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1 hour ago, fixyurdivot said:

280, 270, 260?.... anyone know?  

Are you asking what we think or what the USGA is targeting?

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I'm sure we will hear all about the evil's of bifurcation shortly but I'm not in that camp.  I played baseball in High School and College at a very interesting time.  My senior year of High School was

I noticed all of what you posted above--- I had read through all of this out of boredom this morning and had to check twice to make sure I was not on WRX--- Yep your 3rd line I completely agree with--

I am in the wait and see corner on this. We already have some bifurcation within golf...one ball local rule, rangefinder usage, and tee boxes to name a couple. The biggest issue is that there rea

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18 hours ago, LICC said:

Are you asking what we think or what the USGA is targeting?

USGA/R&A.  I've not been able to ascertain what average driving distance they want to see...return to.

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This is a very interesting topic and thanks to PMookie for getting it started on this thread.  I think there is a long standing belief in golf that it is the only sport that we amateurs can play on the exact same venues that the pros do and use the same equipment that they do and I think that is pretty much true.  Obviously we aren't playing the same course set up so its not exactly the same, but it is the same venue and it is damn fun being a part of it.  I can clearly see both sides of this argument and I am sure that most people can and that is why this can be such a difficult problem to solve.  Watching these guys hit shots that I would never be able to hit and then trying to judge how my best shots would compare to theirs is what I like best about watching golf, especially when you attend the event and watch it in person.  I will never forget standing about 20 yards away when Martin Kaymer hit a 260+ yard 3 iron to the green at the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst.  We can gauge how spectacular their talent really is and by this we are able to internalize just how damn good these guys are by directly comparing these shots to our best possible efforts and abilities.  That makes it more fun to watch as a fan.  However, I can see the other argument that smashing a drive and hitting a wedge into every par 4 is boring to watch and takes away some excitement and renders certain other skills and abilities obsolete.  There is no better example of this than the short par 4's on tour.  I love short par 4's if they truly provide a risk reward situation, but it seems that lately that is not the case.  These guys are getting on these greens with 3-wood and if they happen to miss they are able to control their miss into a greenside bunker that gives them almost a guaranteed birdie opportunity.  Another example showing how ridiculous distance is on tour is Number 18 at PGA National.  Yesterday there were 76 birdies and 7 bogeys at the Honda Classic.  There were even 15 eagles on that hole.  I mean seriously folks....how long would you have to make that hole or what kind of changes to the layout would you have to make to come close to evening that out?  How long would you have to make that hole to even out the number of eagles (15) and bogeys (just 7)?  That brings me to another point....what would these courses do to us amateurs if they made it harder on the pros by course design, not to mention what would that cost and could these courses afford to do it?  I do wonder though whether the restricted balls would actually take away the power advantage that some guys have.  Unless we are trying to preserve some of the records from the past I don't think toning down the capabilities of equipment will do much to even out the field.  I think Bryson and Dustin will have just as much of an advantage hitting a 8-iron over a shorter hitter on tour who is hitting a 4 or 5-iron.  In fact scaling back on the ball might actually give him more of an advantage because he will always hit it further off the tee and the 2nd shot distance will be amplified more for the shorter hitters on tour than for the longer hitters.  Bryson going from a wedge to an 8 iron is not going to be as severe as Zach Johnson going from a 9-iron to 4 or 5-iron.  Also, he will likely be able to hit driver on more holes which will give him a little more advantage over the other folks compared to today.  This is a really tough topic.  I apologize for making a novel out of this but the way I see it is simple.  We can either watch these guys overpower the course with the current technology or we can have them play restricted technology, but those are the only two real options as I see it.  Either way, golf will still be the greatest game on earth.

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1 hour ago, Czech_Mate said:

That brings me to another point....what would these courses do to us amateurs if they made it harder on the pros by course design, not to mention what would that cost and could these courses afford to do it?

Welcome to the forum.  Some good points in your reply.  Specific to this question, cutting the grass longer through the driving landing areas will reduce rollout, which is often cited as abnormal to what we mortals typically see, costs nothing, and can be cut to normal height after the tournament. Grass cut height and limiting tee height are two changes that can be made that can be done without too much churn.

Personally, I'm not convinced there is need to do anything - although I do find the more recent bomb and wedge tour format to be a bit less interesting to me.  The USGA/R&A needs to specify what their target (acceptable) average distance is... otherwise the report is just a wheelbarrow full of interesting data.

