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Rory's thoughts...





Rory is a great spokesman for the game and his voice carries a bit of weight so hearing this from him makes it that much better. Hits the nail on the head and says what most of us are thinking! You can tell it was on his mind and he means what he’s saying. Good stuff!
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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

What do you see the average being?  250 yards? How do you limit the equipment to maintain that average over time.  I personally think you are underestimating how people adapt to change to become more

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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1 hour ago, cnosil said:

What do you see the average being?  250 yards? How do you limit the equipment to maintain that average over time.  I personally think you are underestimating how people adapt to change to become more efficient

Are you dictating how a hole must be played?  Can't hit over trees?  what is a longer iron?  9 iron instead of wedge,  8 iron instead of wedge? 5 iron instead of wedge?  Clubs have different lofts so the number is irrelevant.  I could make a 20* wedge and say I am hitting wedge into a green.  How long are courses,  what is average hole length?  I assume with the reduced club distances come reduced course distances so you don't lose the below average players. Because if you lose the below average distance golfer,  the average increases.  

It isn't about the contours of the green but the ability to hold the ball when approaching with longer clubs.   How do you control how courses are setup each week?  Do we penalize the course if they make it fast and there is lots of rollout?   

Professional golf is a product.  There are advertising dollars and TV deals that are worth millions of dollars.  The purses are part of the sponsorship deals.  Players make money from endorsements.   If there isn't a market for professional golf based on the changes,  it goes away.  

On page one you said the problem is with the tour,  now we are extending it down to amateur events.  Lets look at NCAA golf,  how do you think DIII and NAIA scoring will fair with your new approach.  Here are their mens scoring ranges for reference

  • NCAA Division 3 golf scores: 72 to low 80s
  • NAIA golf scores: low 70s to high 80s

I don't think anyone will accuse them of hitting the ball too far or that courses are obsolete for their game. 

Fundamentally you are not doing bifurcation but pushing the "distance problem" down to the all golfers that may want to play competitive golf.  

And at the end of the day, what have you accomplished?  Have you made the product better?  Have you satisfied the purist that believes that courses aren't being played the way they were designed?  Have you brought more people to the game?  Have you changed scoring?   

Based on your very limited description,  I don't think you have "fixed" anything but then again I don't know what you are trying to fix other than you think players hit the ball too far. 

In 2000, only two players averaged over 290 yard drives. John Daly at 301 and Tiger at 298. The average drive was 272. It was also a time of the greatest boom in the interest in golf we had seen in decades. 
 

You really don’t know the difference between a wedge, a short iron, and a long iron?

Courses can generally be the same lengths they are now. Maybe some give or take in setup if necessary. Same with green speeds- should vary based on course design and setup. 
 

If it would be better for the NCAA to not bifurcate then fine. That can be figured out. But I would include it. 
 

These really aren’t complicated issues. 
 

The problem is that the Tour game has been degraded by the massive distance gains from equipment advances. I detailed how earlier. It’s still good to watch for golf fans, but it could be better. 

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1 hour ago, LICC said:

In 2000, only two players averaged over 290 yard drives. John Daly at 301 and Tiger at 298. The average drive was 272. It was also a time of the greatest boom in the interest in golf we had seen in decades. 
 

You really don’t know the difference between a wedge, a short iron, and a long iron?

Courses can generally be the same lengths they are now. Maybe some give or take in setup if necessary. Same with green speeds- should vary based on course design and setup. 
 

If it would be better for the NCAA to not bifurcate then fine. That can be figured out. But I would include it. 
 

These really aren’t complicated issues. 
 

The problem is that the Tour game has been degraded by the massive distance gains from equipment advances. I detailed how earlier. It’s still good to watch for golf fans, but it could be better. 

