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I remember growing up when Tiger was just hitting first gear in his career.  Smashing the ball a mile, not hitting many fairways, and using his short game to his advantage.

Today, there is another game changer doing the same thing. I don’t know if I was to young to notice, but I don’t remember Tiger getting all of the heat from golf media outlets.  Although, he did force Faldo into retirement... Probably because things like social media didn’t exist.

When I play, my goal is to be as close to the green on the first shot as possible.  I have never found many fairways so I am used to being in the trees, rough, or worse.

Distance is king out there, it has been proven for a long time. Even Jack was a long hitter.

Moral of my story is.... I don’t think there is such a thing as a wrong way to play golf... people are just mad they can’t keep up with B.A.D., much like the governing bodies think anchored putting is bad, soon enough driver length will be 41”... 

Just stop, and let them play golf.  If that is a 400 yard drive and a putt... or 250 yards a 7 iron, chip, and putt.  
 

The more I read this the more it is just me rambling... anyways, I am liking my new found distance, and will look for more so I can have the shortest iron in hand on the next shot.

What say you?

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It's a lot of yelling at clouds mainly. People who don't like change or seeing games evolve. I mean I thought the point of professional sports were to push the boundaries of what's humanly possible. To do that requires people like Bryson and Tiger and Jack before him to take the game to different levels. But even then it's not changing all that much. Sure distance on the whole has increased but the margins amongst the top players has remained consistent. People argue accuracy is down, well obviously it is. Hit the ball 30 yards farther on the same line, it'll be further off line. Simple geometry.

I get the anchoring ban and I support it. It took one of the fundamental skills out of the game. But now I'm seeing people saying armlock should be banned, single length should be banned, etc etc. I postulated a single length ban would be talked about the instant Bryson won a major 2 years ago and now here we are and that exact discussion is happening. I don't know what people in golf want. Do we want to see the best players in the world attack golf courses in the most optimal fashion or are we so infatuated with the idea of pros hitting butterknife 2 and 3 irons that we're willing to go down the road of bifurcation?

I remember growing up when Tiger was just hitting first gear in his career.  Smashing the ball a mile, not hitting many fairways, and using his short game to his advantage.
Today, there is another game changer doing the same thing. I don’t know if I was to young to notice, but I don’t remember Tiger getting all of the heat from golf media outlets.  Although, he did force Faldo into retirement... Probably because things like social media didn’t exist.
When I play, my goal is to be as close to the green on the first shot as possible.  I have never found many fairways so I am used to being in the trees, rough, or worse.
Distance is king out there, it has been proven for a long time. Even Jack was a long hitter.
Moral of my story is.... I don’t think there is such a thing as a wrong way to play golf... people are just mad they can’t keep up with B.A.D., much like the governing bodies think anchored putting is bad, soon enough driver length will be 41”... 
Just stop, and let them play golf.  If that is a 400 yard drive and a putt... or 250 yards a 7 iron, chip, and putt.  
 
The more I read this the more it is just me rambling... anyways, I am liking my new found distance, and will look for more so I can have the shortest iron in hand on the next shot.
What say you?


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Make the ball spin again.  Jack generally kept the power in reserve, because he knew that if he really went after one, he could hit it off the planet.  Even when Tiger first came out (pre Pro v1), there was the chance of the huge miss at high speed.  The big miss is not really in play anymore like it was.  Making the ball spin again will separate the the great players from the merely good ones.  Maybe DeChambeau will still be long and straight with a spinnier ball, who knows?  

I'd be surprised if we go backward on distance, but I'd like to see risk brought back into play.  A relatively riskless round of driver-wedge is not compelling to me.  If players were really courting disaster every time they wanted to give the ball the full treatment off the tee, then long drives would be compelling.

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I posted the following on another site, but it fits with this discussion:

 

Other professional (and amateur) sports have made rule and equipment changes to counteract athletes getting bigger and stronger when the sport got out of balance--the strategy and integrity of the game was questioned. Why should golf be any different? 

 

Course are designed with certain challenges built in. Green complexes for short par fours are different from complexes for long par fours because the ball flight and stopping power of the a short iron and long iron differ. If players are regularly hitting short irons into greens designed to receive long iron shots, the game is changed. If par fives can be reached with driver and 8 iron, the game has been changed and becomes less strategic. If bunkers are easily flown, they become irrelevant and the game changes. For decades, the solution primarily has been to lengthen courses, which is not sustainable. 

 

Basketball players got taller and faster. The basket was not raised, but they added a three point line and shot clock to keep 7 footers from dominating the game. In football, as the kickers have gotten stronger and more accurate, kicking rules have changed many times--for kick offs, extra points and field goals. They moved the kick off line from the 40, narrowed goal posts, eliminated tees for extra points and field goals. 

