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If you could stop time...


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#61 pinestreetgolf

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:14 PM

View Postrsballer10, on 14 November 2017 - 12:46 PM, said:

View Postpinestreetgolf, on 14 November 2017 - 11:01 AM, said:

View Postchisag, on 14 November 2017 - 09:42 AM, said:

View Postpinestreetgolf, on 13 November 2017 - 10:42 PM, said:

View Postchisag, on 13 November 2017 - 10:22 PM, said:

... Perhaps you are too young to have seen them, but the best players in the persimmon-balata era did not have pure swings. Far from it. What they did do was control the ball as well as how they navigated a course and had the mental discipline to recover from their bad shots or manage their good ones. "I think its how someone navigates a course and handles their emotions." was even truer then than it is now. Navigating a course was just more difficult because the ball moved much more and every little mistake was exaggerated. They all worked the ball, some one way and some both ways. Chi Chi Rodriguez, Tee Trevino, Raymond Floyd as well as Arnie and Jack. None of them had pure swings. They just were able to get the club head back to the ball the same way when needed for any given shot, even though they had what would be considered today, as serious swing flaws. It took much more talent to play back then. Again, I don't compare todays players to players then because we don't know how Dustin Johnson would have played back then. He grew up with different equipment and he has mastered them because the skills of 1970 is not needed today, but had he grown up during that time his game would have developed differently and he still may have been one of the best in the game.

Right, but its all relative.  They all had incredibly pure swings *relative to each other*.  They weren't competing against trackman, playing since you were 3 years old to the exclusion of all other sports, pressure plates, body maps, etc... etc... In terms of competing against each other, they all had pure swings.  Trevino's fade was just as unique as Rory's power alley draw.  Its just that we don't see it the same because it wasn't as good.  But relative to his playing competitor's the overall situation was identical.

We've learned over time that "working the ball" isn't usually very smart.  That isn't a technological advancement, its a metrical shotlink advancement.  Mastering one ballflight and using it 95% of the time (as today's pros do, per shotlink) is a more effective way to play.  We don't play that way because we have M2 irons, we play that way because shotlink has taught us that working the ball leads to higher scores over time, and GIR is king (not working it to a pin and risking missing, but hitting a stock shot over and over and over).

Your argument is akin to saying NBA players don't shoot mid range jumpers and only take 3 pointers because shoes are better now.  The game is understood better now.  It has nothing to do with technology.  Just like the NBA has learned through analytics that mid range jump shots lose games and three pointers win games, we've learned "working the ball", 'shaping shots" and "shotmaking" is simply an inferior way to play compared to always hitting the same spin/direction shot over and over.  It has nothing to do with the technology in the clubs, just like how the NBA is played now compared to 1965 has nothing to do with the sneakers.

... You can think whatever you want about technology and how it effects talent and I certainly have no intentions of attempting to change your mind about something I personally experienced, but you are completely missing the point about the balata era. They worked the ball because the ball was always moving not because it was a superior way to play, because it was not like todays ball that wants to go straight. Nicklaus said pick a shot and use the whole fairway working a fade from the left side or a draw from the right because the ball most definitely was gonna draw or fade. Starting it down the middle and not knowing which way the shot was gonna curve cut the fairway in half. Having played then I can assure a straight shot was extremely rare, even from the best players in the world. And because the ball moved so much it was harder to control. Especially if you were going at it with a fast swing, as the faster the swing the more the ball moved. Now add to that persimmon drivers had a ton of gear effect because the sweetspot was the size of the head of an eraser. Mishits were just much more penal.

I get it dude. I don't understand why playing with a whiffle ball "allows the talent of the best baseball players to shine through". A ball with an unpredictable flight makes talent less important to winning because it introduces variance. You are making my argument. If the ball flies every which way the result is way more luck based than a ball that doesn't.

Would you argue that Pete Rose (or whoever). isn't the best hitter because he doesn't hit a whiffle ball? I mean, when Pete hit it it went where he hit it. It didn't unpredictably curve in the air? What a dope. Nobody would argue that making the ball less predictable would help spot "true talent". Otherwise you'd have whiffle balls at baseball tryouts.

I'll accept you liked it better, but to say a balata ball takes "more talent" because you "don't know which way it will curve" is silly.

