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NPG Episode 31: How to Fix the Distance "Problem"

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2 minutes ago, ZenGolfer said:

Interesting pod, although everyone seemed to certainly have a very anti USGA/R&A attitude about the whole thing and really didnt even seem like they were open to any kind of real conversation or debate about the issue.

I still stand by the belief that if you reduce driver clubhead sizes (maybe only 300cc), it would put a premium back on hitting the center of the clubface and these players wouldnt be able to just swing as hard as they cant and not worry about if they miss the middle a bit.

I also like the idea of growing up the rough and fairways and making the greens harder and faster.  Growing the rough would penalize misses more and make bomb and gouge a less appealing tactic.  I also think that growing the fairways would reduce roll and that making the greens harder/faster would make it much more difficult to hit the green with a driver or FW in your hands.

The problem is, thats not what people want to watch.  No one wants to watch these guys struggle to make pars, they want to see birdies or eagles on every hole and winning scores that are -20.

i agree with some of that but part of the issue for them is everything outside of just hitting the ball. its mowing, maintenance, feed, sod, water, fertilizer, tree trimming.......all of it.  maybe they are using other "excuses" to push change?  

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20 hours ago, ZenGolfer said:

Interesting pod, although everyone seemed to certainly have a very anti USGA/R&A attitude about the whole thing and really didnt even seem like they were open to any kind of real conversation or debate about the issue.

I still stand by the belief that if you reduce driver clubhead sizes (maybe only 300cc), it would put a premium back on hitting the center of the clubface and these players wouldnt be able to just swing as hard as they cant and not worry about if they miss the middle a bit.

I also like the idea of growing up the rough and fairways and making the greens harder and faster.  Growing the rough would penalize misses more and make bomb and gouge a less appealing tactic.  I also think that growing the fairways would reduce roll and that making the greens harder/faster would make it much more difficult to hit the green with a driver or FW in your hands.

The problem is, thats not what people want to watch.  No one wants to watch these guys struggle to make pars, they want to see birdies or eagles on every hole and winning scores that are -20.

 

I like the driver size idea, but I would think you could do it with MOI even at somewhat larger sizes.  Remember all the accuracy complaints about the SLDR, which was in the 3600 range for MOI.  That's probably quite a bit more than anything in the 285cc zipcode (picking a number randomly).

It's occasionally mentioned on Tour telecasts when a player looks to move the ball a bit more, they may use a fairway wood.  MOI!  🙂

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On 2/15/2020 at 2:34 PM, Tsecor said:

i agree with some of that but part of the issue for them is everything outside of just hitting the ball. its mowing, maintenance, feed, sod, water, fertilizer, tree trimming.......all of it.  maybe they are using other "excuses" to push change?  

I kind of think that growing up the rough and fairway is going to create as many environmental issues and it may solve.  Yes, you may be able to make golf courses smaller but how much more water are you going to have to use in some locations to support that longer grass?  Especially in hot, dry climates; where water usage is already an issue, we're going to use even more water?  Im not sure about that one.

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4 hours ago, NRJyzr said:

 

I like the driver size idea, but I would think you could do it with MOI even at somewhat larger sizes.  Remember all the accuracy complaints about the SLDR, which was in the 3600 range for MOI.  That's probably quite a bit more than anything in the 285cc zipcode (picking a number randomly).

It's occasionally mentioned on Tour telecasts when a player looks to move the ball a bit more, they may use a fairway wood.  MOI!  🙂

Honestly, if it were up to me, theyd go back to a 190cc limit, like how it was back in the days of persimmon but I realize that probably isnt realictic.  I mean, people are already acting like the sky is falling and they havent even talked specifics yet.  Just imagine the collective whining if they said they were going to limit driver head size to 190cc, which isnt much bigger than a lot of hybrids are currently.

I mean, if I were the head of the R&A/USGA and it was all my decision, they would limit driver head size, limit FW head size, ban hybrids, ban anything but blade irons and wedges, ban oversize mallet putters and we'd go back to wound balls.  Id probably be the most hated head of the R&A/USGA ever. LOL

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On 2/16/2020 at 3:21 PM, ZenGolfer said:

Honestly, if it were up to me, theyd go back to a 190cc limit, like how it was back in the days of persimmon but I realize that probably isnt realictic.  I mean, people are already acting like the sky is falling and they havent even talked specifics yet.  Just imagine the collective whining if they said they were going to limit driver head size to 190cc, which isnt much bigger than a lot of hybrids are currently.

I mean, if I were the head of the R&A/USGA and it was all my decision, they would limit driver head size, limit FW head size, ban hybrids, ban anything but blade irons and wedges, ban oversize mallet putters and we'd go back to wound balls.  Id probably be the most hated head of the R&A/USGA ever. LOL

When you play this game long enough you see "technology" circle around many times over. Hybrids are not new. They were around long ago.  If you look at clubs from the 1800's, they look exactly like hybrids. I remember my dad having a "hybrid" back in the early 80's.  We also had "low profile" irons that look exactly like driving irons of today.   I do not think rolling back tech is as crazy as you think it is.  Id love to see some of these players with old tech. Guys like Rory and Tiger would be ok.....guys like Spieth and Thomas may not be......

