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Titleist golf ball study; Finally, some facts added to the debate


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#1 Roadking2003

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 08:45 AM

Titleist has done a great job documenting the history of the golf ball.  It's the best study about the evolution of the golf ball I have ever seen.  And I totally agree with their conclusion;  There is no need to change the current golf ball.

http://media.titleis...ogy_2017-sm.pdf

Also, if you look at the 2017 season you will notice these facts;

Of the top 20 in driving distance, only three are also top 10 in money,

Only three are also top ten in scoring,

Only one is also top ten in GIRs (so obviously long driving doesn't help you hit greens),

15 of the top 20 didn't win a tournament,

Four of the top nine in driving distance finished out of the top 100 in money.

The correlation between driving distance and success is currently very low as noted by Titleist.


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#2 gvogel

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 09:25 AM

I appreciate that all of the conclusions that Wally Uihlein comes to, but it is also a fact that average driving distance has increased almost 30 yards from 1995 to 2010.  In order to accommodate that increase, golf courses for elite players have had to increase length.

If you roll the ball back about 10%, older courses can still be relevant; Augusta would not have to lengthen the 13th hole and others.

And none of the conclusions in the Titleist study would change.  Some of the longest drivers would also be in the top 10 in money, but not all, because putting and short game are also so important.  Long hitters would still have an advantage over shorter hitters, but shorter hitters with accuracy and short game skills would still compete.

The roll back debate is not about the relative distance abilities of elite golfers.  It is about the modern game and how it is played on older golf courses.
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#3 Roadking2003

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 09:34 AM

Did you read the study?  There has been no increase over the past decade.  

Clubhead size correlates almost exactly with driving distance.  As does length of fairway grass.

So it would be just as easy to change fairway grass height and every course could choose to do it at little or no cost.

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#4 gvogel

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 09:40 AM

View PostRoadking2003, on 09 December 2017 - 09:34 AM, said:

Did you read the study?  There has been no increase over the past decade.  

Clubhead size correlates almost exactly with driving distance.  As does length of fairway grass.

So it would be just as easy to change fairway grass height and every course could choose to do it at little or no cost.

Did you read the study?  It is not the past decade that is relevant to the discussion.  It is about what happened from 1995 to 2005.  It has taken the golf community many more years to fully understand what happened in that time period, and address the concerns.
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#5 gvogel

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 09:43 AM

By the way, when I was playing pretty good golf back in the late 70's and 80's, we took it for granted that some par 4 holes, in some conditions, were not reachable in 2 shots.  Only the really long guys could get to a 420 yard par 4 playing into the wind.

Now it seems that the current generation feels entitled to reach any par 4 in two shots because of equipment advances.  Your conclusion will be different than mine.

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#6 Hawkeye77

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:07 AM

LOL, Jack Nicklaus an anti-technology activist - piss on Wally!

It's not a "study" so it can't be the best study.  There are a few charts that show some pretty simple correlations and don't even try to explain the other variables or control for them, not a study.

It's a PR piece designed to spin (pun intended) all the talk about the golf ball being the problem.  

Plenty of issues in the debate, Crossfield sensibly addressed some of them besides the golf ball, but this is nothing but unabashed marketing rhetoric by Titleist (and thanks for the ProV1s, I love them).

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#7 lawsonman

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:10 AM

I think the whole golf ball and club debate is a bunch of crap. 99.9% of golfers that pay to play the game don't hit it too far. If the USGA wants to change the way the pros play that's fine. Leave the rest of us alone!
Welcome to where dumb opinions are better than no opinion. :)

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#8 Uhit

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:11 AM

View PostRoadking2003, on 09 December 2017 - 08:45 AM, said:

Titleist has done a great job documenting the history of the golf ball.  It's the best study about the evolution of the golf ball I have ever seen.  And I totally agree with their conclusion;  There is no need to change the current golf ball.

http://media.titleis...ogy_2017-sm.pdf

Also, if you look at the 2017 season you will notice these facts;

Of the top 20 in driving distance, only three are also top 10 in money,

Only three are also top ten in scoring,

Only one is also top ten in GIRs (so obviously long driving doesn't help you hit greens),

15 of the top 20 didn't win a tournament,

Four of the top nine in driving distance finished out of the top 100 in money.

The correlation between driving distance and success is currently very low as noted by Titleist.

Never thought, that I would appreciate something made by Titleist that much.

Thanks for sharing!

-

P.S.:

OK, they also make pretty good wedges...

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#9 ClintDagger

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:14 AM

Why is Titleist responding to an argument nobody is having?  Who has said the absolute longest players are winning at the highest clip?  Isnít the argument (regardless of your opinion) that the relative length of the field has changed the way the game is played thus making skills such as long and mid-iron play, and shot making less relevant than they used to be (as well as some classic golf courses)?

