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Definitely make courses tougher if you want, but remember that the general public watching golf loves birdies and the long ball. Everything evolves, and roll backs seldom work as intended.

 

I agree that it is fun to watch the pros obliterate a course, but at the same time, I like to see them struggle for par. It makes them human and I can relate better.

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Sure - at 60 are you hitting it farther? If so you're in the minority. There are bundles of stats that show that amateur golfers 99.9 percent of the golfing population have gained zero yardage in th

They have a fairway cut too short, and they play the same courses over and over and over problem. Change up every course yearly. Cut the fairways a touch longer, narrow them up.   Course set up, n

Let's put it this way when the USGA banned belly and titty putters it loss plenty of love from the seniors at my club. Guess what,,,,, they are still playing their long putters and saying screw you to

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The USGA seems a lot like the NCAA. Both trying to stay relevant as the world passes them by.

 

 

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Slow down and narrow the fairways, grow the rough out and let the pro's have at it....the only other option would be a different ball for pros than for amateurs.

 

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The USGA seems a lot like the NCAA. Both trying to stay relevant as the world passes them by.

 

 

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You said it - I thought it. But I think it's too late for the NCAA

 

 

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I think NCAA Men's basketball dropped the ball a long time ago. I loved College hoops. They played defense, they shot free throws and played true basketball. Then they saw the NBA go bat s*** crazy and offense, dunks, no D,traveling all the time, and 3 pointers was the show. They evolved into another NBA.. Back to golf, leave it be, and sorry Jack, I thought you were right, but now I'm on the other side.

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This is a whole big nothing burger. Yes, pros today hit it absurdly far. But I think this whole "roll back the ball" thing is getting more attention because everyone on Tour hits it a mile now. (I'm generalizing)

 

In this post-Tiger era, all the best athletes are playing more golf. Therefore, whereas before 5 guys hit it 300+, now 50 of them do and everyone thinks it's a problem. 

 

I don't know about you, but I don't want to turn on Golf Channel and see DJ, JT, Rory, Tiger, etc hitting 250 yard drivers. I have the same opinion about home runs in MLB - the more the better. 

 

This is a non issue. And I'm sure all us amateurs don't want to play with a rolled back ball.  

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Slow down and narrow the fairways, grow the rough out and let the pro's have at it....the only other option would be a different ball for pros than for amateurs.

Fairways running 10 on the stimp doesn't help either. 

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Aren't the balls and clubs that everyone plays built to the specifications put forth by the USGA? ie... conforming to USGA? They set the rules of ball performance. Not Titleist. Not DJ or Joe Schmoe. The USGA sets the rules for club performance too. Not Callaway. Think of all the balls and equipment they have determined is non-conforming. Ball flies to far and too straight. Clubs go too far and too straight. etc. etc.

We play with the equipment the USGA has allowed us to use. It's not the ball or the clubs USGA!!

Golf these days on TV is just that.... a made for TV event. Long drives, close wedges, birdies galore! I'd imagine most Pros anymore don't need more than about 8 clubs in the bag. Hell, they hit 7i's 225 yards! If it were me I'd have my caddy carry a Sunday bag for me. I'm sure he'd thank me.

 

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Exactly - although it may be tough to change course just soften and tighten the ones that they use.

 

Instead we have a guy complaining that there is too much sand in a bunker. Personally I think there should be a different amount to f sand in every bunker so that they become true hazards.

 

 

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Marion US Open a few years back. That's how you fix the distance problem, course setup and design. Narrow, long rough, penalized for missing the green, they had a 100 yard hole and it played as one of the toughest holes in that tournament. Set the course up and take away the big drive and wedge, make it hurt to miss the fairway.

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From my post on the blog article...

 

I like to see the pros hit long drives. Why would I want to see them hit it shorter? I thought the game of golf was about scoring… not how far someone hits the ball.

The Vardon Trophy is awarded by the PGA of America to the PGA Tour's leader in scoring average. In the past 25 years the winners of the Vardon Trophy have almost all been between 68-69 (OK, Tiger had a few years below 68). DJ won in 2016 with one of the highest scoring averages at 69.17 Long hitters and short hitters have won the Vardon Trophy. 

If the golf ball is flying too far, why isn't the scoring average going down?

We don’t stop playing the game because we get old; we get old because we stop playing the game.”

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I'm curious to know what my fellow golfers think on the topic. I am currently writing a paper on this for my Masters degree at Northwestern. It's no doubt that players are getting longer due to several factors. Is this a huge deal right now? How will it affect golf in 10 years if we don't do anything? If the USGA decides to do something, what do you think they should do? I'm just curious to see what you guys think.

 

 

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Few different threads on this issue

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Thankfully, for the majority of golfers distance isn't an issue. Lack of of it maybe, but certainly not too much of it.

