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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"  

173 members have voted

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

    • Yes
      40
    • No
      133
  2. 2. What is the main source of the "problem" above?

    • The golf ball goes too far, primarily.
      23
    • Several factors all contribute heavily.
      26
    • I voted "No" above, and I don't think there's really a "problem" right now.
      124


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22 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

It's a combo of ball and equipment.  The increased forgiveness and added distance makes courses designed with the older stuff in mind obsolete without modification.

Its not that players have figured out a new strategy at all.  It's just that the equipment makes it far easier for less skilled players to hit farther and straighter.  It's a different game.

Equipment is better, but the game is the same. It’s still hard to get the ball into the hole. The fact that the entire field isn’t shooting 54 with the winner coming in at one stroke less demonstrates that the game is not that much easier.

 

22 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

its not that older balls couldn't be hit long it's just that it was more difficult.  The level of precision required was higher.

Pretty sure the pros hit the center of the face now, just like pros did before.

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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.

Regardless of the effect that an equipment bifurcation would have on the golfing population, the more important question is getting overlooked here by @Bonvivant and others recently. Why do you f

I think this is part of what makes golf unique and why I enjoy playing it more than the other sports. It has a single unified set of rules, and EVERYBODY - from the best in the world to the worst - is

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3 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

its really, really, really boring to watch the PGA Tour these days compared to years past

Yeah, I don't agree.

3 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

Every single sport except one has different rules for the pros and the rest.

Very few other sports have the same rules because they don't have the same ruling body. Golf, for all intents and purposes, has the same ruling body for every golfer in the world. (The USGA/R&A oversee everything, and they write the same rules.)

Also, other sports don't often see amateurs playing in the pro ranks. You can't qualify at local and sectional events and get into a game with LeBron James, certainly not on the biggest stage of the NBA Finals.

2 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

Go watch some youtubes of his interview from his prime.  He was incredible, but "charisma" would be pretty far down the list of terms I'd use to describe him.

Charisma on the golf course. Fist pumps, club throws, cursing at himself, the club twirls… the guy had it.

2 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

You might think its not boring, but TV ratings sure think its boring.

TV ratings? That's the basis for your statement? We have 200 channels now. When Augusta started allowing broadcasts, there were three, and you got to watch about two hours of coverage the entire week.

I don't agree, @johnclayton1982. We can "figure it out" all we want, but you've still gotta hit a little white ball with some ****ed up looking sticks into a really small hole 470 yards that-a-way, through, over, or around all sorts of evil terrain, water, sand, bushes, trees, long grass, etc.

Golf may have been figured out, but it will never be perfected, and of the major sports, it may be the furthest from ever achieving that.

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

We can "figure it out" all we want, but you've still gotta hit a little white ball with some ****ed up looking sticks into a really small hole 470 yards that-a-way, through, over, or around all sorts of evil terrain, water, sand, bushes, trees, long grass, etc.

If there was a best quote badge this would qualify :-D


We do not have the singular dominant figure anymore. If some of these young guns keep up the consistency then golf is in good hands. I for one, would love to see 5-6 really good golfers battle it out in tournaments.

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51 minutes ago, iacas said:

Yeah, I don't agree.

Very few other sports have the same rules because they don't have the same ruling body. Golf, for all intents and purposes, has the same ruling body for every golfer in the world. (The USGA/R&A oversee everything, and they write the same rules.)

Also, other sports don't often see amateurs playing in the pro ranks. You can't qualify at local and sectional events and get into a game with LeBron James, certainly not on the biggest stage of the NBA Finals.

Charisma on the golf course. Fist pumps, club throws, cursing at himself, the club twirls… the guy had it.

TV ratings? That's the basis for your statement? We have 200 channels now. When Augusta started allowing broadcasts, there were three, and you got to watch about two hours of coverage the entire week.

I don't agree, @johnclayton1982. We can "figure it out" all we want, but you've still gotta hit a little white ball with some ****ed up looking sticks into a really small hole 470 yards that-a-way, through, over, or around all sorts of evil terrain, water, sand, bushes, trees, long grass, etc.

Golf may have been figured out, but it will never be perfected, and of the major sports, it may be the furthest from ever achieving that.

We disagree on excitement.  I see people do fist pumps all the time (Patrick Reed, for example).  But its still not nearly as popular as the Tiger days.