The boom was because of Tiger Woods.  Also,  if equipment was such a limitation,  why were long drive competitors able to do this:

  • 1990 – Frank Miller, 328 yards
  • 1991 – Art Sellinger, 326 yards
  • 1992 – Monte Scheinblum 329 yards
  • 1993 – Brian Pavlet, 336 yards
  • 1994 – Darryl Anderson, 345 yards
  • 1995 – Sean Fister, 362 yards
  • 1996 – Jason Zuback (🇨🇦Canada) 351 yards
  • 1997 – Jason Zuback (🇨🇦Canada) 412 yards
  • 1998 – Jason Zuback (🇨🇦Canada) 361 yards
  • 1999 – Jason Zuback (🇨🇦Canada) 376 yards
  • 2000 – Viktor Johansson (🇸🇪Sweden) 315 yards

Todays players would have the ability to accomplish those same distances if they were using clubs from the 90s because they swing faster than tour players from the 90s.  That is not an equipment thing but a physical ability thing.  

I do know the difference; you said longer, not a category.  A GW is longer than a SW; so a 1 club "reduction" is all you are looking for?

In your opinion they aren't complicated issues.  

In your opinion the Tour game has been degraded.  

Your last statement is really your problem statement and what you think needs to be fixed:  " The problem is that the Tour game has been degraded by the massive distance gains from equipment advances. I detailed how earlier. It’s still good to watch for golf fans, but it could be better."

I don't see the tour game as being degraded by massive distance gains.  How those gain were achieved is not important because people were able to exceed 400 yards with 90s equipment.   But I personally enjoy the state of the game and hope it doesn't change. 

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Kyle Berkshire and Bryson got faster by workout out and training. 
 

A simple test is to get on a training regiment that includes lifting weights with some level of progressive overload to build strength and some hypertrophy to help build muscle. Do that for a extended period of time and see if you don’t gain clubhead and/or ball speed. 
 

Really doesn’t even need to be a workout program or a change to one. There’s an entire thread on mgs for the superspeed training system that shows average golfers gaining speed just from using that system and superspeed themselves have even more data on speed increases.

 

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Here’s an article on Molinari and his distance gain, which was changing his swing approach and also working out. A couple things to takeaway IMO 1) it took awhile with the swing 2) his coach’s comment about physique and not technique being the key to power

 “Power doesn’t come from technique, it comes from physique,” he says. “The goal was to get him as strong as possible to create more power in his swing. But we had to make sure his technique didn’t block that newfound energy from being utilized.”

 

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/how-francesco-molinari-picked-up-20-yards-off-the-tee-and-still-hits-it-straight

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Quit feeding the troll folks, or he/she will never go away...forum 101.

“Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

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12 hours ago, cnosil said:

Based on your very limited description,  I don't think you have "fixed" anything but then again I don't know what you are trying to fix other than you think players hit the ball too far. 

The more I read about this topic, the more I'm coming to the conclusion that neither the R&A or USGA know what they are trying to fix 🤨.  

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2 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

The more I read about this topic, the more I'm coming to the conclusion that neither the R&A or USGA know what they are trying to fix 🤨.  

They are trying to fix the bug money developers and owners issue of property. These big names want to have a place that can host a tournament but they need more property because they think there’s a tour distance issue and length is the only way to make a course tough instead of looking at layout to challenge the golfer. 

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10 hours ago, cnosil said:

The boom was because of Tiger Woods.  Also,  if equipment was such a limitation,  why were long drive competitors able to do this:

  • 1990 – Frank Miller, 328 yards
  • 1991 – Art Sellinger, 326 yards
  • 1992 – Monte Scheinblum 329 yards
  • 1993 – Brian Pavlet, 336 yards
  • 1994 – Darryl Anderson, 345 yards
  • 1995 – Sean Fister, 362 yards
  • 1996 – Jason Zuback (🇨🇦Canada) 351 yards
  • 1997 – Jason Zuback (🇨🇦Canada) 412 yards
  • 1998 – Jason Zuback (🇨🇦Canada) 361 yards
  • 1999 – Jason Zuback (🇨🇦Canada) 376 yards
  • 2000 – Viktor Johansson (🇸🇪Sweden) 315 yards

Todays players would have the ability to accomplish those same distances if they were using clubs from the 90s because they swing faster than tour players from the 90s.  That is not an equipment thing but a physical ability thing.  