 

It is entertaining to watch players hit the long ball. But, long and short are relative terms.

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I’ve posted this in other threads on the topic, but I’ll add to it here. First off, I like a mixture of golf course and tournament styles. Watching the pros go crazy low for four days can be just as engaging as a battle for par. If a particular tournament/course wants to defend against the bombers though, the answer isn’t skinny fairways and deep rough (which actually penalized the shorter hitters more), it’s simply temporary OB. Imagine a 430 yard par 4, have the fairway end at 320, 20 yards of rough, then a 30+ yard temporary OB zone. If a bomber really wants to tempt it, they can, but now they’re looking at a 370 carry. Most of the time they’ll keep it short, but it will be a lot of fun if anyone goes for it. No rule changes or equipment limits needed, just a few white stakes.

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14 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

Make the ball spin again.  Jack generally kept the power in reserve, because he knew that if he really went after one, he could hit it off the planet.  Even when Tiger first came out (pre Pro v1), there was the chance of the huge miss at high speed.  The big miss is not really in play anymore like it was.  Making the ball spin again will separate the the great players from the merely good ones.  Maybe DeChambeau will still be long and straight with a spinnier ball, who knows?  

I'd be surprised if we go backward on distance, but I'd like to see risk brought back into play.  A relatively riskless round of driver-wedge is not compelling to me.  If players were really courting disaster every time they wanted to give the ball the full treatment off the tee, then long drives would be compelling.

I don't know if I agree. Jack and Tiger may have left some power in reserve for the reasons you mention, but when you look at the guy's on Tour right now, no one is going full tilt either. DJ's said in the past he only ever goes 85%. Tony Finau is giving up at least 25-30% with the short backswing. Rahm is likely in the same neighbourhood. Rory is likely with DJ and he's already lost a touch of distance by switching to a higher spin ball in the TP5 vs. the TP5X.

Bryson is the only guy who comes close to maxing out on Tour and even he is only probably giving 95% effort on any given swing. We've seen him get 200+ mph ball speed in practice sessions, he's not really done that on the golf course. Bryson also, despite playing the lower spinning Bridgestone ball, is a high spin player. He routinely spins his driver in the high 2000s. That's hitting up with a 5.5 degree driver too. Give him an even spinnier ball, he'll just take even more loft off the driver. They'd have to introduce a spinnier ball and restrict lofts and length to stop Bryson from chasing distance. Even then, I don't think they'd be too successful. As he said, they can't take the gym away from him. He'll continue to work out. He'll continue to get bigger and stronger and faster. He'll also go through however many iterations it takes him to get through and find out how to optimally deliver the club for enhanced distance with a spinnier golf ball. I just don't see how the USGA or the R&A are going to be able to rein in a guy like Bryson. He's too smart. He's too talented. And above all else, he's too driven in his quest to not find a way around almost any obstacle the governing bodies throw at him. I suppose they could just beat him into submission by taking everything away from him at once like single length, armlock, a slower and spinnier ball, 43" max driver, etc etc, but short of him quitting the game entirely, I believe he'd be back in a year or two max like nothing ever happened.

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9 hours ago, FrogginBullfish said:

I don't know if I agree. Jack and Tiger may have left some power in reserve for the reasons you mention, but when you look at the guy's on Tour right now, no one is going full tilt either. DJ's said in the past he only ever goes 85%. Tony Finau is giving up at least 25-30% with the short backswing. Rahm is likely in the same neighbourhood. Rory is likely with DJ and he's already lost a touch of distance by switching to a higher spin ball in the TP5 vs. the TP5X.

Bryson is the only guy who comes close to maxing out on Tour and even he is only probably giving 95% effort on any given swing. We've seen him get 200+ mph ball speed in practice sessions, he's not really done that on the golf course. Bryson also, despite playing the lower spinning Bridgestone ball, is a high spin player. He routinely spins his driver in the high 2000s. That's hitting up with a 5.5 degree driver too. Give him an even spinnier ball, he'll just take even more loft off the driver. They'd have to introduce a spinnier ball and restrict lofts and length to stop Bryson from chasing distance. Even then, I don't think they'd be too successful. As he said, they can't take the gym away from him. He'll continue to work out. He'll continue to get bigger and stronger and faster. He'll also go through however many iterations it takes him to get through and find out how to optimally deliver the club for enhanced distance with a spinnier golf ball. I just don't see how the USGA or the R&A are going to be able to rein in a guy like Bryson. He's too smart. He's too talented. And above all else, he's too driven in his quest to not find a way around almost any obstacle the governing bodies throw at him. I suppose they could just beat him into submission by taking everything away from him at once like single length, armlock, a slower and spinnier ball, 43" max driver, etc etc, but short of him quitting the game entirely, I believe he'd be back in a year or two max like nothing ever happened.

