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Posts posted by Marty2019

  1. Between hitting about 15 shots on the range, stretching a little, hitting a few putts, and chatting with my playing partners, I'd say 30 minutes, plus whatever wait there is to tee off, which could be an extra 15 minutes if the first hole gets backed up. 

  2. 4 minutes ago, iacas said:

    Please list all of the PGA Tour courses that the distance players hit the ball has rendered them obsolete? You don’t get to include courses that don’t have the space or infrastructure to host a PGA Tour event, or courses that stopped playing PGA Tour events at them before 2000, when the solid ball was introduced.

    Nobody can ever really come up with a good list, because that list is ridiculously short. Could PGA Tour players rip Cypress Point to shreds? Yes. Does Cypress Point want to host a PGA Tour event? No way. And yet it’s still a HELL of a challenge to the average player.

    By definition, it is. It’s not an acceptable Rule of Golf.

    Plus, spectators like to see birdies.

    I refer you to my previous answer.  

    If you don't think excessive distance on the PGA Tour is a problem, then yes, this is a dumb idea.  

    But when the PGA Tour and the R&A say there is excessive distance, I am alarmed at some of the solutions that have been proposed.  This is the only solution I have seen that is palatable to me.  It doesn't require lengthening courses, or standardizing and limiting the golf ball, or reining in club technology.   


  3. 3 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

    What ‘shorter’ courses are out of play? It’s still a golf tournament whether the winner is -25 or +1.

    Of course, if your position is "there is no excessive distance problem" then this is a pointless idea. 

    But if your position is that there is an excessive distance problem, and that a lot of courses are becoming obsolete, as a lot of people have expressed, then this is a very simple solution to that problem, and one that could be implemented in one day.  It doesn't require dialing back the ball, or limiting club technology, or buying more land so tee boxes can be moved back 50 yards.   Just make them hit it off the ground.  Players who have a lot of distance like Rory would still have the advantage they deserve.   It would dial back the distance off the tee proportionately across the board for all the players.   

    It doesn't mean amateurs like me have to stop using tees.  It could even be a rule that is used only on certain courses.   This rule would not damage the club manufacturers, or the ball manufacturers.  Plus, it's a rule the PGA Tour could very easily experiment with in one tournament on one particular course.  

    If you believe that the PGA Tour has a driving distance problem, then this is a very simple solution that works.  


    50 minutes ago, klineka said:

    The longest players are still going to have an advantage though, Rory hits his 3 wood longer off the deck than Chez Reavie does, so Rory's distance would still give him the advantage over shorter hitting players. 

    I'm not really sure what that would accomplish other than most players likely hitting 3 wood off the tee instead of driver.

    What it would accomplish is that the approach shots would be longer.  


    51 minutes ago, iacas said:

    Dumb idea, and this would bifurcate the rules, which I'm against.

    I don't see how making a one-week rule for particular courses is bifurcating the rules.  

  4. 28 minutes ago, klineka said:

    The longest players are still going to have an advantage though, Rory hits his 3 wood longer off the deck than Chez Reavie does, so Rory's distance would still give him the advantage over shorter hitting players. 

    I'm not really sure what that would accomplish other than most players likely hitting 3 wood off the tee instead of driver.

    Rory should have an advantage.  No one is saying distance should be equal.  What this would accomplish is it would bring the shorter courses back into play by dialing back the distance for ALL the players.  

  5. Interesting discussion and thanks to everyone who gave an opinion.   

    A couple of years ago, I bought a whole bunch of those Kirkland 4-piece balls with the Urethane cover.  I played them one whole summer.  Lately I've been using a different cheap ball, the Callaway Tour Soft, and it seems to me that I used to hit that Kirkland ball a lot farther, especially with my driver.  So I was wondering about the difference between a premium ball and a cheap ball for an average hacker like me. 

    It seems like nowadays when I take a good hard swing with my driver and hit the ball flush, it takes the same trajectory as it used to, but when I get to where it wound up, it's just not as far as it used to be when I was using the Kirkland ball. 

    But based on what I have learned since the original post, if I did hit the Kirklands farther, I'm now thinking it was probably because of warmer weather, or dryer and harder fairways, or some reason that doesn't have to do with what ball I was using.  Maybe it's because I'm getting older.  

    I've still got a couple of dozen of those 4-piece Kirklands, so I might pull them back out and see if I can detect any difference.  



