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Why haven't PGA Tour scores come down w/ tech


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#121 youdamantiger

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 12:15 AM

View Post15th Club, on 14 April 2018 - 06:34 PM, said:

View PostAshley Schaeffer, on 14 April 2018 - 06:13 PM, said:

View PostRoadking2003, on 14 April 2018 - 06:01 PM, said:

View Post15th Club, on 14 April 2018 - 05:45 PM, said:

Rolling back drivers: Millions of golfers have considerable money and time tied up in drivers.  And, with a ball rollback it might be possible to just leave them as is.

"Rolling back fairway speed" is the worst possible suggestion.  For any golf architect, the ground game is an essential element of how a course conforms to the land.  It is a point of great interest for a golfer, to understand and play for how the ball rolls out.  It should be encouraged.  I have no clue as to how anybody would "roll back fairway speed" even if it were desirable (and it isn't).  Would you soften them with lots of water?  And get plugged lies and mudballs and an unplayable course if it rained a lot?  Would you let the fairway grass grow out, substantially eliminating the skill of spinning the ball from a closely-mown area as intended?

I've got an idea; just change the $3.50 golf balls.

We are talking about pro golfers.  They get clubs free.  And BTW, most golfers change drivers every few years. So rolling back the driver would be free.

And rolling back the fairway would make them play like they did 40 years ago.  Why would it be bad today when it was good 40 years ago?  (I know your answer;  "because then we wouldn't need to roll back the ball")

So you want a ball from 40 years ago but not a driver from 40 years ago and not a fairway from 40 years ago.  I got it.

BTW, fairways were much slower 80 years ago when all of the old wonderful courses were designed.  So I suppose now they are ruined because they are mowed lower and are dryer.  Why not roll back the fairways like they were originally designed?   That would preserve the "essential element" of the ground game as they were designed.

A ton of good points.  Don't forget that we have to rollback all of the added yardage and make the greens roll at 6 to preserve the original intent.
The "original designer's intent" argument is silly for myriad reasons, but if we go that route for an excuse to nerf the ball, we had better not be playing on firm greens rolling 14.

Playing on greens that Stimp at 14 is, depending a bit on the course, almost always a bad idea for championship play.  At that speed, a very windy day can blow balls out of place on the green.  At that speed, more and more pin positions are unusable.  At that speed, play is slowed down because of the excruciating nature of even a short putt.

Those basic principles are part of why it is such a rotten idea to defend courses against distance gains from golf balls, by tricking up green speeds.

Of course, Ashley Schaeffer, your attempt(s) to isolate any arguments with your own absolutism are routine failures.  I'm not an absolutist about anything.  Not about changes to golf courses.  Not about rollback percentages.  Not about what equipment that should be preserved or what should be banned.  I'm not against all technology and we've regularly seen some technological advances that help everybody.

By no account did the Pro V1 Era "help everybody."

The strawman-burning, all-or-nothing chaps don't understand moderation or middle ground. When they hear someone argue for technological restrictions they immediately assume you want the PGA Tour to mandate hickory shafts and featheries.


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#122 Short Pete

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:32 AM

The same debate here as in many other sports which involve tools to play them. Take tennis for example. In the 80's wood was replaced by graphite, the heads of the clubs got bigger, the strings better and more durable. The flat classic stroke was more and more replaced by topspin. The serves got harder. Then the so-called game-improvement rcquets were embraced by pros. 15 years ago it would have been a no go for the real "players" to play shovels like the one Rafa Nadal and many others play now. The governing bodies thought about eliminating the second serve, making the serve court smaller, slowing down the ball etc. What happened in the end? Nothing! Players adapted to the new tech, and the good old Serve and Volley game disappeared, because players reacted to the added serve speed with better returning games, enabled by lighter and more manoeuverable racquets. Players practiced more, they practiced harder, nowadays you don't have a single player in the top 100 who is not absolutely well trained. There are simply more players who are able to perform at the top level. And they all play from the baseline, because that's what promises the most success.

