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Planned 2030 Golf Ball Rollback


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584 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you in favor of the rollback?

    • Yes
      81
    • No
      400
    • Don't Care
      103
  2. 2. Do you watch or care about the PGA Tour and other professional Tours?

    • Yes
      529
    • No
      21
    • Don't Care
      34
  3. 3. Do you wish there was a Tour Only golf ball?

    • Yes
      200
    • No
      237
    • Don't Care
      147
  4. 4. Do you want to play all the same equipment like the pros play?

    • Yes
      215
    • No
      143
    • Don't Care
      226
  5. 5. Do you feel your game will be dramatically effected by the rollback in 2030?

    • Yes
      230
    • No
      240
    • Don't know
      114
  6. 6. Will loosing any distance take away significant enjoyment in golfing for you?

    • Yes
      300
    • No
      158
    • Probably not
      126
  7. 7. Would you quit golf because of the rollback?

    • Yes
      25
    • No
      559
  8. 8. Would you prefer bifurcation?

    • Yes
      268
    • No
      202
    • Don't Care
      114
  9. 9. Is this all too early and we need to wait and see what more will happen over the next few years?

    • Definitely
      261
    • No, this needs to be addressed now
      262
    • Don't care
      61

This poll is closed to new votes


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On 12/2/2023 at 9:12 AM, bens197 said:

IF there is an impact to slower swing golfers I do wonder how it will affect several aspects of the game, notably club sales.  

What I can say confidently while this still develops, if there is a reduction in distance, it may have an adverse effect club OEM's who rely upon YOY improvements in distance / forgiveness to sell clubs.

There have been many conclusions drawn without any definitive word on how** this will occur so I will reserve my opinion until that time.

Considering MOI and other things related to clubs are already capped, Its all marketing wank and has been for over a decade.

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11 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

It’s unlikely. They could have done this at several points in time. They really don’t want that responsibility. It would be more likely to see something like the pga of America try to take over and have tours and such join them and they could use grint for their handicap system and it would effectively make USGA irrelevant 

if grint decided to get clubs and such to join them and they became the official handicap organization it would greatly damage the USGA 

I totally agree with your conclusion. Only pointing out that dumb rule will eventually lead to other bodies stepping in to provide an alternate. College football and the playoffs are just one example. Would hate to see golf go that way as well. 

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3 hours ago, Ding-dong said:

To be honest, modern golf is a different animal. Larger driver heads promote swinging hard, which has in turn impacted golf ball development. They are intrinsically related. Your average golfer who has never played classic or played prior to the big Bertha era won’t know about this.

I remember having a lesson 40 years ago using a Mizuno impact 7 iron and being told “wind it back , control it, shelling it 180+ yards is not required”. Driving was the same, be efficient find the middle swing inside yourself even Nicklaus was advocating using a 80-85% of your power and to control. 
The pros don’t miss the middle by much, the amateur misses enormously but we need to discourage them from trying to hit too hard and encourage them to be accurate. By having a ball that gives you nothing beyond a certain point is the solution…it won’t ruin the game that’s just fertile imagination running out of control.

Hitting in shaped long irons are a thing of beauty … mashing wedges is boring 

what does accurate mean? A pros dispersion with a driver is about 60 yards wide.   They miss greens, hit shanks, top the ball, hit it OB, chunk pitches

 As described by Scott Fawcett golf has shotgun accuracy not rifle accuracy.  
The key to your whole discussion here is in your first sentence “modern golf”.  As people have learned more strategies have changed, long term good scoring is best achieved by hitting the ball as far as you can with each shot and not trying to shape shots beyond what your stock shot does.     Modern golf isn’t about the clubs or the ball, it is about course management strategies.   It is about using devices like trackman to optimize swings to maximize performance.   IMO, Mark Brodie changed golf in 2014.


 

3 hours ago, Ding-dong said:

I would also argue that if you took your 150 yard club and played it off every par 4 or 5 the score for the high handicap would be better

No question on this.  People can score better with but they will claim that what you describe isn’t golf.   
 

golf is a game that must be learned and what out are describing is that players shouldn’t learn on the course? They need to learn their game on the range  and not  hit shots that they aren’t capable of hitting 9 out of 10 times.   What do you propose for the high handicapper that gets out once a month or even less and just wants to enjoy the time outside, drink a few beers, and doesn’t have the desire to improve?  Ban them from the course?   