How should we judge the popularity of the PGA Tour if not for TV Ratings?  My understanding of TV Ratings is that they allow for additional content in how they are measured, but I could be wrong about that.

"Figured out" doesn't mean "perfected", it means "figured out".  The best way to play has been figured out, as you wrote in your book.  When that happens the Sport suffers significantly.

Everyone is playing (relatively) the same way on Tour these days.  That makes it very, very boring IMO.

Amateurs get into the pro ranks in other sports all the time.  Jonathan Simmons paid to try out for the Spurs and just signed a 3 year massive deal with the Orlando Magic.  Football teams hold open competitions for punters and placekickers.  A linebacker made the Ravens from off the street a few years ago, and then was cut and out of the league.  It doesn't happen often, but it happens about as often as it happens in golf.  I'm not sure where you got this - most sports (All?) have amateurs that break into the professional ranks for brief periods.  And when they do, they learn to play by the professional rules.  I'm not sure why that wouldn't work for golf.

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3 minutes ago, johnclayton1982 said:

How should we judge the popularity of the PGA Tour if not for TV Ratings?  My understanding of TV Ratings is that they allow for additional content in how they are measured, but I could be wrong about that.

I don't know, but I know using TV ratings is chock full of caveats.

3 minutes ago, johnclayton1982 said:

"Figured out" doesn't mean "perfected", it means "figured out".  The best way to play has been figured out, as you wrote in your book.  When that happens the Sport suffers significantly.

I didn't say those were synonyms.

3 minutes ago, johnclayton1982 said:

Everyone is playing (relatively) the same way on Tour these days.  That makes it very, very boring IMO.

Right, and I disagree that it's boring.

The British Open was not boring. The U.S. Open was a bit, but for the same reasons some of the older tournaments were boring, too: a guy had a huge lead.

The 1986 Masters wasn't exciting because the game hadn't been "figured out" yet. It was exciting because Jack ****ing Nicklaus came back at age 46 to fend off Greg Norman, Tom Kite, Seve Ballesteros, and a bunch of other great names to seize glory one last time in a storied career with a stellar back-nine charge. It was compelling television… (and I probably disagree with you in this, too: Jack had "figured out" golf as well. So did Tiger. So did Ben Hogan.)

3 minutes ago, johnclayton1982 said:

Amateurs get into the pro ranks in other sports all the time.

No they don't. Not anywhere near the scale that we see in golf.

3 minutes ago, johnclayton1982 said:

Jonathan Simmons paid to try out for the Spurs and just signed a 3 year massive deal with the Orlando Magic.

Thus… he's not an amateur. He's an NBA player, subject to their rules.

Every golfer is subject to the same set of rules. EVERY one in the entire world. Other sports don't have that. It's one of the things that appeals to many.

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2 hours ago, hillis11 said:

I guess this is kind of to each to their own. I do not think golf is boring or everyone figured it out. I think there is a lot of diversity in the sport. When you have one guy that can make up their mistake by using his putter ala Jordan Speith. Then you have a guy that's really long off the tee DJ. Then you have a guy with very creative wedge game Phil. I mean Zach Johnson won the Open and hes not a long hitter. Jim Furyk shot a 58 and he's not long at all. I do not think all the courses look the same. Do they have some similarity in them sure. There is a tee box and a fairway and a putting green. Its up to these guys figure out how to play these course to their advantages. You hear pro's all the time say that one course suit them better than another one. I think golf is in good hands. Will we see it spike like when Tiger was winning probably not but we will see. TV ratings in a lot of sports are down. There are other ways now with technology to watch them. I'm sure if you had couple big names on Sunday at the Masters the ratings would not be down.

I actually totally agree with this.  Us, as golf fans, see huge differences in Furyk hitting it 285 and somebody else hitting it 300 and Furyk having a funky swing, and ZJ being a wedge master and so forth.  If the goal was to get die hard golf fans to watch the Tour, we'd be fine.  But we'll watch regardless.