It's not like just jack was using it. They all had to deal with it.  It just made it more random. A balata ball makes it harder to play golf for sure, but when ALL players are using it the "difficultly factor" is cancelled out - they all have to hit it. Since they all had to hit it and it wasn't predictable, the increased variance obscured talent. You don't bring talent to the top by introducing a whiffle ball that flies wherever and saying "deal with this" UNLESS only one player has to use it. If everyone has to use it it just obscures reality (like having a home
Run derby with a whiffle ball - doesn't tell you nearly as much as a straight ball).

If we set out to find the most talented hitter in baseball, would we use old maple bats that were super thin and a whiffle ball? In tennis, would we use the old 1960s wooden racquets and the semi-hard grass balls that randomly don't go up? Of course not. We wouldn't do it in golf either.
The flight with balata is not random. The ball spun and curved more. It's not really the equivalent of a wiffle ball.

I would like to see the ball completely rolled back, not necessarily to balata.

Everyone does have to play the same ball, no matter what. But it does boil down to what do we want the game to be about. Precision, shot making, control. That's what I want. Right now it's geared for distance, and putting.

I'd like to see the game be one where both a bomber and a shotmaker can both survive on the PGA tour.

We totally agree.

The place where we differ is the "why". You are contending the equipment back in the day required that style of play. I am contending that the reason they played like that wasn't the equipment, it was lack of knowledge. They didn't have a decade of shotlink data telling them that distance is way more important to winning trophies than control.

You think it's technology that has made the game bomb and gauge. I think it's knowledge. Hence my earlier NBA analogy. The NBA shoots way more 3s now because synergy statistics tells us a 3 is second only to a layup in shot efficiency. The hoop is 10 feet tall and the equipment is identical, yet today's NBA would be unrecognizable to the NBA of the 1970s and even 1990s to a point. Same with golf. It's not tech, it's optimization through statistics.

Games evolve for many other reasons than the technology used to play them. We'd have the same distance fest even with scaled back balls and clubs just on a smaller scale, because with sufficient skill it's the most efficient way to shoot low scores.

The problem is that bombers have a massive, built in advantage because it's so much more efficient to get close to the hole by starting closer. Technology has nothing to do with it. The game on tour is played the way it is because of analytics, not urethane.

EDIT
Rolling back the ball would have exactly the opposite effect you want it to. Control players would fall even further behind. Hence my comment that tech evens it up for players who are control and not distance based. Right now Dustin hits it about 30 yards past Stricker. He'd hit a Balata ball 55 yards past him.

Edited by pinestreetgolf, 14 November 2017 - 07:25 PM.

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s300:
Burner Rescue 22*, 25*
a4 Forged 5-PW (1* weak, 3* up, -1.25")
Engage 52*, 58* (4* up)

Fitted Edel

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#62 chisag

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 07:38 PM

... You are too funny as well as amazingly condescending. "I am contending that the reason they played like that wasn't the equipment, it was lack of knowledge." I appreciate your view of us ignorant old timers but we absolutely knew back then that longer was better. Driving ranges were filled with players skipping 3/4 shots or honing their wedges but trying to hit their driver as far as they could, just like today.

... I will leave it at this. Go get yourself a persimmon driver with a heavy dynamic gold steel shaft at 43" and a balata HT-100 and play a round of golf bombing it as far as you can off the tee. Then let me know how that worked out for you. I can swing at 90% of my full power with my Epic and TP5x and it takes a real mishit to lose the ball severely right or left because of a slice or hook. More like my miss will be a pull or a push. If I swing at 90% of my full power with my M85 and one of the balata balls I keep to play once a year to remind me of what it was like back then, I have a hard time keeping it on the course let alone the fairway because it would hook or slice with every swing.  

2017
driving distance PGA tour:

#1 317.2
#10 309.2


1980 driving distance PGA tour:

#1 274.3
#10 269.0

... If only you had been alive back then to tell them they should just hit it longer.

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#63 mikpga

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:09 PM

I'm good with where it is at...

The only thing I would have changed was keeping the...

Lie Angle standards flatter...

The Length standards shorter...

The Loft standards weaker...

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#64 pinestreetgolf

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:42 PM

View Postchisag, on 14 November 2017 - 07:38 PM, said:

... You are too funny as well as amazingly condescending. "I am contending that the reason they played like that wasn't the equipment, it was lack of knowledge." I appreciate your view of us ignorant old timers but we absolutely knew back then that longer was better. Driving ranges were filled with players skipping 3/4 shots or honing their wedges but trying to hit their driver as far as they could, just like today.

