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The Ball Goes Too Far


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#61 farmer

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:02 PM

What if the USGA decided to roll the ball back, then manufacturers went to work with pros to maximize club/ball potential, and then distances changed 10 yards instead of 30?  Would that be enough?  Or are we determined to see DJ smash one 260?  You're not talking about just a tweak, it would be a seismic shift in the industry.  With the introduction of a tour ball, someone would have to pay for the R&D, the new molds, and the new production lines to make the balls.  Who might be paying?  Just guessing, but not the tour players.


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#62 Shilgy

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:02 PM

View Postcardoustie, on 08 August 2017 - 01:55 PM, said:

It's the courses

Merion was fine as a US Open.  Narrow fairways and some rough .. and SMALL greens. How about bunkers in the right spots for starters ?  280 out on a dogleg is a joke nowadays

The issue is that the PGA Tour and the casual fan want to see big drives.  The tour dictates tightly mown and dried out fairways.  Fans don't want to see high scores, they want the long ball and lots of birdies with eagle options .. it's all about excitement for non Wrx'rs

My course is 7,000 yards, small greens that are sloped like crazy (and fast) and tight off the tee .. the pro's NEVER eat it up
Which does point out some of the issue really. The modern courses are 7500 yards but more importantly have room for all of the infrastructure needed to host events. Sure Merion was fine as a one off kind of deal. The USGA would not do that type of thing every year as it costs them too much money. I cannot recall the number exactly but they sold way fewer tickets that year because they had to. Not because they would want to do so every year.  Your course would be great for an event but I am guessing there is not really room for everything else needed to host an event.
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#63 North Butte

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:15 PM

View PostNard_S, on 08 August 2017 - 01:59 PM, said:

View Postgolfer07840, on 08 August 2017 - 01:25 PM, said:

View PostNard_S, on 08 August 2017 - 12:46 PM, said:

Watching Norman split fairways with persimmon and balata on windy links course was far more impressive than anything that is being done on the tour today. The ball is too straight flying these days making really talented guys do little more than bomb and wedge a round in. It's rather boring. Ball control, spin control on an elite level is great golf. Jack had it right.

If it's that easy with this equipment, why aren't we all pros?

I hit the ball farther and straighter than I ever did 25 years ago. Some of it is better technique for sure but just as assuredly Ti driver and modern ball do help quite a bit.

Playing wound balata with Ping Eye 2's was harder for me than using Precept ball with Ram muscle backs. My handicap went down 7 strokes, trust me it wasn't the Rams.

Amateurs really have not improved because we are sold on the virtues of tech. We spend $500 on latest and greatest where back in the bad old days, they spent the doe on lessons. What got lost in the "progress" is golf as a shot making game. It is lost on Tour and it's lost at the municipal. At the very least, the best in the world should still have to utilize it. Would make watching them a lot more fun and interesting. Personally, I'll take high lights of Seve over Dustin any day.
Progress in golf is getting the from waaaaay over there into that tiny little cup over here in as few shots as possible.

I know you and a lot of people want golf to be about getting the ball from over there to over here by some combination of a low cutter off the tee followed by a high 20-yard hook with a 4-iron then a pop stroke with the putter that gets the ball up and rolling on a slow, bumpy, grainy putting green. All that romantic drawing pretty pictures in the sky and so forth.

But it's like the old movie gag about the swordsman and the guy with the pistol. You've got to know what the goal is and have the right tool for the job. I'm just terribly impressed by anyone moving a golf ball 500 yards with two swings and one putt. If it's done with pretty curving shots with a lumpy golf ball and a 30-footer vs. two dead straight laser shots and a tap-in, either way seems damn near miraculous.

The game is never going back to those pretty curves in the sky, that sort of thing was purely a contingency of the limitations of old equipment. It was better, it was just necessary at the time because nobody has figured out how to build a golf ball that went straight and was still controllable around the greens. Building that ball is easy now.

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#64 MtlJeff

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:24 PM

View PostShilgy, on 08 August 2017 - 02:02 PM, said:

View Postcardoustie, on 08 August 2017 - 01:55 PM, said:

It's the courses

Merion was fine as a US Open.  Narrow fairways and some rough .. and SMALL greens.    How about bunkers in the right spots for starters ?  280 out on a dogleg is a joke nowadays

The issue is that the PGA Tour and the casual fan want to see big drives.  The tour dictates tightly mown and dried out fairways.  Fans don't want to see high scores, they want the long ball and lots of birdies with eagle options .. it's all about excitement for non Wrx'rs

My course is 7,000 yards, small greens that are sloped like crazy (and fast) and tight off the tee .. the pro's NEVER eat it up
Which does point out some of the issue really. The modern courses are 7500 yards but more importantly have room for all of the infrastructure needed to host events. Sure Merion was fine as a one off kind of deal. The USGA would not do that type of thing every year as it costs them too much money. I cannot recall the number exactly but they sold way fewer tickets that year because they had to. Not because they would want to do so every year.  Your course would be great for an event but I am guessing there is not really room for everything else needed to host an event.