Everyone else just sees a bunch of corporate guys who all look the same playing yet  another tree-lined course trying to hit as many greens as possible and taking six minutes to line up putts.  They know the best way to play the game, and trackman has given them unprecedented control over their ball.  This means its really boring to non-hardcore fans.  I don't expect anybody who posts on a golf forum to think its boring just like NBA nuts still loved the league from 2000-2009.   But casuals were gone, because the game was "solved" - every team wanted an iso scorer and a back to the basket big.  To casuals, all the games were the same - 20 second back down and a post move.  That's the PGA Tour now.  

The professional rules need to be changed so that there is an incentive for players to choose different paths to success other than hit it as far as I can without risking a hazard and then try to hit the green. Note: this is why I think the rules should be bifurcated.  Because what is good for us on Saturday can't possibly produce the most entertaining golf on Sunday.

7 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't know, but I know using TV ratings is chock full of caveats.

I didn't say those were synonyms.

Right, and I disagree that it's boring.

The British Open was not boring. The U.S. Open was a bit, but for the same reasons some of the older tournaments were boring, too: a guy had a huge lead.

The 1986 Masters wasn't exciting because the game hadn't been "figured out" yet. It was exciting because Jack ****ing Nicklaus came back at age 46 to fend off Greg Norman, Tom Kite, Seve Ballesteros, and a bunch of other great names to seize glory one last time in a storied career with a stellar back-nine charge. It was compelling television… (and I probably disagree with you in this, too: Jack had "figured out" golf as well. So did Tiger. So did Ben Hogan.)

No they don't. Not anywhere near the scale that we see in golf.

Thus… he's not an amateur. He's an NBA player, subject to their rules.

Every golfer is subject to the same set of rules. EVERY one in the entire world. Other sports don't have that. It's one of the things that appeals to many.

What do you think the goal of the PGA Tour should be?

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3 minutes ago, johnclayton1982 said:

Everyone else just sees a bunch of corporate guys who all look the same playing yet  another tree-lined course trying to hit as many greens as possible and taking six minutes to line up putts.  They know the best way to play the game, and trackman has given them unprecedented control over their ball.  This means its really boring to non-hardcore fans.  I don't expect anybody who posts on a golf forum to think its boring just like NBA nuts still loved the league from 2000-2009.   But casuals were gone, because the game was "solved" - every team wanted an iso scorer and a back to the basket big.  To casuals, all the games were the same - 20 second back down and a post move.  That's the PGA Tour now. 

Without all the hype, cheering/jeering and music with ginormous loudspeakers, professional basketball is one of the most boring games you could possibly watch. Just think about it a bit. You have tall freaks jogging back and forth across the court then making a basket. If it weren't for the enthusiastic announcer saying that was the "shot of the century" while switching between camera angles, it'd just be someone either shooting or dunking the ball into a set of hoops.

Football is basically a bunch of raging testosterone filled athletes charging at each other while two people are figuring out how to make a "play" to advance the ball more than 10 yards for a first down or touchdown. The way I am describing it and the way it's depicted to a bunch of drunken fans are polar opposites, which is why it's popular.

When you think about it the same holds for all professional sports. They're boring. Mix that with a bunch of drunken screaming fans and you have "excitement". :-D I don't watch golf, but the few times I do at a pro shop or golf store waiting for something, it's boring. Then again,  so are all professional sports to me.

Hype, Thunder and Music make for great entertainment. Golf has none of that, but it appeals to many people nonetheless.

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21 minutes ago, Lihu said:

Without all the hype, cheering/jeering and music with ginormous loudspeakers, professional basketball is one of the most boring games you could possibly watch. Just think about it a bit. You have tall freaks jogging back and forth across the court then making a basket. If it weren't for the enthusiastic announcer saying that was the "shot of the century" while switching between camera angles, it'd just be someone either shooting or dunking the ball into a set of hoops.

Football is basically a bunch of raging testosterone filled athletes charging at each other while two people are figuring out how to make a "play" to advance the ball more than 10 yards for a first down or touchdown. The way I am describing it and the way it's depicted to a bunch of drunken fans are polar opposites, which is why it's popular.

When you think about it the same holds for all professional sports. They're boring. Mix that with a bunch of drunken screaming fans and you have "excitement". :-D I don't watch golf, but the few times I do at a pro shop or golf store waiting for something, it's boring. Then again,  so are all professional sports to me.

Hype, Thunder and Music make for great entertainment. Golf has none of that, but it appeals to many people nonetheless.