... I will leave it at this. Go get yourself a persimmon driver with a heavy dynamic gold steel shaft at 43" and a balata HT-100 and play a round of golf bombing it as far as you can off the tee. Then let me know how that worked out for you. I can swing at 90% of my full power with my Epic and TP5x and it takes a real mishit to lose the ball severely right or left because of a slice or hook. More like my miss will be a pull or a push. If I swing at 90% of my full power with my M85 and one of the balata balls I keep to play once a year to remind me of what it was like back then, I have a hard time keeping it on the course let alone the fairway because it would hook or slice with every swing.  

2017
driving distance PGA tour:

#1 317.2
#10 309.2


1980 driving distance PGA tour:

#1 274.3
#10 269.0

... If only you had been alive back then to tell them they should just hit it longer.


No dude, that isn't the point.   The point is that you no longer need to be consistently good.

In the days your talking about, you needed to do well in about a third of the tournaments to make a really, really good living.  To make just a living, about a quarter.

Now, a "good year" is 2-3 top 5s.  You can be set for life with four years on tour, two wins, four top fives, and six top tens.  In the days your talking about, that would be a good start to a career.

The tour now doesn't care about consistency because of how the prize purses are set up.  You are much better off being really, really good four weekends a year than pretty good every weekend.  That's why there are some control players left, but not many.  It doesn't make any sense in terms of how the tour is set up.

Because of the prize structure and the amount of money now, players play way more aggressively because they simply don't need to win money every weekend to live a great lifestyle.  The prizes being so big and top heavy incentivize players to take massive risks in terms of how they play so that they place high a few times a year.  The "control player" with the great short game who is working the ball around and making the cut every weekend will make WAY less money than the bomber who misses 2/3rds of the cuts but when his massive shots are straight makes a top 10.

Its NOT the equipment.  Its the structure of the tour.  Bombers are advantaged by a system that only requires you to be great 3 times a year.  Control players are advantaged by one that rewards players who are pretty good all the time.  When the prize money incentivized control players, we got control players.  Now that the prize structure incentives incredible aggressiveness, we get that.  If you went back to a tour where you needed to make cuts to make a living (not just spike a tournament a year) the style of play you like would come back.

Managing the course, working the ball, short game - these are all concepts that are good if you are trying to be pretty good every week.  The tour prize structure doesn't reward that.  It doesn't care.  The tour is literally set up to reward the players who take risks, hit the ball a mile and 2-3 times a year go really low.  THATS why the tour is the way it is, not technology.

Please stop saying "I don't want to have this argument, but..." and "this is my last post, but....' and then posting arguments.  That's lame.  If you don't want to discuss it, don't post. If you do want to discuss it, stop pretending you don't for some reason.

EDIT
If tomorrow they took away half the prize money, and then redistributed the remaining money away from the top 5 to the rest of the field the tour would resemble the old tour overnight.  Players would have to be consistent to be financially successful.  Right now, they don't.  The players have analyzed this and they know the way to shoot -22 over four days is NOT to "work the ball" and "play under control" and play like the guys did when they had to make cuts to support their families.  I don't think you'd see Stockton playing like he did (going to every event and playing conservative to make every cut to support his family) if Puma was paying him $5m a year to wear a shirt.

SECOND EDIT
Using FedEx Cup points (since they are constant and cash changes with tournament) as a guide, you need roughly 27.69 25th place finishes to equal just four fourth place finishes.  To equal a win?  You'd need 10.  It would be insane, given these incentives, for today's players to play like yesterdays players.

Given 36 events, it is significantly better to have four top 5 finishes and 32 missed cuts than to finish between 25 and 35 thirty-six straight times.

Edited by pinestreetgolf, 14 November 2017 - 09:04 PM.

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M2 10*
XR 15*, XR 19*

s300:
Burner Rescue 22*, 25*
a4 Forged 5-PW (1* weak, 3* up, -1.25")
Engage 52*, 58* (4* up)

Fitted Edel

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#65 Fade

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:45 PM

I can't put a year on it, but I would stop time before enormous drivers and enormous putters were invented.


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#66 gentles

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:09 PM

Had a quick skim through this thread and it looks like it got a bit off topic...