In a sense there IS already bifurcation, just in regards to courses. The courses pros play are massively different than amateurs. We're entering an era somewhat of the "made for" US open course, like chambers or Erin hills, or whistling straights. Massive, sprawling resorts that can host tons of people and stretch 7500yds easily. These aren't designed for amateurs to play from the tips, they are made for tournaments. And they'll make money on their name from tourists.

I'm fine with that. The 6600yd private course in our backyards isn't being hurt or helped by the modern ball, it's irrelevant to 99.8% of people who play golf and I question how much the rest of the economy of golf is truly tied to it either.

To me the course aspect is a bit of a red herring, like arguing football stadiums designed for NFL use should also host peewee games
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#65 Nard_S

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:30 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 August 2017 - 02:15 PM, said:

View PostNard_S, on 08 August 2017 - 01:59 PM, said:

View Postgolfer07840, on 08 August 2017 - 01:25 PM, said:

View PostNard_S, on 08 August 2017 - 12:46 PM, said:

Watching Norman split fairways with persimmon and balata on windy links course was far more impressive than anything that is being done on the tour today. The ball is too straight flying these days making really talented guys do little more than bomb and wedge a round in. It's rather boring. Ball control, spin control on an elite level is great golf. Jack had it right.

If it's that easy with this equipment, why aren't we all pros?

I hit the ball farther and straighter than I ever did 25 years ago. Some of it is better technique for sure but just as assuredly Ti driver and modern ball do help quite a bit.

Playing wound balata with Ping Eye 2's was harder for me than using Precept ball with Ram muscle backs. My handicap went down 7 strokes, trust me it wasn't the Rams.

Amateurs really have not improved because we are sold on the virtues of tech. We spend $500 on latest and greatest where back in the bad old days, they spent the doe on lessons. What got lost in the "progress" is golf as a shot making game. It is lost on Tour and it's lost at the municipal. At the very least, the best in the world should still have to utilize it. Would make watching them a lot more fun and interesting. Personally, I'll take high lights of Seve over Dustin any day.
Progress in golf is getting the from waaaaay over there into that tiny little cup over here in as few shots as possible.

I know you and a lot of people want golf to be about getting the ball from over there to over here by some combination of a low cutter off the tee followed by a high 20-yard hook with a 4-iron then a pop stroke with the putter that gets the ball up and rolling on a slow, bumpy, grainy putting green. All that romantic drawing pretty pictures in the sky and so forth.

But it's like the old movie gag about the swordsman and the guy with the pistol. You've got to know what the goal is and have the right tool for the job. I'm just terribly impressed by anyone moving a golf ball 500 yards with two swings and one putt. If it's done with pretty curving shots with a lumpy golf ball and a 30-footer vs. two dead straight laser shots and a tap-in, either way seems damn near miraculous.

The game is never going back to those pretty curves in the sky, that sort of thing was purely a contingency of the limitations of old equipment. It was better, it was just necessary at the time because nobody has figured out how to build a golf ball that went straight and was still controllable around the greens. Building that ball is easy now.

You can't keep them down on the farm once they've seen the big city.

Baseball maintains control of their ball and bats. NASCAR rolled back top speeds many years ago. The NFL protects the QB and changed rules to make it a quick attack/air assault game. The NBA  changed rules to make the game run & gun. All are thriving! Arguably better than golf has. Dumbing down the top tier of a sport or saying you cannot adjust terms of engagement at that level is ludicrous especially in a game that is so high fluted about "tradition".


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#66 hardcaliber

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:31 PM

Is the DJ hulk smash 400 yard driver really that exciting to anyone?  People act like that's the only thing that keeps people interested in the PGA tour.  Would it somehow be less interesting if it were 370 yards instead?  The impressiveness of the drive is relative to the field, the absolute number doesn't get anyone hot and bothered.    

The most exciting part about watching golf is actually approach shots and tense puts under pressure.  If Rory hits a laser beam iron shot to within 5 feet it is very exciting.  The only thing exciting about a drive is if it is 100 yards left or something.  No one is jumping off their couch because some body drove it 10 yards longer than the next guy.

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#67 North Butte

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:34 PM

MtlJeff's point is well taken. Most of us do not play on Tour-hosting courses or for that matter we don't play on courses with the deep pockets to rebuild themselves at 7,500 yards even if they wanted to attract elite tournaments.

