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iacas

USGA Seeking Feedback on Distance "Issue"

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1 hour ago, billchao said:

No. The way the question is framed presents it that way.

I continue to disagree. I think you're reading way too much into one out of 110 questions or however many there were.

IMO, they're just asking you if you think that a longer ball means higher maintenance costs. Maybe they're just seeing how widely spread that belief is. Maybe it's more of a "political" question than anything else.

1 hour ago, billchao said:

If courses are lengthen then maintenance costs go up. If nothing is done with courses, then maintenance costs stay the same. Maintenance cost isn't directly related with how far players hit the ball.

Eh, I disagree. They kinda are. If players expect to hit everything from a 5-iron to a wedge on the par fours they play, how far they hit it affects "how much" golf course they "need."

1 hour ago, billchao said:

That's my point. I've taken a lot of surveys. I've also taken marketing classes that covered survey writing.

And this survey was done by a professional organization that builds surveys: http://www.sportsmarketingsurveysinc.com. I'm gonna wager that maybe they know a bit more about it than you after taking a class some time ago.

I don't mean anything bad by that… but honestly it feels like you're being a bit silly here. If I'm going to make any assumption here, it's that the professionals know what they're doing more than you do.

This survey was paid for by the USGA and the R&A, and put together by a professional surveying company. You have "taken marketing classes that covered survey writing." :hmm:

1 hour ago, billchao said:

This survey reads skewed to me.

You're assuming far, far too much IMO. You don't know what the USGA/R&A "want" - or if they even "want" anything from this. You don't know what the goal or purpose of the various questions are.

1 hour ago, Hardspoon said:

I just took the survey.  Pretty straightforward, and I thought it was well-designed.

I did too except for the same types of questions you have. I was also asked if I've "significantly" altered my teaching to address or teach "distance" or something. I don't know how I'd define "significantly" or that I've "changed". So I said "no," even though I do feel like I teach "distance" to a good number of people. I always have, so I haven't "changed," so I voted no.

1 hour ago, Hardspoon said:

The only "weird" question for me was the one asking you to essentially rank the three most important factors in scoring well.  I couldn't really pick three.

Yeah, that was a weird one. I couldn't even really pick a TOP three. So I did my best and moved on. With a few thousand responses, they'll get some patterns, probably: some will bubble up to the top the most, and by limiting it to three, you stop people from checking every box under that question. 🙂

1 hour ago, Hardspoon said:

Remember, opinion surveys like this aren't designed to ascertain facts...they're intended to get people's opinions and thoughts.   Questions like these are to see if people "connect the dots" between the two...it's about perception.

Right. That's why I said up above "Maybe they're just seeing how widely spread that belief is. Maybe it's more of a "political" question than anything else."

1 hour ago, Hardspoon said:

Exactly - those are two inarguable facts, and they don't need a survey for those.  What they want to know is whether average golfers/viewers connect the two disparate things in their mind (hitting further and increased maintenance).

Right. That's how I took it.

Imagine, Bill, if they get a lot of people choosing "agree" here, and then they decide to roll back the ball. If a lot of people "believe" that "longer ball = higher course maintenance costs" then one of the USGA's/R&A's "pros" or ways of selling it to the public is that it should reduce maintenance costs, because they will know a lot of people already believe that to be the case, even if it's only barely true (maybe a 10% roll-back saves only 0.5% maintenance costs).

They're gauging perception, I think, with that question.

1 hour ago, billchao said:

Yea they'll get the results they wanted and will do with it what they will anyway.

I don't think they "wanted" any specific results. If they wanted certain results, why have a survey at all? Why not just do what they "want" to do all along?

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I did it and did notice a lot of questions on distance. But that is been a trending topic lately. I don't think increasing distance is a problem at all. I also don't think courses need to be lengthened. They can be adjusted to change the risk/reward. Moving a bunker is one simple way. Thicker rough or reshaping hazards are another. Risk/reward is a great tool for architects to use and it can change club selection.

Some folks seem to act like major courses are national monuments that have never been changed. But even Augusta has changed a lot since it was first built.