To take the OPs question at face value for what I think they are trying to get at...my favourite year for golf gear (not surprisingly) relates to when I played my best, around 2006-7. In that timeframe 80% of the technology gain you see today was already in the equipment, but aesthetics were much simpler. I think I shot my best round ever with a 905r, 906f, Adams Idea Pro, MP32s and some of the original mack daddy callaway wedges.

Does anyone else miss the days of silver driver faces and soles? As soon as one OEM tried it it seemed like the end for silver faces...
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#67 pinestreetgolf

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:26 PM

View Postgentles, on 14 November 2017 - 09:09 PM, said:

Had a quick skim through this thread and it looks like it got a bit off topic...

To take the OPs question at face value for what I think they are trying to get at...my favourite year for golf gear (not surprisingly) relates to when I played my best, around 2006-7. In that timeframe 80% of the technology gain you see today was already in the equipment, but aesthetics were much simpler. I think I shot my best round ever with a 905r, 906f, Adams Idea Pro, MP32s and some of the original mack daddy callaway wedges.

Does anyone else miss the days of silver driver faces and soles? As soon as one OEM tried it it seemed like the end for silver faces...

I didn't play then but it sounds cool.  Which clubs had silver faces/soles?

I like your choice in period, although I don't know much about putters.  I'd probably choose the same one.  Maybe go to 2008 so my two favorite iron sets (the a4 forged and mp-57) could be there.
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M2 10*
XR 15*, XR 19*

s300:
Burner Rescue 22*, 25*
a4 Forged 5-PW (1* weak, 3* up, -1.25")
Engage 52*, 58* (4* up)

Fitted Edel

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#68 ZAP

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 09:29 PM

Persimmon.   About 1989.
Nothing felt better than playing a good round and knowing it was all earned.

Of course everything was better in "the old days".

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#69 gentles

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 10:32 PM

View Postpinestreetgolf, on 14 November 2017 - 09:26 PM, said:

View Postgentles, on 14 November 2017 - 09:09 PM, said:

Had a quick skim through this thread and it looks like it got a bit off topic...

To take the OPs question at face value for what I think they are trying to get at...my favourite year for golf gear (not surprisingly) relates to when I played my best, around 2006-7. In that timeframe 80% of the technology gain you see today was already in the equipment, but aesthetics were much simpler. I think I shot my best round ever with a 905r, 906f, Adams Idea Pro, MP32s and some of the original mack daddy callaway wedges.

Does anyone else miss the days of silver driver faces and soles? As soon as one OEM tried it it seemed like the end for silver faces...

I didn't play then but it sounds cool.  Which clubs had silver faces/soles?

I like your choice in period, although I don't know much about putters.  I'd probably choose the same one.  Maybe go to 2008 so my two favorite iron sets (the a4 forged and mp-57) could be there.

Basically anything before the 910 series came out from Titleist - by silver faces and soles I mean unfinished - I think the 2014 Callaway Big Bertha Alpha was one of the last ones to go with a silver face.

As for putters, the 2004 Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless (non insert) was the last really good looking retail Scotty that came out (in my opinion). I had a 340g/34" model a couple years ago that I really regret selling.

[attachment=4199404:2004studiostainlessnewport_2.jpg]
Cobra Fly-Z+ | Aldila Tour Blue 75x
Cobra F7 3w | Aldila Tour Blue 85x
still searching for a damn hybrid!
Titleist 716 TMB 3 iron | DG AMT S300
Titleist 716 AP2 4-P | DG AMT S300
Ping Glide 52/58 | DG S400
Ping Milled Anser 5

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#70 Dustdevil

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:01 PM

I'd probably go back to when drivers were 360cc.

I think that was a good compromise between forgiveness and requiring some skill to hit a drive well.


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#71 rsballer10

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 08:36 AM

View Postpinestreetgolf, on 14 November 2017 - 08:42 PM, said:

View Postchisag, on 14 November 2017 - 07:38 PM, said:

... You are too funny as well as amazingly condescending. "I am contending that the reason they played like that wasn't the equipment, it was lack of knowledge." I appreciate your view of us ignorant old timers but we absolutely knew back then that longer was better. Driving ranges were filled with players skipping 3/4 shots or honing their wedges but trying to hit their driver as far as they could, just like today.