All I'm saying is dialing back the ball is an insane reaction.  It makes it less exciting.  The PGA Tour should be getting people excited and into playing golf. We now have game golf and Loft 18 and all that.  The PGA Tour needs to follow suit. If that takes music, people being allowed to cheer during swings, teams, trick holes, whatever, I am 110% for it.

My view is probably not popular with more traditional golfers / golf fans, and there are obviously some things that wouldn't change (like Augusta), but you can at least tell the difference when two football teams play each other.  My bet is that if I showed four PGA tour event clips nobody could tell what tournament was from what.  That stinks.

There was a cool course I played in New Hampshire once that had a par 3 directly up the side of a mountain.  It was hard, but it was super fun.  I'd like to see them take on stuff like that.  Not dogleg left, dogleg right, straight, dogleg left, dogleg right, straight, etc... Anything but yet another parkland course where a bunch of white guys in Titleist hats compete to see who can be the most precise with a driver, a gap wedge, and a putter.

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16 minutes ago, johnclayton1982 said:

All I'm saying is dialing back the ball is an insane reaction.  It makes it less exciting.  The "dignity" of golf is silly.  The PGA Tour should be getting people excited and into playing golf. We now have game golf and Loft 18 and all that.  The PGA Tour needs to follow suit. If that takes music, people being allowed to cheer during swings, teams, trick holes, whatever, I am 110% for it.

That could be appealing to the younger crowd for sure, and don't forget about cheerleaders for both PGA and LPGA.

 

Quote

My view is probably not popular with more traditional golfers / golf fans, and there are obviously some things that wouldn't change (like Augusta), but you can at least tell the difference when two football teams play each other.  My bet is that if I showed four PGA tour event clips nobody could tell what tournament was from what.  That stinks.

Of course, that's why events like "Tour d'France" are not popular here. We seem to like binary sports where you cheer for one or another.

 

Quote

There was a cool course I played in New Hampshire once that had a par 3 directly up the side of a mountain.  It was hard, but it was super fun.  I'd like to see them take on stuff like that.  Not dogleg left, dogleg right, straight, dogleg left, dogleg right, straight, etc... Anything but yet another parkland course where a bunch of white guys in Titleist hats compete to see who can be the most precise with a driver, a gap wedge, and a putter.

If someone like Maurice Allen drives over a 100 yard tall hill with a 450 yard carry for an albatross putt or a hole in one on a par5, that could certainly add some excitement. Especially if he hypes it up WWF style before the shot, and the reporting shows his hyping it up and the hole before and after the shot from all different angles. Then they pan in on his facial expression. . . :-D

 

long-drive-champion-hit-a-483-yard-drive

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7 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

Every single sport except one has different rules for the pros and the rest.  I don't know about the ball part, but, IMO, golf should have three rules levels: pro, amateur, casual. 

I think this is part of what makes golf unique and why I enjoy playing it more than the other sports. It has a single unified set of rules, and EVERYBODY - from the best in the world to the worst - is on a level playing field if they follow the rules that apply to them (because the rules apply to everyone). When you watch golf, you can watch the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Open, or go to the course and watch the club championship, and you know that all of them are playing the same game.

College football is a quite different game from professional football, in the same way that high school football is equally different from college football. While that can be nice in that it provides variety, it means you have to learn more and more rules to keep up with the action and understand what is happening. You also have the game played very differently at the different levels as a result, where you often go for it on 4th down in college but almost never see it in the NFL. In high school you rarely see passes that are more than a simple screen or buttonhook route, and the running game dominates (even though the stereotype is of the quarterback being the star in high school, they rarely do much). 

I like golf because you can make direct comparisons across all levels of competition. It lets you accurately compare yourself to any other golfer out there, because neither of them will have any advantage granted to them by the rules that the other doesn't also posses. I know that if I shoot 75 on the same course Jordan Spieth or Dustin Johnson shot 63 at, I was 12 strokes worse without needing to factor in the opponent they played or the rules they played under. When you watch college golf you don't have to wonder, "Will they be able to adjust to the PGA Tour? What about the rule where they need to have both feet outside the hazard inside of just one?" You can make a fair comparison if you just watch them play on a course that the pros played. This is something I really like about the game.