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From an expert who understands the capability of the pros and what will happen. It’s the samething that’s bend said here and by several in the wrx thread on the subject. The ruling bodies will eventually be back in the same boat about distance 

 

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22 minutes ago, Stuka44 said:

Length should only be an advantage, if you are finding fairways, as the game was designed.  A ball ending up anywhere else should be punished by course conditions, to make finding fairways, and landing actually on greens primary.  Not just coming close.  It is a failure of imagination by professional course tournament set up people.

The game was designed in fields where there were no fairways. Golf has grown from there as has technology and data.

Players understand risk and reward and they understand the data behind strokes gained. The only objective of golf is to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible. Competitive golf is setup so that the golfer with the lowest score after the tournament ends wins.

in case you haven’t noticed data and using that to improves one’s chances is occurring in every sport and to some extent has been used in golf for longer than strokes gained has been around. But we can look at baseball and all the Sabremetrics used there and now they have gotten into the use of launch data.

I don’t know anyone that’s stood on a tee box and said the designer setup the hole this way and for the ball to land in X area. They stand on the tee and figure out the path that’s going to give them the best chance to score and minimize the penalty of a miss

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Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

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55 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

 

The PGA Tour cares about the PGA Tour.  They've been marketing driving distance for decades, of course they oppose any reduction in driving distance.  The PGA Tour also cares about their "industry partners", the ball manufacturers among them, and the manufacturers had strong reasons to oppose bifurcation.  Sure, running two different R&D programs would be a problem, but more important, they wouldn't be able to sell us the "same ball" that the top Tour players use.  

 

Disgruntled players have often whined that the Tour needs their own Rules, and the Tour as a whole has shown no interest in developing them.  As for "keep everything", I'd bet there are significant copyright issues involved, the Tour might have to start completely from scratch.    

I'm not sure I have anything more to add to this.  The roll-back is going to happen, the Tour will begin to see the effects in 4 years, the rest of use shortly after that.  We'll see what happens, but I'm pretty sure the sky won't be falling.

I was referring to the PGA of America, not the Tour.

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6 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

From an expert who understands the capability of the pros and what will happen. It’s the samething that’s bend said here and by several in the wrx thread on the subject. The ruling bodies will eventually be back in the same boat about distance 

 

IMG_7023.jpeg

100% agree with this.  There will be players who will learn to hit it even further than today.  Justin Thomas is so skinny he has to run around in the shower to get wet and he’s pound for pound, one of the longest on Tour.  I don’t know what the ceiling limit is but like Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park…Life finds a way… 

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8 minutes ago, bens197 said:

100% agree with this.  There will be players who will learn to hit it even further than today.  Justin Thomas is so skinny he has to run around in the shower to get wet and he’s pound for pound, one of the longest on Tour.  I don’t know what the ceiling limit is but like Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park…Life finds a way… 

I had a good laugh at the JT tuning around the shower comment.

I think Bryson kind of showed us the limit and that even where he was at on the course with his speed may have even been too much. We can look at his constant switching of driver heads, his comments about needing better face designs to help keep the ball in play.

Then we can look at Rory who chased Bryson and got out of whack with the swing. Under the current specs of equipment and ball there isn’t going to be some magically 20,30,40 yard increase in the top end of driving distance. It’s been pretty consistent for the last 24ish years despite the improvements made in the equipment, the ball being designed to go straighter. 
 

We can look at the guys who are pushing 180+ ball speed and see how many are winning or winning with any consistency and it’s not many of them. So the perception of distance being dominant on tour isn’t there. The guys that would supposedly be in the driver/wedge realm everyone likes to rant about aren’t producing results. Its the ball strikes like Scheffler, Morikawa, hoviland, etc that are winning more.