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On 2/27/2021 at 3:37 PM, DaveP043 said:

 

I did see this, and noted that 67% of respondents said that distance is either not a problem, or a minor problem.  Viewed the other way, 48% say distance is at least a minor problem.  Its a matter of interpretation whether than means a most people think a roll-back will make viewing a tournament more enjoyable., as @LICC has claimed.

Shackeford leaves out a portion of that sentence that you quoted:

"By and large, there is a low level of interest in the elite/professional game being dominated by any one element -- be it tee shots, long drives or putting."

Did he do that to reflect his personal preferences?  I haven't read his writing enough to know.

I absolutely agree, though, the emphasis on putting during telecasts makes for pretty boring golf to me.  If driving distance is decreased, creating longer shots to greens, we'll see LONGER putts, which inevitably leads to more two-putts.  More tap-ins doesn't sound more exciting to me.

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Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley expressed support for the findings of the USGA and R&A’s distance report, which notably called the trend of increasing driving distance “detrimental to the game.”

“Each year, we look at every hole of our golf course,” Ridley said Wednesday in his annual media session ahead of the Masters. “Fortunately, we do have the ability to make any number of changes to protect the integrity of the course. At the same time, we hope there will not come a day when the Masters or any golf championship will have to be played at 8,000 yards to achieve that objective. This is an important crossroads; so we will continue to urge the governing bodies and all interested parties to put forward thoughtful solutions as soon as possible.”

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42 minutes ago, LICC said:

Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley expressed support for the findings of the USGA and R&A’s distance report, which notably called the trend of increasing driving distance “detrimental to the game.”

“Each year, we look at every hole of our golf course,” Ridley said Wednesday in his annual media session ahead of the Masters. “Fortunately, we do have the ability to make any number of changes to protect the integrity of the course. At the same time, we hope there will not come a day when the Masters or any golf championship will have to be played at 8,000 yards to achieve that objective. This is an important crossroads; so we will continue to urge the governing bodies and all interested parties to put forward thoughtful solutions as soon as possible.”

Ridley also noted that the Masters has always played by the Rules of Golf, including the Equipment Rules, even when some thought they would go outside of them (remember the squawking about leaving the pin in?).  Augusta National has been changed repeatedly over the years, much of it to adapt to increasing distance from such long hitters as Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.  I don't see Ridley's comments as being particularly surprising, and doubt that they'll have any more weight in the ongoing discussions than Mike Davis' personal opinions had.  

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On 4/8/2021 at 8:04 AM, DaveP043 said:

Ridley also noted that the Masters has always played by the Rules of Golf, including the Equipment Rules, even when some thought they would go outside of them (remember the squawking about leaving the pin in?).  Augusta National has been changed repeatedly over the years, much of it to adapt to increasing distance from such long hitters as Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.  I don't see Ridley's comments as being particularly surprising, and doubt that they'll have any more weight in the ongoing discussions than Mike Davis' personal opinions had.  

What changes did Augusta make because of Ben Hogan’s length? I never heard of that. Regarding Jack, they added bunkers, notably the fairway bunkers on 18, but they didn’t significantly lengthen the course because of his distance. 

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On 4/8/2021 at 8:04 AM, DaveP043 said:

Ridley also noted that the Masters has always played by the Rules of Golf, including the Equipment Rules, even when some thought they would go outside of them (remember the squawking about leaving the pin in?).  Augusta National has been changed repeatedly over the years, much of it to adapt to increasing distance from such long hitters as Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.  I don't see Ridley's comments as being particularly surprising, and doubt that they'll have any more weight in the ongoing discussions than Mike Davis' personal opinions had.  

This is just my .02 FWIW---- I think there may be more open solutions in the future with the USGA now Mike Whan has taken over or when he takes over. Mike Davis had always seemed to be autocratic and full of him self and had his head where the sun does not shine not in tune with the rank and file of everyday Joe golfers and the everyday course operators

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On 4/8/2021 at 8:04 AM, DaveP043 said:

Ridley also noted that the Masters has always played by the Rules of Golf, including the Equipment Rules, even when some thought they would go outside of them (remember the squawking about leaving the pin in?).  Augusta National has been changed repeatedly over the years, much of it to adapt to increasing distance from such long hitters as Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.  I don't see Ridley's comments as being particularly surprising, and doubt that they'll have any more weight in the ongoing discussions than Mike Davis' personal opinions had.  