I'm not talking about adding spin back to the ball to make it go shorter.  I want to see it curve more, like it did back in the balata days.  At that point, there's more risk in the long ball.  And elite drivers of the golf ball would separate themselves from the pack, which is fine.  Risk is what makes golf compelling.  Hitting driver used to be the risky play.  Now it's risky not hitting driver.

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13 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

I'm not talking about adding spin back to the ball to make it go shorter.  I want to see it curve more, like it did back in the balata days.  At that point, there's more risk in the long ball.  And elite drivers of the golf ball would separate themselves from the pack, which is fine.  Risk is what makes golf compelling.  Hitting driver used to be the risky play.  Now it's risky not hitting driver.

Is this a ball for all of us or only for tour pros?   

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On 9/22/2020 at 8:03 PM, HardcoreLooper said:

Make the ball spin again.  Jack generally kept the power in reserve, because he knew that if he really went after one, he could hit it off the planet.  Even when Tiger first came out (pre Pro v1), there was the chance of the huge miss at high speed.  The big miss is not really in play anymore like it was.  Making the ball spin again will separate the the great players from the merely good ones.  Maybe DeChambeau will still be long and straight with a spinnier ball, who knows?  

I'd be surprised if we go backward on distance, but I'd like to see risk brought back into play.  A relatively riskless round of driver-wedge is not compelling to me.  If players were really courting disaster every time they wanted to give the ball the full treatment off the tee, then long drives would be compelling.

Golf fans relate to Justin Rose after he SNAP-HOOKS drive during exhibition match

150 yards offline by a major winner. The ball still goes offline. 

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Well I am giving the B.A.D. Approach a try tomorrow.  Wish me luck.  Driver on everything over 300 except 1 hole.  I usually play more conservative... and I have a gallery too.  Should be fun hacking out of the trees all day.

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13 minutes ago, Shankster said:

Well I am giving the B.A.D. Approach a try tomorrow.  Wish me luck.  Driver on everything over 300 except 1 hole.  I usually play more conservative... and I have a gallery too.  Should be fun hacking out of the trees all day.

At my home course, I hit driver on every non-par 3. Not confident at the moment with any other club off the tee unless we are talking hit a 7 iron or above, which wouldn't make sense in my mind.

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49 minutes ago, dlow206 said:

At my home course, I hit driver on every non-par 3. Not confident at the moment with any other club off the tee unless we are talking hit a 7 iron or above, which wouldn't make sense in my mind.

I always hit driver on all non-par 3 holes (except for one par 3 if the tees are back and the wind is blowing).  I don't hit the ball as far as I used to, and I hit my driver is just as straight as any other long club.  Have to get as close to the green as I can!

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On 9/22/2020 at 7:14 PM, FrogginBullfish said:

It's a lot of yelling at clouds mainly. People who don't like change or seeing games evolve

I don't agree with this statement. A good many people like traditions (myself included) and there is nothing wrong with that point of view. If we evolve the course layouts, many of which are quite outdated and simply landlocked, to keep in step with the advances in technology and player athletic ability, then the distance debate becomes much less an issue.  I've stated in other related threads that I have no desire to see drives rolling up onto par 4 aprons or greens with regularity.  That's not the sport I grew up with and personally would not find interesting to watch.  Perhaps it's time for the Extreme Distance or 3 Club Golf Tour, 7800-8000+ yard courses?  

I recently played with a PGA pro who was practicing for a Rocky Mountain Regional event.  He played black tees (7053/73.9/135) and overpowered a number of holes.  We discussed this very topic.  He wholeheartedly agreed that advances in technology, combined with a significant increase in many more athletes playing the sport, have made many courses undergunned.  He felt some changes are in order but, like so many, not really sure what will work for all involved.

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

I always hit driver on all non-par 3 holes (except for one par 3 if the tees are back and the wind is blowing).  I don't hit the ball as far as I used to, and I hit my driver is just as straight as any other long club.  Have to get as close to the green as I can!

I used to always grab my driver but now finding that strategic use of my 3w improves my odds of lower scores.  If I'm playing the correct tees/yardage, well struck drives leave me in the 140-165 yards on most par 4's. 

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8 hours ago, SlowNLow said:

Is this a ball for all of us or only for tour pros?   