 

speaking of JT he is just under 180 ball speed and is ranked outside the top 50 on tour. Finau is above him and also under 180. Finau as sasho pointed and and has said himself that he dials back because more distance than what he has is detrimental 

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I’ve figured out how to deal with the ball rollback.  I currently live at 15’ above sea level; I just need to move to a higher elevation.     😂🤪

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This is the final straw. I will not support the USGA again and disregard whatever they say about the ball rollback. Our local golf organization will not abide by this new rollback. Hopefully, people will boycott the USGA and R&A. They have no clue anymore about what is good for the game. The PGA Tour should not implement this rule in its competition and now you will see what happens to golf's governing bodies. The data doesn't support their ruling.

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No big deal.  The aim of the game is to get the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible........and fewer than the competition.  As long as the competition (amateur or professional) is playing with a ball subject to the same requirements the game is fair.  It may be that handicaps will change slightly but so what?  Of far greater concern to players is the fairness of competition when the competitor appears to play with a handicap that appears to differ greatly from the level of play being exhibited.  There may be some problem initially in ensuring all are playing with the correct ball (and have thrown away all those old,' distance achieving' balls).  Would have accepted bifurcation (a lovely word) but doesn't make a great deal of difference (actually none) when it comes down to playing a match against someone else on the same course

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4 hours ago, Ding-dong said:

Not really is it , when your seeing the pros smash it out there, someone finds it then they get a wedge on it and then have a couple of putts at worse.

The amateur doesn’t have an audience who have trampled the rough down or found their ball … 

I would also argue that if you took your 150 yard club and played it off every par 4 or 5 the score for the high handicap would be better … that’s making it easier and showing you it is not a hard game it’s the choices you make. .. might be boring though. ( sweeping generalisation I accept but it would cover the majority)
 

This ball stuff is just a storm in a tea cup, and those who are unsettled by it have probably not got any other dimension or imagination to their game 🤭🤭.

My initial response was to shout down the idea. But after reading more and having a dialog with a PGA professional, I’m more inclined to agree with your storm in a teacup take. Now if I was single digits or better I might be more upset as it may have an impact on my game. And part of this may stem from “Outrage” fuels the internet these days. 

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24 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Under the current specs of equipment and ball there isn’t going to be some magically 20,30,40 yard increase in the top end of driving distance. It’s been pretty consistent for the last 24ish years despite the improvements made in the equipment, the ball being designed to go straighter. 

In 2000 the average driving distance on the Tour was 273 and the leader (John Daly) was at 301. In 2023 the average distance was 297 and the leader (Rory) was 327.

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2 minutes ago, MattWillGolf said:

My initial response was to shout down the idea. But after reading more and having a dialog with a PGA professional, I’m more inclined to agree with your storm in a teacup take. Now if I was single digits or better I might be more upset as it may have an impact on my game. And part of this may stem from “Outrage” fuels the internet these days. 

I am actually with you on this.  Personally don’t care in the long term what is done with the ball.   I don’t think there will be much of a change at any level of golf.   

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9 minutes ago, LICC said:

In 2000 the average driving distance on the Tour was 273 and the leader (John Daly) was at 301. In 2023 the average distance was 297 and the leader (Rory) was 327.

Not even sure why I decided to open this post from being hidden or even reply because this same debate has happened on wrx with you and several of us and it’s the same debunked talking point, but.

Now look at distance since 2003 and you will see that it hasn’t changed.

And in that 1999-2002 timeframe Hank kuehne averaged 321 and was the outlier and there has always been outliers. Jack, Tiger, Daly.

Edited by RickyBobby_PR

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

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Putter: Scotty Caemeron Super Rat1

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14 minutes ago, short fat Scotsman said:

No big deal.  The aim of the game is to get the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible........and fewer than the competition.  As long as the competition (amateur or professional) is playing with a ball subject to the same requirements the game is fair.  It may be that handicaps will change slightly but so what?  Of far greater concern to players is the fairness of competition when the competitor appears to play with a handicap that appears to differ greatly from the level of play being exhibited.  There may be some problem initially in ensuring all are playing with the correct ball (and have thrown away all those old,' distance achieving' balls).  Would have accepted bifurcation (a lovely word) but doesn't make a great deal of difference (actually none) when it comes down to playing a match against someone else on the same course

