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Bifurcation coming!


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2 hours ago, Middler said:

I assumed bifurcation meant there would be two classes of balls, todays standard and a restricted distance ball of some sort for pros. It never occurred to me they might require two classes of equipment for professional competition - that seems ridiculous to me.

And I wonder when a developing aspiring pro switches balls or equipment in their career. e.g. you get to use whatever you want in junior golf, high school golf, college golf - and then you turn pro and use balls and/or equipment that sets you back substantially? Huh? Imagine working for years to develop the skills to drive the ball 320 yards, and then being forced to hit 250 yards off the tee thereafter - sound good?

This is exactly the problem with bifurcation. 

 

1 hour ago, LICC said:

For the Tour, distance has become a major issue. The game has changed substantially from prior to the equipment advances of 20+ years ago. Courses have been lengthened yet still, today there really is no such thing as a par-5, Par-4s have become mostly driver and wedge or a forced layup off the tee, and most all par-3s have to be 210+ yards. The strategy of the game has become boring at the Tour level, which affects fans who enjoy watching Tour golf. I would love it if a 300-yard drive was meaningful again, meaning less than 10% of the Tour had the distance to consistently get there.

If you are going to use stats to justify your stance, please make sure they are close to accurate. The above means nothing and is not true. 

16 minutes ago, LICC said:

Just because you don't care if Tour golf no longer has strategy and whether someone is hitting a wedge or a long-iron, doesn't mean there isn't a problem. It just means that you don't value the strategies and nuances of watching Tour golf. Very many golf fans do, and that is where there is a problem with the equipment-fueled distance explosion of the last 20+ years.

You can blame it on equipment or you can blame it on the fact that the basically everything we knew about golf has changed. As recently as 1998 ball flight laws were the direct opposite of what we now know. Strategy has changed drastically since SG came out. And athletes are now playing golf. All of this leads to an entire different game than what it was for a long time. And none of those changes have anything to do with equipment.

 

I don't disagree that distance WILL be a problem with the next generation of golfers, it is not a problem now, but it will be IMO. Bifurcation changes the game entirely. A roll back is probably necessary or at least a cap on where we are right now. 

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13 minutes ago, FrogginBullfish said:

Actually I do value the strategies and nuances of Tour golf. The reason Bryson went down his path of hitting it longer is precisely because the modern strategy system he uses (DECADE) and Strokes Gained metrics demonstrated to him that that would be the best way for him to win major championships. Winning the US Open at Winged Foot only validated that.

Tour golf always has, and will always have strategy involved. It's not gone away cause Bryson can hit it 350 yards regularly. There's still strategy involved in playing golf that way. Your failure to see that, and the failure of others in your position, is to me, a much bigger problem than any perceived problems of distance at the Tour level.

That being said, I have no interest in rehashing this discussion for the umpteenth time. I merely wanted to offer my position for posterity in this thread. I did not want to engage in another pointless argument on the subject so I will not be responding to any further arguments from you.

 


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When a Tour player can hit the ball past any hazard or positioning, then there is no strategy or nuance. It is just bomb it far and wedge it onto the green. There is no strategy of taking on a risky hazard to get a better approach or angle into the green. There is no strategy of playing it safely away from a hazard or downslope but then having to hit a long iron on your approach. There is no strategy to choose a line based on risk and reward. There is no strategy in going for the green on every par-5 without any thought of the risk-reward for doing so or laying up. It becomes just hitting it past all the hazards and it won't matter if you are at a bad angle to the green or in the rough, because you are close enough to hit wedge anyway. Hitting it well past the designed strategic locations of the golf holes takes away the strategic element. Bryson overpowering Winged Foot with his length contradicts your position, it doesn't validate it.

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13 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

If you are going to use stats to justify your stance, please make sure they are close to accurate. The above means nothing and is not true. 

If you are going to try to counter someone's stance, please use stats to back your claim. The above means nothing and does not refute the truth of my statements.

 

14 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

You can blame it on equipment or you can blame it on the fact that the basically everything we knew about golf has changed. As recently as 1998 ball flight laws were the direct opposite of what we now know. Strategy has changed drastically since SG came out. And athletes are now playing golf. All of this leads to an entire different game than what it was for a long time. And none of those changes have anything to do with equipment.