... I will leave it at this. Go get yourself a persimmon driver with a heavy dynamic gold steel shaft at 43" and a balata HT-100 and play a round of golf bombing it as far as you can off the tee. Then let me know how that worked out for you. I can swing at 90% of my full power with my Epic and TP5x and it takes a real mishit to lose the ball severely right or left because of a slice or hook. More like my miss will be a pull or a push. If I swing at 90% of my full power with my M85 and one of the balata balls I keep to play once a year to remind me of what it was like back then, I have a hard time keeping it on the course let alone the fairway because it would hook or slice with every swing.  

2017
driving distance PGA tour:

#1 317.2
#10 309.2


1980 driving distance PGA tour:

#1 274.3
#10 269.0

... If only you had been alive back then to tell them they should just hit it longer.


No dude, that isn't the point.   The point is that you no longer need to be consistently good.

In the days your talking about, you needed to do well in about a third of the tournaments to make a really, really good living.  To make just a living, about a quarter.

Now, a "good year" is 2-3 top 5s.  You can be set for life with four years on tour, two wins, four top fives, and six top tens.  In the days your talking about, that would be a good start to a career.

The tour now doesn't care about consistency because of how the prize purses are set up.  You are much better off being really, really good four weekends a year than pretty good every weekend.  That's why there are some control players left, but not many.  It doesn't make any sense in terms of how the tour is set up.

Because of the prize structure and the amount of money now, players play way more aggressively because they simply don't need to win money every weekend to live a great lifestyle.  The prizes being so big and top heavy incentivize players to take massive risks in terms of how they play so that they place high a few times a year.  The "control player" with the great short game who is working the ball around and making the cut every weekend will make WAY less money than the bomber who misses 2/3rds of the cuts but when his massive shots are straight makes a top 10.

Its NOT the equipment.  Its the structure of the tour.  Bombers are advantaged by a system that only requires you to be great 3 times a year.  Control players are advantaged by one that rewards players who are pretty good all the time.  When the prize money incentivized control players, we got control players.  Now that the prize structure incentives incredible aggressiveness, we get that.  If you went back to a tour where you needed to make cuts to make a living (not just spike a tournament a year) the style of play you like would come back.

Managing the course, working the ball, short game - these are all concepts that are good if you are trying to be pretty good every week.  The tour prize structure doesn't reward that.  It doesn't care.  The tour is literally set up to reward the players who take risks, hit the ball a mile and 2-3 times a year go really low.  THATS why the tour is the way it is, not technology.

Please stop saying "I don't want to have this argument, but..." and "this is my last post, but....' and then posting arguments.  That's lame.  If you don't want to discuss it, don't post. If you do want to discuss it, stop pretending you don't for some reason.

EDIT
If tomorrow they took away half the prize money, and then redistributed the remaining money away from the top 5 to the rest of the field the tour would resemble the old tour overnight.  Players would have to be consistent to be financially successful.  Right now, they don't.  The players have analyzed this and they know the way to shoot -22 over four days is NOT to "work the ball" and "play under control" and play like the guys did when they had to make cuts to support their families.  I don't think you'd see Stockton playing like he did (going to every event and playing conservative to make every cut to support his family) if Puma was paying him $5m a year to wear a shirt.

SECOND EDIT
Using FedEx Cup points (since they are constant and cash changes with tournament) as a guide, you need roughly 27.69 25th place finishes to equal just four fourth place finishes.  To equal a win?  You'd need 10.  It would be insane, given these incentives, for today's players to play like yesterdays players.

Given 36 events, it is significantly better to have four top 5 finishes and 32 missed cuts than to finish between 25 and 35 thirty-six straight times.
This is a fair point. And honestly I would believe that the tour would do this, knowing distance sells...

The downside is I don't think you will ever see a Tiger or Jack type dominance, because everyone is going for broke every week and out of 150 people, someone is bound to catch lightning in a bottle.

But I do still think even despite the way the tour is set up, with the current ball that flies as straight as it does, it's much easier to attack greens with long irons and woods.

I wasn't as good of golfer back when I was younger, but i know for a fact the ball curves much less nowadays. There are times with recovery shots where I'm worried I can't curve the ball ENOUGH (around a tree). Rare occasion, but still to the point that the newer balls do play very straight.

Now, if this is how golf is going to be in the future, they should do away with the "par" concept. And do away with setting courses up to play "par" 72. Stop lengthening courses, just play it as-is and keep a total score. Modifying courses for an arbitrary standard is an unneeded expense to the game.

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