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NPG Episode 42: Should The Golf Ball Be Rolled Back?


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1 hour ago, fixyurdivot said:

Yeah, that many pros players now hit wedges 160+ yards is contributing to the driver & wedge tour comment.  

I disagree. They just feel the tradition of the game is getting skewed and some changes should be made.  Also, it isn't just Jack and Colin.

https://www.cbssports.com/golf/news/tiger-woods-speaks-on-rolling-back-golf-balls-bifurcation-for-pros-and-amateurs/

You still haven't answered my question "at what point does increased hitting distance make it a yawner?"  Not saying it is going to happen, but follow this trend to its logical conclusion and it does change the game.  For some that's an issue, for others it's not.  

Jack is a course designer and has to needs people to have lots of land for him to build his courses and that’s becoming harder so he has to call for the ball to be rolled back but the even more interesting part is that jack also had a golf ball company and he wasnt trying to roll them back. So what is it? Should the ball be rolled back or not? Jack can’t have his cake and eat it too. Jack didn’t have problem over powering courses in his day and wasn’t calling for equipment to be changed because he was hitting past everyone.

Same goes for tiger being a course design and his call for ball roll back. 

 

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Here is the data. It is way more balanced than you would think. In fact it is more balanced than my game at my home club.  Going to make a rambling of a post.  First rolling back the ball 20

My position will always be the same: do whatever you want, PGA, but the USGA and R&A don’t need to get silly and rollback the amateur. What the top 1% can do with a ball has ZERO correlation to th

I'm beginning to think so... at least for the tours.  I just watched DeChambeau grab a 3w on a 329 yard hole because the driver is too much.  He comes up about 10 yards short of the front of green.  T

Another great NPG episode.  Just a few things.

1) I dont think balls need to be rolled back

2) I dont agree with bifurcation

3) the thing I dont like the most about this whole thing is that it's based on 1 tour player.  They fussed over Rory but that dust settled until Bryson.  Bryson may have influenced a younger generation to try and do what he does but like they mentioned in NPG, he is probably one of the best and and one of the MOST consistent ball strikers on tour.  At those swing speeds, a fraction of a millimeter off and the ball is gone.  Simply put, he is an elite athlete=freak of nature.  

4) Bryson didnt win.

5) I'm fine with older courses not being in play on tour.  Selfishly, I would love it if pebble beach prices dropped.

6) if they throw everything in reverse as far as technology for distance, I think golf would lose a lot of golfers.  I agree with the idea of growing the grass.  It's simple, doesnt cost any extra money, and if it works problem solved

Lastly, golf is and has been pretty boring to watch.  As far as a better viewing experience (this was mention in NPG about tiger, phil, peyton, and tom) golf needs to change up how they televise.  It never dawned on me but when adam said its ridiculous when commentators whisper on Putts when they are miles away from that green, I laughed so hard. Not apart of the subject but it was a question asked so thought I'd throw it in.

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On 6/23/2020 at 10:10 AM, fixyurdivot said:

So let's ask the question "at what point would increased hitting lengths make the game a yawner"?  Would a large majority of balls rolling onto par 4 greens or aprons off the tee, or second shots on par 5's, be the game you want to watch?  I for one certainly wouldn't.  For my tastes, it would make the game too one dimensional.  Sure bomb drives are fun to watch.  So are home runs in baseball.  But if advances in physical condition or technology suddenly had every other batter swatting balls over the fence, that would be boring to me.  I guess I just like the traditions of these sports.

It's really a sticky wicket.  If you grow the fairway grass to suppress the long drivers but allow the short hitters to roll out close to their drives, is that fair?  8000 yard courses likewise presents a challenge in that the majority of the tour players who aren't long hitters are now penalized.  The Podcast group mentions that the "bomb & wedge" is not true - that in fact many more second shots require mid iron/hybrid clubs.  I haven't seen the data on that, but while watching many events on TV, it sure seems like a LOT of driver/wedge combinations being played.

I like your opening question. But unlike you(?), the distances they're hitting today haven't made the game (more of) a yawner to me - yet. [Slow play in general and taking forever to putt bother me a LOT more] It's fun to watch the big guns hit long drives. But I am just as impressed when they stick a long iron as I am when they stick a wedge - because I know who hard it is (for me) to do, so I appreciate watching people that have mastered the game.