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1 hour ago, Pretzel said:

I think this is part of what makes golf unique and why I enjoy playing it more than the other sports. It has a single unified set of rules, and EVERYBODY - from the best in the world to the worst - is on a level playing field if they follow the rules that apply to them (because the rules apply to everyone). When you watch golf, you can watch the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Open, or go to the course and watch the club championship, and you know that all of them are playing the same game.

College football is a quite different game from professional football, in the same way that high school football is equally different from college football. While that can be nice in that it provides variety, it means you have to learn more and more rules to keep up with the action and understand what is happening. You also have the game played very differently at the different levels as a result, where you often go for it on 4th down in college but almost never see it in the NFL. In high school you rarely see passes that are more than a simple screen or buttonhook route, and the running game dominates (even though the stereotype is of the quarterback being the star in high school, they rarely do much). 

I like golf because you can make direct comparisons across all levels of competition. It lets you accurately compare yourself to any other golfer out there, because neither of them will have any advantage granted to them by the rules that the other doesn't also posses. I know that if I shoot 75 on the same course Jordan Spieth or Dustin Johnson shot 63 at, I was 12 strokes worse without needing to factor in the opponent they played or the rules they played under. When you watch college golf you don't have to wonder, "Will they be able to adjust to the PGA Tour? What about the rule where they need to have both feet outside the hazard inside of just one?" You can make a fair comparison if you just watch them play on a course that the pros played. This is something I really like about the game.

Good stuff .. except I don't agree with the correlations.  The differences in high school, college and pro football are large, but, IMO, no portion of the reason why somebody will or won't succeed at each successive level is attributable to the differences in the rules.  It's all due to the advancing size and speed of the competition and whether or not you can keep up.  In that regard, golf is the same regardless of whether or not the PGA Tour used a modified ball.  I imagine said ball would still be made available to the general public, so anybody who wanted to could still compare himself directly to Dustin Johnson if he so desired.  Just like a high school kicker can walk back to the 30 yard line and try and compare his kickoffs to an NFL kicker.

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4 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

Everyone else just sees a bunch of corporate guys who all look the same playing yet  another tree-lined course trying to hit as many greens as possible and taking six minutes to line up putts.

None of that has much to do with "the golf ball" or "golf is figured out."

4 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

The professional rules need to be changed so that there is an incentive for players to choose different paths to success other than hit it as far as I can without risking a hazard and then try to hit the green. Note: this is why I think the rules should be bifurcated.  Because what is good for us on Saturday can't possibly produce the most entertaining golf on Sunday.

I completely disagree, and like @Pretzel (he'll let me know if I'm putting words in his mouth), I think bifurcating would RUIN a good chunk of what's attractive about the game to many people. When someone makes a ten-footer for the victory or lips out a three-footer to lose, someone else out there can say "I know exactly what that feels like!" and they do, because they've done those things using the same equipment and the same rules and the same hole size, etc.

Bifurcating would further separate, not just in ability but in how the game is actually played, the PGA Tour players even further from the rest of the players. And, contrary to what you said earlier, it'd muddy the waters for the high-level amateurs who sometimes compete in high-level events, or the low-level pros (like PGA pros?) who sometimes compete across the spectrum. Despite your "a few years back" type examples, those things rarely happen in other sports, where someone is a highly ranked amateur who qualifies to play in a major event at the pro level. One of the great things about golf is that… that not only can happen, but does all the time. Because the rules, equipment, etc. are all the same.

Nobody playing church league softball feels like they're playing the same game as Andrew McCutchen.

4 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

What do you think the goal of the PGA Tour should be?

Can't say I've thought about it much, but their mission statement says:

Quote

The mission of the PGA TOUR is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.

"inspire its fans" is a tiny part of that, and really… it doesn't even say what it hopes to inspire them to do.

3 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

The PGA Tour should be getting people excited and into playing golf.

Eh, maybe. The PGA Tour certainly benefits the more golfers there are out there, but "getting people into playing golf" is a tiny bit of what they aim to do, I imagine. They'd be perfectly content if they simply had a lot of fans. It's not like the vast majority of NFL fans play football all the time. The PGA Tour would be perfectly happy to double their fan-base without adding a single golfer, if that was possible. Fans are fans, whether they play golf or not.

3 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

The PGA Tour needs to follow suit. If that takes music, people being allowed to cheer during swings, teams, trick holes, whatever, I am 110% for it.