So if the goal is lowest score why change the ball? 
 

the ball change is the same as lengthing a course which per broadie gives the advantage to the longer player. So in essence the rollback is going to out the shorter player at an even more disadvantage than they are today 

Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto w/UST Helium 5F4

Wood: TaylorMade M5 5W w/Accra TZ5 +1/2”, TaylorMade Sim 3W w/Aldila rogue white

Hybrid: PXG Gen2 22* w/AD hybrid

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26 minutes ago, hack2er said:

This is the final straw. I will not support the USGA again and disregard whatever they say about the ball rollback. Our local golf organization will not abide by this new rollback. Hopefully, people will boycott the USGA and R&A. They have no clue anymore about what is good for the game. The PGA Tour should not implement this rule in its competition and now you will see what happens to golf's governing bodies. The data doesn't support their ruling.

The problem isn’t won’t be able to boycott this decision as all the balls will be conforming to this rule at some point down the road. Of course it could be motivation to spend stupid money on golf balls before the rules change I suppose. 

Driver:  cobralogo.png.60692cdc05482efd83e68664e010b95f.png Aerojet LS, Ventus Blue Shaft - 6S
4 Wood:  callaway.png.e65d398fb0327017a369499fc6126064.png Rogue ST Max 16.5, Tensei White Shaft - 7S
Utility Iron: mizunopro.png.90cc4fb9895830e28063d9a5be416145.png Fli Hi 3-iron, HAZARDOUS Smoke Black Shaft - S
Irons:  mizuno.png.f0e7b21135cb6273b3c1430866904467.png JPX 921 Tour 4-P, Project X Shafts - Stiff 125g
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Putter:  odyssey.png.58c727e37eb7efda62bce4f7b8881bd9.png Ai-One 7 T CH, 34"
Preferred Ball: srixon.png.f177578dda27a20ef80a0a8b1ae96e3b.png Z-Star Diamond
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In a way, it might make the game easier. If the ball goes shorter, it goes less offline generally. If everyone knows the ball is flying 15% shorter than you can play shorter tees and/or courses won't have to continually be lengthened. For the argument that front tee people have nowhere to go, that's fair, but if a person drives the ball 150 yds and loses 15% on their distance that is 22.5 yds. Is it not possible to move a tee box up 25 yds? Seems more economical and cost effective for a course to do that than have to add more yardage to their golf course. 

I like this a lot better than the "GROW THE ROUGH UP, MORE DOGLEGS" argument because playing out of thick rough and doglegs is not really a solution I want to see. 

I am in the minority but if everyone is playing the same ball and it cut my distance IN HALF I think I would be fine with it. That would completely change golf and take my driver distance from 260-280 down to 130-140 yds BUT it would also cut the amount of clubs I had in my bag down to like 7 as well right? Pros and Cons. 

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29 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Not even sure why I decided to open this post from being hidden or even reply because this same debate has happened on wrx with you and several of us and it’s the same debunked talking point, but.

Now look at distance since 2003 and you will see that it hasn’t changed.

And in that 1999-2002 timeframe Hank kuehne averaged 321 and was the outlier and there has always been outliers. Jack, Tiger, Daly.

In 2013, the average was 288 and the leader (Luke List) was at 306. Of course there are outliers. That is why you look at averages.

No need to get testy because your arguments aren't lining up with facts.

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On 4/3/2023 at 12:39 PM, LICC said:

George Bamberger:

While we’re at it, let’s bury this pretentious word going around golf: bifurcation, splitting something into two parts. Golf, as the best players play it, is a cousin, but that is all, to the game the rest of us play. We use whatever ball that comes out of our bag. We change brands midround without a second thought. You pick up after making a triple. You pick up after your third putt. You’re playing match play. We mark and clean and aim-point in some sort of monkey-see, monkey-do fantasy. Our game is not their game. Please. We need to get over ourselves. ...

Also, nobody is coming after your golf ball. Not in your club championship. Not in your after-work league. Not in your Sunday game. Not in NCAA play. The USGA and the R&A need to do a much better job of selling what this is: course preservation. The preservation of the par 5. A dose of humility for a game and world that needs it.