  6. So I'm an average hacker, drive the ball about 200 to 240, shoot in the mid to high 80s, and my question is, at that level, how much difference does it make what kind of ball I am using?  

    I get balls at Costco, usually Callaway Toursoft or whatever they have on sale for about $24 for 2 dozen.  It usually comes out to around a dollar a ball.  

    Should I be more discriminating about what kind of ball I use, or at my level, does it make very little difference?  




  7. I watch the LPGA a lot more than I used to.  

    1) I find the players a lot more attractive these days than they used to be.  I know that's kind of sexist, but there it is.  

    2) I enjoy the slower swing speeds.  There are some really nice swings out there on the LPGA Tour.  

    3) I don't care if Asians dominate the tournaments.  I like Asians.  


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  8. On 2/12/2020 at 1:45 PM, iacas said:

    I have a few thoughts on the distance debate in golf. Except for the first, they're in no particular order. I'll try to be brief, but we all know how that tends to go…

    1. I don't care about the 0.01% of golfers that this affects. Even if that number is as large as 1%, I don't care. Distance *may be* an issue on the PGA Tour (and other pro tours), and for a few college kids at the best college programs. I am almost fundamentally against changing golf just because of a tiny fraction of golfers.

    2. I still believe that 6500 yards is enough (or more than enough) for 95% of golfers, and 7000 is enough (or more) for 99%+. While Rory might hit wedge to a 450-yard hole, for almost everyone else, that's a 6-iron or more. And if the membership at some clubs are chasing distance and expanding their golf course, that's their call. They're spending their own money.

    3. I'm tired of hearing about the PGA Tour can't go play these awesome courses. Here are some of the outstanding works of art played in 1990: La Costa, TPC StarPass, Indian Wells, TPC Scottsdale, Waialae, Torrey Pines, Riviera, Doral, TPC Eagle Trace, TPC Sawgrass, Bay Hill, TPC Woodlands, Hattiesburg CC, Harbour Town, Forest Oaks CC, English Turn G&CC, TPC Las Colinas, Muirfield Village, Colonial, Atlanta CC, TPC Avenel, Butler National, Medinah CC, Westchester CC, TPC ConnecticutKingsmill CC, Pleasant Valley CC, St. Andrews, Warwick Hills, TPC Southwind, Shoal Creek, Castle Pines, Valleybrook, Firestone, Tuckaway CC, Oakwood CC… I give up, mostly because I'm tired of typing "TPC." Which of the courses that no longer host PGA Tour events are we truly "missing out on"? When the question is posed about what great courses can no longer host the PGA Tour due *only* to distance (and not the other infrastructure needed, lack of member desire to turn their course over for a month, etc.), the list is always *very, very* short.

    4. I really don't care if the British Open can no longer be played at the Old Course some day, or if they continue to play it there and when it's not windy, the winner shoots -30. Will that guy have not done the best job of getting his ball from 72 teeing areas to 72 holes better than anyone else that week? Is the junior tournament my daughter won by shooting 30 on a par-33 course "less than" because most of the holes were par threes or driver-wedge par fours?

    5. A universal roll-back WOULD affect the amateurs, especially if it's done with driver head size. If it's done with the ball, across the board, then amateurs are still going to be affected. I've heard people say "oh if you drive it 250 you'll probably drive it 247, but Rory will go from 330 (he doesn't average 330) to 300 maybe. No, that's generally not how this stuff works.

    6. Speaking of driver head size… PGA Tour players go at their 3W pretty hard too. They're not swinging their drivers at 100% and then backing off with their 3W to 80% or something. PGA Tour players are better these days than they were in the 80s, on average. Would we see the occasional wild shot? Yeah, most likely by a guy that's going to miss the cut or who isn't playing on TV on the weekend. I suspect we'd almost fail to notice. When's the last time you saw someone other than Tiger Woods (he did it pretty frequently for being the GOAT) pop up a 3W? Limiting driver head sizes to small sizes would punish amateurs far more than PGA Tour pros.

    7. Go find a trajectory optimizer or something and put -20° spin axis tilt and try 2250 RPM of spin and then try 4500, which is more than even balata balls spun during the 90s. Even the 4500 RPM ball won't curve that much. Why? My hunch is actually the aerodynamics. The dimple pattern. It's not simply the increased amount of spin people *think* they'll get from "balata" — it's that we've learned more about the aerodynamics.