Sure.  Why not?  If people want to play the same ball as the pros, are ball manufacturers going to be forbidden from selling it to them?

 

6 hours ago, THEZIPR23 said:

Golf fans relate to Justin Rose after he SNAP-HOOKS drive during exhibition match

150 yards offline by a major winner. The ball still goes offline. 

Touché.  But imagine how much worse it would have been if the ball spun more.  A spinnier ball will create greater separation between the great and the pretty good.  Shots like this one will simply be even more f**ked.

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4i - GW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
SW - LW - :cobra-small: F8 - N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour105 ( S )
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Here's my question then, why is a long iron approach shot into a green more exciting than someone driving it 350+ yards close to the green? What makes the traditional brand of golf better than the modern brand of golf?

From a statistical point of view the 350+ yard bombs off the tee brand is the better, more optimal, brand of golf.

We see these statistical approaches in every major sport now too. Basketball discovered that the 3 pointer is much more valuable than a mid-range jumpshot. There's the run-pass option in football. Defensive shifts in baseball. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Every major sport has evolved over the years as we've learned more about them and discovered ways to optimize how we play them. Why does golf seem to be the sport that is resisting the hardest to the realities that the traditional views of it were suboptimal from a technology standpoint, an athletic standpoint, and a strategy standpoint?

I don't have the answer to how some of the older, more "classic" courses can challenge the best players in the world with the traditional ideology of how those courses were "designed" to be played. I just know there has to be an answer out there that doesn't involve bifurcation. I also know there's not going to be a perfect solution. And maybe the best solution is to just accept that the game is different to what you grew up with and maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Maybe it's a generational thing, but for me personally, I'm honestly almost as excited about what Bryson is doing now as I was with what Tiger did in the 2000s when I was a teenager first getting into golf. And really, a lot of the things Bryson is doing are built upon ideas that Tiger made readily apparent to the golfing world. Bryson's just expanded on it with his own approach.

I don't say all this to dismiss traditions. I just think golf as a whole needs to accept the fact that the best players in the world are going to be able to shoot really low scores at a lot of golf courses. It's not like the pros from 30 or even 50 years ago weren't capable of going extremely low on the courses they played either.

I don't agree with this statement. A good many people like traditions (myself included) and there is nothing wrong with that point of view. If we evolve the course layouts, many of which are quite outdated and simply landlocked, to keep in step with the advances in technology and player athletic ability, then the distance debate becomes much less an issue.  I've stated in other related threads that I have no desire to see drives rolling up onto par 4 aprons or greens with regularity.  That's not the sport I grew up with and personally would not find interesting to watch.  Perhaps it's time for the Extreme Distance or 3 Club Golf Tour, 7800-8000+ yard courses?  
I recently played with a PGA pro who was practicing for a Rocky Mountain Regional event.  He played black tees (7053/73.9/135) and overpowered a number of holes.  We discussed this very topic.  He wholeheartedly agreed that advances in technology, combined with a significant increase in many more athletes playing the sport, have made many courses undergunned.  He felt some changes are in order but, like so many, not really sure what will work for all involved.
 
 
 


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24 minutes ago, FrogginBullfish said:

Here's my question then, why is a long iron approach shot into a green more exciting than someone driving it 350+ yards close to the green?

I can't answer this question for other people, only for myself. 

A long, high iron approach just looks good in the air.  When it starts 20 feet left of the pin and just tips over to the right, lands pin high and rolls a few feet to leave the player with a well-earned 10 footer for birdie?  That's just brilliant.  Or a slinging draw that hits into the false front to kill the speed, then rolls up to 15 feet?  Chef's kiss.  It's precision, over a long distance.  It separates the technically strong with speed (you can't hit a long iron if you're slow) from the merely fast.  Proximity to the final target is probably also a factor in it.  The differences between the great shot, the average shot and the poor shot are immediately apparent.

A 350 yard drive that finishes within the playing corridors leaving the player with a wedge just isn't as compelling to me.  TV coverage gives you very little feel for length, and the target (which now is the corridor, with the fairway just being a bonus) is so much larger.  It just doesn't have the precision of the approach shot, so it's not as interesting to me.  Golf is exciting when the margin of error is small and the penalty for failure (or even mediocrity) is large.

That's not to say that the power game isn't the right way to play the game right now.  It obviously is.  Does it make me want to watch?  I fast-forward through quite a bit of it.

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4i - GW - :wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged - Recoil 760 ( S )
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3 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

I used to always grab my driver but now finding that strategic use of my 3w improves my odds of lower scores.  If I'm playing the correct tees/yardage, well struck drives leave me in the 140-165 yards on most par 4's. 