I'd be shocked if the USGA/R&A don't implement the Local Rule option and drop this squarely in ANGC's lap, letting them implement a tournament ball if they choose to do so.

Are any execs from the major ball makers members?  I'd be surprised if the club wasn't already doing some research on their own ball already.

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5 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

I'd be shocked if the USGA/R&A don't implement the Local Rule option and drop this squarely in ANGC's lap, letting them implement a tournament ball if they choose to do so.

Are any execs from the major ball makers members?  I'd be surprised if the club wasn't already doing some research on their own ball already.

ANGC already does some of it's local rules options. One and it is a PGA Tour thing not the USGA they do not allow greens reading books. I can remember way back in like the 70s they had a gully washer rain storm. There was water standing in the traps and greens and they said Play on. Lee Trevino protested and said the Tour did not play with that much standing water. He was informed that this was The Masters and not a PGA Tour or USGA event. Yeah I think this week on his interview Ridley was riding the fence some

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13 hours ago, LICC said:

What changes did Augusta make because of Ben Hogan’s length? I never heard of that. Regarding Jack, they added bunkers, notably the fairway bunkers on 18, but they didn’t significantly lengthen the course because of his distance. 

Feel free to search for yourself.  More germane to this discussion, why do you think Ridley's opinions will have more influence on the Distance Committee recommendations than those of the CEO of the USGA has?

12 hours ago, BIG STU said:

This is just my .02 FWIW---- I think there may be more open solutions in the future with the USGA now Mike Whan has taken over or when he takes over. Mike Davis had always seemed to be autocratic and full of him self and had his head where the sun does not shine not in tune with the rank and file of everyday Joe golfers and the everyday course operators

I feel certain that whatever gets decided will seem more acceptable now that Whan is in charge.  But the Distance Insights report was definitely not specifically guided by Davis' opinions, the Summary seems to stray pretty far from what he's been advocating for.

8 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

I'd be shocked if the USGA/R&A don't implement the Local Rule option and drop this squarely in ANGC's lap, letting them implement a tournament ball if they choose to do so.

Are any execs from the major ball makers members?  I'd be surprised if the club wasn't already doing some research on their own ball already.

The Ruling Bodies have said they're including input from all sides of this, including manufacturers.  I'd be astounded if the Local Rule is actually formulated without a commitment from the PGA Tour to use it, I don't think manufacturers are going to spin up a separate production line for a single tournament.  Its enough of a struggle to develop a different ball for the 0.001% (my estimate, no actual facts) of all players who will play in an event that might adopt a "reduced distance local rule".  My guess is that The Masters will follow whatever decision the PGA Tour makes.  The last part, I'm not sure Augusta needs to do the research, the ball manufacturers are almost certainly trying to figure out how to comply with any Local Rule that gets adopted.

2 hours ago, BIG STU said:

ANGC already does some of it's local rules options. One and it is a PGA Tour thing not the USGA they do not allow greens reading books. I can remember way back in like the 70s they had a gully washer rain storm. There was water standing in the traps and greens and they said Play on. Lee Trevino protested and said the Tour did not play with that much standing water. He was informed that this was The Masters and not a PGA Tour or USGA event. Yeah I think this week on his interview Ridley was riding the fence some

What I've read is that Augusta has simply not given permission for anyone to do the on-site mapping of the greens necessary to develop a green-reading book.  Therefore, although the Rules allow a book, and the Masters is played in accordance with the RoG, there's simply not a green-reading book available.

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8 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:Feel free to search for yourself.

I’m quite well read on Augusta National and the history of the Masters. I’ve read the Owen book (excellent), the Sampson book (not so much), the many Golf Digest pieces on the course changes, the Golf Club Atlas threads on the course changes, the Trent Jones book which has some references to his changes to the course. Some holes were lengthened in the first 10-20 years, notably 11 and the par-5s. Mostly because Bobby Jones wasn’t happy from the start with the challenges of some holes and how they played. Some were for other reasons, such as the current tenth hole. The original green site right of the bunker in the middle of the fairway was in a depression that ponded too much water after rain. Perry Maxwell moved the green to the plateau 50 yards up. 
I may have missed something where Ben Hogan specifically was hitting his drives too far for Bobby Jones or Clifford Roberts liking, so please cite that if you have something and weren’t misremembering.

