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USGA Distance Report: Jimmy Walker, Lucas Glover sound off

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We heard what the USGA had to say about distance in the game on Monday. Most significantly with respect to the pro game, the governing body stated, “any further significant increases in hitting distances at the highest level are undesirable,” while pledging further review.

Largely skeptical responses from the PGA Tour, the PGA of America, and Titleist followed soon thereafter.
Now, some players are keen to do anything but roll back the ball of incredulity, instead, (to mix ball metaphors), Jimmy Walker and Lucas Glover are running with the ball.

Walker, in an Instagram post Tuesday, suggested the USGA’s data doesn’t paint the full picture.
His, which also references Rule 14-1b, reads in part

“Too many variables in an outdoor sport to grasp what is actually happening,” Walker said. “What I do know is the USGA does not have their fingers on the pulse of the game. Taking away a putter that helps many many people enjoy the game is wrong. Rolling back the golf ball 20 percent is another bad idea. Ask the normal golfer how much they would enjoy the game if they flew it 20 percent shorter. I’m asking. Would you enjoy that? Changing golf for the masses because a small few who play it a different level is wrong. The greats and USGA have it wrong.”

Walker was joined by a fellow major winner, Lucas Glover, in voicing his disapproval. Glover tweeted

The plot thickens, and the debate continues. Expect to hear plenty more responses to the USGA’s report with player interviews at the Valspar Championship beginning today.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. John

    Mar 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Jimmy Walker hit the nail on the head. I agree completely & have stated the same thing myself. You can’t punish 99% of the golfers because a small minority hit the long ball.

    • bill

      Mar 11, 2018 at 4:40 am

      jIMMY missed the point. USGA is proposing to regulate the ball used by tours, not the balls used by everyday players. Older courses are running out of real estate to lengthen courses to accommodate driving distances by tour level club head speeds

  2. blake

    Mar 9, 2018 at 9:25 am

    i will play golf even less if they do this. F the usga.

    • Glenn D

      Mar 10, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      This shows how ignorant some people can be. I don’t think the everyday playerscourses are being lengthened to accommodate them. It’s mainly for the pros. The answer isn’t 8,000 yd courses….. cost to maintain and slower play will be the result.

  3. GolfGui

    Mar 7, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    Yes, the way these guys train and the level of athlete has changed through the years. It is also true there’s Trackman and 3D analysis. These things can’t be stopped. It’s not a legit argument to change anything. What can be changed, probably tomorrow if need be, is the ball. Change the compression, the aerodynamics and the ball doesn’t fly as far. Many Tour guys against rollback try to make an argument that the amateur would be hurt most by this, but no one is calling for a throttled back ball for amateurs, just Tour guys, so that’s not a good argument. Nor is it a good argument to say the USGA allowed it in the first place, so they don’t have a right to correct their mistakes (cough cough Lucas Glover). Also, the idea of tightening fairways goes against the very nature of the game, which is strategy and angles. I know Jimmy Walker says he hits his 8i the same distance he did when he was 24… Fine, the problem is that 8i you’re hitting is into a Par 5, which when you were 24, that same hole you probably were hitting a 5i or more. The way I understand the science behind the modern ball, the faster one swings, the more one gains from the longer clubs… And by a lot. But when players get to the shorter irons / Wedges the modern ball doesn’t react much differently than balls from 10/15 yrs ago. To me that completely sounds like a compression / aerodynamic issue in regards to the ball. Throttle the ball back 10% (10% off an average Tour Drive) for Tour guys and be done with it. They still will be the best players in the world and courses all over the planet will remain relevant without needing major reconstruction.

    • DougQ

      Mar 8, 2018 at 11:18 am

      I get what your saying but it’s not the ball. Each ball it hit with the iron byron and can’t go further then the distance cap of 02′. Also guys could hit the ball further but going to less spin, but the mid 2500 is sweet spot for distance and accuracy which they figure out long ago. Use 1000 spin and your accuracy is like long drivers.
      So what do you do get a ball that goes less and less distance every few years to make up for the increases athleticism. Guys will keep getting taller and fitter as it’s an advantage.
      Making a shorter hitting ball will only absolute the short hitters like Kuchar type.

