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Jack Nicklaus vs The Golf Ball

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I think we can all agree distance isn't the issue. I know we have a show play thread. But to the points in this thread, what order of importance would you place each discussion point. ie... Course layout, ball development.

 

sent from planet Nebulon

1. Course preparation. Slow the course down. Don't give them 30-40 yards of roll after that 290 yard carry. This impacts everyone, so it doesn't handicap the big hitters, but it does "protect" the course.

 

2. Course layout. Pinch in fairways at the landing areas of the really big hitters. This does level the playing field a bit, but the big hitters are hitting shorter clubs off the tee if they want to avoid trouble (reducing the chance of the big miss), and they're hitting shorter irons for their approaches than the shorter hitters, so they still have a big advantage.

 

3. Ball development. I hesitate to say anything about this, but just don't let balls get any longer. Don't roll it back and don't bifurcate.

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First off, I think it's important to note that GOLF does not have a distance problem; the PGA TOUR has a distance problem. IMO, it all stems from course setup. Just look at how much roll these guys are getting on the fairway. How many of us can say we ever experience anything like that on the courses we play? I know I can't - not on average at the very least. If the supers around here were mowing as frequently and as close as those tour setups I'd never be able play because the price increases would kill me. 

 

I've got a lot of respect for the Golden Bear, but quite simply - NO. If they want to do something about the golf ball then they can come up with a tournament ball and implement that at the pro ranks. No need to make yet another change that makes the game less fun for the vast majority.

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I have said this in other threads of a similar topic.  I fully realize, I have a "trained eye" being in civil engineering design for more than 22 years so. I apologize for the rant.  With that said, my firm (and many others) has made a comfortable living fixing Jack Nicklaus (and many others) designed golf courses after they open.  The modern concept of moving millions of cubic yards of dirt to "create" something foreign for the surroundings isn't conducive to long-term success.  Moving that much earth causes severe erosion issues and causes the natural water table to be shifted, often at the expense of neighboring properties. 

 

I can't tell you how many times moving that much earth shifted the water table from the area in which it had existed for thousands of years into another area causing marshy, wet conditions where none had existed before.  What is left behind in the shifting of the water table is unstable earth beneath the surface causing eventual sink-holes.  Sound familiar?

 

Next time you hear catch phrases such as "the pros want the course to play hard and fast" they really want 80 yards of run-out.  Take that away and you have a completely different golf course Mr. Nicklaus with no need to alter the golf ball!  Likewise, next time you hear someone say "Jack moved a million cubic yards of dirt to build this golf course" remember, one-million-cubic-yards-of-dirt is roughly 125,000 construction grade dump truck loads!  ONE-HUNDRED-TWENTY-FIVE-THOUSAND!

 

I will get off my soapbox now.

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I'm still confused why people don't enjoy the long ball... people mad ar hr hitters or guys with fast slap shots. Pitchers throwing 103mph. Sounds like everyone will be getting a participation trophy soon. Either getting stronger and work at the long ball or get better with your irons.

The USGA is never about the people. I seriously doubt that a significant percentage of people who watch golf cares about this. It's fun to watch just like the fastballs and home runs.

 

I'm scared about all this because there is a parallel between the USGA and the NCAA. The NCAA refuses to be proactive and now has an unmanageable mess on its hand. They made me stop watching football a long time ago and I wanted to barf when I put a basketball game on yesterday. There are two sports that I once loved that I won't go back too, certainly never with football and perhaps never with basketball - depends on how they handle the situation. If only minor programs like Wichita St are punished while the blue bloods like Duke, NC, KY, Kansas and Mich St go untouched. I'm out.

 

Will the USGA do the same thing to golf?

 

Obviously it's possible, long at the groove rule or anchor ban where there was no tangible evidence that these things were impacting the game for 99 percent of golfers. So, I may continue to play golf socially but would stop watching it and not play it competitively.

 

College sports could easily afford to loose me. I don't think golf can. If they loose me they are loosing a lot more people too.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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Jack was the Human Rain Delay of golf. His slow play was brutal and many pro's and ams copied him as the way to play the game. He is a blowhard that just want to protect his records.

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At the Honda this weekend there seems to be tons of drives carry the fairway bunkers. If the bunkers were 10 to 20 yards further from the tee box they might be in play again. I don't know who will pay to move them or how that would change the course for the average player the other 51 weeks of the year.

 

If they do change the ball it should be for pros and high level amateur events. I don't want to hit it any shorter than I do now.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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At the Honda this weekend there seems to be tons of drives carry the fairway bunkers. If the bunkers were 10 to 20 yards further from the tee box they might be in play again. I don't know who will pay to move them or how that would change the course for the average player the other 51 weeks of the year.