So let the Tour play on courses stretched out to accommodate their mighty selves. And let them "suffer" with a ball that just goes way too far and too straight for Jack Nicklaus's taste. How about the rest of us?

For the rest of us, the modern golf ball is a wonder. When I stated playing golf I had no choice but to use awful golf balls. Literally hard as a rock, no ability whatsoever to hold a firm green with an iron shot and completely failing to reward any attempt at touch or control around the greens. Anyone remember the Dunlop DDH?

My only alternative would have been to pay some outrageous price (as I recall the "Tour" balls were darned near $4/ball back then even) that was likely to be out-of-round coming out of the box, would be beat to hell after 4-5 holes and which fell out of the sky if not struck solidly or would zip backwards off the green if you hit it too hard with a wedge. Nobody I knew played those balls, we just payed $15 for a box of 15 DDH at K-Mart and suffered with the spinless rocks because we had to.

Nowadays the dollar-a-ball alternatives are actually modestly controllable around the green, they make a nice soft click (instead of a loud crack) when hit and they're more playable for a hacker than anything out there 25 years ago. And if we want a ball that's controllable around the green, we can pay $3-$4 for a golf ball that's good enough for a Tour player to use, lasts a whole round or more without going out of round or cutting open and which performs 100% as well as any ball is allowed to whether you clubhead speed is 80mph or 130mph. What's not to love?

And I'm supposed to want to give up this ball so that Dustin Johnson can hit the same clubs into greens that Ben Hogan did? That's a mighty abstract "benefit" to offset the very real and immediate consequences for me.
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#68 ClintDagger

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:36 PM

View Postgolfer07840, on 08 August 2017 - 01:15 PM, said:

View PostClintDagger, on 08 August 2017 - 11:35 AM, said:

I'm always surprised at how people freak out over this topic.  I don't know what the answer is, but to me it's a legitimate debate.  I'm not sure why they don't have the manufacturers produce a less "hot" ball and pick a tournament or two to try it out and see what the result is.  All of the older guys talk about the tradition rich courses that are now obsolete, put one of those in the rotation in silly season and try out a less juiced ball and see what happens.  It might add a little intrigue to a time of year where a lot of fans are checked out.

The "Obsolete" course argument I'll never understand. They aren't going out to Pebble Beach (designed in 1919 btw) and shooting 25 under over 18 holes.
I think it's a legitimate concern in some cases.  I'd imagine there are legendary golf courses that can't be considered for majors any longer because the ability to stretch them just isn't there.  Hey, some golf courses have room to grow (like ANGC growing 500 yards from '97 to '07), and some don't.  And in the case of Pebble, you can lengthen it 200 yards from '00 to '10, and have the USGA trick out the conditions and still have a difficult test.  There are a lot of variables there.

I'm in my mid 30s so my experience in this regard is dwarfed by those that played with 70s and 80s gear.  But still I've played enough golf courses that were challenging from the tips 20 years ago that are now largely driver / wedge (or less) on every par 4.  Bunkers that were placed perfectly to be hazards off the tee are now flown by 20 yards.  I think it's fair to say that the evolution of equipment has made some courses obsolete in that regard.  Does that mean we make a radical move and change the ball to combat that?  I don't know.  Probably not, but it's a debate worth having and perhaps a notion worth testing.

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#69 Dr. Block

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:40 PM

View Postnoahdavis_7, on 08 August 2017 - 09:56 AM, said:

View Postthe bishop, on 08 August 2017 - 09:52 AM, said:

I'm not saying there haven't been improvements to the ball because there obviously have.  But what you are talking about are a combination of not only improvements in the ball but also club technology and modern agronomy.  Those fairways are like freshly oiled bowling lanes.

ABSOLUTELY. I have the same ss as most of those guys (114-120), and I average around 285-290 with my driver. In large part because I get very little roll. Some balls I hit 290 on the courses I play would go 330 on theirs.

It's the courses, not the ball. Dialing down the ball would be awful for the game...

I think you're spot on, and more so I think its the lack of punitive rough that has them bombing it like they do.  I know at my home club the rough is quite thick and the club champion ( a solid +2 cap) plays his driver set up with a rather spinny shaft so he can get his 290 carry ball to land with as little roll out as possible. He told me he doesn't care about another 20 yards, he wants his drives to stay where they land.  I think setting the courses up like they did at the Quicken Loans tournament would be a good answer to the extremes of the modern equipment.  It won't happen because it would hurt the marketability of the game to the non serious players, but it would make me watch more often and with more interest. It was kind of sad that the regular tour stop after the US Open was set up more like a US Open then the actual US Open.