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After watching the TXG video yesterday with the V1x and the -V1x... good grief, I’m surprised they can modify a ball so much to gain 13 yards in the same line... that’s insane.

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38 minutes ago, Tsecor said:

When you play this game long enough you see "technology" circle around many times over. Hybrids are not new. They were around long ago.  If you look at clubs from the 1800's, they look exactly like hybrids. I remember my dad having a "hybrid" back in the early 80's.  We also had "low profile" irons that look exactly like driving irons of today.   I do not think rolling back tech is as crazy as you think it is.  Id love to see some of these players with old tech. Guys like Rory and Tiger would be ok.....guys like Spieth and Thomas may not be......

It sounds like you want this for the sake of making comparison to past era players easier (to be fair era comparison is a problem for all professional sports). The problem is when we let this carnal need for comparison shape the future of the game.

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I have a feeling that nothing will come of this distance controversy, although so far I really like the idea of growing out the grass to prevent the pros from having huge rollouts on the fairway. If they do come up with something, I just hope it's not an equipment rule-change. 

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29 minutes ago, cpogoose said:

I have a feeling that nothing will come of this distance controversy, although so far I really like the idea of growing out the grass to prevent the pros from having huge rollouts on the fairway. If they do come up with something, I just hope it's not an equipment rule-change. 

51 yards... FIFTY ONE.... I would love to play on fairways like this!
 

 

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20 minutes ago, GolfSpy Stroker said:

51 yards... FIFTY ONE.... I would love to play on fairways like this!
 

 

 

I played on a course like this yesterday. It changes the game!!

1474928503_Screenshot2020-02-18at8_57_15AM.thumb.png.8ab755893ca865f5b49b6b3dfc04219f.png

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3 hours ago, storm319 said:

It sounds like you want this for the sake of making comparison to past era players easier (to be fair era comparison is a problem for all professional sports). The problem is when we let this carnal need for comparison shape the future of the game.

No, that not it at all.

i dont really care either way but for the sake of the USGA's concerns, we are discussing certain angles. 

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37 minutes ago, GolfSpy Stroker said:

51 yards... FIFTY ONE.... I would love to play on fairways like this!
 

 

no doubt...if i get 10 yards roll out im happy

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I played on a course like this yesterday. It changes the game!!
1474928503_Screenshot2020-02-18at8_57_15AM.thumb.png.8ab755893ca865f5b49b6b3dfc04219f.png
Ain't no wonder you're getting along with the a Tour B X, I'm even impressed with the three putts in what looks like the sand.

Sent from my SM-N975U using MyGolfSpy mobile app

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51 yards... FIFTY ONE.... I would love to play on fairways like this!
 
 

Come to my public course in-town next August! Don’t expect to see any grass on the fairways, though, just weeds here-and-there, and bring some wrist braces as the fairway will be so hard that you may sprain something at contact!!! And we’re in the Delta of the Mississippi, so no downhill help!!!


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After this weekend’s tourney at Riviera, with the winner at -11, all they need to do is have similar set-ups. I think I remember the broadcast team saying it played at around 7300 yards, so not the 7600 we saw a few weeks ago. The PGA/USGA/R&A all just need to challenge these players more often. The answer isn’t just lengthening. Sadly, what’s obvious to us, somehow isn’t as obvious to the organizations.

I guarantee some tourneys want a boatload of birdies for fan interest. To me, it’s similar to home runs in baseball: MLB wants homers to draw fan’s eyeballs, and puts fannies in the seats.

 

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3 hours ago, PMookie said:

After this weekend’s tourney at Riviera, with the winner at -11, all they need to do is have similar set-ups. I think I remember the broadcast team saying it played at around 7300 yards, so not the 7600 we saw a few weeks ago. The PGA/USGA/R&A all just need to challenge these players more often. The answer isn’t just lengthening. Sadly, what’s obvious to us, somehow isn’t as obvious to the organizations.

I guarantee some tourneys want a boatload of birdies for fan interest. To me, it’s similar to home runs in baseball: MLB wants homers to draw fan’s eyeballs, and puts fannies in the seats.

 

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And it was great to watch.  Andy Johnson (Shotgun Start) made a few great points:

1.  The greens were very firm.  With firm greens, perfectly struck shots stop pretty close to where they land.  But when you catch one out a little toward the toe and hook it, it's going to roll out, not stop dead like it will on a softer green.  The guys having great ball-striking weeks are properly rewarded, but guys who don't quite have it aren't getting away with merely OK swings

2.  Riviera's greens have significant contours.  On many tour courses, pins are placed in a 10 foot circle of nearly flat green, so pros play the yardage to the pin and aim right at it, knowing they can miss a little long/short/left/right and have a makeable putt.  At Riv, the make zone for a putt is often all below the hole, so you cannot hit it past hole high and make a putt.  You're not playing the number to the flag, you're playing a number a little bit short, so you don't go long.  And if you're a little short of that little bit short number, now you have a 40 footer.  But the guys who are hitting their yardages have makeable birdie putts.

