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


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#31 cardoustie

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 02:40 PM

The usga is a group of morons that botched grooves and long putters and now some of you want them managing a ball roll back? Really?

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#32 gvogel

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 02:44 PM

View Postfarmer, on 09 December 2017 - 12:13 PM, said:

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.
I will agree that advances in technology are great for automobiles, computers, and the tech that your heart surgeon uses the next time...

But golf is only a game.  A good part of why golf is a great game is that it is darn difficult.  It might be the most difficult game, because, as Sam Snead said, you have to play your foul balls.  It is incontrovertible that hitting the ball from tee to green has become much easier at the elite level.  If one is a true sportsman, why would one want the game to be easier?  I believe it’s time to put more skill back into the long game.

What truly great player doesn’t welcome a more difficult challenge?  The better an opportunity to distinguish his ability.
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#33 raynorfan1

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 02:53 PM

View Postgvogel, on 09 December 2017 - 02:44 PM, said:

View Postfarmer, on 09 December 2017 - 12:13 PM, said:

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.
I will agree that advances in technology are great for automobiles, computers, and the tech that your heart surgeon uses the next time...

But golf is only a game.  A good part of why golf is a great game is that it is darn difficult.  It might be the most difficult game, because, as Sam Snead said, you have to play your foul balls.  It is incontrovertible that hitting the ball from tee to green has become much easier at the elite level.  If one is a true sportsman, why would one want the game to be easier?  I believe it’s time to put more skill back into the long game.

What truly great player doesn’t welcome a more difficult challenge?  The better an opportunity to distinguish his ability.

Yet these same guys had no issue playing steel shafts instead of wood; had no issue adopting the Haskell ball; etc.

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#34 augustgolf

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 02:55 PM

View PostDave230, on 09 December 2017 - 01:50 PM, said:

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.

Speaking for myself...I have no trouble hitting embarassing shots today, whether I swing out of my shoes or not, but I have a solution for "swinging out of your shoes"

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#35 Lancj1

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:09 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 -

i get all that but why does it matter ? Seriously.

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#36 gvogel

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:12 PM

View Postraynorfan1, on 09 December 2017 - 02:53 PM, said:

View Postgvogel, on 09 December 2017 - 02:44 PM, said:

View Postfarmer, on 09 December 2017 - 12:13 PM, said:

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.
I will agree that advances in technology are great for automobiles, computers, and the tech that your heart surgeon uses the next time...

But golf is only a game.  A good part of why golf is a great game is that it is darn difficult.  It might be the most difficult game, because, as Sam Snead said, you have to play your foul balls.  It is incontrovertible that hitting the ball from tee to green has become much easier at the elite level.  If one is a true sportsman, why would one want the game to be easier?  I believe it’s time to put more skill back into the long game.

What truly great player doesn’t welcome a more difficult challenge?  The better an opportunity to distinguish his ability.

Yet these same guys had no issue playing steel shafts instead of wood; had no issue adopting the Haskell ball; etc.

Of course.  As a competitor you want to use equipment that makes your game easier.  We all, well at least anyone who frequents this site, are looking for an edge.  We are human, after all.  But in so doing, we diminish the game.

In conclusion - this is my mid term paper - we can embrace modern technology and accept the fact that modern championship courses have to be over 8,000 yards.  Or we can change the ball, the driver face and the driver head size and keep the game on walkable golf courses.  And, appreciate superior ball striking skill!
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#37 ProphetLogic

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:17 PM

They are going to hurt a lot of people if they roll the ball back. There is no way there is going to be a separate ball for Pros and Ams, everyone will go back to the tour ball. The longest drivers were still smashing the ball 20 years ago, technology has allowed the pack to keep up, I don't really see this as a bad thing.

This is a complete non issue for 99% of the golfing world. At the courses I play, on any given day you could probably count the players that can hit a ball over 300 on your fingers. The majority of these golfers don't hit their drivers 220. Lots of women and seniors are laying up on par 3s with their driver. I could really care less that the classic courses that I'll never set foot on can't host their majors. I do not give half a damn that Augusta has had to do some renovating to stay relevant. I care about playing golf a lot more than watching golf.

At this point, I'd normally write something sarcastic and disparaging, but I don't want to undermine my own argument. Seriously, you're going to hurt millions of golfers catering to a couple hundred tour players.

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#38 nova6868

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:21 PM

They make a good point about the changes in agronomy. Mowing fairways with Toro greens mowers is absolutely nuts. I know these guys want perfect lies in the fairway, but give me a break.

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I want to see some of the older courses brought back into rotation, but I don't know if its necessary to roll back the ball. I wonder if they couldn't just narrow the fairways, cut them longer, cut the rough longer, etc. I wouldn't mind seeing a pro carry a drive 270 but it only rolls out to 280, then their lie in the fairway isn't even all that great. Welcome to my world!

Edited by nova6868, 09 December 2017 - 03:26 PM.


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#39 straightshot7

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:27 PM

Isn't it also that the modern ball doesn't spin as much and makes it a lot easier to hit it straight?