Edited by Dr. Block, 08 August 2017 - 02:41 PM.


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#70 johnnypro

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:40 PM

Glad to see my OP generated some discussion (although I was certainly not the first to bring it up).
All I'm saying is I would like to once again see the day where on a "long" par 4 the average pro is hitting a 4 or 5 iron second shot.
We have arrived at the point where 300 yards is nothing; where if you can't hit it 300, you're "short."
I suppose there's too much ball-manufacturer money at stake to tinker with the ball.
Who would design and make it?
And where does that leave the other ball makers?


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#71 bervin

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:41 PM

Chicks dig the long ball

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#72 gioguy21

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:43 PM

...i could be wrong but...didn't DJ blast a drive over 400 or so...and he still didn't win?

i'll say this (it's incredibly simple, doesn't need debate):

- The game of golf is a gentleman's game that is through no fault of its own, whether considered positive or negative, on a path of never ending breakthrough. Due to the very nature of the game, a nature in which it cannot be won or beaten, there will always be a desire for better. You can institute rules, you can make changes but there is one thing you cannot change -- and that is Man's ego, which will continuously strive to get better and better - whether through equipment, physical advancements, or things we cannot forecast as of yet.


truth is, you can restrict whatever the heck you want -- someone will ALWAYS find a way to get better in spite of it, OR you'll restrict it to a point where it is no longer a game of sport -- and it will die.

Edited by gioguy21, 08 August 2017 - 02:44 PM.

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#73 mukster

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:46 PM

If all this technology has made me a better golfer, it means I REALLY sucked to begin with.
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#74 bervin

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 02:47 PM

View Postgioguy21, on 08 August 2017 - 02:43 PM, said:

...i could be wrong but...didn't DJ blast a drive over 400 or so...and he still didn't win?

i'll say this (it's incredibly simple, doesn't need debate):

- The game of golf is a gentleman's game that is through no fault of its own, whether considered positive or negative, on a path of never ending breakthrough. Due to the very nature of the game, a nature in which it cannot be won or beaten, there will always be a desire for better. You can institute rules, you can make changes but there is one thing you cannot change -- and that is Man's ego, which will continuously strive to get better and better - whether through equipment, physical advancements, or things we cannot forecast as of yet.


truth is, you can restrict whatever the heck you want -- someone will ALWAYS find a way to get better in spite of it, OR you'll restrict it to a point where it is no longer a game of sport -- and it will die.


Yep... And, Rory put on probably one of the greatest driving performances of all time over the course of a 4 day event... AND lost by 9 shots.  Hell ZJ was like 60 yards behind him every hole and how'd that work out again?  Anyone who doesn't believe that strokes gained putting and approach are WAY more valuable than distance are delusional.  Its a silly debate and I am not sure OP was really looking for an insightful discussion anyway.

Edited by bervin, 08 August 2017 - 02:48 PM.


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#75 hardcaliber

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:00 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 08 August 2017 - 02:24 PM, said:

View PostShilgy, on 08 August 2017 - 02:02 PM, said:

View Postcardoustie, on 08 August 2017 - 01:55 PM, said:

It's the courses

Merion was fine as a US Open.  Narrow fairways and some rough .. and SMALL greens. How about bunkers in the right spots for starters ?  280 out on a dogleg is a joke nowadays

The issue is that the PGA Tour and the casual fan want to see big drives.  The tour dictates tightly mown and dried out fairways.  Fans don't want to see high scores, they want the long ball and lots of birdies with eagle options .. it's all about excitement for non Wrx'rs

My course is 7,000 yards, small greens that are sloped like crazy (and fast) and tight off the tee .. the pro's NEVER eat it up
Which does point out some of the issue really. The modern courses are 7500 yards but more importantly have room for all of the infrastructure needed to host events. Sure Merion was fine as a one off kind of deal. The USGA would not do that type of thing every year as it costs them too much money. I cannot recall the number exactly but they sold way fewer tickets that year because they had to. Not because they would want to do so every year.  Your course would be great for an event but I am guessing there is not really room for everything else needed to host an event.

In a sense there IS already bifurcation, just in regards to courses. The courses pros play are massively different than amateurs. We're entering an era somewhat of the "made for" US open course, like chambers or Erin hills, or whistling straights. Massive, sprawling resorts that can host tons of people and stretch 7500yds easily. These aren't designed for amateurs to play from the tips, they are made for tournaments. And they'll make money on their name from tourists.

I'm fine with that. The 6600yd private course in our backyards isn't being hurt or helped by the modern ball, it's irrelevant to 99.8% of people who play golf and I question how much the rest of the economy of golf is truly tied to it either.