 

Almost all of the distance gains on Tour are the result of equipment advances. The Tour has had athletic players for decades. Players from decades ago were knowledgeable about their ball flights. Put the 1990 equipment into the hands of today's players, and you will get the same results as players from 1990.

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5 hours ago, PMookie said:

Well, folks, the folks at the R&A and USGA are dead-set on limiting distance now. Bifurcation is coming.

These folks are SO out-of-touch with the recreational golfer, the 99% of golfers they SUPPOSEDLY serve!

 
https://www.nationalclubgolfer.com/news/r-and-a-bifurcation-in-golf-reduce-hitting-distances/

In case anyone missed it a year ago, that article use the identical language contained in the Distance Insights Conclusions, released in February 2020.  Yes, 12 months ago.  There is not a single new word on the subject of Bifurcation.  The only NEW information in the Feb 2 2021 release from the USGA/R&A concerns three specific items which will be studied, with manufacturers being asked for specific comments:

Quote

As a result, the governing bodies are seeking comment from equipment manufacturers on three proposed Equipment Standards changes, as follows:

Proposal #1: Club length – reduction to 46 inches available as a Model Local Rule (MLR) (Original proposal delivered in 2016 and paused in 2017 due to the Distance Insights Project). Comment period ends on March 4, 2021.
Proposal #2: Update on testing method for golf balls. Comment period ends on Aug. 2, 2021.

Proposal #3: Change to testing tolerance – Characteristic Time. Comment period ends on Aug. 2, 2021.

This is progress in the SECOND item which the 2020 Conclusions mention, stated here:

Quote

2. We will also review the overall conformance specifications for both clubs and balls, including
specifications that both directly and indirectly affect hitting distances. The intended purpose of this review
is to consider whether any existing specifications should be adjusted or any new specifications should be
created to help mitigate the continuing distance increases. It is not currently intended to consider revising
the overall specifications in a way that would produce substantial reductions in hitting distances at all
levels of the game

I have participated in a few (too many) other threads concerning the original Distance Insights Report.  Unless there's something new, I'm going to try to keep myself from going down this rabbit hole again.  My simple views:  Bifurcation won't affect me, really, but I'm doubtful that it will clear all the hurdles it faces.  Revise test methods and other specifications to minimize future equipment-related distance increases, I'm good with that.

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While I’m not keen on bifurcation, the very least they could do is halt further (distance) improvements in balls or equipment. They sat on their hands for decades while distances for pros increased. It’s not like they couldn’t have slowed the trend long ago if they were smart, how did they think this would end? Kickin’ the can down the road, a short sighted facet of life in many areas...

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37 minutes ago, LICC said:

Almost all of the distance gains on Tour are the result of equipment advances. The Tour has had athletic players for decades. Players from decades ago were knowledgeable about their ball flights. Put the 1990 equipment into the hands of today's players, and you will get the same results as players from 1990.

I'll leave this here.  829683782_Screenshot2021-02-02122629.jpg.0dd365b40fa7de68ba53d00dc69cc3b9.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2021-02-02 123009.jpg

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1 hour ago, LICC said:

Making the courses shorter would just lead to more fairway woods and irons off the tees. That isn't the ideal result.

but it puts the focus back on shot making instead of putting the emphasis on distance. I think watching the pro's play with worse equipment is more detrimental to golf as a whole than other options. 

obviously, I don't have the answers, just opinions 😃  But just this weekend at the Farmers, the fairways were slow and driving distance was down 20y across the field. I know watching the PGA on weekends and seeing them get 30-50y roll out on drives amuses me as around here anything more than 3y is pretty lucky. 

The reward now is to hit a low trajectory, low spin shot to maximize carry and roll out. Just growing the fairways an 1/8" more would lower tour driving distance by the 10% they are looking for. Grow it out 1/4" to take 20% off. From the sustainability and agronomy aspect of it, it would use less water and resources and be healthier for the grass. Seems like a simpler answer to me.