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4 minutes ago, LICC said:

I’m quite well read on Augusta National and the history of the Masters. I’ve read the Owen book (excellent), the Sampson book (not so much), the many Golf Digest pieces on the course changes, the Golf Club Atlas threads on the course changes, the Trent Jones book which has some references to his changes to the course. Some holes were lengthened in the first 10-20 years, notably 11 and the par-5s. Mostly because Bobby Jones wasn’t happy from the start with the challenges of some holes and how they played. Some were for other reasons, such as the current tenth hole. The original green site right of the bunker in the middle of the fairway was in a depression that ponded too much water after rain. Perry Maxwell moved the green to the plateau 50 yards up. 
I may have missed something where Ben Hogan specifically was hitting his drives too far for Bobby Jones or Clifford Roberts liking, so please cite that if you have something and weren’t misremembering.

Once again, I asked about Ridley's opinion, and why you think it will have more influence than Davis' opinion did.

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10 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Once again, I asked about Ridley's opinion, and why you think it will have more influence than Davis' opinion did.

Davis wasn’t particularly well liked. The Chairman of Augusta National has always had a level of influence in the sport. But your premise is incorrect. I never said his opinion was more or less influential. I posted his statement. A statement like that from the Chairman of Augusta National is relevant to show how an important figure in the game considers the distance gains of the pros to be detrimental. 
Noted that you have no response supporting your claim re Ben Hogan. 

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4 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

What I've read is that Augusta has simply not given permission for anyone to do the on-site mapping of the greens necessary to develop a green-reading book.  Therefore, although the Rules allow a book, and the Masters is played in accordance with the RoG, there's simply not a green-reading book available.

Yep, and this gets reported as you can't have green reading books at the Masters; which is not accurate.   Augusta provides a book with major slopes identified.   Players can add notes to the book and use it in subsequent years.  The green reading books that most people are referring too are the detailed topographical maps that are available for other courses that are made by outside companies.   something like this:  https://puttviewbooks.com/

 

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On 4/10/2021 at 12:58 PM, cnosil said:

Yep, and this gets reported as you can't have green reading books at the Masters; which is not accurate.   Augusta provides a book with major slopes identified.   Players can add notes to the book and use it in subsequent years.  The green reading books that most people are referring too are the detailed topographical maps that are available for other courses that are made by outside companies.   something like this:  https://puttviewbooks.com/

 

Does anyone here own one of these?  I wouldn't have the patience for it in a round of golf nor do I have the skill to really take advantage of it.

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Does anyone here own one of these?  I wouldn't have the patience for it in a round of golf nor do I have the skill to really take advantage of it.

I don’t have one but have seen the players books during the LPGA tournament when I volunteer.

I know that Harry at MGS has used one and says it is amazing. When we talk about his game he indicates putting is his weakness.

I personally wouldn’t use on during a casual round. While I want to shoot a low score I am mostly there for the fun and view yardage books as significant overkill. I got matched up with someone that used one during a casual round and thought it was odd.

The only advantage would be if I could get more detail info on pin location. Front middle and back is great but sometimes knowing how close the pin is to the edges and what lies around the green would be useful on courses I don’t play all the time.

Plus they are expensive and I am cheap [emoji23]
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10 minutes ago, revkev said:

Does anyone here own one of these?  I wouldn't have the patience for it in a round of golf nor do I have the skill to really take advantage of it.

No I have looked at a couple--- one from Quail Hollow at Charlotte and my pea brain is not smart enough to decipher any of it. All of it looks like chicken scratch to me. What part I tried to decipher came out wrong when I quipped that  on #12 no way that green ran that way. My but threw in how long has it been since you played Quail?  At the time it had been over 30 years and I will leave it at that. He informed me that it was an entirely a different course since I had played it. I still can not read or understand one of those books

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24 minutes ago, revkev said:

Does anyone here own one of these?  I wouldn't have the patience for it in a round of golf nor do I have the skill to really take advantage of it.

I know that using the information is similar to using Aimpoint, a certain percentage of slope causes a specific amount of break.   Instead of sensing the slope using your body, the book tells you the slope.  But I've never actually seen one of the books, and I'm really not interested in paying $50 or more when I can get the same basic information on my own.

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I can't imagine spending $50 a course to maybe hole one additional putt a month - I fully understand why a pro would want this because 1 or 2 holed putts in 4 days is huge money - but for me or anyone else on the course in a casual setting this could only do more harm than good IMO.

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Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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