To me the course aspect is a bit of a red herring, like arguing football stadiums designed for NFL use should also host peewee games

I agree with a lot of your post but I think that changes in equipment are actually trickling down to impact everyday courses for regular joes, especially older courses in metro areas.  I wouldn't care personally if it were just a matter of where the pros play their second shots from.


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#76 hardcaliber

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:01 PM

View Postbervin, on 08 August 2017 - 02:47 PM, said:

View Postgioguy21, on 08 August 2017 - 02:43 PM, said:

...i could be wrong but...didn't DJ blast a drive over 400 or so...and he still didn't win?

i'll say this (it's incredibly simple, doesn't need debate):

- The game of golf is a gentleman's game that is through no fault of its own, whether considered positive or negative, on a path of never ending breakthrough. Due to the very nature of the game, a nature in which it cannot be won or beaten, there will always be a desire for better. You can institute rules, you can make changes but there is one thing you cannot change -- and that is Man's ego, which will continuously strive to get better and better - whether through equipment, physical advancements, or things we cannot forecast as of yet.


truth is, you can restrict whatever the heck you want -- someone will ALWAYS find a way to get better in spite of it, OR you'll restrict it to a point where it is no longer a game of sport -- and it will die.


Yep... And, Rory put on probably one of the greatest driving performances of all time over the course of a 4 day event... AND lost by 9 shots.  Hell ZJ was like 60 yards behind him every hole and how'd that work out again?  Anyone who doesn't believe that strokes gained putting and approach are WAY more valuable than distance are delusional.  Its a silly debate and I am not sure OP was really looking for an insightful discussion anyway.

None of that dynamic would have to change if you took 10% off the top for each shot.  It could all play out the same, just on a slightly small scale.

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#77 gioguy21

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:02 PM

View Posthardcaliber, on 08 August 2017 - 03:01 PM, said:

View Postbervin, on 08 August 2017 - 02:47 PM, said:

View Postgioguy21, on 08 August 2017 - 02:43 PM, said:

...i could be wrong but...didn't DJ blast a drive over 400 or so...and he still didn't win?

i'll say this (it's incredibly simple, doesn't need debate):

- The game of golf is a gentleman's game that is through no fault of its own, whether considered positive or negative, on a path of never ending breakthrough. Due to the very nature of the game, a nature in which it cannot be won or beaten, there will always be a desire for better. You can institute rules, you can make changes but there is one thing you cannot change -- and that is Man's ego, which will continuously strive to get better and better - whether through equipment, physical advancements, or things we cannot forecast as of yet.


truth is, you can restrict whatever the heck you want -- someone will ALWAYS find a way to get better in spite of it, OR you'll restrict it to a point where it is no longer a game of sport -- and it will die.


Yep... And, Rory put on probably one of the greatest driving performances of all time over the course of a 4 day event... AND lost by 9 shots.  Hell ZJ was like 60 yards behind him every hole and how'd that work out again?  Anyone who doesn't believe that strokes gained putting and approach are WAY more valuable than distance are delusional.  Its a silly debate and I am not sure OP was really looking for an insightful discussion anyway.

None of that dynamic would have to change if you took 10% off the top for each shot.  It could all play out the same, just on a slightly small scale.
Lol no. They can still make birdies, eagles, etc just the same.

remember the whole "Change the wedges! That'll do it!" argument? how'd that work out?

Edited by gioguy21, 08 August 2017 - 03:06 PM.

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#78 Sun Devil

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:03 PM

It's not just the ball.  It's the clubheads.  The shafts.  The agronomy.  I do agree that the ancient fine art of golfers strategically maneuvering their ball around a golf course has been replaced with the non-intellectual practice of "Bomb and Gouge".  Kind of like F1 vs. Indy racing.  Would you prefer unlimited tech F1 or governed tech Indy?  I like F1 and if future golfers can drive par 4's ..... so be it.
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#79 North Butte

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:07 PM

A lot of it comes down to guys who grew up looking at Jack and thinking "That guy's no faster or stronger than me or some of my friends. If I could just learn his swing and figure out how he thinks I could be great at this game".

No paunchy gaffers today are looking at Dustin Johnson and thinking that sort of thing. They think he's a freakishly talented athlete and that there's something wrong with the game if it doesn't drag him down to size where someone can "outsmart" him.
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#80 gioguy21

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:08 PM

View PostSun Devil, on 08 August 2017 - 03:03 PM, said:

It's not just the ball.  It's the clubheads.  The shafts.  The agronomy.  I do agree that the ancient fine art of golfers strategically maneuvering their ball around a golf course has been replaced with the non-intellectual practice of "Bomb and Gouge".  Kind of like F1 vs. Indy racing.  Would you prefer unlimited tech F1 or governed tech Indy?  I like F1 and if future golfers can drive par 4's ..... so be it.
you can make golf harder by changing the parameters of the golf course -- make the fairways smaller...dont' ROLL the fairways anymore...don't cut the greens to felt table tops (this is debatable, i think it over time would result in lower scores, even with tighter fairways)...and dont' be afraid to mix up tee boxes on the regular (see: Chambers Bay, 18th hole) to screw with the minds of these players.

