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Osnola

Driver-Wedge at WGC Mexico

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Watching the PGA on the course in Mexico i don't know if the course is just that short or if the majority of the pros just hit the ball further off the tee.  Why do they hit it further?  Is it the ball, the driver technology, or a combination of the two.  Sure looked to me like on many of the Par 4's  they would hit the driver, then were hitting wedges into the green. Maybe it is because it seems that we only get to see the really top 6 or so when watching on TV, and not all of them play this game.  So, do they need to put limits on the ball, the driver, or both?  To put limits would only hinder maybe 1% of total golfers  Most golfers playing a 400 yard Par 4 have an initial goal to get to the 150 marker which would be, say, 250 yds. off the tee.  Well, the great majority of golfers out here do not average less than  250 yds off the tee.  In all honesty, I may average 200 yds off the tee, so my goal is to just get it in the fairway and hope to get there in three....

I am not for changing  anything except maybe making the greens smaller, placing more trouble around the greens (not just sand because they all play out of the sand very well) to punish errant shots, and making the putting a little more difficult with the structure of the greens.  Of course, not on all courses, but maybe on the courses that the pro tours play, both men and women.    

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Also, keep in mind a 400yd hole plays like 340 this last week due to elevation . 

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36 minutes ago, Osnola said:

Why do they hit it further? 

Altitude is one thing. Mexico City is ~7,300ft above sea level.

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1 hour ago, Osnola said:

To put limits would only hinder maybe 1% of total golfers  

Putting limits on the ball or driver would hinder every golfer. Not just 1% of total golfers. Your 200 yard drive would now be much less

 

1 hour ago, Osnola said:

Why do they hit it further?  Is it the ball, the driver technology, or a combination of the two. 

Neither. You and I have access to the same exact driver technology and golf balls that the pros do. They have much more clubhead speed than amateurs, and like others mentioned, elevation.

 

I dont think the greens need to be smaller nor does there need to be any more trouble around the greens. You said you dont think trouble around the greens should come in the form of bunkers, so that suggests you are referring to either water or thicker rough?

The rough is already pretty thick at most PGA courses, and if you added extra water around greens, that would require spectators to be further away from greens in order to watch. I enjoy going to tournaments and being 10-15 feet away from the players and the putting surface. 

I think some courses are harder than others, and the scores reflect that. I dont see anything wrong with guys hitting driver- wedge into par 4s. They still have to score. 

1 hour ago, Osnola said:

Sure looked to me like on many of the Par 4's  they would hit the driver, then were hitting wedges into the green.

So far this year, from 100-125 yards, a wedge of some kind for every PGA player, only one person averages under 10 feet proximity to the hole, and the middle of the pack averages 20 feet. The best putters on tour make just under 50% of their 5-10 footers and around 33% of their 20-25 footers. That means if the best wedge players hit an average approach, they arent even going to get birdie half of the time, and average wedge players that hit an average wedge shot would get birdie a third of the time. Thats not even taking into account the fact that the longest drivers, best wedge players, and best putters are likely different groups of people (Example, John Rahm is top 30 in driving distance average but middle of the pack, so roughly 100th in proximity to hole from 100-125 yds)

Just because they hit driver and then have a wedge into the green doesnt mean its an automatic birdie.

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6 minutes ago, klineka said:

Just because they hit driver and then have a wedge into the green doesnt mean its an automatic birdie.

Dustin Johnson has always been a bomber.  His improved wedge game had a big impact on reaching another level.

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5 minutes ago, Foot Wedge said:

Dustin Johnson has always been a bomber.  His improved wedge game had a big impact on reaching another level.

From the 100-125 distance, his proximity to the hole didnt change much from 2014-2017. Every year was between 17' 2" and 18' 10"

He was T19th in 2017 but has fallen to T192 so far in 2018

2018 - 25' 11" 

2017 - 18' 1" 

 

 

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1 minute ago, klineka said:

From the 100-125 distance, his proximity to the hole didnt change much from 2014-2017. Every year was between 17' 2" and 18' 10"

He was T19th in 2017 but has fallen to T192 so far in 2018

2018 - 25' 11" 

2017 - 18' 1" 

 

 

Interesting, I thought he himself had admitted that much.  Maybe he was sticking it close when it counted?

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2 hours ago, Osnola said:

I am not for changing  anything except maybe making the greens smaller, placing more trouble around the greens (not just sand because they all play out of the sand very well) to punish errant shots, and making the putting a little more difficult with the structure of the greens.  Of course, not on all courses, but maybe on the courses that the pro tours play, both men and women.  

But why? Scoring has remained fairly constant over the last decade. Below is a link to a chart for a Golf Digest Study on scoring average between 2006-2016. 

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/pga-tour-scoring-average-2007-to-2016

If scoring has remained fairly constant, then why is there a problem? Also, the trouble for pros is plenty. They aren't as good out of the sand as you are indicating. I may be misquoting this from LSW, but I believe they still average something like 2.6 strokes to hole out from green side bunkers. Lastly, adding thicker rough, more bunkers, and more water makes every hole penal and takes away from strategy, not to mention the cost to add/modify and maintain these areas of the golf course would skyrocket. 