I do know the difference; you said longer, not a category.  A GW is longer than a SW; so a 1 club "reduction" is all you are looking for?

In your opinion they aren't complicated issues.  

In your opinion the Tour game has been degraded.  

Your last statement is really your problem statement and what you think needs to be fixed:  " The problem is that the Tour game has been degraded by the massive distance gains from equipment advances. I detailed how earlier. It’s still good to watch for golf fans, but it could be better."

I don't see the tour game as being degraded by massive distance gains.  How those gain were achieved is not important because people were able to exceed 400 yards with 90s equipment.   But I personally enjoy the state of the game and hope it doesn't change. 

The boom was driven by Tiger Woods, but the distances players were hitting then didn't detract from the popularity.

Long-Drive competitions are circus shows. I'm talking about the Tour. LD competitors use different drivers- longer shafts than permitted on Tour, and setups that are for hitting one out of five to stay on a football sized width. They don't have any consideration for accuracy. The comparison is apples to oranges.

I absolutely disagree that today's players would hit the same distance with 1990s equipment that they do today. That is an incredibly unreasonable claim. Human athletic advancement hasn't made a quantum leap in 25 years. Of course the players swing faster because of the equipment, not because of advanced physical ability. The materials used to make the clubheads are lighter, the shapes are more aerodynamic, the shaft material is better. All of that increases the clubhead speed. Just look at the Champions Tour. These same guys in their 50s and 60s using modern equipment are hitting it 20-30 yards farther than they did in their 20s with the 1990 equipment. Just look at the times Tour players hit the older equipment and couldn't hit it any farther than the players from back in the day. These are direct examples.

I'll copy wikipedia for you: The irons from 2 to 4 are typically called the "long irons"; they have the lowest lofts and the longest shafts, and are designed to hit the ball long distances (180-260 yards) with low launch angles. ... The irons from 5 to 7 are typically called the "mid irons", and are generally used from the fairway and rough for longer approach shots, between 130-210 yards depending on the club, player and course. ... The 8 and 9 irons are commonly called the "short irons". They have the highest-mass clubheads and the shortest shafts of the numbered irons, and are used for shots requiring high loft or moderate to short distance (typically between 130 and 150 yards with a full swing). ... Wedges are a subclass of irons with higher loft than numbered irons, used for a variety of specialized "utility" shots that require short distance (typically less than 130 yards), high launch angle, or high backspin to reduce roll distance. 

We disagree about the way the Tour game is played now. I think it would be better if the players had to make more strategic decision based on the risk-reward design of the golf course, and if there was more variety in how players had to play different holes. You like the bomb-and-wedge it style that takes away risk-reward decisions, angles, and choices for ball placement. Agree to disagree.

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1 hour ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Here’s an article on Molinari and his distance gain, which was changing his swing approach and also working out. A couple things to takeaway IMO 1) it took awhile with the swing 2) his coach’s comment about physique and not technique being the key to power

 “Power doesn’t come from technique, it comes from physique,” he says. “The goal was to get him as strong as possible to create more power in his swing. But we had to make sure his technique didn’t block that newfound energy from being utilized.”

 

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/how-francesco-molinari-picked-up-20-yards-off-the-tee-and-still-hits-it-straight

Except Molinari made substantial swing changes designed to increase distance. From Golf Digest: 

Molinari and Pugh have a term they use to describe the changes they made: “Taking out the brakes.” They wanted to eliminate the moves or positions that restrict energy flow, such as limiting hip turn in the backswing or maintaining the flex in the knees. These restrictions might help a player feel more in control—something Molinari says he used to thrive on—but the downside is, they take away speed.

One traditional brake in the swing that they worked to release is the action of the front foot. Molinari went from keeping the heel down on the backswing to letting it come up to allow a bigger stretch and turn to the top. Going through the shot, that same foot now spins open, literally pointing to the target, to support a more aggressive body rotation. Taking out the brakes, yes, and hitting the throttle.