I do think the USGA and R&A need to try to do everything they can to stop distance increases from here on though, at some point it does become too much.

I don't support growing fairway grass. I've been a supporter of growing the grass in the rough and narrowing the fairways out where the really long hitters land (300 yds+?). That way short knockers still have wide fairways at least.

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I think the PGA Tour is in a tough position regarding length. I'm not fond of the PGA tour holding back players but it's also noteworthy the MLB doesn't let their players use metal bats. My fear with the growing length of several players on the PGA tour is actually similar to NASCAR in an odd way. NASCAR leveled the playing field several years ago in term of car performance and I think the series suffered as a result. Ultra-long hitters on the PGA tour that overpower a course presents a similar situation where hitting every par 5 in two and having wedges in every par 4 significantly levels the playing field and makes it difficult for any player to stand out. It's unlikely anyone will run away with a 10 stroke victory with the current situation.

I personally like the idea of tightening up courses and giving players a bigger risk/reward scenario. I don't want the courses to be unfair or set up to make players play to par. Make the fairways a little tighter, rough longer, etc. You don't have to put pins one yard from the edge of the green or have greens reading 15 on the stimp meter. Putting isn't the problem. If Bryson is hitting 400 yard bombs accurately, then he deserves to run away with a tournament.

Moral of the story: set up the course a little tighter and/or with longer rough and let the players go score. It will add some much needed variability into the game that give more players a chance to win.

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3 hours ago, Kansas King said:

I think the PGA Tour is in a tough position regarding length. I'm not fond of the PGA tour holding back players but it's also noteworthy the MLB doesn't let their players use metal bats. My fear with the growing length of several players on the PGA tour is actually similar to NASCAR in an odd way. NASCAR leveled the playing field several years ago in term of car performance and I think the series suffered as a result. Ultra-long hitters on the PGA tour that overpower a course presents a similar situation where hitting every par 5 in two and having wedges in every par 4 significantly levels the playing field and makes it difficult for any player to stand out. It's unlikely anyone will run away with a 10 stroke victory with the current situation.

I personally like the idea of tightening up courses and giving players a bigger risk/reward scenario. I don't want the courses to be unfair or set up to make players play to par. Make the fairways a little tighter, rough longer, etc. You don't have to put pins one yard from the edge of the green or have greens reading 15 on the stimp meter. Putting isn't the problem. If Bryson is hitting 400 yard bombs accurately, then he deserves to run away with a tournament.

Moral of the story: set up the course a little tighter and/or with longer rough and let the players go score. It will add some much needed variability into the game that give more players a chance to win.

Metal bats arent used in the major leagues or pro level because of safety not to control home runs

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On 6/25/2020 at 4:51 PM, RickyBobby_PR said:

Metal bats arent used in the major leagues or pro level because of safety not to control home runs

But, dont you think there would be more home runs if you used metal bats? have you ever played on a beer league soft ball team? They have limits on the number of home runs you can hit other wise that is all they would do. 

I don't disagree that a roll back is probably not needed though. But, if the MLB had aluminum bats there would be a 90+ home run year by someone. 

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5 minutes ago, Quigleyd said:

But, dont you think there would be more home runs if you used metal bats? have you ever played on a beer league soft ball team? They have limits on the number of home runs you can hit other wise that is all they would do. 

I don't disagree that a roll back is probably not needed though. But, if the MLB had aluminum bats there would be a 90+ home run year by someone. 

I’ve played in various levels of softball from a beer league to military base teams. that included limited home runs as well as playing with a limited flight ball. Also played in both wood bat and aluminum bat baseball. 
 

Aluminum bats are by far superiors in getting more pop off the bat including non sweetspot hits but for infielders it’s far more dangerous at the amateur level that it would require lots of changes at the pro level to protect the players, even if they put in limited home run rule it’s not a viable pro option

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The first issue to address is fairway roll. I have no problem with 300-320 yard carries. What gets crazy is those carries and then 35-40 yards of roll. I have never played a course set up with that much roll during regular play. More penal rough off of the fairway and around the greens. 