    8. People talk nostalgically about the "shotmaking" that players had in the 80s and 90s… but it's bullshit. Corey Pavin was a shotmaker, just as Bubba Watson is now. Tiger is a bigger shotmaker than most credit him for, and it serves him well. Lee Trevino? Jack Nicklaus? They pretty much — like modern day players — played one shot shape. Better to be a master of one than a jack of all trades (unless your brain just doesn't work that way, like Bubba, or unless you're so skilled, like Tiger). Billy Casper played a huge draw and won 51 times or whatever. It's nostalgia, and little else, to think that players were "shotmakers" in the past and aren't now. If there was something to be gained by doing it, with the money in the game today, players would do it. They'd figure it out, or a coach or a numbers guy would have.

    9. Knowledge — like that it's better to play your one shot shape, with little curve, because it reacts the most consistently — isn't going to go anywhere. Since the 80s or 90s or whenever your "heyday" was, we've learned about optimal launch conditions. We've learned more about how moving the CG of a driver affects things. We've learned more about building shafts, and aerodynamics of dimples, and ball construction. We've learned more about how to swing. We've learned a LOT, and none of that knowledge is going anywhere.

    10. On a podcast someone gave this example, and I think it's a lousy one every time it's brought up: "College baseball players use metal bats, and when they get to the pros, they have to switch to wood." This analogy falls flat on its face in several ways. First, the information is old. College metal bats were put under even more regulations in 2011 or so (including COR testing) to ensure that they didn't hit the ball much harder than wooden bats. They're a bit lighter, still, so players can swing faster, but the bats themselves aren't really much "hotter." That was done for player safety. Second, it costs a lot of money to replace a bunch of wooden bats, and they break. Colleges opt for metal or composite so they don't have to incur the ongoing costs of replacing bats. Not every college baseball team has a huge budget. Third, college baseball and the MLB system aren't under the same ruling body. Golf is effectively, around the entire world, governed by one set of rules and two ruling bodies who are in lock step with one another, so effectively one ruling body. Finally, college players making the transition to the pros have months or years to make the adjustment. College baseball players aren't called up to play game five of the World Series, but *we see this in golf every year.* Amateurs qualify for and play in major championships *every year.* If they're playing their "regular ball" or their "metal bats" in college so as not to be at a disadvantage, then they're going to be at one when they have to switch to try to qualify for a U.S. Open.

    11. It takes quite awhile for players to adjust to a new ball. Yes, the players will say they've "adjusted" for the Mexico event, but what they're really saying is that they "made adjustments" because they have to, but they're really not 100% certain of anything. Watch the event and you'll see guys mystified at why they flew a green by 20 yards every 30 minutes or so. Attend it and you'll see even more. The course effectively plays 6600 yards at that elevation, so scoring is still relatively good. Guys who switch ball companies will take months over their off-season to truly dial in all of the types of shots they expect to hit, particularly around the greens. Guys in Ryder Cups do their best, and even try to pair with guys who play a similar ball. Guys may "adjust" but there's a big gap between "let's hit a few on Trackman and see how far *the same ball* goes at this altitude" and "this is an entirely new ball." Look at how many guys hit old-model-year golf balls… because they're so reluctant to change. Because they feel it will hurt their game. Because they know it will be difficult to adjust.

    12. "Other sports have a common ball, why can't golf?" In all other sports, players are allowed to have their own *personal* equipment. The balls in most other sports are not personal, but shared equipment. Other players use them, too. In tennis, players get to use their own sneakers and rackets. In baseball, bats, helmets, and gloves are personal. In bowling, there's also not one common ball… because it's not shared. It's personal. Golf is the same. The opponents don't have to or get to play with "your" golf ball.

    13. Going back a step, others have said "if the Masters puts out a tournament ball, you can bet they'd all play it." Sure, everyone *might* still show up and play it… I don't think many would actually boycott the Masters… but there'd be a helluva lot of grumbling about it. Such a tournament should have an asterisk, as we'd see virtually nobody playing at their best. The players who happened to adjust the fastest, or be given a ball that's already closest to their current ball in terms of short game spin and other things, would have the "advantage" that week over players who had the toughest time adjusting or whose ball was most different from the "Masters ball." At any rate, it would be a compromised tournament — we would *not* be seeing the players at their best.