I wouldn't mind if they made the ball a little more like the old balata so guys could work it more and inferior ball strikers would be exposed.

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#40 Bye

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:36 PM

View Postraynorfan1, on 09 December 2017 - 02:33 PM, said:

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.

That's 275 carry not total distance.

A 10 year old course deigned to host a PGA Tour event is probably going to be suitable for everyone, and if we all played on a course like that then great no problem.


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#41 Bye

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:43 PM

View PostLancj1, on 09 December 2017 - 03:09 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 -

i get all that but why does it matter ? Seriously.

Because it's really boring to watch!
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#42 Golfrnut

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 03:56 PM

View Postnova6868, on 09 December 2017 - 03:21 PM, said:


I want to see some of the older courses brought back into rotation, but I don't know if its necessary to roll back the ball. I wonder if they couldn't just narrow the fairways, cut them longer, cut the rough longer, etc. I wouldn't mind seeing a pro carry a drive 270 but it only rolls out to 280, then their lie in the fairway isn't even all that great. Welcome to my world!

They do, occasionally, for tournaments like the US Open.

Then half the field bitches that the course is too hard/unfair.  The PGA likes to televise 325 yard drives, and the players are a bit spoiled on the bomb/gouge courses they are used to playing tournaments on.  It would be nice if they went that direction, but I think it's very low odds of it ever happening.
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#43 Sean2

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 04:07 PM

Yes, distance definitely has its advantages, but the game is about scoring, not how far one hits the ball (yes, distance can help one score, but...).

The media, OEMs, recreational golfers seem all obsessed with distance, as opposed to scoring. How many ads have you seen that tout scoring as opposed to distance? Some 5-irons are now 21.5º. Heck, if we can't get actual distance gains, we can jack the lofts, put a different number on the sole of the club, and brag how far our product now goes...and people will flock to purchase our clubs! Every year the newest driver is longer than the previous year...given the rate new drivers come out everyone should be hitting it more than 300 yards. lol

I remember a time when irons were viewed as scoring clubs...not so much anymore.
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#44 KrazyTrain18

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 04:15 PM

It's ultimately going to be reduced albeit nothing drastic so that we can keep playing these wide open courses that yield birdies to please the masses.  My opinion is that we should leave the ball and play tougher setups that penalize poor driving rather than allow guys to still hit it to inside 15 feet with a wedge.  There are plenty of good examples of shorter courses playing difficult and fair.  We don't need to keep lengthening courses to provide a challenge.
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#45 Uhit

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 04:29 PM

View PostSean2, on 09 December 2017 - 04:07 PM, said:

Yes, distance definitely has its advantages, but the game is about scoring, not how far one hits the ball (yes, distance can help one score, but...).

The media, OEMs, recreational golfers seem all obsessed with distance, as opposed to scoring. How many ads have you seen that tout scoring as opposed to distance? Some 5-irons are now 21.5º. Heck, if we can't get actual distance gains, we can jack the lofts, put a different number on the sole of the club, and brag how far our product now goes...and people will flock to purchase our clubs! Every year the newest driver is longer than the previous year...given the rate new drivers come out everyone should be hitting it more than 300 yards. lol

I remember a time when irons were viewed as scoring clubs...not so much anymore.

The score is just a number, and a score card has no pictures...

...a long and accurate shot, which can be seen, looks fantastic and is fun to watch.

I rather watch a great shot (live, or on TV), instead of reading a low number on a score card.


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#46 raynorfan1

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 04:35 PM

View Postgvogel, on 09 December 2017 - 03:12 PM, said:

In conclusion - this is my mid term paper - we can embrace modern technology and accept the fact that modern championship courses have to be over 8,000 yards.  Or we can change the ball, the driver face and the driver head size and keep the game on walkable golf courses.  And, appreciate superior ball striking skill!

There is a third path. We can let the very elite players - the Top .0008% of golfers - play on the same 6,500 yard layouts that the rest of us do, and awe us and amaze us with their abilities. That's how most sports work. It would be a very different game than was played in the 1980s...but that was a very different game from what was played in the 1930s...and that was a very different game than was played in the 1890s.

IMO the "problem" is rooted in the jealousy of the past greats who can't accept that today's golfers are actually just better than they ever were.

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#47 raynorfan1

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 04:38 PM

The worst part of this discussion, IMHO, is that modern equipment has actually made classic golf course design relevant for millions of golfers who would otherwise not be good enough to play and understand those layouts. And we want to roll that back because a couple of old tour pros are offended by how far Dustin Johnson hits a 3 wood?

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#48 Llortamaisey

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 04:43 PM

If I were Titleist, I would be all for bifurcation. Titleist would essentially get rid of all the competition on tour. No one out spends them when it comes to the ball.

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#49 bladehunter

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 04:50 PM

View Post8thehardway, on 09 December 2017 - 01:55 PM, said:

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.

Opppsite can be said. 99% of Men who reach 60 shouldn't be long enough to still play the "men's" tee. But they are today.
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#50 bladehunter

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 04:53 PM

View Poststraightshot7, on 09 December 2017 - 03:27 PM, said:

Isn't it also that the modern ball doesn't spin as much and makes it a lot easier to hit it straight?