PGA pro's are going to score and a winning score of -15 to 20 for a regular tournament is fine. 

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make courses harder, not longer.....put a lake 300 yards out...make the rough 12" deep.....put trees in the way....stop with the 600 yard hole that is straight as an arrow.....make these guys into premiere shot makers, not just long drive champions.....the PGA is weak....the golfers of today are BORING.....make them earn every par.....

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On 6/23/2020 at 8:52 AM, Middler said:

Another good NPG video. I really like all the guys (and girl) and their POVs are informative. However I’m not sure I agree with a couple points on rolling back the ball.

I don’t think having 8000 yard courses is an answer, who will build and $ support these courses that no one but pros play? I guess they could have forward tees for the rest of us, but placing hazards would be tougher.

And I think the ramifications of letting some classic old courses fall off the pro calendar might have greater consequences than noted. St Andrews was mentioned. But isn’t part of the attraction (and premium rates) of playing St Andrews (and every classic course) for the rest of us that it’s the same course pros contest The Open on? If pros no longer play there, eventually amateurs won’t be as interested in playing there either, and it’s a downward spiral?

FWIW, I don’t think bifurcation is the answer. I like the MGS suggestion to just narrow fairways and grow rough out past 300 yards - try it for a year and see. 

Professional basketball, football, baseball, tennis and pro athletes from every other sport can perform at a level far beyond 99.99% of amateurs. No one is trying to ratchet them back. Yes it’s odd to reach par 5’s in 2, but they’ve gotten that good. I admire Nicklaus but it’s a little disingenuous that he’s criticizing today’s players length when he had a distance advantage most of his career (not suggesting that was his only advantage).

Talk about slowing the game down.  18 holes of looking for lost balls.  Goodby 4 to 41/2 hour rounds.  Hello 5 to 6 hour rounds.  I like having a chance to find my ball in the rough.

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On 7/22/2020 at 3:53 PM, Stevens24 said:

The first issue to address is fairway roll. I have no problem with 300-320 yard carries. What gets crazy is those carries and then 35-40 yards of roll. I have never played a course set up with that much roll during regular play. More penal rough off of the fairway and around the greens. 

PGA pro's are going to score and a winning score of -15 to 20 for a regular tournament is fine. 

I am not a pro and can't hit one that far.  To accommodate those that do they have built longer courses that require bigger green fees.  So yes I would like to see a restricted flight ball to help control spiraling cost to play.  Again higher rough the more time you add to playing a round of golf.

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100% do not think the ball should be rolled back. Goes to all the points that everyone continues to make, grow the rough or tighten the fairways or both so theres a premium on fairways hit, make tougher pin placements, etc. The best golfers in the world are still missing cuts and shooting par.

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13 hours ago, Albatrass said:

Talk about slowing the game down.  18 holes of looking for lost balls.  Goodby 4 to 41/2 hour rounds.  Hello 5 to 6 hour rounds.  I like having a chance to find my ball in the rough.

OK, then what’s your alternative since this is a thread on dealing with the distance question?

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Sorry to be so late getting into this, I have just a few comments.

On 6/23/2020 at 6:32 PM, THEZIPR23 said:

There is a breaking point somewhere in golf due to the limits of the courses, that is different from other sports. IMO we are probably only 1 generation away from the breaking point. So yes there will probably have to be something that changes. What do you propose they do?

I think that for the huge majority of golfers, we are decades away from having any real problems due to the lack of length in golf courses.  Driving distance for amateurs is creeping up, but most courses remain completely relevant for damn near every single golfer.

On 6/23/2020 at 6:38 PM, yungkory said:

This. I'm not going to enjoy golf if I start hitting it shorter. I'm not particularly long (that's what she said) to begin with, don't need help making the game harder.

I started out hitting it shorter, with wooden woods and balata balls.  I don't support decreasing distance from equipment, but if it happens, most golfers will continue to play.  We'll complain, of course, but we'll play.

14 hours ago, Albatrass said:

Talk about slowing the game down.  18 holes of looking for lost balls.  Goodby 4 to 41/2 hour rounds.  Hello 5 to 6 hour rounds.  I like having a chance to find my ball in the rough.

