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Will the USGA finally relent and restrict the flight of golf balls.  Courses are getting cost prohibitive due to land cost and maintenance costs.

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 There already are restricted flight balls. On your range! Feel free to use them. However, I want an exemption.

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A friend is a R & A Rules Official in the UK and he mentioned late last year that they have requested the top ball manufacturers to show how they can limit the distance of tour golf balls. From what he said they would like to restrict the max distance to <300yds.

The reasons were simple, first of course is that lengthening courses is not always an option let alone the cost in doing so. Secondly the alternative was to make some Par 5's, Par 4's - like the 13th at Augusta for example and make some Par 4's long 260yds+ Par 3' which of course then changes Par etc etc which they do not want as it then will affect the history moving forward.

At this stage they were just requesting information but after what De Chambeau has achieved this year I am guessing that it will be more than a request some stage in the near future.

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6 minutes ago, Firebird said:

A friend is a R & A Rules Official in the UK and he mentioned late last year that they have requested the top ball manufacturers to show how they can limit the distance of tour golf balls. From what he said they would like to restrict the max distance to <300yds.

The reasons were simple, first of course is that lengthening courses is not always an option let alone the cost in doing so. Secondly the alternative was to make some Par 5's, Par 4's - like the 13th at Augusta for example and make some Par 4's long 260yds+ Par 3' which of course then changes Par etc etc which they do not want as it then will affect the history moving forward.

At this stage they were just requesting information but after what De Chambeau has achieved this year I am guessing that it will be more than a request some stage in the near future.

I look at it this way.  It will price the average golfer out of the game.  More land and more maintenance equates to higher prices for green fees.  I think this will eliminate most lower income golfers as well as juniors that love to play a great sport.

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There have been three golf courses close in my immediate vicinity . Mostly due to lack of play. 800 closed in the US over the last 10 years. Less than 100 were either built or in the planning stages. In my opinion its not a lack of land but a lack of players to keep the clubs in the black. Limiting the distance the ball goes should only be for the pros if it happens. Whatever they do to the ball would probably have no effect on the distance deviation between players. So if someone can hit the ball 400 yards and now hits 300 with the new ball, then guy who hits 300 now hits 200. Advantage stays the same.  It's all about the compression and rebound of the ball. I dont think they can make a ball that reacts differently based on swing speed. Just put more trouble in the way and force layups on the courses the pros play. Target golf.  Just my thoughts!

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At this stage they were just requesting information but after what De Chambeau has achieved this year I am guessing that it will be more than a request some stage in the near future.

DeChambeau has not exactly won all the tournaments he has entered. Yes, his distance has drastically increased, but you still have to get the ball in the hole.

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19 hours ago, Tom the Golf Nut said:

There have been three golf courses close in my immediate vicinity . Mostly due to lack of play. 800 closed in the US over the last 10 years. Less than 100 were either built or in the planning stages. In my opinion its not a lack of land but a lack of players to keep the clubs in the black. Limiting the distance the ball goes should only be for the pros if it happens. Whatever they do to the ball would probably have no effect on the distance deviation between players. So if someone can hit the ball 400 yards and now hits 300 with the new ball, then guy who hits 300 now hits 200. Advantage stays the same.  It's all about the compression and rebound of the ball. I dont think they can make a ball that reacts differently based on swing speed. Just put more trouble in the way and force layups on the courses the pros play. Target golf.  Just my thoughts!

I believe that the lack of play is due to several factors but I will list four.  1.  Cost for a round of golf is too high.  2.  Equipment costs to much.  (everyone wants to play what Tiger and Phil play.  3.  Courses are too tricked up.  4.  A round of golf takes to long to play.  I would guess the average handicap for golfers is somewhere between 16 and 18 for those that keep handicaps.  I suspect that the average for golfers that do not have handicaps would increase the average to around 20 to 24.  Maybe even higher.  Those without handicaps and even those that do want to have a fun day.   Anyway, I have rambled on.  Have a good day and stay safe.