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#81 sekrah

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:12 PM

View Posthardcaliber, on 08 August 2017 - 02:31 PM, said:

Is the DJ hulk smash 400 yard driver really that exciting to anyone?  People act like that's the only thing that keeps people interested in the PGA tour.  Would it somehow be less interesting if it were 370 yards instead?  The impressiveness of the drive is relative to the field, the absolute number doesn't get anyone hot and bothered.

The most exciting part about watching golf is actually approach shots and tense puts under pressure.  If Rory hits a laser beam iron shot to within 5 feet it is very exciting.  The only thing exciting about a drive is if it is 100 yards left or something.  No one is jumping off their couch because some body drove it 10 yards longer than the next guy.


The longer they drive, the less people are watching according to the TV ratings.

It's weird that some people think that's what draws crowds.  A 350 yard driver was fascinating to watch when every one else was 270.  When everyone is 350, it's a snooze fest.  When someone hits it 400 and straight, eyes will be drawn but right now golf at the highest levels sucks.  The only thing left to do is to make the courses harder via tight fairways and more punishable hazards.

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#82 jslane57

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:13 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 August 2017 - 03:07 PM, said:

A lot of it comes down to guys who grew up looking at Jack and thinking "That guy's no faster or stronger than me or some of my friends. If I could just learn his swing and figure out how he thinks I could be great at this game".

No paunchy gaffers today are looking at Dustin Johnson and thinking that sort of thing. They think he's a freakishly talented athlete and that there's something wrong with the game if it doesn't drag him down to size where someone can "outsmart" him.
I don't think anyone on the planet looked at Jack that way. Not his contemporaries, not anyone. He was big. He was strong. He had an amazing swing. And he was smart. If anything, I think more athletes in today's age look at DJ and think if some big aloof athlete can do this, why can't I?

Edited by jslane57, 08 August 2017 - 03:14 PM.

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#83 North Butte

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:14 PM

View Postsekrah, on 08 August 2017 - 03:12 PM, said:

View Posthardcaliber, on 08 August 2017 - 02:31 PM, said:

Is the DJ hulk smash 400 yard driver really that exciting to anyone?  People act like that's the only thing that keeps people interested in the PGA tour.  Would it somehow be less interesting if it were 370 yards instead?  The impressiveness of the drive is relative to the field, the absolute number doesn't get anyone hot and bothered.

The most exciting part about watching golf is actually approach shots and tense puts under pressure.  If Rory hits a laser beam iron shot to within 5 feet it is very exciting.  The only thing exciting about a drive is if it is 100 yards left or something.  No one is jumping off their couch because some body drove it 10 yards longer than the next guy.


The longer they drive, the less people are watching according to the TV ratings.

It's weird that some people think that's what draws crowds.  A 350 yard driver was fascinating to watch when every one else was 270.  When everyone is 350, it's a snooze fest.  When someone hits it 400 and straight, eyes will be drawn but right now golf at the highest levels sucks.  The only thing left to do is to make the courses harder via tight fairways and more punishable hazards.

Mr. Correlation, meet Ms. Causality. I think you two will get along famously!
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#84 sekrah

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:19 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 August 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

View Postsekrah, on 08 August 2017 - 03:12 PM, said:

View Posthardcaliber, on 08 August 2017 - 02:31 PM, said:

Is the DJ hulk smash 400 yard driver really that exciting to anyone?  People act like that's the only thing that keeps people interested in the PGA tour.  Would it somehow be less interesting if it were 370 yards instead?  The impressiveness of the drive is relative to the field, the absolute number doesn't get anyone hot and bothered.

The most exciting part about watching golf is actually approach shots and tense puts under pressure.  If Rory hits a laser beam iron shot to within 5 feet it is very exciting.  The only thing exciting about a drive is if it is 100 yards left or something.  No one is jumping off their couch because some body drove it 10 yards longer than the next guy.


The longer they drive, the less people are watching according to the TV ratings.

It's weird that some people think that's what draws crowds.  A 350 yard driver was fascinating to watch when every one else was 270.  When everyone is 350, it's a snooze fest.  When someone hits it 400 and straight, eyes will be drawn but right now golf at the highest levels sucks.  The only thing left to do is to make the courses harder via tight fairways and more punishable hazards.