I wouldn't mind if they made the ball a little more like the old balata so guys could work it more and inferior ball strikers would be exposed.

This is my gripe.  Not total distance. It's that it's so easy to hit the high straight ball.

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#51 youraway2

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 06:24 PM

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.
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#52 starsail85

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 06:51 PM

The average player on tour is a higher and higher clubhead speed as time goes by , because the course design and tour rota doesn’t allow 100mph good players to compete .

There were guys with 100mph driver swings on tour in the 80s and 90s but the lengthening courses phased them out

Stop making it a requirement to hit it so far

There are humans capable of 400 carry , and that’s the way it will end up if the courses keep getting longer
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#53 bladehunter

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 08:06 PM

View Postyouraway2, on 09 December 2017 - 06:24 PM, said:

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.
Our course no longer uses triplex mowers in the fairways, they use pull behind gang mowers, which cannot cut to .187 or 3/16 of an inch. We have slow fairways and very short drives.

My home course also still uses gang mower on the fairway.  Our cheap selves demoed a Tri plex for 2 weeks this summer and I loved it.  The tight  lies were great.  But some of the older constituents complained and the plan to buy was axed.  Seems they prefer a teed up lie .  Terrible in my opinion , but hey. I'm The one usually called selfish.  Go figure.
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#54 oikos1

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 10:34 PM

View Postnova6868, on 09 December 2017 - 03:21 PM, said:

They make a good point about the changes in agronomy. Mowing fairways with Toro greens mowers is absolutely nuts. I know these guys want perfect lies in the fairway, but give me a break.

Posted Image


I want to see some of the older courses brought back into rotation, but I don't know if its necessary to roll back the ball. I wonder if they couldn't just narrow the fairways, cut them longer, cut the rough longer, etc. I wouldn't mind seeing a pro carry a drive 270 but it only rolls out to 280, then their lie in the fairway isn't even all that great. Welcome to my world!

Love it!  At first look I thought that was a go-cart track just outside of Talladega.

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#55 drbonesvt

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Posted 09 December 2017 - 11:27 PM

All Hail Tri -furcation

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#56 jacobEDGE

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 12:39 AM

View Postmosesgolf, on 09 December 2017 - 12:36 PM, said:

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.  ;)

I mean courses are designed and the score is calculated so that you hit par 4's in two shots.

Every hole on a course is meant for a 2-putt. That means a Par 3 allows you one stroke to reach the green, Par 4s allow you two strokes to reach the green, and Par 5s allow you three strokes to reach the green. Then you 2-putt and get your par. The score you're supposed to achieve. You reach a par 5 in two? Or you make a one putt? Then you get rewarded with birdie.

So yes, the game of golf was literally created and intended for golfers to take 2 strokes to reach a Par 4 green.

Edited by jacobEDGE, 10 December 2017 - 12:39 AM.


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#57 new2g0lf

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 12:43 AM

View Postgvogel, on 09 December 2017 - 09:40 AM, said:

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.

Courses that would adjust have already adjusted if we all agree nothing has really changed in the last 13 years.  Non-issue.
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#58 Vardon Grip

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 12:57 AM

sooo much reading and my drives are still short.

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#59 starsail85

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 04:20 AM

View Postnova6868, on 09 December 2017 - 03:21 PM, said:

They make a good point about the changes in agronomy. Mowing fairways with Toro greens mowers is absolutely nuts. I know these guys want perfect lies in the fairway, but give me a break.

Posted Image


I want to see some of the older courses brought back into rotation, but I don't know if its necessary to roll back the ball. I wonder if they couldn't just narrow the fairways, cut them longer, cut the rough longer, etc. I wouldn't mind seeing a pro carry a drive 270 but it only rolls out to 280, then their lie in the fairway isn't even all that great. Welcome to my world!


The balls been rolling miles at that course for over 500 years
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Mizuno MP4 yoro 3-Pw/project x 6.0
Vokey V 54 60 OC
Scotty Cameron JAT

Ball - Tour B XS
Grips - Tv cord

Lofts 17.5 21 25 29 33 37 41 45 49 54 60

29

#60 John L.

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Posted 10 December 2017 - 05:43 AM

In 1981-1982 I took up the game at the New London Sub Base with a fever. I played every single day I could, even during the winter when there wasn't snow on the ground. I was considered to be pretty long off the tee by my group of friends at the time. I primarily used a stiff shafted PowerBilt Citation persimmon driver, with a Top Flite XL or Titleist DT ball. I played balata balls (Pro Trajectory's) occasionally, but they sometimes cost me more than my greens fees. I could play all day at the sub base for under 10 bucks. A good drive for me back then was about 275 yards.

I was one of the last guys who made the transition to metal woods, newer shaft technology, and trying different balls.

Fast forward about 37 years, and I just turned 60 in Nov.

Today, I play equipment with much better shaft technology, driver heads with incredible forgiveness, and a Pro V1 ball.

A good drive for me today can still sneak out there to about 280 yards +/-

I am not going to complain about a damn thing.  ;)


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