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17 minutes ago, Thin2win said:

but it puts the focus back on shot making instead of putting the emphasis on distance. I think watching the pro's play with worse equipment is more detrimental to golf as a whole than other options. 

obviously, I don't have the answers, just opinions 😃  But just this weekend at the Farmers, the fairways were slow and driving distance was down 20y across the field. I know watching the PGA on weekends and seeing them get 30-50y roll out on drives amuses me as around here anything more than 3y is pretty lucky. 

The reward now is to hit a low trajectory, low spin shot to maximize carry and roll out. Just growing the fairways an 1/8" more would lower tour driving distance by the 10% they are looking for. Grow it out 1/4" to take 20% off. From the sustainability and agronomy aspect of it, it would use less water and resources and be healthier for the grass. Seems like a simpler answer to me.

I agree on using taller fairway heights to cut down on roll. But these guys with current equipment are carrying it enormous distances. I would combine that with a Tour/Pro Golf limit on driver head size and see how that goes.

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43 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

I'll leave this here. 

I'm not sure what you think this adds to the discussion, but the chart that @Middler posted is indisputable.

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9 minutes ago, LICC said:

I'm not sure what you think this adds to the discussion, but the chart that @Middler posted is indisputable.

 Players from decades ago were knowledgeable about their ball flights. Put the 1990 equipment into the hands of today's players, and you will get the same results as players from 1990.

 

It adds nothing to the discussion. But it puts a pretty good perspective on you're knowledge.  

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15 minutes ago, LICC said:

I'm not sure what you think this adds to the discussion, but the chart that @Middler posted is indisputable.

For the record I didn’t suggest agreement with your POV. The chart shows ball and equipment innovations have both contributed to the distance issue. What it doesn’t show is how athleticism or launch monitor technology have contributed - they happened concurrently...who knows what discrete roles each have played.

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2 minutes ago, Middler said:

I didn’t say that. It seems to show ball and equipment innovations have both contributed to the distance issue. What it doesn’t show is how athleticism has contributed - that’s happened concurrently...

Actually no. It shows that practically all of the distance increases have come from equipment advances.

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2 minutes ago, LICC said:

Actually no. It shows that practically all of the distance increases have come from equipment advances.

So increased athleticism and launch monitor tech/coaching haven’t had any impact? Good luck with that...

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5 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

 Players from decades ago were knowledgeable about their ball flights. Put the 1990 equipment into the hands of today's players, and you will get the same results as players from 1990.

 

It adds nothing to the discussion. But it puts a pretty good perspective on you're knowledge.  

It doesn't detract at all from anything I've said. If you have any actual data or examples to support what you are trying to say, I'm happy to read it. 

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1 minute ago, Middler said:

So increased athleticism and launch monitor tech/coaching haven’t had any impact? Good luck with that...

Do you have anything at all to show that it has? The data and anecdotal evidence are clear that the distance gains are predominantly from equipment advances. This desire to think that golfers are now more skilled or have better technique is just wishful thinking.

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7 minutes ago, LICC said:

Do you have anything at all to show that it has? The data and anecdotal evidence are clear that the distance gains are predominantly from equipment advances. This desire to think that golfers are now more skilled or have better technique is just wishful thinking.

We agree to disagree, you don’t see any difference in athleticism in golf today? Plenty has been written about it, evidently you haven’t read any of it. The top tier players, especially the long hitters, train like weight lifters and gymnasts these days, that wasn’t the case at all before Tiger.

The chart that you’re using selectively does not account for the advances in training or coaching, as you’d like to believe.

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12 minutes ago, LICC said:

Actually no. It shows that practically all of the distance increases have come from equipment advances.

How do you account for the gain between 2004 & 2018? If it were solely equipment based wouldn't that reflect a flat line?

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6 minutes ago, THEZIPR23 said:

How do you account for the gain between 2004 & 2018? If it were solely equipment based wouldn't that reflect a flat line?

That is about 5 yards of increase in 14 years. And equipment technology has continued improving, just at a slower pace than previously.

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@MiddlerI don't see anything equating weight training and distance increases. With one exception (Bryson, which is questionable as he made major swing changes as he also bulked up), there is not one Tour player who significantly increased distance from prior to weight training to afterward.

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