Molinari says, collectively, his swing changes gave him more speed, but also something he was not expecting. “Using the body more and swinging faster actually allowed me to get rid of some of the contact misses I had before,” he says. “I started hitting the ball more in the middle of the clubface.” (emphasis added)

Even Bryson made substantial swing changes when he bulked up, and he has lost some of that bulk too. You really can't find any Tour golfer who added distance just from weight training. I said earlier, the best test case here is Scott Stallings, and his example shows that the weight training did not increase his distance.

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1 hour ago, Middler said:

Quit feeding the troll folks, or he/she will never go away...forum 101.

“Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

Resorting to personal insults because someone provides information contrary to your view shows more about your poor character than anything else.

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Do you think that the USGA or R&A regulate how courses are maintained, or set up for tournaments?  Sure, longer fairway grass will decrease driving distance, but that can not be regulated by the Ruling Bodies.  And as long as the PGA Tour is selling distance, they're not going to slow the fairways either.
Well the USGA does set up the US open right? But I agree with your point that the PGA would have to make this decision in the other 50+ tournaments a year, and it's doubtful they would. Isn't this in part why they developed the TPC network, to be able to control conditions and make things uniform.

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37 minutes ago, StrokerAce said:

Preach!

 

I agree with a lot of this. The interesting thing with the equipment advances is that as far as distance goes, the average recreational golfer is not hitting it that much farther than they did 20+ years ago. Most of the distance advantages of the equipment advances have gone to the small percentage of low handicap to professional players. (Although I do think the average recreational golfer has benefited from equipment advances making clubs more forgiving.) The issue to me is really that of the product the Tour is presenting to golf fans. Similar to MLB, I don't like how baseball has developed at that level. With the increased usage of bullpen pitchers and defensive shifts, the game has so increased strikeouts, walks and homeruns that it just isn't as fun or compelling to watch as years ago. I love watching Tour events but I enjoyed it even more before the latest distance boom.

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43 minutes ago, StrokerAce said:

Preach!

 

Indeed.  He's also a great example of physique transformation and how it plays into this discussion 🙂.

Image result for rory mcilroy in 2007

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Here are my thoughts from the last time this topic was discussed:

I'll add this after some additional thought. If not for the pandemic, it is very likely golf would continue to be stagnant or on the decline because it takes up too much time and is too expensive. A simple solution would be to redefine what a regulation golf course looks like. I'm personally in favor of 12-hole courses - less time, smaller footprint, lower cost. And for the course architects whose only solution for distance is to make longer golf courses, well now they can do that without taking up anymore space than they currently do. 

Would I miss 18-hole golf courses? Absolutely, but I'm sure there'd still be plenty around to play and we'd still see them on tour as well. The USGA and R&A just don't want to do anything that would go against the financial investments they've made in the game. They'd rather pass the buck to OEMs and golfers. And yes, I realize that bifurcation would not impact a large swath of golfers, but what about those amateurs who do compete recreationally as well as at the elite level? We should expect them to drop even more money to own two separate sets of equipment? Note that this would impact juniors as well as adult amateurs.

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18 minutes ago, LICC said:

Most of the distance advantages of the equipment advances have gone to the small percentage of low handicap to professional players.

 

You mean the ones that train and workout??? Hmmm.....

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4 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

Indeed.  He's also a great example of physique transformation and how it plays into this discussion 🙂.

Image result for rory mcilroy in 2007

No doubt. Although in the pic on the left he was still a world class top 0.05% in the world player.

The edge between the world's best is so slim and any way a player can get just a slight edge they'll take it. Fitness is a perfect example of that. But, it's not just fitness -- look at Scott Stallings; he's shredded... and 251st in the world.

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/what-it-took-for-scott-stallings-to-become-the-tours-most-shredded-pro

 

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7 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

Indeed.  He's also a great example of physique transformation and how it plays into this discussion 🙂.

Image result for rory mcilroy in 2007

Rory started his weight training in 2011.

Rory average driving distance in 2009: 305 yards

Rory average driving distance in 2013: 302 yards

Rory average driving distance in 2015: 304  yards

Rory average driving distance in 2016: 307 yards

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