    14. Finally, "tournament golf is so boring?" Give me a break, that's because of distance? We know for a fact that if players have to hit a 6-iron to a green, that it's not going to get as close, on average, as when they have to hit a 9I. So what's more exciting: a player hitting a shot to 35 feet or a player hitting a shot to 12 feet? Sure, hitting a 6I to 20 feet might take more skill than hitting a shot to 12 feet with a 9I, but what do we see on TV? We see a guy, he hits the ball, we see it in the air, we see it landing on the green. If someone told you it was a 6-iron instead of a 9-iron, but the visuals were exactly the same… how would that make golf more exciting? If the same exact shots were hit? No. And if worse shots were hit, as they would be if they *actually* had to hit three clubs more? It'd be even less exciting. Go back and watch events from the 80s and 90s. They weren't all that exciting either… and most of what's changed, I think, is simply the coverage. We see too many putts, too many ad reads, too much pre-shot routine, too many tap-ins, etc. Golf coverage isn't boring because the ball goes too far. The two are almost entirely unlinked, and where they do meet, distance might lead to more excitement. Eagles are exciting. Birdies are exciting. Guys not being able to reach par fives… is more entertaining?

    Okay, that's all I've got for now.


    I totally agree with all of that.  Here are some of my thoughts:

    What happens if the people who make the equipment and the balls say, "We make money selling equipment and balls to the average golfer, who wants and needs MORE, not less distance.  Therefore, we will not be participating in any sort of rollback of distance."   

    And what happens when the pro golfers who make millions from endorsing such equipment say, "We make our money on endorsements.  Therefore, we will not be using any sort of ball or equipment that amateurs don't want to buy, and we will not be participating in any tournament that mandates that we cannot use the same equipment we endorse.  In fact, we will form a new tour if we have to where we can use the balls and clubs that we endorse."  

    These people are forgetting where their money comes from.  Dustin Johnson doesn't buy golf clubs.  I buy golf clubs.  

    If they don't want pros to drive the ball 340 yards, they can fix that by putting hazards out there at the spots the longest players can reach.  Make them lay up.  That seems like a pretty easy solution.  



  9. 54 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

    Do you hang out with a lot of golf fans? Have you heard of the term "bomb and gouge"? It's boring golf to watch. Seeing wedges into par 4s all day just isn't interesting and can't be related to by most golfers. I know that it isn't the tour's goal to make their product relatable to the average golfer, but it is in their interest to keep it interesting for fans. At the moment, it isn't that interesting.

    I have heard the term "bomb and gouge" but only on the golf channel, and only a few times.   The vast majority of golfers, the ones who are the real fundamental financial underpinning of the sport, want more distance, not less.   If you take even just 10% of the distance away from the average hacker out there, I would bet that hundreds of thousands of them would just give up the sport.   

    It's the millions of average golfers that buy the clubs and the balls, and it's those people that the advertising on TV for PGA Tour events is aimed at, and those advertising dollars are what finances the PGA Tour.   If you hurt the average golfer, you hurt the PGA Tour.  

    Is there a real problem here?  Are the TV ratings down?   Are they selling fewer tickets to PGA Tour events?   I think the answer to both those questions is no, but even it the answer is yes, is it because Dustin Johnson hits the ball too far?   Really?   


  10. I may be wrong about this, but here is my opinion anyway.  

    The real financial underpinning of the golf industry as well as the game played at the elite levels for big money is the millions of amateur golfers who buy the clubs and balls and pay the greens fees and take the lessons, and who shoot in the 80s and 90s.   That's where the billions of dollars that support professional golf really come from.   Those people are not demanding a reduction in their distances.  In fact, any action to reduce their distances or make the game even more difficult than it already is would cause a lot of them to give up the game.   And that would severely damage the sport.   

    In addition, I don't I don't see any demand among the average golf fan to have the PGA Tour reduce distances.  Zero.    

    I know Jack Nicklaus used a one-iron for that famous shot that hit the pin on that par-3 in the US Open.  And I know that same shot requires a lot less than a one-iron now.  But who cares, other than Jack?  





  11. Just speaking from my personal experience, without any data to back it up, I see slow play being caused by bad golf.   I'm not talking about the slow play problem on the tour; I'm talking about the average hacker.  It takes a lot longer to play 100 shots than it does to play 70.   

    I know you guys would never do this, but I solved my regular group's slow play problem by suggesting we play a scramble.  I mean "captain's choice," take the best shot.  Either 2 men vs 2 men, or all 4 on the same team.   If we play a 4 man scramble, guys who would normally hit 90 or 100 shots, including putts, in a round of golf are now hitting 70 shots in the round.   It has sped up our play tremendously, and it's fun, too.   