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4 hours ago, Albatrass said:

I believe that the lack of play is due to several factors but I will list four.  1.  Cost for a round of golf is too high.  2.  Equipment costs to much.  (everyone wants to play what Tiger and Phil play.  3.  Courses are too tricked up.  4.  A round of golf takes to long to play.  I would guess the average handicap for golfers is somewhere between 16 and 18 for those that keep handicaps.  I suspect that the average for golfers that do not have handicaps would increase the average to around 20 to 24.  Maybe even higher.  Those without handicaps and even those that do want to have a fun day.   Anyway, I have rambled on.  Have a good day and stay safe.

You didn't  ramble but you did get me going about the golf industry in general. So I'll ramble a bit. But I still love golf.

The cost of playing golf is directly related to location IMO. Wages are tied into location. I know when I lived in NY and then CT the price for a round was $40 to $50  about 15 years ago. I live in East TN these days and courses charge $25 to $35 currently. You can get deals like $1.00 per hole with a cart. Now look at Bethpage in NY as an example. A state park with 5 golf courses. The black course was $22.00 to play.  I cant even count the number of times I played  there. US Open comes in and now it costs $150.00. Its all about what they can get out of you. Nobody even wanted to play the black because it was so hard and no carts. Now it's on everybody's bucket list and "Boom" break out the check book. And not to mention getting on line in the parking lot at 2am to try to get a walk on spot. If I drive 4 hours to Nashville prices go up. The city effect!

Price of golf equipment is another sore subject. A set of irons this year new $1000.00, left over new two years from now $300. Cost to the manufacturer to make a set of irons, less than $100.00. (a buddy worked for a forging and casting facility that made club heads for a popular brand, less than $5.00 per head unfinished) Marketing gets you.  CUDO'S  out to Sub 70 for going direct to consumer. 

I can't speak to a typical time a round of golf takes. I'm spoiled, sorry. 18 holes in 2-1/4 hours typical for me. I can tee off at 8 and be home by 10:30.  If I play in a tournment or something it's around 4 to 4 1/2.  A 6 hour round" just shoot me". But I remember the 6 hour rounds from Long Island. But a lot of that is due to greed again. Some places have 5 to 8 minutes between tee times. You cant help but have long rounds.

Golf rants got to love them!  Sorry Spys.

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I believe that the lack of play is due to several factors but I will list four.  1.  Cost for a round of golf is too high.  2.  Equipment costs to much.  (everyone wants to play what Tiger and Phil play.  3.  Courses are too tricked up.  4.  A round of golf takes to long to play.  I would guess the average handicap for golfers is somewhere between 16 and 18 for those that keep handicaps.  I suspect that the average for golfers that do not have handicaps would increase the average to around 20 to 24.  Maybe even higher.  Those without handicaps and even those that do want to have a fun day.   Anyway, I have rambled on.  Have a good day and stay safe.

4 is the only one I’ll agree with.

I can walk 9 holes for less than $20 at multiple courses near me. I can play 18 with cart from anywhere from $40-$70 and that’s booking direct. Plenty of value out there. Yeah you might need to drive but there are courses you can play at good deals. Equipment can be bought for pennies on the dollar if you buy used or even close out models. No need to have the latest and greatest. Those lower priced courses are usually on the shorter side and nowhere close to tricked out.

Lack of play is, in my opinion, due far more to competing interests nowadays. There’s a lot to do. As far as rounds taking too long, yup that’s an issue and always will be one. That’s why I (and many others) prefer to play 9. I still get to go out and have fun and it doesn’t take 5+ hours.


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Simple solution IMO is make the ball travel shorter. 

Or

1. Buy more land to make the golf courses longer.

2. Change the courses to make the more difficult, more ( water, trees, bunkers, rough, undulating terrain ect. )

3. Change the clubs.

Some dude you all heard of gave me this basic idea about 40 years ago, named Jack Nicklaus.

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49 minutes ago, Kaplack said:

Simple solution IMO is make the ball travel shorter. 