 

If they do change the ball it should be for pros and high level amateur events. I don't want to hit it any shorter than I do now.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

 

Exactly!   Leave that damn ball alone   ;)

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 He is a blowhard that just want to protect his records.

 

I'd be less than truthful if I said I wasn't  thinking the same thing. I just don't understand what he thinks is going to change if they roll the ball back.

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Personally I'm not that worked up over all this. They're not going to change the ball. If the golf powers that be; be, ... make the pros start playing a wound balata again. Or perhaps make them play an actual wooden driver off the tee and keep the current ball. That will change things I assure you.

Other than that I'm sleeping well at night.  :)

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Jack was the Human Rain Delay of golf. His slow play was brutal and many pro's and ams copied him as the way to play the game. He is a blowhard that just want to protect his records.

I'd be less than truthful if I said I wasn't thinking the same thing. I just don't understand what he thinks is going to change if they roll the ball back.

Yeah was thinking something similar .. he's looking at Tiger playing again and getting worried about his comp record "legacy"...
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And here's another whacko half-joking thought: if they wanna rollback the ball, and as others have suggested the shafts and clubs also, then ... why not go all the way and make the pros wear those old-fashioned tight, heavy woolen suits with a buttoned shirt and a necktie plus heavy leather shoes ... that may slow down their swings and rollback their distances a bit..........

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I honestly don't see them rolling back the ball.  The PGA Tour is in business to make money.  People like to see the big hitters (wish I were one); crowds have always followed John Daly and now it's Tiger, Rory, JD, etc.  Birdies and eagles are exciting.  The money is rolling in.

 

If the USGA and R&A limit the golf ball, I believe that the PGA Tour will throw them the finger and keep allowing the current ball.  That puts the USGA and R&A in a pickle if the pros don't play the new ball.  Certainly the rest of us aren't going to play it!!

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The tour doesn't even faze me how far they hit it.Just scares me with all the tech/launch monitors/Custom fitting and great instruction.That it has had very little benefits to my playing partners games.Nor that much to mine.Once we start hitting 350 yards than I will be all for throttling the ball back.In the mean time, I think they need to throttle the ball up for us amateurs not down

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I think this could be the worst thing to happen in golf in quite awhile. The game for us 99.9% is hard, it's really hard. So to penalize that section of the actual paying population of the game will be the final nail in the coffin possibly for the game of golf. Penalizing that 99.9% that pays to keep the courses open, and the registers at the proshops registers riniging is just an awful idea.

 

To knock roughly 20% off the drives of am golfers that hit ball roughly 240 off the tee (which is more than the average golfer already) is 48 yards. So the guy that averages 240 will be averaging 190+/- off the tee. I don't know about you but that sounds like fun to me (sarcasm)?

 

My old man is 70, and his playing partners are too. Just 2 seasons ago they swallowed their pride and moved from the mens tees to the senior tees. They got sick of not having fun hitting driver fairway wood/hybrids/long irons into what we'd consider short to mid par 4's. So like I said they swallowed some pride and moved forward to the senior tees (which are basically the womens tees on like 13/18 holes). Now take away 20% from these dedicated lifer's of the game and you rob the fun they just gained.

 

I mean this really will be the final nail in coffin to growing the game, getting the 2-3x's a month player, and possibly newbies from getting fully involved.

 

Changing the whole game for .01% of golfers in just asinine. Why not grow the rough thicker on tour, slow down the damn fairways so they're not getting 30-40 yards of roll off the tee, make the bunkers bigger, and the landing znes for drivers smaller. Hell get rid of par 5's if your worried about protecting par. Nobody wants to watch Tiger and Rory rip 260-270 yard drives....

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Ok This topic i  have studied and heard all sorts of arguments.

Jack in my opinion is wrong in many ways.  Easily, he needs to look at the time spent per player on a hole to see where time is wasted.  On the putting green would have the largest % time spent.  A time clock on the green would fix that problem.

OK now long hitting is not an issue for big hitters, the bomb it long and flip a wedge mentality has driven guys into the gym and made the equipment manufacturers a s*** load of money by pumping out new model clubs each year with the claims of longer & straighter every time.  The players don't really seem to care if they hit fairways, they just adapt and get better at their wedge play.  But there is a downside to all this distance and i do believe it needs addressing for many other reasons.  Golf is a game of skill, not chance nor is it a measure of strength or speed. One may use strength, speed and we all love a bit of luck but skill will always win the day.  Golf courses are designed and have been done so for many many years to test this skill.  If we continue down the course of bomb it long and flip a wedge the game will be in ruins.  Golf courses are not in a position to be redesigned to suit this long drive contest mentality. The land is not available, the money for staffing, water, and other agronomy issues are limited.