  12. 26 minutes ago, Hugh Jars said:

    From experience playing with others, and my own game, and from statistics I’ve seen the overwhelming tendency for a handicap golfer is to miss short compared to any other miss. Most higher handicap golfers will determine club selection based on hitting a club pure, when in reality they rarely do. Under pressure hitting it fat is a more likely outcome.

    Therefore it makes sense to err on the side of clubbing up on most occasions as opposed to assuming you’ll hit it pure. It will also encourage not trying to hit the ball hard and staying loose in the swing.




    You make a very good point, but I think one other reason a lot of golfers have a tendency to hit it short instead of long is because on most courses, short of the green is safe and over the green is disastrous.  

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  13. On 9/16/2019 at 8:41 AM, phillyk said:

    I’m scratch and I still 3 putt once a round. GIR is king, then its nGIR. One thing I noticed with some of my students is they don’t even know what lines to take the ball off the tee. Play to the safer side of the landing area. Don’t try to actively avoid rough. It’s not usually long enough to where it’ll hurt you. 

    GIR is king if you want to break 80, but I think if you want to break 90, usually the biggest problem is driving the ball in the fairway with some distance.  That's just my limited personal observation.  The tee shot costs 90-ish players more strokes than anything.  

  14. So, playing without a swing thought. 

    Lately, I have had some decent results with hitting the ball as soon as possible after addressing it.   I see so many of my playing partners standing over their ball, thinking, thinking, thinking, and inevitably, they longer they stand over the ball, the worse they hit it.  

    But in response to the original post, I suppose I do have those types of swing thoughts.  I do stand behind the ball to make sure of my alignment, pick out a spot on the grass about 5 or 10 feet in front of me to line up on, and I try to relax, and remind myself to accelerate past the ball, to fight my tendency to decelerate at the bottom of the down swing.  Those type of thoughts.  Just not during my swing.   




  15. 7 hours ago, Jacktgolf said:

    That mistake is what will lead you to improved skill. If you shank your first pitch for example, you naturally adjust to make better contact by making an attempt to hit the middle of the face. And you do this over and over, trying to hit the middle of the face, making mistakes and correcting them over and over, and eventually, through practice and effort, you'll hit the center of the face. After this, it becomes automatic to hit the middle of the face, because you've done it so many times it becomes habit.

    That's really funny.  Seriously, I read that paragraph and I busted out laughing. 



  16. I remember when there was a move to boycott Chic-Fil-A, and noted liberal John Stewart went on his show and said, paraphrasing, "Boycott?   Are you crazy?  These are delicious chicken sandwiches." 

    I think the whole country has gone off the deep end with the politically inspired boycotts. 

    So, heck yes, I would play one of his courses, whether I like him or not. 

    If you don't like the guy, register to vote and vote.  < (I think that is a non-partisan statement.  I'm trying to remain non-partisan here.  )



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  17. One thing I have done recently is trying to feel the slope with my feet.   Straddle the line, or stand to one side of your line with your feet perpendicular to the line, and it's amazing, very often your feet can feel the slope better than your eyes can see it. 



  18. 11 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

    Agree. Let's all move on on this.

    To summarize: We all agree he's a dick. He's a good golfer, really good Ryder Cup player and teammate, tips well in one instance at least, but comes off as a rude, pompous, self-important show-boat, who rails against the very fans that provide his ostentatiously wealthy lifestyle even though he came from humble beginnings.

    I don't necessarily agree with all of that.  I agree that he has been a dick in the past, but I don't know that that necessarily means that he IS a dick.  He might be a perfectly nice guy who's emotionally inconsistent, like Bubba Watson.  How can we really know these people?  We stand off at a distance and see them do something, and based on that very small random sample, we judge them without really knowing the totality of who they are. 

  19. 23 hours ago, NEhomer said:

    When it results in a wife Fing a player up with a 3 wood and taking 300mil back home to Switzerland, the story kinda gains legs past the sexual content. Just saying that it's not exactly one's "sex life" that's the story.

    Apologies in advance to our international friends here but I only hope an American wins this year's tourney.

    She's from Sweden, not Switzerland. 

    But about your hoping an American wins, I may be unusual in this regard, but I don't particularly root for Americans unless it's an American team in the Ryder Cup or something like that.   I generally root for players regardless of where they come from.  


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