitchers pretty much max out with a 100mph fastball or injure themselves throwing faster.

I think the PGA is such that there will eventually be many who will average 300 yards, and that's not from the ball or equipment, but that's probably the maximum distance the best in the world will be able to drive the ball consistently.

Maybe even 320? IDK exactly, but it just seems like there will be a physical limit and I think that's where the game really begins to become exciting. However, I doubt it will ever be 350 or 400 yards on average. Even Sadlowski wasn't making those super long drives as in the LDA. . .

Quote

Sadlowski had the longest drives in the field on hole Nos. 1 (the 365-yarder) and 2 (a 350-yard drive on his hardest swing of the day). He also had a 368-yard drive on the par-5 11th. Only one player hit it farther – Tway, whose drive went 371 yards. For the day, Sadlowski averaged 297.5 yards off the tee on all drives – third highest average behind Jon Rahm (304.3 yards) and Jhonattan Vegas (298.8).

 

 

2 hours ago, Braivo said:

Everyone plays the same course and the Lowest Score Wins!

Good one! :-)

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On ‎8‎/‎31‎/‎2017 at 11:46 PM, Pretzel said:

Here's my question: Why do people care so much about how far pros hit the ball? Does it really make those writers feel so inferior that they think it's unacceptable and needs to be stopped?

To some, definitely. This is a spin on the current argument, but on another golf forum, a user who argued that the ball goes doesn't go far enough suggested that it's not fair that he can't play from the tips, because the tips are the most interesting tees to play from. And so the rules should be bifurcated, with pros using shorter equipment, and ams like the writer being able to use a longer ball so he can play from the same distance as the pros.

 

It was nothing more than selfish vanity. Sure, so you get 20 yards more and now you can play the tips... how does that help the guy who is playing the furthest up tees? He still can't play the tips. And the guy who can currently play the tips? Now the hazards that were in play for him from the tips are no longer in play (since he's hitting over them).

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1 hour ago, BaconNEggs said:

To some, definitely. This is a spin on the current argument, but on another golf forum, a user who argued that the ball goes doesn't go far enough suggested that it's not fair that he can't play from the tips, because the tips are the most interesting tees to play from. And so the rules should be bifurcated, with pros using shorter equipment, and ams like the writer being able to use a longer ball so he can play from the same distance as the pros.

Somehow, his idea of "interesting" is questionable to me. Most of the time I see "the tips" you're fighting your way through a forest of weeds and hitting out of a grove of young saplings. They generally only prune them for tournaments.

Why would we want the pros to used reduced performance equipment while we get to use 0.9COR or whatever is possible? That's like saying cars are moving too fast on the track in Indy and the pros should be driving stock Chevy Impalas? Oh wooow, that sounds so exciting. . . :-P Yeah, his logic is just not marketable. . .

 

Quote

It was nothing more than selfish vanity. Sure, so you get 20 yards more and now you can play the tips... how does that help the guy who is playing the furthest up tees? He still can't play the tips. And the guy who can currently play the tips? Now the hazards that were in play for him from the tips are no longer in play (since he's hitting over them).

Usually the tips are 20 yards longer on average. In some cases 4 yards and in others 45 yards. You'd probably need 45 yards more distance to play the tips on regulation courses. He can always play the tips at an executive course?

Edited by Lihu

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2 hours ago, BaconNEggs said:

To some, definitely. This is a spin on the current argument, but on another golf forum, a user who argued that the ball goes doesn't go far enough suggested that it's not fair that he can't play from the tips, because the tips are the most interesting tees to play from. And so the rules should be bifurcated, with pros using shorter equipment, and ams like the writer being able to use a longer ball so he can play from the same distance as the pros.

Those arguments lack substance entirely. The pros are professionals because they can do what others cannot. 

I have yet to see a solid as to why the pros hitting the ball very far affects anyone.

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On Tuesday, September 05, 2017 at 9:02 AM, Braivo said:

Are basketball players getting too tall? Should the rim be raised to accommodate? 

Are there too many home runs in baseball? The pitchers throw too hard?

So long as everyone is playing by the same rules, imo, it doesn't matter. Right? 

Everyone plays the same course and the Lowest Score Wins! 

 

I would agree with this with this eception, in the case of most sports the defenders are getting bigger and stronger at the same rate as the offensive players whereas in golf you are playing against the course. In an effort to combat longer hitters we have in lengthened courses which in some cases either changes the layout or makes them all together obsolete... if we are ok with some of our games oldest and most historic courses becoming obsolete then you are correct, "so long as everyone is playing by the same rules, it doesn't matter".

My only issue with the above is that we pride ourselves and take such pride in the fact that our game is so steeped in tradition history and yet we are so willing to throw tradition and history out of the window all in the name of watching the long ball.

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