      At the end of the day golf is a game and which the least strokes wins, who cares the par of the distance, it’s just ideology stuff. It’s still easier to make a par on a 525 yard par 4 then to birdie the same hole as a 530 yard par 5.

      • Daniel

        Mar 11, 2018 at 5:10 am

        Its easier to make 4 on a 525 yard hole than to make 4 on a 530 yard hole… ummm doubt 5 yards makes that big of a distance.. kind of a stupid comment

  4. TheOtherPhilM

    Mar 7, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    The lack of logic in the responses to a proposed ball wind back from the pga and pros like Walker/ Glover is staggering. Plenty of reports show that amateurs are not reaping the benefits of new equipment and balls like the pros are. It will not make much difference to amateurs if the ball is wound back. What is bad for golf is the increasing gap between pros and amateurs and the costs of increasing ball distances. Talk of bigger stronger players as the cause of distance gains rather than equipment is also nonsense, the fact that Champions tour players are hitting 20% further in their sixties compared to their 30s tells the real story no one should hit further when they are 30 years older in the normal course of events.

    • UNMgolf

      Mar 7, 2018 at 7:15 pm

      you’re probably old. old people think this way.

    • BD57

      Mar 7, 2018 at 7:39 pm

      What’s “nonsense” is the “get off my lawn” response of people such as yourself.

      From what I’ve heard, when comparing “apples to apples” – that would be driving distances in 2016 vs. 2017 at events contested on the SAME COURSE BOTH YEARS – and there’s practically no difference whatsoever.

      Apparently, the driving distances at Augusta in 2017 were little different than 2016 as well, but the distances at the US Open, British Open & PGA were longer in 2017 than 2016, with the US Open being significantly so, and accounting for the lion’s share of the “huge jump.”

      The typical tour pro in the 70’s wasn’t the size of Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, etc., they certainly didn’t have the benefit of multi-material clubheads, graphite shafts and so on, and they didn’t train the way the guys train now. The notion that “It’s just the ball” – THAT is a “lack of logic.”

      As is the idea that somehow, manufacturing a ball which steals distance from the most expert players will leave the rest of us alone, that it “won’t make much difference.” Steal 20% of the total distance . . . . you turn a good amateur’s 250 yard drive into a 200 yard “bomb,” his 6,500 yard course into a 5,200 yard “monster.” When the typical am takes a mighty swipe and can’t hit the ball out of his shadow – golf is going to become a far less attractive game for a lot of people than it is now.

      This notion that we have to make the game less enjoyable for MILLIONS because, somehow, we’re having a problem maintaining “Old Man Par” as a standard for he best players in the world on the 100 golf courses in the world where they play . . . . how shortsighted.

      How foolish.

  5. DeezNutz

    Mar 7, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Just grow the rough out.
    Pebble is a short course.
    guys light it up in Pro-Am because it set up for Bill Murray.
    During the US Opens there you can win with Par.

  6. MVB

    Mar 7, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    USGA put a distance cap on balls and equipment in 2002 or 03.
    There is a sport science show on ESPN where Rory hit a persimmon with an old balata and he loses like 15 yards.

    Its just old dudes that don’t understand science and body physics.
    Now golfers are athletes, taller bigger and train specifically for golf.

    I think the distance cap on equipment was good, it can’t increase.

    What they gonna say when some Anthony Davis looking guy makes it to the PGA.
    You’re too tall create too much leverage we’re gonna give you a different ball?

  7. dat

    Mar 7, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Mark Crossfield had a great video the other day on this. The two data collection periods were not even close to one another for this YOY comparison. One was primarily on wet, shorter, narrower course. The other was on firm, long and more open courses. Gee, I wonder why there was a 17 yard increase? Must be the golf ball!

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19th Hole

Check out these limited-edition Ryder Cup Adidas Tour360 shoes

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Here are GolfWRX, we love our Ryder Cup swag. Gianni brought you news of the U.S. squad’s apparel and some goodies from Puma last week. Today, we have more Ryder Cup-related gear news for fans of golf’s most storied team competition: Adidas is launching a limited edition Tour360 to commemorate the showdown at Le Golf National.