I appreciate your point here. I think the overall thing has been a bit overblown but I will say, as someone who has worked really hard this year to gain 20-30 extra yards, the thought of potentially losing that again really sucks. Lou Stagner made some great points regarding pace of play and frustration for the average golfer that I do think are valid but I also think the overall causation to us as the regular everyday golfer, will be less than we think. Time will tell!

 Damien--Titleist & TaylorMade enthusiast. Former College golfer.

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Well the mygolfspy newsletter doesn't pull any punches, they seem to be anti-rollback:

"The governing bodies have come to the conclusion bifurcation is a greater evil than stealing distance away from every golfer regardless of ability."

This is the equipment companies' fault here. Titleist, Taylormade etc was busy whipping everyone up and saying 'amateur golfers LOVE being able to hit the same shots as the pros' etc. Well, that sounded like no bifurcation so they got what they wanted.

"They're devolving the game people"

Definition: to degenerate through a gradual change or evolution. For absolute distance, yes that is true. If the entire encapsulation of "the game" of golf is distance first and foremost then yes. I would argue that isn't all of it but that is just me. 

"....the governing bodies have thus far understated how much distance is going to be lost. More on that as we check-in with our industry contacts."

This is a compelling item, I was not aware that the industry contacts were noting the distance loss could be notably greater than USGA was estimating. The flip side is are these industry contacts with Titleist and Taylormade and others that were so vehemently arguing against roll back? Would they have biases? No, surely not. 

"The distance thieves at the USGA and R&A are coming for your golf ball, and while there's still plenty to learn and discussions to be had, if you're a paid member of either, I'd suggest cancelling immediately."

I mean, that is an outrageous comment. This is laughable. We don't even really know what this is going to look like but already this guy/girl is asking to defund these orgs. LOL. 

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8 minutes ago, d0m41n said:

thought of potentially losing that again really sucks.

But if you gained 20-30 yds with the current ball and EVERYONE is getting rolled back to a shorter ball then you didn't lose anything relative to the golfing world, right?

Or another way to think about it, If I gave you a ball that went 500 yds without you changing your swing would you feel like you GAINED 250 yds off the tee? 

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I debated going over to the new golf house in Pinehurst and protest, but it's not open yet. I will hold judgement until I try any new balls in the coming years. I swear I could hit balls further in college 30 years ago, so maybe some magic will come back. 

When my wife asked if I wanted to leave Maine and move to where she grew up, I couldn't say no to Pinehurst, NC. I honestly don't spend much money on golf equipment, but I'm constantly reading reviews in case I ever get ready to buy

I swing left handed and have been the State of Maine Left Hander's champion since 1997, the last year they held the tournament. I'm currently a 7.1 handicap. Trying to get lower, but my gut gets in the way.

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13 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

Players understand risk and reward and they understand the data behind strokes gained.

They do not understand risk.  What they understand is that there is INSUFFICIENT RISK,   in trying to hit the ball as far as they can, given the conditions under which they currently play.   This can quickly be remedied with course set up, to make strokes gained not applicable, where missing the fairway, could render your ability to advance the ball almost nonexistent.  The conditions of the game make strokes gained applicable, it is not a law of nature or an absolute astrophysics certainty.

And I know where the game started, if that is the type of argument that must be made then it 90 % proved my point.  The fairway is important, and missing it should come with a legitimate impediment to the next swing.

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We will always have some for and some against any changes.  

Change is never fun but whatever the outcome is, I will continue to play golf.  

Athletes will always find a way to continue to improve their skillset and adapt/adjust to changes and challenges.

 

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23 minutes ago, LICC said:

In 2013, the average was 288 and the leader (Luke List) was at 306. Of course there are outliers. That is why you look at averages.

You can’t really look at averages either.  It also gives skewed results.  For example if I hit 2 drives; one with a 2 degree open club face and one with a 2 degree closed club face my average face angle is 0 degrees yet none of my face angles were 0 degrees.    

give me percentage of golfers that swing above and below various swing speeds or various distances.  
 

