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USGA Distance Report: Jimmy Walker, Lucas Glover sound off



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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  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

The 5 best #GolfWRX photos on Instagram today



If you’re on Instagram, you’re hopefully aware that we are ‘gramming it up as well (@golfwrx). And if you’re not following us, well, that hurts our feelings more than a three-putt bogey.

Even if you do follow WRX on Instagram, however, you may not be aware that an abundance of equipment enthusiasts are hashtagging their photos #GolfWRX. We feel it’s only right to feature the best of the WRX-tagged imagery here.

And if you’re not on Instagram, well there’s no way you could see these photos, so think of this series as a handy filter for the best #GolfWRX photos from the past 24 hours.

Chris Trott shows off how he speeds up the drying process on a paintfill when pressed for time

Dave Nguyen with  his #newbabe

Pat Lucci displays his custom Lamont Mann putter cover

The Wedge Wizard reveals his “stone finish”

Andrew Halford‘s beautiful custom Newport 2

Don’t forget to tag your photos #GolfWRX. Golf gods willing, you’ll be featured here in the future!


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19th Hole

Tap the brakes on the Tiger Woods Express or “full steam ahead!”?



“Is Tiger Woods back?” This is the discussion among fans of this maddening game (even those whose heads explode at the question’s utterance).

GolfWRX member Kscarguy takes things a step further, suggesting that the field could soon be playing for second place, as was the case in Woods’ early 2000s heyday.

“I remember when tiger was at his peak and how he controlled everything related to golf. I remember interviews from various players and most of the questions asked to them was about tiger. Some if not most of the golfers got tired of answering same questions about tiger. When he was dominating the sport everyone was basically playing for second place. Just like when Hogan came back from the ashes of his injury so is tiger. But tiger is tiger and he will want to lay waste to all who tees it up during the week he plays. Is this the second (or whatever version we are at now) coming. I think we will see him dominate with scores, driving distance, short game. What does everyone else think?”

Yes, Tiger Woods is launching the ball off the tee Yes. His iron play looks excellent. Gone are questions about any “chipping yips,” and his putter looks pretty darn good. Yes, he finished tied for second at the Valspar Championship, his Sunday in his signature blood red coming up just short. Yes, he’s off to a strong start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

But is the roaring blaze of enthusiasm too much? Or is it not enough? Could we be on the verge of another period of Woodsian dominance? GolfWRX members debate.

Mjen43 says

“His strokes gained stats are comparable to a typical world #1 so I expected him to win a lot, health permitting.”

MarkfromtheUK says not so fast

“Golf has far greater strength in depth now, than when TW was in his heyday. He could get his game back to where it was before all the injuries, but he won’t win as often. The current crop of players aren’t scarred by week after week of beat downs. The aura has dimmed somewhat.”

DavePelz4 represents the contingent wanting none of it

“For the love of all that is good, make it stop.”

Z1ggy says

“Okay now people… I love Tiger like the rest of us but he’s had ONE good showing out of 3 as of late. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves… If he can finish in the top 5 this week I’ll commit to saying that “he’s back”. Until then, I’m remaining skeptical.”

Darth Putter says

“We are at the “let’s win a tournament” part. Let’s worry about the “Winning a major” and “Tiger 2000” steps when we get there.”

The discussion is just getting started at this point in the thread, so you’ll want to get your popcorn and click through to see what GolfWRX members are saying, and of course, let us know what you think.

Check out the thread. 


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19th Hole

A fan sent Tiger Woods’ doctor a fruit basket. What would GolfWRX members send?



The wait has been long and the setbacks many for Twitter user “claire rOGers” and Tiger Woods’ fans across the world.

So when Woods sent his latest thunderbolt into the golf mediaverse with his opening-round 68 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rogers decided it was time to give credit where it’s (partially) due: Tiger’s surgeon Richard Guyer of the Texas Back Institute, where the golfer had fusion surgery last April.

Roger’s note with the basket reads: “Dr. Guyer – THANK you for making TIGER WOODS great again!! Sincerely, a loyal fan.”

A quick survey of Rogers’ timeline reveals she is a card-carrying Tiger Woods superfan of the very first order. Check out this sparking gem of a tweet. Who approaches this level of mad devotion? Brilliance.

Now, the Edible Arrangment is one way to go, to be sure. A recent classic in the gift basket universe, yes, but we’d like to know what GolfWRX members would send Dr. Guyer for his resurrection of Tiger Woods.

First-born children? Inclusion in your will? Let us know in the comments below!


(h/t Golf Channel)

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19th Hole