Eh.

The 16th at TPC Scottsdale is cool and all… once a year.

3 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

My view is probably not popular with more traditional golfers / golf fans, and there are obviously some things that wouldn't change (like Augusta), but you can at least tell the difference when two football teams play each other. My bet is that if I showed four PGA tour event clips nobody could tell what tournament was from what.  That stinks.

Why?

It's not like most football fans can identify a random stadium as seen from the normal zoomed in level where all you see is the field (unless it shows the center of the field where a giant "USC" logo or whatever is painted).

You've made good points - I disagree with them, but they're well thought out - but not here. Casual fans don't need to know the difference between Innisbrook and Muirfield Village.

And if people are screaming at every event, you could say the same thing at those events as you can now.

3 hours ago, johnclayton1982 said:

There was a cool course I played in New Hampshire once that had a par 3 directly up the side of a mountain.  It was hard, but it was super fun. I'd like to see them take on stuff like that. Not dogleg left, dogleg right, straight, dogleg left, dogleg right, straight, etc... Anything but yet another parkland course where a bunch of white guys in Titleist hats compete to see who can be the most precise with a driver, a gap wedge, and a putter.

It's great that you want something, but please, how are you going to force more black players, or Asian players, or whatever to play golf, and how are you going to force them to not wear a Titleist hat, or whatever?

It's cool to want things, but you haven't got the faintest idea, it seems, on how or even WHY you want these things. You seem to want different just for the sake of different.

1 hour ago, Pretzel said:

I think this is part of what makes golf unique and why I enjoy playing it more than the other sports. It has a single unified set of rules, and EVERYBODY - from the best in the world to the worst - is on a level playing field if they follow the rules that apply to them (because the rules apply to everyone). When you watch golf, you can watch the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Open, or go to the course and watch the club championship, and you know that all of them are playing the same game.

I agree.

1 hour ago, Pretzel said:

I like golf because you can make direct comparisons across all levels of competition. It lets you accurately compare yourself to any other golfer out there, because neither of them will have any advantage granted to them by the rules that the other doesn't also posses. I know that if I shoot 75 on the same course Jordan Spieth or Dustin Johnson shot 63 at, I was 12 strokes worse without needing to factor in the opponent they played or the rules they played under. When you watch college golf you don't have to wonder, "Will they be able to adjust to the PGA Tour? What about the rule where they need to have both feet outside the hazard inside of just one?" You can make a fair comparison if you just watch them play on a course that the pros played. This is something I really like about the game.

I do as well.

7 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

I imagine said ball would still be made available to the general public, so anybody who wanted to could still compare himself directly to Dustin Johnson if he so desired. Just like a high school kicker can walk back to the 30 yard line and try and compare his kickoffs to an NFL kicker.

He has to do more than that. He has to find NFL goalposts. He has to find an NFL ball. Etc.

Right now it automatically happens in golf. They don't putt to a smaller hole, they don't use a different ball, or different clubs, or have to play every shot after their opponent gets to step on the ball a little… they play the same game, the same rules, the same equipment, standard.

Change, bifurcate, and that is no longer true. You'd have to go out of your way - to deviate from what you do normally - just to try to play the same game. It happens every day now already.


Also, @johnclayton1982, as you know we like to stick to the topic here, and you're close to going off of it… the ball is not a problem in your opinion.

Correct?

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

He has to do more than that. He has to find NFL goalposts. He has to find an NFL ball. Etc.

Right now it automatically happens in golf. They don't putt to a smaller hole, they don't use a different ball, or different clubs, or have to play every shot after their opponent gets to step on the ball a little… they play the same game, the same rules, the same equipment, standard.

Change, bifurcate, and that is no longer true. You'd have to go out of your way - to deviate from what you do normally - just to try to play the same game. It happens every day now already.

I suppose, but not really.  I mean, to be analogous to the goalposts and ball comment above I could say that a golfer would have to find a course with narrow PGA tour fairways and greens stimping at 13 or whatever.  Torrey Pines right now and Torrey Pines in the first weekend in February (and definitely in June 2008 and 2024) are not the same course, so you already can't quite compare apples to apples anymore than a football kicker could by assuming that the kick he just made on college goalposts would be good on pro goalposts.