We need to look at the PGA Tour as a major culprit of this distance / pace of play issue.  They play in the most benign conditions week in week out, where the players will bomb it long as the weather has very little effect.  The PGA Tour schedule is set based on the weather aiming at shooting low scores..... the fans love birdies!

Playing for 1.8million 1st prize also makes one take more time over their actions, i bet Jack didn't think about that.

So will rolling the ball back by design make a difference, yes it will.  But us plebs love to play the game the pro's do and it would hurt us big time, our best drives will be good, but our average drives will be pox, and see us hitting 4 irons into medium length par 4's.

My suggestion is to have #1lessclub in the bag.  No more Driver.  Simple.  13 clubs, a 3 wood will give a Pro 280yrd / 300yrd, this should be plenty to see them get it in play and rip it down the middle.  The fans wont mind seeing pro's hitting 8 & 9 irons into par 4's.  Currently they are hitting them into par 5's, what a joke distance is making of this beautiful game.

We need to stop the selfish what about me and start looking at why we play this game, how good it is and how good it should stay, rather than being steamrolled by equipment manufacturers hell bent on selling more product at the expense of our game.

Other sports limit the equipment they use.  Tennis balls are controlled, Cricket bats are restricted in size weight & shape.  Baseball bats are made of wood for Pro's.  It can be done.

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What I don't understand about the Nicklaus "ball is the problem" argument, manufacturers are just going to come up with newer, different technology to work around any rule imposed.  Look at the "groove rule" changes.  Has it really had any effect on play for the 1% of golfers who compete for millions of dollars?  Equipment companies have designed new technology that equals anything that was out there prior to the rule change.

 

This whole "change the rules" mindset is reactionary.  The USGA approved every ball design currently legal for play.  And Mr. Nicklaus should design better golf courses if he's worried about them becoming "obsolete" as he stated on an interview I saw the other night.

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I'm guessing the USGA/R&A know what they want to do, but they're easing us all into it - amateurs, pros, equipment manufacturers, etc. IMO they can't roll back the ball 20% or bifurcate without harming growth of golf, they'll hasten the decline - THAT BENEFITS NO ONE. It seems the most they can do is try to prevent more distance thru clubs and balls to slow the arms race. That'll be tough enough for club and ball makers when their silly marketing claims of “longest this or that” will be even less believable. Most people will replace clubs less often.

 

Jack and the others have some valid points, longer and longer courses and making classic courses obsolete is expensive, that is an issue. But is letting touring pro scores get lower and lower, instead of lengthening courses, a bad thing for golf. So the pros shoot ever lower scores on classic length courses - what's the harm? Scores and records have dropped in all sports for all time. Pros are significantly more fit, and their swings are more dialed in with launch monitors, coaches, etc.

 

Golf just let clubs and balls accelerate that “improvement” a little too quickly, time to attempt to stop and thereby slow the ascent.

 

And it's easy to see how it happened, and it's not due to negligence. As the game declined post Tiger and post the 2009 Great Recession, without clearly better clubs and balls, equipment makers sales would have tanked worse - it was bad enough. But it's time to arrest or slow the pace of game improvement, and stick to it. Setting the game back with a 20% ball rollback or bifurcation isn't the answer IMHO. For me personally my drive would go from 250 yds to 200 - frankly I'd be beyond angry...

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I'm guessing the USGA/R&A know what they want to do, but they're easing us all into it - amateurs, pros, equipment manufacturers, etc.

I completely agree. Before declaring a real war you need to prime the press, square the U.N., make up your reasons, etc. The USGA following a similar playbook, isn't starting this public relations war by launching nukes out of nowhere. But it might be time to start stocking up/rationing pre-rollback ammunition for the long haul...or rather the long ball.

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I'm guessing the USGA/R&A know what they want to do, but they're easing us all into it - amateurs, pros, equipment manufacturers, etc. IMO they can't roll back the ball 20% or bifurcate without harming growth of golf, they'll hasten the decline - THAT BENEFITS NO ONE.

In fact I'll go one step further and say they're deliberately getting us worked up, so what they actually plan doesn't seem that bad after all, and it'll sail through the golf community - change management 101. I did it all the time in my career when I needed to make a big change, worked like a charm. Much easier than making a change that's worse than people are expecting, or blindsiding people altogether...

 

- If you drive 250 now, you'd be back to 200 yards off the tee with a 50 yard longer approach.

- If you drive 300, you'd be back to 240...

- If you drive 200, you'd be back to 160...

 

No way!

 

Besides, the “problem” was between 1992 and 2004, not so much since 2004. They've completely missed the boat, or to put it kindly - they've done a much better job since 2004.

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