Restricting technology more that it is current limited would be a bad idea for the industry too. Golf equipment sales are an essential part of the overall health of golf in my opinion.

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Just wondering, as someone who started 3 years ago and only knows modern drivers/balls.....was there any alarm bells/push back when the major changes were happening?

Seems like equipment had quick changes in the lates 90s/early 00s? I mean, I've  seen it said by posters online that they wish the driver got held in the 300cc range before they got to the current 460ish range.

(If it means anything, my responses were strongly saying that distance is not a problem)

Edited by cutchemist42

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I just completed the survey. It was more comprehensive than I thought. My take on the distance issue is, it is a moot point. Lowest score wins. It is all relative to whom you are competing against. The US Ryder Cup team didn't fare too well on a course set-up for accuracy. I don't see too many guys over powering my usual courses anyway. In fact, my usual course underwent a redesign of the tees and some bunkers to shorten up some longish par 4's. They were too long.

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Filled in the form. No problem what so ever on hitting it far. For pro’s there are enough ways to set up a difficult course.

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13 hours ago, iacas said:

Screen+Shot+2018-10-13+at+9.29.16+AM.png

I pointed out above the 5.6 MPH difference in clubhead speed. I'd also point out the 4166 RPM of spin that the player had - I missed that in the first glance.

4166 RPM down to 2200 or so - cutting the number almost in half by shaving off about 1700 to 2000 RPM of spin - adds 25 yards. Moving the clubhead speed up 5.6 MPH adds almost 15 yards. 25 + 15 = 40; 234.4 + 40 = 274.4.

But you'd also get more roll. The "new driver new balls" with the better trajectory and spin (and ball speed) roll out 17.9 yards, while the "old/old" roll out less than 10 yards. So, add in 8 more yards and you're up to 282.4 - farther than he hit the new ball, new driver.

Never mind that the "old balls" were not exactly new. Did you see them?

Screen Shot 2018-10-14 at 10.04.11 AM.png

This was posted on another site:

Quote

Would be so much fun seeing long irons played into greens again, but until the ruling bodies stop trying to let money rule their decisions we're left watching wedges into greens...yawn.

I replied something like this:

What would be more "fun" about watching someone hit it to 35 feet instead of hitting it to 20 feet? If on TV the announcers just subtracted four from the club they told you the players were hitting - if they said "hitting a 4-iron" instead of an "8-iron" - that would make watching golf "more fun"?

I fail to see how - you just see a ball being hit, and a ball flying through the air, and a ball landing on a green. The club you're told the player hit doesn't matter.

I know it matters to the difficulty of the shot, and that changes the appreciation for the skill (or luck) that it took to get the ball as close as it got, but "more fun"? I think players making birdies is "more fun."

I've never understood this line of thinking. Yes, the golfers who know stuff would be more impressed by a player's ability to hit a 4-iron to 10 feet than if he hits a wedge to 10 feet, but those times would also become far, far less common. Birdies would go down. GIRs would go down. Everything would go down, and the PGA Tour would then shorten the courses and begin playing them from 6700 yards so that we could see pros hitting shots close and making birdies again, and thus they'd be back to hitting their 8-irons and wedges instead of their 4-irons once again.

What small gains you might make up for hitting a longer club into a green would be more than lost in players not hitting the ball as close to the hole anywhere near as often.

10 hours ago, cutchemist42 said:

Just wondering, as someone who started 3 years ago and only knows modern drivers/balls.....was there any alarm bells/push back when the major changes were happening?

Not really, no.

Part of this is because the new balls didn't break any rules or anything - the solid-core, urethane covered balls met the ODS (overall distance standard). And amateurs had been playing Pinnacles, etc. for a long time.

About the only thing that golf's ruling bodies could have done was mandate a ball speed/spin range or something that would have meant that if you wanted higher spin short iron shots, you'd be stuck with higher spin driver shots, and if you wanted lower spin driver shots you'd have lower spin short iron shots. But that would be very difficult to get right, and probably would have had loopholes anyway.