The talk of toughening the course is for the very top level of players.  The courses you and I play will probably remain unaffected.  

The distance issue is an issue of image for the top level of players.  They've increased their distance to the point where their tactics are completely foreign to many of us, and many of us don't like that.  To me, that's simple evolution of the game, I'm not crazy about it but I can live with it.  If a tournament organizer (PGA Tour, USGA, PGA of America, whoever) decides to taper fairways, let the grass grow, anything to penalize distance without accuracy, that would be great in my view.  That's not something the USGA or R&A can regulate.  

The distance also causes an issue with developers and owners and architects, because of the image of "tournament length".  Even good scratch players don't need 7500 yard courses to be properly challenged, but when someone is planning and building a new course, he may think that he needs to make it long enough to challenge Rory and Bryson and Dustin.  He doesn't, but he still may feel the pressure.  

I fully support efforts and research to minimize future equipment-related distance gains.  I oppose rolling anything backwards, and I would hate to see bifurcation.  I don't think bifurcation is practical, for a number of different reasons.  Roll-backs are possible, but unlikely, based on the currently stated intentions of the R&A and USGA.

 

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2 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I fully support efforts and research to minimize future equipment-related distance gains.  I oppose rolling anything backwards, and I would hate to see bifurcation.  I don't think bifurcation is practical, for a number of different reasons.  Roll-backs are possible, but unlikely, based on the currently stated intentions of the R&A and USGA.

+1, well said. Obviously equipment manufacturers, who buy all the ads, pay pros and sponsor tournaments, won't like minimizing equipment related gains - but it has to stop somewhere.

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45 minutes ago, Middler said:

+1, well said. Obviously equipment manufacturers, who buy all the ads, pay pros and sponsor tournaments, won't like minimizing equipment related gains - but it has to stop somewhere.

A lot of stuff has been regulated for quite a while already, and they're all surviving.  I don't know what else might be possible to test and limit, maybe assembled clubs somehow, but I think that's the way the Ruling Bodies will go.  And they'll still be marketing more forgiveness, higher or lower launch, more adjustability, whatever.  The distance report talked about collaboration with all stakeholders, I'd bet the manufacturers will be much more amenable to maintaining current distances than they would be towards bifurcation or rollbacks.

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

A lot of stuff has been regulated for quite a while already, and they're all surviving.  I don't know what else might be possible to test and limit, maybe assembled clubs somehow, but I think that's the way the Ruling Bodies will go.  And they'll still be marketing more forgiveness, higher or lower launch, more adjustability, whatever.  The distance report talked about collaboration with all stakeholders, I'd bet the manufacturers will be much more amenable to maintaining current distances than they would be towards bifurcation or rollbacks.

Again I agree with your POV completely. But it would be interesting to see a world where equipment manufacturers could no longer legitimately claim “more distance” - they’ve been addicted to that ad copy for decades.

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etc. etc. etc...

 

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1 hour ago, Middler said:

Again I agree with your POV completely. But it would be interesting to see a world where equipment manufacturers could no longer legitimately claim “more distance” - they’ve been addicted to that ad copy for decades.

Callaway: A.I. Created Next Level Distance

TaylorMade:Designed to provide faster clubhead speed for more ball speed and distance...Improves ball speed across the face by calibrating each head to the threshold of the legal speed limit

Ping: Significant advancements in custom fitting while increasing both forgiveness and ball speed highlight the G410 Plus and SFT drivers.

Cobra: Cobra’s first ever CNC Milled Infinity Face delivers precision performance for faster, longer and straighter drives.

etc. etc. etc...

 

As long as we golfers want to hit it further, they're going to market increased distance, even when the distance is limited by the rules.  Never let the truth get in the way of selling golf clubs!

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1 hour ago, DaveP043 said:

As long as we golfers want to hit it further, they're going to market increased distance, even when the distance is limited by the rules.  Never let the truth get in the way of selling golf clubs!

Is distance really limited by the rules? 

Bryson added distance by improving speed and optimizing launch conditions to match the speed under the current rules. DJ and other pros have picked up speed thru improved ball speed while their drivers and ball still fall within the rules.

Matt from TXG had better distance with sim over m5 and both drivers fall in the rules.

 

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