Or

1. Buy more land to make the golf courses longer.

2. Change the courses to make the more difficult, more ( water, trees, bunkers, rough, undulating terrain ect. )

3. Change the clubs.

Some dude you all heard of gave me this basic idea about 40 years ago, named Jack Nicklaus.

The simplest solution for the Ruling Bodies is to find ways to minimize further equipment-related distance gains, and simply accept that the game has changed and will continue to change.  Modern top-level players are stronger and have better mechanics than the greats of the past did.  Club fitting and computer-driven analysis has allowed players to optimize their launch conditions.  The problem is basically one of image with the top players.  They don't need to play in the same style that Jack or even Tiger had to, and many folks really dislike that change in playing style.  Isn't the idea to get the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes, no matter how you do it?

Courses are just fine for 99.99% of all golfers, pretty much nobody you or I play with overpowers courses.  We don't need tighter fairways or longer rough or more trees and bunkers, golf is tough.  I understand that there's pressure on owners and developers to make courses longer, based on satisfying the egos of players who think they need "tournament length" courses.  Maybe those owners should grow some stones and resist temptation, market instead to the 99.99% of players for whom the current yardages are more than enough.

Clubs are fine for 99.99% of all golfers too.  Same with golf balls.  

So what if Bryson or Dustin or some of the others can overpower some traditional courses.  I guarantee that Jack played golf a whole lot different than Bobby Jones did,  the difference is that Jones never called for golf to limit Jack's distance off the tee.  A course may have been designed based on the abilities of a golfer of the time, that doesn't mean golfers should be limited to playing them the same way.  Golf evolves, players find different ways to use their tools.  Bogey was once the standard score for a hole, now its par, in the future it might be birdie.  That's evolution.  I think the best thing for the R&A and USGA to do is to stop further distance increases from equipment, maybe even find additional facets of equipment to test.  Rollbacks wouldn't be productive to the game as a whole, and bifurcation would be even worse, to me.

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I dont really think bifurcation/rollbacks would be a good solution.

I still don't grasp why they don't just try setting the courses up differently for a couple of events and see what happens.  Slightly narrower fairways with very slightly longer grass to reduce roll.  Slightly deeper rough to reward accuracy etc.  It's cheap and easy to do and if it doesn't work then it's easy to stop doing it.

As long as the players are informed that's what to expect I don't see a problem.

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1 hour ago, Pandaman said:

I dont really think bifurcation/rollbacks would be a good solution.

I still don't grasp why they don't just try setting the courses up differently for a couple of events and see what happens.  Slightly narrower fairways with very slightly longer grass to reduce roll.  Slightly deeper rough to reward accuracy etc.  It's cheap and easy to do and if it doesn't work then it's easy to stop doing it.

As long as the players are informed that's what to expect I don't see a problem.

We're talking about two different entities.  The only thing the R&A/USGA can control is equipment.  Its up to the PGA Tour, or the European Tour, or individual event organizers to decide how to prepare the golf courses for the tournaments they run.  Up until now, the pro tours have sold their events based largely on distance, on the super-human abilities of their players.  They'd have to have a change in marketing strategy to routinely design conditions to encourage players to play shorter off the tee.  I'm not opposed, the conditions you describe will still reward accurate length, its just something beyond the control of the Ruling Bodies.

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6 hours ago, Kaplack said:

Simple solution IMO is make the ball travel shorter. 

Or

1. Buy more land to make the golf courses longer.

2. Change the courses to make the more difficult, more ( water, trees, bunkers, rough, undulating terrain ect. )

3. Change the clubs.

Some dude you all heard of gave me this basic idea about 40 years ago, named Jack Nicklaus.

I agree with you.  Until something is done golf will loose the attraction to the youth and future golfers.

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25 minutes ago, Albatrass said:

I agree with you.  Until something is done golf will loose the attraction to the youth and future golfers.

I'm curious as to why making something harder would attract more youth?

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