Also, my argument isn't for bifurcation nor is it in favor of a PGA tour ball ... it's simply that I don't think it would be a very big deal if they did bifurcate or create a special ball.  I think the downfall, were that to happen, is being overstated.  That's all.

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2 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

Good stuff .. except I don't agree with the correlations.  The differences in high school, college and pro football are large, but, IMO, no portion of the reason why somebody will or won't succeed at each successive level is attributable to the differences in the rules.  It's all due to the advancing size and speed of the competition and whether or not you can keep up.  In that regard, golf is the same regardless of whether or not the PGA Tour used a modified ball.  I imagine said ball would still be made available to the general public, so anybody who wanted to could still compare himself directly to Dustin Johnson if he so desired.  Just like a high school kicker can walk back to the 30 yard line and try and compare his kickoffs to an NFL kicker.

My comparison is more about how the game is played differently, not how the competition gets larger and faster. Athletes like Vince Young, for example, are a prime example of someone who had an exemplary college career and then couldn't adapt to the completely different game of the NFL. In college football a quarterback is expected to be able to move and run when needed, whereas in the NFL they're far more often expected to be able to sit in the pocket and keep watching for an open pass. This leads to some otherwise great athletes being unable to "step up" into the role of an NFL quarterback compared to their college successes. Matt Leinart, David Carr, JaMarcus Russell, and Tim Teebow are all good examples of great athletes who just couldn't adapt because the game in the NFL is fundamentally different from college football.

2 hours ago, iacas said:

I completely disagree, and like @Pretzel (he'll let me know if I'm putting words in his mouth), I think bifurcating would RUIN a good chunk of what's attractive about the game to many people. When someone makes a ten-footer for the victory or lips out a three-footer to lose, someone else out there can say "I know exactly what that feels like!" and they do, because they've done those things using the same equipment and the same rules and the same hole size, etc.

Bifurcating would further separate, not just in ability but in how the game is actually played, the PGA Tour players even further from the rest of the players. And, contrary to what you said earlier, it'd muddy the waters for the high-level amateurs who sometimes compete in high-level events, or the low-level pros (like PGA pros?) who sometimes compete across the spectrum. Despite your "a few years back" type examples, those things rarely happen in other sports, where someone is a highly ranked amateur who qualifies to play in a major event at the pro level. One of the great things about golf is that… that not only can happen, but does all the time. Because the rules, equipment, etc. are all the same.

This is a well said, and conveys what I was trying to get across.

Think of it this way: You oftentimes will see college golfers compete, and finish well, in PGA Tour tournaments. Despite her lack of success on the men's tour, Michelle Wie was still able to make the cut and place in a PGA Tour tournament. In how many other sports can either of those things happen? This is why I think the rules and the equipment should stay the same at all levels of competition for golf.

Edited by Pretzel
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16 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

Also, my argument isn't for bifurcation nor is it in favor of a PGA tour ball ... it's simply that I don't think it would be a very big deal if they did bifurcate or create a special ball.  I think the downfall, were that to happen, is being overstated.  That's all.

@Golfingdad, I like @Pretzel's response. So I'm mostly just saying "ditto" on that.

Since it's pretty off topic, briefly… the rules, the way the game is played, the equipment, etc. are all the same in golf. The same is not true of other sports, even highly organized ones. Different rules, different equipment, different means of playing the game, etc. I didn't say the fields were the same. Bifurcating makes even less the same, in a sport where that's really not true around the entire world.

Regardless, this is all off topic, as it has little to nothing to do with whether the "ball" is to blame or whether the game of golf has a "problem."

If you can directly tie it back to that, cool.

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11 hours ago, Lihu said:

Equipment is better, but the game is the same. It’s still hard to get the ball into the hole. The fact that the entire field isn’t shooting 54 with the winner coming in at one stroke less demonstrates that the game is not that much easier.

 

Pretty sure the pros hit the center of the face now, just like pros did before.

It used to be harder.  Par fives now are not truly par fives in most cases.  So scores are low,  I'm okay with under par.  Par is just a number.  

I would say tour pro flat lie sea level no wind well protected green 200   to a pin on a tier is easier with today's equipment.  The ball is a big deal.  Pros who are aging now and have hit both tend to agree.  The mod ball is easy to hit straighter and higher and farther with all clubs.