8 hours ago, gjunkie57 said:

I just completed the survey. It was more comprehensive than I thought. My take on the distance issue is, it is a moot point. Lowest score wins. It is all relative to whom you are competing against. The US Ryder Cup team didn't fare too well on a course set-up for accuracy. I don't see too many guys over powering my usual courses anyway. In fact, my usual course underwent a redesign of the tees and some bunkers to shorten up some longish par 4's. They were too long.

I think that far, far, far too much attention is given to the professional game.

P.S. I didn't remember in doing the "math" stuff above that the distances were in meters instead of yards, but it's only about a 10% difference, and so since we're talking about 40 meters, about a 4-yard change to my math overall. Almost negligible.

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12 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

I agree. They are changing the rules b/c of the top fraction of 1% of golfers. I think that is a bad thing. 

It is a bad thing, but not sure if it has ever stopped them before.

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1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

I agree. They are changing the rules b/c of the top fraction of 1% of golfers. I think that is a bad thing. 

You know something nobody else does?

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20 hours ago, iacas said:

You know something nobody else does?

Nope :whistle:

Addendum,

22 hours ago, saevel25 said:

I agree. They are Changing the rules b/c of the top fraction of 1% of golfers I think that is a bad thing. 

 

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I saw some pink tees on the course which played 2k yards shorter than the reds.   If they tinker with the ball at least I can move up another set of tees lol

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On 10/14/2018 at 10:35 AM, saevel25 said:

I agree. They are changing the rules b/c of the top fraction of 1% of golfers. I think that is a bad thing. 

I saw this too, and it reminded me that I was "accidentally" listening to Hank Haney (I was in the car with XM, and couldn't find music I preferred to Hank) when the USGA announced the newest distance data.  He was all over the USGA, claiming that they were "going to roll back the ball" even though the average golfer was driving it something like 208.  And this went on for a good 90 minutes (I couldn't resist going back between songs).  I've listened to Haney enough to realize that he hates the USGA and Mike Davis and can be a complete loose cannon, and I've never had that feeling from you, but you did bring back the memory.  

My hope is that the USGA pays attention to the survey results, and that enough golfers agreed with me.  I know the USGA paid attention to the survey on the 2019 Rules, and changed a few of the proposed rules, I'm hoping they do the same in this case.

And before anyone asks, I don't see a need to roll back anything.  I certainly can't see a rationale for deciding that 1990 was the "standard" distance, any more than deciding that Bobby Jones in the 1920 would be the standard distance, or maybe young Tom Morris in the 1860s.  It might be appropriate to find a way to minimize equipment-related distance gains into the future, but I'd hate to see a roll-back, and I'd hate to see separate equipment rules for the best players.

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Have watched this thread for a while, and really except for the PGA tour is hitting the golf ball further, overpowering courses really a problem???  At any course?

Seems from what I have read and observed over the years, the average score across the country really hasn't dropped all that much even with longer balls, better equipment etc.  

Don't understand why this is an issue the USGA is worried about for the mere mortal golfer.  

Edited by scotth

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9 minutes ago, scotth said:

Have watched this thread for a while, and really except for the PGA tour is hitting the golf ball further, overpowering courses really a problem???  At any course?

Did you reply to the USGA's poll/survey?

P.S. Read up…

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4 minutes ago, iacas said:

Did you reply to the USGA's poll/survey?

P.S. Read up…

Saw the article.  2 strokes on average since the 90's doesn't seem like a big enough reason to warrant a discussion, at least in my mind, about a "distance" issue.

My observation from our 2 years literally feet from a hole on a golf course, is people may be hitting longer but the 2 full 5 gallon buckets of golf balls I still have (after not buying a golf ball in 2 years) tells me they aren't hitting any straighter.  :)

And yes I did respond to the poll.

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38 minutes ago, scotth said:

Saw the article.  2 strokes on average since the 90's doesn't seem like a big enough reason to warrant a discussion, at least in my mind, about a "distance" issue.

I didn't conflate the two. I was just correcting your belief of a myth.

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