Yeah, you are a big hitter.  Not Chris big, but still big.  Well-struck drives at my course leave me with anything between LW to 3H depending on the which par 4 hole.  I like the wedge shots; the 3H and 6i shots, not so much.  My odds of hitting the green go way up, the closer I get to the green.

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I go back to the point that "long" and "short" are relative terms.  If balls or clubs are restricted, Bryson et al will still be long hitters relative to the other players.  When (insert name of long hitter from the past) was bombing drives, it was exciting because he was longer than the others of his time, even though he hit it much shorter than today's players.  If most players are hitting it 250, we will still marvel at the 280 yard drive.    

 

The real issue deals with absolute distance.  Golf courses are designed to offer certain challenges.  When absolute distance gets too great, the challenge changes.  The solution to more and more absolute distance the past few decades has been to lengthen courses.  This is expensive, very expensive--for construction, moving hazards and increased maintenance.  Some land locked courses can't be lengthened.

 

Why does this matter?  Well, think of a long par 4.  Let's say 450 yards.  Currently a long drive leaves a sand wedge into the green.  The player has one difficult shot to execute--the drive.  Even that shot doesn't have to be very precise, just long.  With a sand wedge in hand, green side bunkers and angles into the green don't matter nearly as much as when hitting a long iron or fairway wood into the green.  The premium is on hitting it as far as one can and then wedge it close.  The difference between long and short holes is pretty much eliminated from a design standpoint.       

 

Not too many years ago the player would have to hit two good shots.  First the drive.  Distance was a big factor, but so was putting it in the fairway to have a shot at the green, and into the right part of the fairway to give the best approach. The player then had to execute the more difficult second shot.  Long, difficult second shots have pretty much disappeared on tour and many amateur events on par fours.  About the only place they show up now is the second shot on par 5s.  

 

As to other sports, reread my comment earlier in the thread:  post 4.  Other sports have changed, and changed significantly, to keep one type of player or one area of the game from dominating and changing the game.    The 3 point shot in BB has been brought up a number of times.  Well, it may surprise a few younger members of this forum, but BB was played for 90 years before the three point line was added.  I remember how boring BB got when big men started dominating and the strategy was to dribble down the court and feed it to the big guy, rinse and repeat.  The 3 point line counteracted that.  It brought the small guys back into the game by making their shot worth an extra point.  

 

In my post above, I mention the changes that have occurred in football regarding the kicking game. In the late 60s kickers started getting much better and the game got more boring.  Look up Jan Senerud. The game got to the place where a team would get across mid field and kick a field goal.  Was it exciting to watch him kick a a long field goal?  Sure, a couple of times.  Once others started doing it and it became routine, not so exciting because the game itself was less exciting.  The NFL (and colleges) reacted by making changes.  It used to be that if a filed goal was missed, no matter where it was kicked from, the defending team took over on the twenty.  The rule changed to taking over from the line of scrimmage where the kicking team had the ball when the field goal was kicked.  Field goal kickers used to kick off a wooden block.  That was eliminated and they required the holder to put the ball on the ground.  Goal post were moved back in the AFL.  Eventually, goal post were narrowed.  

 

Baseball doesn't allow aluminum bats and they have controls on the balls.  Imagine if the baseball had added a proportional amount of distance as the golf ball over there last 40 years.  Would it still be exciting if home runs were 30% easier to hit?  Bats and balls haven't changed much in baseball over the last 100 years.  Are they anti-technology?   

 

Also, the other sports that have been mentioned are different from golf in one very important way.  In BB and football, player performance improvements on offense are balance out by player performance improvements on defense.  The offensive players are getting bigger and faster and stronger, but so are the defensive players.  The goal of scoring a touchdown doesn't get easier because the receiver can run faster; the defensive back is just as fast as the receiver.  The game itself stays in balance.  

 

In golf, the players hit it farther and higher and balls spin less offline.  The course (the defense) doesn't change proportionately and it becomes much easier to accomplish the goal of getting the ball in the hole 450 yards away.   

 

This is why I think the kicker example in football is particularly applicable.  The defense couldn't develop to counteract the affects of long kickers.  Each team could get a long kicker, so they remained competitive with the other team, but the role of kicking, the strategy of when to kick a field goal and when to punt or go for it, changed--to the detriment of the game.  So the equipment and rules for kicking had to be changed to preserve the game.  I think that's kind of where we are with golf right now.  You have players who are the equivalent of long kickers.  The design of courses and the strategy to play it is much less relevant-- to the detriment of the game.   

 

 

 

 

Edited by alfriday101
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