Taking a big swipe off the tee used to be a different strategy not option 1 whenever possible like now.  It used to be a riskier play unless you were top tier at striking because the old ball was less forgiving on the impact conditions required and spin.  It was hard to swing hard and keep the spin off it.  

Golf is having to modify the great courses because of all this.  

You look at a final round like Miller had and look at the gear he had.  That's striking.

I like both styles like say early fifties to eighties golf and todays golf.  They are definitely different though.  Both are still the highest level of golf which is always amazing to watch.  But they are not different because someone cracked a code on strategy as that one guy thinks.  The equipment changed the game.

Guys played some long par fours 'back in the day' really well.  More par fives were true risk reward holes than today.  I don't like par '5' holes that are basically tap birdies for the top tier strikers.

All this with rules and blah blah imo rules have nothing to do with it the rules are fine.  Some I have trouble understanding sometimes but imo the rules are the same for everyone and are as logically consistent as rules can be.

I voted in the minority on this...:-\

 

Thats my take...

 

Edited by Jack Watson
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1 minute ago, Jack Watson said:

It used to be harder.  Par fives now are not truly par fives in most cases.  So scores are low,  I'm okay with under par.  Par is just a number.  

Sure, par or under par is not an issue with me either.

I also know many people capable of hitting an "amateur length" 500 yard par 5s in 2 shots as well. So, the "run of the mill" golfer is also capable due to improvements in club and ball design and physical training techniques.

 

1 minute ago, Jack Watson said:

I would say tour pro flat lie sea level no wind well protected green 200   to a pin on a tier is easier with today's equipment.  The ball is a big deal.  Pros who are aging now and have hit both tend to agree.  The mod ball is easy to hit straighter and higher and farther with all clubs.

Not just today's equipment, but just the sheer athleticism in the younger players today. Golfers are getting stronger and better training is directing that strength in a positive way.

 

1 minute ago, Jack Watson said:

Taking a big swipe off the tee used to be a different strategy not option 1 whenever possible like now.  It used to be a riskier play unless you were top tier at striking because the old ball was less forgiving on the impact conditions required and spin.  It was hard to swing hard and keep the spin off it.  

 

1 minute ago, Jack Watson said:

Golf is having to modify the great courses because of all this.  

They likely make it sound hard, but I bet it doesn't really cost much of anything other than bulldozing a few weeds and printing new scorecards. I'd be willing to bet that they are doing that to raise the prices for normal attendance.

 

1 minute ago, Jack Watson said:

You look at a final round like Miller had and look at the gear he had.  That's striking.

I like both styles like say early fifties to eighties golf and todays golf.  They are definitely different though.  Both are still the highest level of golf which is always amazing to watch.  But they are not different because someone cracked a code on strategy as that one guy thinks.  The equipment changed the game.

Old geezers from the 1930s were probably saying the same thing about "modern equipment" and the new "Balata" balls being so much of a game changer that it's "going to ruin golf forever". They probably said something on the lines of "Old Tom Morris" is a much better player than these young whippersnappers like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus if they had the same equipment, nourishment and training. :-D

 

1 minute ago, Jack Watson said:

Guys played some long par fours 'back in the day' really well.  More par fives were true risk reward holes than today.  I don't like par '5' holes that are basically tap birdies for the top tier strikers.

What's ironic is this is not really a top tier thing any more. I've played quite a few local players that can hit into a 600+ yard par 5 in 2 swings. However, you stated that it's not an issue because par is some arbitrary number.

I don't see a problem with that, and if in something like the year 2050 the young players are 6'10" build just like Rory and drive 450+ yards, I won't be saying "in the old days. . ."

 

1 minute ago, Jack Watson said:

Thats my take...

Yeah, understandable, but golf is in an evolutionary stage. Just like the mile run records over the last century. . .

d3c109a217b4b9337f48182cca8eace6.png

 

My take is longer drivers are good for the game.

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15 minutes ago, Lihu said:

What's ironic is this is not really a top tier thing any more. I've played quite a few local players that can hit into a 600+ yard par 5 in 2 swings. However, you stated that it's not an issue because par is some arbitrary number.

You caught me here.  I tried to say par doesn't matter first.  

The par five being basically a gimme birdie on tour does bother me though.

Good job you pointed out inconsistency.

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