Mr. Correlation, meet Ms. Causality. I think you two will get along famously!


Well it shoots down the claims that people love the long ball doesn't it?  Golf ratings are worse than they were pre-Tiger.

350 with almost zero consequences for missing, and then a sand wedge on 70% of the holes is dreadful golf to watch on television.  Sorry it's the truth.  An eagle used to mean something. When nearly everyone is making eagles on Par 5s, it's not exciting golf.

Brute force is the most efficient way to win golf tournaments today, and the entertainment value of it sucks.  It's like when the Lakers used to throw down inside to Shaq in the late 90s.  Everyone already knows the plot.

Edited by sekrah, 08 August 2017 - 03:22 PM.


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#85 gioguy21

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:24 PM

View Postsekrah, on 08 August 2017 - 03:19 PM, said:

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 August 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

View Postsekrah, on 08 August 2017 - 03:12 PM, said:

View Posthardcaliber, on 08 August 2017 - 02:31 PM, said:

Is the DJ hulk smash 400 yard driver really that exciting to anyone?  People act like that's the only thing that keeps people interested in the PGA tour.  Would it somehow be less interesting if it were 370 yards instead?  The impressiveness of the drive is relative to the field, the absolute number doesn't get anyone hot and bothered.

The most exciting part about watching golf is actually approach shots and tense puts under pressure.  If Rory hits a laser beam iron shot to within 5 feet it is very exciting.  The only thing exciting about a drive is if it is 100 yards left or something.  No one is jumping off their couch because some body drove it 10 yards longer than the next guy.


The longer they drive, the less people are watching according to the TV ratings.

It's weird that some people think that's what draws crowds.  A 350 yard driver was fascinating to watch when every one else was 270.  When everyone is 350, it's a snooze fest.  When someone hits it 400 and straight, eyes will be drawn but right now golf at the highest levels sucks.  The only thing left to do is to make the courses harder via tight fairways and more punishable hazards.

Mr. Correlation, meet Ms. Causality. I think you two will get along famously!


Well it shoots down the claims that people love the long ball doesn't it?  Golf ratings are worse than they were pre-Tiger.

350 with almost zero consequences for missing, and then a sand wedge on 70% of the holes is dreadful golf to watch on television.  Sorry it's the truth.  An eagle used to mean something. When nearly everyone is making eagles on Par 5s, it's not exciting golf.

Brute force is the most efficient way to win golf tournaments today, and the entertainment value of it sucks.  It's like when the Lakers used to throw down inside to Shaq in the late 90s.  Everyone already knows the plot.

what he's trying to explain that you're saying ratings are directly related to driving distances ...when that's not even close to true. it might have an effect in some way (not currently measurable that i know of) -- but it's not a DIRECT relationship.

your argument that brute force is the most efficient way to win golf tournaments isn't valid since those who aren't leading the driving stats in regards to distance are finding ways to win.

further -- there's a whole aspect of the sport that is devoted the long ball -- so, yea, i guess people like it a little bit.

Edited by gioguy21, 08 August 2017 - 03:26 PM.

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#86 Shilgy

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:34 PM

View Postsekrah, on 08 August 2017 - 03:12 PM, said:

View Posthardcaliber, on 08 August 2017 - 02:31 PM, said:

Is the DJ hulk smash 400 yard driver really that exciting to anyone?  People act like that's the only thing that keeps people interested in the PGA tour.  Would it somehow be less interesting if it were 370 yards instead?  The impressiveness of the drive is relative to the field, the absolute number doesn't get anyone hot and bothered.

The most exciting part about watching golf is actually approach shots and tense puts under pressure.  If Rory hits a laser beam iron shot to within 5 feet it is very exciting.  The only thing exciting about a drive is if it is 100 yards left or something.  No one is jumping off their couch because some body drove it 10 yards longer than the next guy.


The longer they drive, the less people are watching according to the TV ratings.