 

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6 minutes ago, Stuka44 said:

They do not understand risk.  What they understand is that there is INSUFFICIENT RISK,   in trying to hit the ball as far as they can, given the conditions under which they currently play.   This can quickly be remedied with course set up, to make strokes gained not applicable, where missing the fairway, could render your ability to advance the ball almost nonexistent.  The conditions of the game make strokes gained applicable, it is not a law of nature or an absolute astrophysics certainty.

 

The course setup is exactly how the PGA tour wants it. Why would the PGA tour change course setup to penalize the pro. Their goal is to have lower scores and longer drives. That’s the model the PGA tour is selling for their product. If they thought distance was a problem or that pros should be hitting longer clubs into greens they would either change course setup for that or would have been onboard with the MLR, but shorter drives and higher scores doesn’t suit their product.

Yes pros understand risk. It’s all part of the course strategy and course management. Despite what so many want to proclaim that the tour is bomb and gouge isn’t true. And if there is no risk then Tony Finau and others wouldn’t be dialing back their driver speed. The risk of being longer for Tony is too high.

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18 minutes ago, vandyland said:

But if you gained 20-30 yds with the current ball and EVERYONE is getting rolled back to a shorter ball then you didn't lose anything relative to the golfing world, right?

Or another way to think about it, If I gave you a ball that went 500 yds without you changing your swing would you feel like you GAINED 250 yds off the tee? 

I completely understand your point and it's absolutely valid. My point being, I play golf for me, not for the competition of others. While I do like playing with others and seeing how I am doing comparatively, golf is about me vs. me and what I can do. So going from hitting drives 270-280 to 240-250 doesn't sit the best with me after the hard work but at the end of the day, I love golf and will continue to play and will put the work back in to try and get the yards back. In my opinion, of all sports, golf is the hardest because you're talking about micro-muscle differences can cause huge changes in yardage, accuracy, etc. And you have the mental aspect of it. I think it's valid for so many to feel upset about it but ultimately, it doesn't really change that much. 

 Damien--Titleist & TaylorMade enthusiast. Former College golfer.

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44 minutes ago, vandyland said:

In a way, it might make the game easier. If the ball goes shorter, it goes less offline generally. If everyone knows the ball is flying 15% shorter than you can play shorter tees and/or courses won't have to continually be lengthened.

That’s true to an extent but being further back in the fairway is still worse from a strokes gained aspect than being closer to the hole in the rough.

45 minutes ago, vandyland said:

150 yds and loses 15% on their distance that is 22.5 yds. Is it not possible to move a tee box up 25 yds? Seems more economical and cost effective for a course to do that than have to add more yardage to their golf cour

Courses aren’t going to stop using and maintaining their other tee boxes so they still have the same upkeep costs. And courses haven’t been adding more yardage like people think. That’s been shown by several studies from NGF.

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Ok so this is probably not going to saw anyone, but really all this made me stop and think. Why do I golf? Is it to hit it 300 yards or is that just a goal because it is possible, but if 270 is a big pop now ok. I play for the challenge, whatever that challenge is, hitting it far, hitting it close, trying to not hit it off the tree 30 feet in front of me as I punch out from another errant tee shot. I play to be out there with people I enjoy playing with, and how far we hit the ball will not change the people they are. It might make the 6100 yard course closer to my house a bigger challenge and tipped out at 6600 not something I want to play all the time.

The Shotgun Start I think had a good line when talking about this (note they are very pro rollback so think of this how you will) does anyone complain when playing in 45 degree weather in the northern parts of the globe and we loose tons of distance then., or do we just play the game before us and enjoy the nature and the company, or even some solitude from time to time. The game will still be the game, as it was 200 years ago and will still be a challenge.

I hope it is a chance for all of us to evaluate why we play the game and how 95% play without score or how far we hit the ball. And who knows engineers have made the groove rule that started in I think 2012 a moot point, they will probably do the same within a decade for this new ball. Drivers will be changed to optimize to the new ball, they will continue to find marginal gains between COR and CT to increase speed, and a bigger sweet spot with the result that we will all be close to or exactly where we are now.

You may now return to debating this topic as regularly scheduled.

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