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#10 gvogel

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:22 AM

View PostClintDagger, on 09 December 2017 - 10:14 AM, said:

Why is Titleist responding to an argument nobody is having?  Who has said the absolute longest players are winning at the highest clip?  Isn't the argument (regardless of your opinion) that the relative length of the field has changed the way the game is played thus making skills such as long and mid-iron play, and shot making less relevant than they used to be (as well as some classic golf courses)?

Yes.

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#11 bladehunter

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:31 AM

View PostHawkeye77, on 09 December 2017 - 10:07 AM, said:

LOL, Jack Nicklaus an anti-technology activist - piss on Wally!

It's not a "study" so it can't be the best study.  There are a few charts that show some pretty simple correlations and don't even try to explain the other variables or control for them, not a study.

It's a PR piece designed to spin (pun intended) all the talk about the golf ball being the problem.  

Plenty of issues in the debate, Crossfield sensibly addressed some of them besides the golf ball, but this is nothing but unabashed marketing rhetoric by Titleist (and thanks for the ProV1s, I love them).

Lol. Exactly.  Why would you believe what the fox says about Gaurds for the hen house ?
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#12 Uhit

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:31 AM

View PostClintDagger, on 09 December 2017 - 10:14 AM, said:

Why is Titleist responding to an argument nobody is having?  Who has said the absolute longest players are winning at the highest clip?  Isn't the argument (regardless of your opinion) that the relative length of the field has changed the way the game is played thus making skills such as long and mid-iron play, and shot making less relevant than they used to be (as well as some classic golf courses)?

In my opinion Titleist made a overview, which helps to look at the theme from different angles - if someone is willing to...

The argument is, that nothing has changed, distance wise, since the last 15 years - neither the long hitter, nor the field has changed since more than a decade (in terms of carry distances).


Shot making becomes more difficult, the farther the ball travels - no matter which number is written on the golf club...

...the evidence can be found in the numbers the OP mentioned.


Btw...

...remember, that nowadays a 6 iron has about the same loft, as a 4 iron had in the past.

Would you be more satisfied, if they simply change the numbers, to make it easier for those who don´t realize that the same numbers represent a different loft nowadays?

Edited by Uhit, 09 December 2017 - 10:34 AM.


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#13 bladehunter

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:34 AM

All this tells me is that a rollback is a real possibility.  If titleist is worried enough to put out some spin then it must be getting hot in the northeast .
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#14 Shilgy

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:56 AM

Games we play evolve over the years. The early NBA was similar to the ladies game today. NFL was more of a ground game than passing game like today. MLB has changed dramatically in just the last couple years. The abundance of no base runner at bats has increased dramatically (K's, walks, HR's).

Golf has changed as well and some don't like it- just like some don't like the changes in other sports.
  Courses do not HAVE TO change to accommodate the longer hitters. They CHOOSE TO. All to keep another changing game from changing.  Funny how some want the equipment changed but are perfectly fine with the improved agronomy we play the game on. Rather than increase spin in the construction of the ball the pros would actually have a more difficult time imo from longer grassed fairways. Reading the lie would be more of an art as fliers would be an occasional result.

Edited by Shilgy, 01 January 2018 - 11:10 AM.

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#15 bullie76

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 11:44 AM

View PostRoadking2003, on 09 December 2017 - 09:34 AM, said:

Did you read the study?  There has been no increase over the past decade.  

Clubhead size correlates almost exactly with driving distance.  As does length of fairway grass.

So it would be just as easy to change fairway grass height and every course could choose to do it at little or no cost.

I'm all for raising fw height a tad. Hate super tight lies.

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#16 WAxORxDCxSC

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 11:59 AM

We’ve had this debate extensively — Titleist sells a lot of balls to hackers because the best players in the world use their ball too.  If you restrict the ball the best players in the world use, the marketing hype around it is diminished and Titleist could lose its advantage with the masses. They have a lot to lose if the USGA restricts the ball fight for the best players.
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#17 farmer

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 12:13 PM

View Postgvogel, on 09 December 2017 - 09:43 AM, said:

By the way, when I was playing pretty good golf back in the late 70's and 80's, we took it for granted that some par 4 holes, in some conditions, were not reachable in 2 shots.  Only the really long guys could get to a 420 yard par 4 playing into the wind.

Now it seems that the current generation feels entitled to reach any par 4 in two shots because of equipment advances.  Your conclusion will be different than mine.
You were playing steel shafted wood and balata.  Likely on a course that by modern agronomical  standards was a goat track.  You might as well compare the car you drive today to the car you drove in that era.