It's weird that some people think that's what draws crowds.  A 350 yard driver was fascinating to watch when every one else was 270.  When everyone is 350, it's a snooze fest.  When someone hits it 400 and straight, eyes will be drawn but right now golf at the highest levels sucks.  The only thing left to do is to make the courses harder via tight fairways and more punishable hazards.
I remember a course in high school about cause and effect.  sometimes two things that happen together really have no correlation at all.  Someone else recently posted a graph that had something like oil prices and strawberry sales, two completely different things, and the graph moved the same. Cause and effect? Of course not. Would putt-putt be better tv ratings then? No driving at all! The first Open Championship was played on a 12 hole course that was just 3799 yards. That would be 5698 for an 18 hole course. Should we roll back to that equipment and agronomy? I guess not because there were only 8 players.
  As someone else mentioned much of this talk is guys pining for their youth and the game to be played the way it was when they played. As an over 60 guy I can relate. When MLB players first started wearing the uniform pants the way they do now I was appalled. Gotta show the stirrups and sanitaries! Now the guys that wear the pants in that style look silly to me. Time marches on and things change.
  For those that blame the agronomy practices what do you think the tv ratings would be if the went back to shaggy greens and straggly fairways? That would really look awful on your 4k tv. Or do you still watch golf on the 12" Westingouse black and white to make viewing golf stay the same as in our youth?  Don't forget to limit yourself to just the last few holes.
Edit-yeah I know I am rambling but you can just ignore the old man easily enough.

Edited by Shilgy, 08 August 2017 - 03:35 PM.

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#87 hardcaliber

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:34 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 08 August 2017 - 03:07 PM, said:

A lot of it comes down to guys who grew up looking at Jack and thinking "That guy's no faster or stronger than me or some of my friends. If I could just learn his swing and figure out how he thinks I could be great at this game".

No paunchy gaffers today are looking at Dustin Johnson and thinking that sort of thing. They think he's a freakishly talented athlete and that there's something wrong with the game if it doesn't drag him down to size where someone can "outsmart" him.

No sure I agree here.  

DJ is probably is pretty athletic, probably 6'4", lean, and lanky.  I don't think he is any kind of ridiculous physical specimen.  I can go to the gym and play ball any day of the week and see 5 guys built pretty similar.  Not that they have anywhere near his hand eye coordination obviously.

Half the guys who are smashing it crazy far look completely average physically.  Rory, JB Holmes, etc.

I don't think the argument here is to knock the long hitters down relatively to the short guys.  The point is to knock everyone back a touch so the geometry of the game doesn't get altered quite so dramatically as it has been.

Rory will still be much longer than Zach Jonhson.  Dustin Johnson can still bludgeon people with his driver.  Zach Johnson can putt and approach shot his way to majors.

Edited by hardcaliber, 08 August 2017 - 03:35 PM.


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#88 sekrah

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:36 PM

That was a sarcastic comment at the people who say "The people love the long ball!".  It's BS.  No one watching golf on TV is watching because "I used to think golf was boring, but now that they are hitting it 350, I am amazed by it and don't miss a minute!".   It's total nonsense.

And yes Brute Force is winning.  Yeah you need other parts of your game to be good, but the winners are guys who are in the Top Half in driving distance.  Jordan Spieth is probably the most perfectly rounded golfer in the world right now.  But he can't show it every week because he's getting outdriven by half the field and playing 1-2 clubs behind every hole.  Guys with much less talent than him but are 20-25 yards longer get the better of him too often.

Edited by sekrah, 08 August 2017 - 03:38 PM.


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#89 Ashley Schaeffer

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:40 PM

I'm guessing the breakdown of opinions might go something like this (with obvious exceptions abounding):

Group 1:  Low HCP, but was a scratch in the 70s and 80s = ball goes too far.
Group 2:  Low HCP, but started playing within the last 20 years = ball is fine.
Group 3:  Any handicap, but thinks he is (or was) better than he is (or was) = ball goes too far.
Group 4:  Any handicap, and realizes he plays a different game than the best in the world = ball is fine.

Significant overlap with 1 and 3; 2 and 4.

Edited by Ashley Schaeffer, 08 August 2017 - 03:41 PM.

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#90 North Butte

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 03:48 PM

View Postsekrah, on 08 August 2017 - 03:36 PM, said:

That was a sarcastic comment at the people who say "The people love the long ball!".  It's BS.  No one watching golf on TV is watching because "I used to think golf was boring, but now that they are hitting it 350, I am amazed by it and don't miss a minute!".   It's total nonsense.

And yes Brute Force is winning.  Yeah you need other parts of your game to be good, but the winners are guys who are in the Top Half in driving distance.  Jordan Spieth is probably the most perfectly rounded golfer in the world right now.  But he can't show it every week because he's getting outdriven by half the field and playing 1-2 clubs behind every hole.  Guys with much less talent than him but are 20-25 yards longer get the better of him too often.

A 20% shorter ball will do Zach more harm than the Longer Johnson...remember a generation ago all the "Tiger-proofing" by adding length and growing the rough? That really evened the field against Tiger didn't it. Longer hitters ate up the longer courses with extra rough.

A sensible man will realize that the eyes may be confused in two ways---by a change from light to darkness or from darkness to light; and he will recognize the same thing happens to the soul.

--Plato

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