Much has been made lately about the distance of pros hitting balls and making courses obsolete etc, and laying the blame at the ball. This is  not the case. If you delve into the official stats on distances then you will see that not much has changed for the likes of us and the pro tours have seen an incremental yet insignificant increase in distance (around 3 yards?) in the last 10 years.

The perceived increases are a result of these factors:

 

1. Players are fitter now than at any time in the past. Daily workout routines, fitness coaches, strict dieting all make for leaner and stronger golfers. Not just born out of the modern trend for health awareness which is prevalent, but also due to the fact they need the edge to compete for large prizes.

 

2. Course agrimony. Golf courses are as slick and manicured than they ever have been before, making fairways on tour look more like the greens we play. The result is greater roll out and distance on slicker and firmer course by design. Why? TV. Viewers love to see pretty courses with pros hitting bombs - then don't want to see pros hitting irons off the tee to avoid tight fairways lined with thick rough.

 

3. Equipment plays a part, but not in the way you think. If you look at the ball, it has been improved over the old wound balata and hence it's consistency, durability and spin control have made it easier to - hit it harder. In the old days with shorter, heavier, steel shafts this was almost impossible to generate the ball speed seen in todays game. Lightweight composite shafts make this possible today, simply because the bend profile can be controlled without distortion to accept a swing that the player has no trouble in making contact with the ball without losing dispersion. TX flex shafts below 60g are now commonplace Go back to using 42" driver shafts at 120g and I doubt you would see many drives longer than 260 yards on a regular basis. 

 

4. Data analysis is greater now than it has ever been. Meaning, the aforementioned seasoned pros can now see their ball data in real time and tweak their equipment to fit their swing much easier. Optimization of loft to AoA and launch angle makes for instant distance gains for those with the technical know-how. It's never been easier to fit clubs to an individual to enhance the distance - especially for the driver where launch characteristics can be controlled from the tee.

 

5.The rest of the golfing population are still struggling with the same rules that apply to us all. Therefore the disparity between the pros and the hackers seems greater. The average weekend player still won't get a set that fits them properly, still won't take lessons on regular basis and still don't practice enough to ever get the average distances up enough to matter. 

 

So if you do nothing in the next 10 years, then probably nothing will change for the average golfer. However, if you assume that prize money increases for pros in competition, then you can bet that they will find a way around the stats to improve their chances of winning. So rather than finding fault with the humble golf ball which has been regulated for size, weight and initial velocity for years, then something needs to be looked at on clubs for length and weight too. It's a simple matter of physics that has been overlooked by the ruling bodies I think, but as with anything else, it's still an advantage to the fastest and the strongest.

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I should be so lucky to have a distance issue. Haven't seen that problem with my fellow golfers as well.

 

 

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I think Jankanski pretty much covered it off. I don't see distance being a problem with amateur players for the simple fact that recreational golfers are just not going to put in the time and effort. With all of the improvements in the game the average score has not really dropped any over the last several years. The only distance issue I have is that I am standing too close to my ball after I've hit it.

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Ha where is this distance issue for recreational golfers coming from? None of us need to hit it shorter, we can use all the help we can get. This is purely from the tours and how those changes can trickle down to us, with longer courses needing more maintenance (more costs to us) and the playing time increasing. Those are factors that are not good for golf and don't help grow the game.

 

 

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Ha where is this distance issue for recreational golfers coming from? None of us need to hit it shorter, we can use all the help we can get. This is purely from the tours and how those changes can trickle down to us, with longer courses needing more maintenance (more costs to us) and the playing time increasing. Those are factors that are not good for golf and don't help grow the game.

 

 

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But the vast majority of us don't play courses that host tour events, and therefore don't need a set of back tees that are 7400 yards. So really no need to lengthen most courses. I just don't see how the negligible distance gains that amateurs are seeing are forcing most courses to get longer.

 

I'd like to see Augusta take the lead on this and limit rollout. Grow the fairways slightly longer and mow them toward the tee box. Put a little more water on them to soften them up while they're at it.

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Okay Street11, I will play. Northwestern is a great school so understand below is meant as a challenge to help you think through the issue. Thanks for your work and I do agree that the tours create a certain perception about golf and it has an impact on the game. I'm

 

Where's the data to back up the claim that “It's beyond doubt that players are getting longer...”?

 

Longer than what? Longer than hickory shaft days? Persimmon driver? Last ten years? ((Perhaps not really as several rebuttals to the recent joint report have demonstrated)

 

I would say that you will also need data to back up the assertion that longer courses are the contributing factor to longer rounds or even a contributing factor at all.

 

We have dealt with the topic on several threads. There's a clear consensus that distance is not a factor for the overwhelming number of golfers. Actually the ones whom it may challenge the most are course architects. Designing a course that works from four or five sets of tees that range from 7400 to 5700 is not easy.

 

 

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