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#18 bscinstnct

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 12:27 PM

View PostRoadking2003, on 09 December 2017 - 08:45 AM, said:

Titleist has done a great job documenting the history of the golf ball.  It's the best study about the evolution of the golf ball I have ever seen.  And I totally agree with their conclusion;  There is no need to change the current golf ball.

http://media.titleis...ogy_2017-sm.pdf

Also, if you look at the 2017 season you will notice these facts;

Of the top 20 in driving distance, only three are also top 10 in money,

Only three are also top ten in scoring,

Only one is also top ten in GIRs (so obviously long driving doesn't help you hit greens),

15 of the top 20 didn't win a tournament,

Four of the top nine in driving distance finished out of the top 100 in money.

The correlation between driving distance and success is currently very low as noted by Titleist.

The study is largely devoted to the "yardage race" and pursuit of distance.

There is a direct correlation to distance off the tee and success. Per 2017 PGA Tour stats, nearly every top player averages 295, including Spieth, and most top ten average over 300.

The top 10 owgr,

DJ 315
JS 295
JT 309
Rahm 305
HM 303
Rose 301
Rickie 300
Brooks 311
Stenson 292 (think he uses 3w alot]
Rory 317

Its nearly mandatory to average 300 off the tee to be in the top 10. So, when you say,

"The correlation between driving distance and success is currently very low as noted by Titleist"

Its innacurate. Id be surprised if Titleist stated this as you did but, if they did, Id argue its innacurate.

You also misinterpret the results when you say,

"Only one is also top ten in GIRs (so obviously long driving doesn't help you hit greens),"

First, you could look at gir leaders and say gir is not important since few of the top 20 in gir are top 10 owgr.

You can argue that a combo of factors contributes to distance.

But not that, on balance, of course longer drives help you hit greens and succeed more. This is obvious to anyone.

Edited by bscinstnct, 09 December 2017 - 12:46 PM.


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#19 mosesgolf

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 12:36 PM

View Postgvogel, on 09 December 2017 - 09:43 AM, said:

By the way, when I was playing pretty good golf back in the late 70's and 80's, we took it for granted that some par 4 holes, in some conditions, were not reachable in 2 shots.  Only the really long guys could get to a 420 yard par 4 playing into the wind.

Now it seems that the current generation feels entitled to reach any par 4 in two shots because of equipment advances.  Your conclusion will be different than mine.
IMO every par 4 should be reachable in two.  ;)
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#20 augustgolf

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 12:48 PM

This past weekend, players (on Tour) were routinely hitting driver & 9 - irons and/or wedges into 18, a par 4 - 469 yards.

Call the "new" 9 - iron an old 7 - iron if you will, but nobody hit driver/7 - iron into 469 yard  par  4's in the past. They were lucky to hit a long iron if not a fairway wood.

I understand evolution, but that is a hard fact to deny -

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#21 Bye

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 01:40 PM

IT looks like Titleist are blaming everything else for the increase in driving distances.

The only thing that really stands out is the chart showing the increase, when was the biggest spike? Err when the Pro V1 was introduced? I remember swapping from the Tour Prestige. Swapping from a Callaway Warbird to a Taylormade Titanium didn't yield a massive increase in driving distance for me. It's the ball, it's always been the ball.

The reason we have these arguments is because the governing bodies didn't have the balls �� To ban it straight away. I don't care if there has only been a small increase in the past 15 years, the problem arrived in 2002 -2003 and wasn't dealt with then.

It's like the game was crap before 2002.






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#22 Dave230

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 01:50 PM

The golf ball is a factor but they have a point about driver clubheads. It is much, much easier mentally to smash the driver now and know you'll get a fairly good connection on it, in comparison to 15 years ago when swinging out of your shoes could lead to an embarrassing shot.

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#23 8thehardway

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 01:55 PM

Any recreational golfer who wants to dial back the golf ball's distance need only move back a set of tees to experience the same effect. Already at the tips? Ditch the driver.

In any case, exempt Super Seniors as I'm already depressed about my lack of distance and exempt Women, for whom Tee It Forward was always irrelevant.
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#24 Lime Shark

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 02:00 PM

There's no need to change the best selling ball in golf?

Who would have thought that a study by Titleist (the maker of the best selling ball in golf) would have come to that conclusion?

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#25 raynorfan1

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 02:06 PM

View Postaugustgolf, on 09 December 2017 - 12:48 PM, said:

This past weekend, players (on Tour) were routinely hitting driver & 9 - irons and/or wedges into 18, a par 4 - 469 yards.