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Thanks to all for the replies and information....I guess I was kind of looking at it like comparing todays baseball fields with those of yesterday.  Was nothing to see a right field porch at 296' back in the day.  But, as the major leaguers got "bigger, faster, stronger" the new stadiums built were bigger and required more of a poke to get it out.  Of course, I guess they equipment changed a bit also, like that of golf.  The training of todays golfers is probably better and they younger ones spend less time in the clubhouse bar than those of days gone by....

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I'm not for any of the changes the OP suggests, I like big greens and long putts.

All I ask is that the entire bag is being challenged for the pros often, to be considered a golfer worthy of making millions I think a player should be looking at many different yardages throughout every round, so if the game is at the point where long clubs are not being challenged much it's time for change, whatever that may be. 

The problem is how to you setup a course to challenge the bag of a Dustin Johnson and not unfairly hurt the guy who's 50 yds behind him? I don't know that they can, so here we are.

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4 hours ago, upndown21 said:

Also, keep in mind a 400yd hole plays like 340 this last week due to elevation . 

Where are they playing, the moon? At Mexico City's altitude they hit the ball about 8% farther, that does not shorten a 400 yard hole by 60 yards.

Edited by NM Golf

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47 minutes ago, Osnola said:

Thanks to all for the replies and information....I guess I was kind of looking at it like comparing todays baseball fields with those of yesterday.  Was nothing to see a right field porch at 296' back in the day.  But, as the major leaguers got "bigger, faster, stronger" the new stadiums built were bigger and required more of a poke to get it out.  

Looking at these two pictures, the average course length has increased by roughly 75 yards from 2003-2015. Divide that 75 yards over 18 holes and that's an average of 4.1 yards per hole increase. Divide the 75 yards over 14 driver holes (excluding par 3s) and the average increase per hole is 5.3 yards5a9ed5e6b5745_courselength.thumb.jpg.c2e6a73c777cfdb18c0ad8f603664e7d.jpg

 

Now look at the average driving distance chart below. The average driving distance has actually increased by less than 5 yards from 2003-2012. 

5a9ed68a0c948_drivingdistance.jpg.476a6c0affe26c4b8562e6231f2bf39c.jpg

That shows that the courses are getting longer at a slightly quicker rate than driving distance is increasing. 

In 2005 there were 26 players that averaged over 300 yds driving and an overall tour average of 288. 

In 2015, there were also 26 players that averaged over 300 yds driving, with an overall tour average of 288, yet the average course distance increased by 88 yards between 2005 and 2015.

So yes, just like in baseball, the golf courses are changing and getting longer over time (Even though when you look at it the average driving distance isnt really increasing).

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Anyone have any stats on how the 300 yard hitters' owgr rank with the tour average 288 hitters'?

I am of the opinion that shorter courses, and/or limited ball flight would give more pga players more competitive value .

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36 minutes ago, Patch said:

Anyone have any stats on how the 300 yard hitters' owgr rank with the tour average 288 hitters'?

I am of the opinion that shorter courses, and/or limited ball flight would give more pga players more competitive value .

Its not quite the same, but I had made this for a different topic a while back. Its looking at driving distance and driving distance ranking for the top 10 money earners on the PGA tour in 2017

golf2.jpg.d6649a52316977eb87cc381cf988efc9.jpg

There were only 2 players in the top 10 in money in 2017 that were within 5 yards of the tour average 288 and they were the bottom two.

 

Edit: just found this one that I had made previously as well which is probably more what you were asking for

5a9ee56b5648c_2018-03-0614-00-22_golfcorrelation.thumb.jpg.26d0965987f114d97e994fafc6a5e37e.jpg

Edited by klineka

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7 hours ago, NM Golf said:

Where are they playing, the moon? At Mexico City's altitude they hit the ball about 8% farther, that does not shorten a 400 yard hole by 60 yards.

 

7 hours ago, NM Golf said:

Where are they playing, the moon? At Mexico City's altitude they hit the ball about 8% farther, that does not shorten a 400 yard hole by 60 yards.

Actually it is 9.08% difference due to altitude. 

Between altitude and elevation there were quite a few spots where they hit 85% of actual distance. QBAA

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15 hours ago, upndown21 said:

 

Actually it is 9.08% difference due to altitude. 

Between altitude and elevation there were quite a few spots where they hit 85% of actual distance. QBAA

Wow, thanks for clearing up that 1.08% error. :roll:

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On 3/6/2018 at 12:20 PM, NM Golf said:

Where are they playing, the moon? At Mexico City's altitude they hit the ball about 8% farther, that does not shorten a 400 yard hole by 60 yards.

It's closer to 15-18% farther in Mexico City.

The course played effectively 6243 yards, @Osnola.

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Note: This thread is 753 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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