It really brings out the strategy.

I don't remember if Andy said this or if I'm coming up with it, but the kikuyu green surrounds absolutely owned guys who were shortsiding themselves.  You couldn't just hack it out with a 60, one hop it off the fringe and have the ball trundle down to the hole and leave you a 3 footer.  If a pitch hits the fringe, it stops (shout out Max Homa on 18).  If you land it on the green, it's probably rolling 15 feet past.  So again, the guy controlling his ball, hitting great iron shots and thinking his way around the course isn't shortsiding himself, so he's being rewarded.  If he misses on the "good" side, he has a relatively easy up and down.  But anyone playing stupid or not controlling the golf ball was getting ejected.

 

    

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16 hours ago, PMookie said:

After this weekend’s tourney at Riviera, with the winner at -11, all they need to do is have similar set-ups. I think I remember the broadcast team saying it played at around 7300 yards, so not the 7600 we saw a few weeks ago. The PGA/USGA/R&A all just need to challenge these players more often. The answer isn’t just lengthening. Sadly, what’s obvious to us, somehow isn’t as obvious to the organizations.

I guarantee some tourneys want a boatload of birdies for fan interest. To me, it’s similar to home runs in baseball: MLB wants homers to draw fan’s eyeballs, and puts fannies in the seats.

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

 

i agree. "shot making" is horrible nowadays.......i find a lot of people boring on tour...hit to middle of fairway....straight shot into the green....2 putt for par or birdie....only on a wayward shot do things get really interesting.....make shots to the green challenging....no middle of the green pins.....ok, maybe a couple.....but id love to see tournaments come in at +2 to -5 for the winners....

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4 minutes ago, Tsecor said:

i agree. "shot making" is horrible nowadays.......i find a lot of people boring on tour...hit to middle of fairway....straight shot into the green....2 putt for par or birdie....only on a wayward shot do things get really interesting.....make shots to the green challenging....no middle of the green pins.....ok, maybe a couple.....but id love to see tournaments come in at +2 to -5 for the winners....

I did enjoy seeing the pros 3 and 4 putt those greens last week. 🤣

I have to agree though.  It's much more interesting to REALLY see the talent show through when they have an imperfect lie, or difficult shot. Like Phil from the pine straw at Augusta.  

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Last night the Golf channel was re-broadcasting the 2000 Players championship.  It was Tiger chasing Hal Sutton.  A great comp.

The distance they were getting with the clubs they were using was impressive - both were getting over 300 easily with those small headed drivers.

Funny thing is nobody even mentioned 'distance' and I think Sutton won at either -10 or -11.... (which begs the question: what is the winning score that the USGA wants?  obviously 21 under is not good but what's their target range?)

If you get a chance, watch one of the older tournaments.  Check out the length of the grass and see if distance was an issue back then.  I know some folks fault the equipment but I don't know about that.  Tiger was hitting his 9i 160+ without much of an issue and old man Hal was keeping right with him!

This week is going to be nuts because of the altitude in Mexico.  Guys will be hitting mid irons 250.... but just because you can hit the ball a long way doesn't mean you're going to win.

Just ask Jamie Sadlowski, Cam Champ and all of those other big time bombers.

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Last night the Golf channel was re-broadcasting the 2000 Players championship.  It was Tiger chasing Hal Sutton.  A great comp.
The distance they were getting with the clubs they were using was impressive - both were getting over 300 easily with those small headed drivers.
Funny thing is nobody even mentioned 'distance' and I think Sutton won at either -10 or -11.... (which begs the question: what is the winning score that the USGA wants?  obviously 21 under is not good but what's their target range?)
If you get a chance, watch one of the older tournaments.  Check out the length of the grass and see if distance was an issue back then.  I know some folks fault the equipment but I don't know about that.  Tiger was hitting his 9i 160+ without much of an issue and old man Hal was keeping right with him!
This week is going to be nuts because of the altitude in Mexico.  Guys will be hitting mid irons 250.... but just because you can hit the ball a long way doesn't mean you're going to win.
Just ask Jamie Sadlowski, Cam Champ and all of those other big time bombers.


Funny you post this. Last night I was out at a pub celebrating with a friend who was promoted at work and one of the TV’s was showing that exact broadcast.

On one of the back nine holes, Sutton hit it 295 with 150 in...his driver of choice? A Taylor Made Firesole with a burner shaft. Ball of choice? Top Flite Strata.

None of the guys at the table are golfers so me saying how did that happen fell on deaf ears.


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