Available Sept. 24, the shoes draw their inspiration from the famed Ryder Cup trophy. The 10-cleated TPU outsole is designed to look like the wood grain finish at the trophy’s base, and the TPU top plate is shiny and gold like the trophy itself.

While the exterior of the shoe is the same whether your support the United States or Europe, the fortunate souls who snag a pair of the limited-edition shoes will be able to choose their preferred sockliner. One features the American flag and the final scores from every Ryder Cup since 1979, the other, the European flag.

“We know how much the Ryder Cup means to fans all over the world,” said Masun Denison, global footwear director, adidas Golf. “It’s the most competitive event in golf, and brings out a level of emotion that you don’t normally see in the sport. Possession of the Ryder Cup trophy is what both of these teams and fans are after, so we looked to it for inspiration.”

The shoes (MSRP $220) will come with a limited-edition shoe bag and will only available online at adidas.com.

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Rope hat fans, rejoice: Titleist’s Tour Rope Flat Bill is here

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The rope hat is having something of a moment, isn’t it? As the mesh trucker fades to the periphery and the outer recesses of hipsterdom where it belongs, the good old-fashioned cotton rope snapback is stepping up to fill the void in vintage-inspired headwear.

Titleist is getting into the rope hat game with its Tour Rope Flat Bill, worn perhaps most prominently by Cameron Smith recently, but seen adorning the heads of Adam Scott, Jason Kokrak, and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Check ’em out.

The Tour Rope Flat Bill is available on Titleist’s website for $30 now in black/white, navy/white, and white/hunter green colorways.

 

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19th Hole

GolfWRX Members analyze (and roast) Cosmo Kramer’s golf swing

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Kramer Hickok’s win last week on the Web.com Tour brought to mind the greatest golfing Kramer of them all: Cosmo Kramer, of course.

Jerry Seinfield’s singular “hipster doofus” next-door neighbor flirted with the great game on occasion, if you recall: Beating ball into the Atlantic (which ultimately factors into George’s great “marine biologist” ruse), Stan the Caddie, playing Westchester, and a handful of other angles.

It’s during the “Marine Biologist” episode that we get a look at Cosmo’s action, and it is something to behold. The fluidity of Snead, here, folks.

We asked our GolfWRX members to fire up their V1 and give us their best breakdown of Kramer’s “driver off the beach” swing. Here are some of the best replies.

BewareTheGlowball writes

“On takeaway the hands get a little too close to the body, which would lead to a tendency to move over the top on the downswing. In this case however, Kramer makes a great move to put the club back on path from the top of his swing. Nearing impact his weight shifts backwards, which he owns and holds it like it was a classic swing of old…Better than about 75% of swings on the driving range when I go out.”

D1bound says: “Looks like he had a seizure.”

Getair23 says: “It’s so bad, he can’t even hit the ocean from the beach!”

ThunderBuzzworth says

“Horizontal takeaway equals more space for that flying elbow and massive hip turn. Then notice his transition and how he violently thrusts his upper body backwards into a silky smooth back-snap finishing with ALL his weight on his rear leg. Considering he is on the beach… take notes on the unorthodox ground impact location which happens to be 10 inches behind the ball to dramatically reduce spin.”

PowderedToastMan knows his Seinfeld: “That swing has the power to kill a whale, literally.”

Nony noke does as well: “Almost as good as Larry David’s swing. Preeettty, preeeettty good.”

And Gioguy21: “Kramer’s reverse C finish is simply poetic – if only he had the man hands necessary to release properly.”

And DavePelz4: “He’s not the Master of his Domain…or his swing.”

ZAP may have the most concise and spot-on breakdown.

“Stack and realaaaaaaaaaaalllllllly tilt.”

Thanks for the analysis, GolfWRX Members! And if anyone else would like to chime in on Cosmo’s club swinging motion, please do. Also, if there’s another swing from the big or small screen you’d like to see scrutinized, let us know.

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