Call the "new" 9 - iron an old 7 - iron if you will, but nobody hit driver/7 - iron into 469 yard  par  4's in the past. They were lucky to hit a long iron if not a fairway wood.

I understand evolution, but that is a hard fact to deny -

Eh. Part of this is the PGA Tour "selling" distance. 18 at Albany is 470 yards when measured from the very back of a big tee box, down the middle of the fairway, then take a left turn into the green. If you measure from where the tee actually was, give yourself a 280 yard drive down the left side, you've only got 140 to the front of the green. It doesn't seem crazy to me that a touring pro can hit a drive 280 yards, or that they hit a "modern" 9 iron 140.


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#26 tmfool

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 02:16 PM

View PostWAxORxDCxSC, on 09 December 2017 - 11:59 AM, said:

We’ve had this debate extensively — Titleist sells a lot of balls to hackers because the best players in the world use their ball too.  If you restrict the ball the best players in the world use, the marketing hype around it is diminished and Titleist could lose its advantage with the masses. They have a lot to lose if the USGA restricts the ball fight for the best players.

ding - ding - ding - ding.....bingo!

you think wally is speaking for the greater good of the ball industry? the game of golf? or himself?

que bono?
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#27 Bye

Bye

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 02:17 PM

View Postraynorfan1, on 09 December 2017 - 02:06 PM, said:

View Postaugustgolf, on 09 December 2017 - 12:48 PM, said:

This past weekend, players (on Tour) were routinely hitting driver & 9 - irons and/or wedges into 18, a par 4 - 469 yards.

Call the "new" 9 - iron an old 7 - iron if you will, but nobody hit driver/7 - iron into 469 yard  par  4's in the past. They were lucky to hit a long iron if not a fairway wood.

I understand evolution, but that is a hard fact to deny -

Eh. Part of this is the PGA Tour "selling" distance. 18 at Albany is 470 yards when measured from the very back of a big tee box, down the middle of the fairway, then take a left turn into the green. If you measure from where the tee actually was, give yourself a 280 yard drive down the left side, you've only got 140 to the front of the green. It doesn't seem crazy to me that a touring pro can hit a drive 280 yards, or that they hit a "modern" 9 iron 140.

280, at most that will be a 3 wood, probably less for most of them. So on average it will be 3 wood wedge(470)  to a green that was probably designed to have a long iron hit to it.
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#28 Bye

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 02:18 PM

View PostLime Shark, on 09 December 2017 - 02:00 PM, said:

There's no need to change the best selling ball in golf?

Who would have thought that a study by Titleist (the maker of the best selling ball in golf) would have come to that conclusion?

Turkeys voting for Christmas!
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#29 raynorfan1

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 02:25 PM

What I have a hard time with on the "roll it back" campaign is understanding the problem they're trying to solve. Even if we all can agree that guys hit the ball farther today than they did 30 years ago, we still haven't established why that's a problem.

The best I can tell is that Jack Nicklaus et. al. wants everybody to believe that he was the best golfer ever, and can't accept that any one of the guys in current Top 10 would handily beat in-his-prime Jack. Athletes get better over time. Games evolve. Get over it.

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#30 raynorfan1

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 02:33 PM

View PostBye, on 09 December 2017 - 02:17 PM, said:

View Postraynorfan1, on 09 December 2017 - 02:06 PM, said:

View Postaugustgolf, on 09 December 2017 - 12:48 PM, said:

This past weekend, players (on Tour) were routinely hitting driver & 9 - irons and/or wedges into 18, a par 4 - 469 yards.

Call the "new" 9 - iron an old 7 - iron if you will, but nobody hit driver/7 - iron into 469 yard  par  4's in the past. They were lucky to hit a long iron if not a fairway wood.

I understand evolution, but that is a hard fact to deny -

Eh. Part of this is the PGA Tour "selling" distance. 18 at Albany is 470 yards when measured from the very back of a big tee box, down the middle of the fairway, then take a left turn into the green. If you measure from where the tee actually was, give yourself a 280 yard drive down the left side, you've only got 140 to the front of the green. It doesn't seem crazy to me that a touring pro can hit a drive 280 yards, or that they hit a "modern" 9 iron 140.

280, at most that will be a 3 wood, probably less for most of them. So on average it will be 3 wood wedge(470)  to a green that was probably designed to have a long iron hit to it.

Don't believe the hype. Average driver is 275 on the Tour. Quite a few guys were in the fairway bunker on the right side that's 240 from the tee.

And if you look at the aerial of the hole, it's an interesting green layout - it's clearly designed to take a long iron if you play it the "long" way; but the green is angled for a short iron / wedge approach if you want to be aggressive. The course is less than 10 years old, so it's not like Ernie Els was surprised at how long the guys were hitting it.


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