Same in golf: With evolution of tech and everything it is requirement to swing a driver south of 110 mph to have a chance of competing. Yes, this game is different from how it was played on the pro level 30 years ago. But there are also more players who can play at this level. You rarely find an overweight player who competes at the highest level nowadays. 30 years ago the Corey Pavins of the world feathered 7 irons from 160 yards, nowaday they whack a straight 9 irons at the pin with higher swing speed, and yes, a better urethane ball. That is a skill. The skills it takes to play the modern professional game of golf simply have changed. Most of the courses that host the professional tourneys have gotten significantly longer to compensate for that. But we are talking about only a handful courses. There are more players on the PGA and also on the lower tier tours who can shoot lights out at almost every single tournament. And today that happens more often than 30 years ago. At the top end the scores will stop going down (or already has) because even the best players can't shoot 62s every given day. And if the meaning of the game ist to defend par then look no further than Oakmont a few years ago. It is still possible, but is it fun to watch? Not really, at least not every week. But you still can make courses challenging for today's bombers. Ironically some og the old-school courses still don't spill out average scores of -25, because there are trees that block playing lines etc. Give the bombers a course like Erin Hills, with 60 yard fairways and almost nothing to punish an errant shot, and your winning score for the US Open will be -16. I guess the USGA will show us how to protect treeless layouts (Shinnecock), we'll see if it's fun.

Bottom line: The pro golf game is fine the way it is. Leave it at that, the ball limit they have now is just fine. It is a different way to play for the pros, it takes different skills, and more athletes are able to compete on this level than ever before.

Edited by Short Pete, 16 April 2018 - 08:36 AM.

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#123 bladehunter

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 05:54 AM

View Postyoudamantiger, on 15 April 2018 - 11:29 PM, said:

View Postbulldog8b, on 10 April 2018 - 06:51 PM, said:

Reading through the thread on PR's ancient irons at the Masters got me thinking. Why haven't scores come down with all the new tech? Seems like going from persimmon to steel to titanium to 460cc titanium with movable weights and $1000 graphite shafts along with Trackman and ProV1s and all the other tech through out the bag would make scores come down. Plus these guys now are bigger and stronger, in better shape and have had coaches and psychiatrists and all the rest since they were kids. So why haven't scores come down much? Harder courses? Faster greens? Pins more tucked?

Just seems strange that 50 years ago with persimmon and butter knives and whatever they used for balls guys could shoot 65 and today with all the tech that same 65 on the same course is a good score.

Or am I totally wrong and scores have come down?

Maybe because the modern players aren't as good? These debates are pointless and never convince anyone but...once more into the breach dear friends. Let's establish some evolutionary parameters. There are NO, ZILCH, NADA, DE RIEN, NEIN, NON, NYET physiological differences between a male born in 1900 and a male born in 1990 except for a slight difference in height. And by slight I mean less than an inch. Massive gains in inherent athleticism would take hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to show up.

So, there are no inherent physical benefits to being born in 1990 vs 1900. With that possibility eliminated there are only 3 other ways in which today's generation could possibly be "better" than the generation of the mid-60s through the mid-80s. The first is the one you mentioned, better training and nutrition. I would admit that today's players spend more time in the gym and are, generally, speaking more "fit." But so what? Being fit does not benefit you that much in golf. If it did, 145 pound Justin Thomas wouldn't be a distance leader on Tour and neither would beer keg shaped JB Holmes. The Tour stat leaders are a motley, hodgepodge collection of different body types. And we don't even have to just look at the modern Tour to see this effect. Greg Norman looks like he was cut from granite but he was always shorter than doughy Fred Couples. Fat Jack was longer than Arnie and his boxer's physique. And Arnie was longer than Frank Stranahan who looked like he had stepped off the pages of Muscle Magazine. I would never argue that more athleticism doesn't produce an advantage in a sport like football or basketball but this is golf we're talking about. The second best player of the modern era is Phil Mickelson and the only time he lifts a weight is to look behind it for the remote.

The second way in which the modern generation could possibly be better is technique. But this argument only works if you think that there is such a thing as an "ideal" golf swing. I think we all know that there's not. Look at the success Jim Furyk and Daniel Berger have had with their ugly azz swings. Most of the greatest players of all time have technical deficiencies in their swing. Tiger with his head dip on the downswing. Jack with his flying elbow. They still got the job done. There are a lot of different ways to deliver that clubhead to the ball.

The third way modern players could be better is external advantages. And, here, is the one that I don't think anyone could deny. The list of advantages the modern player has is really stunning. Massive distance gains due to technology, pristine turf conditions, ease of travel, less financial insecurity, sports psychologist, nutritionist, personal trainer, full swing coach, short game coach, putting coach, video, trackman, yardage books that are accurate to within a foot thanks to GPS, the same caddy week to week, how could the modern player not be better? But here's the thing, those are external ​advantages, easily transferable to any other generation of golfers. And I still maintain that if we could bring the generation from the mid-60s to the mid-80s forward in time and give them all of these advantages they would outperform the modern generation.

It's really amazing that modern players haven't markedly improved scoring averages even with all the advantages outlined above and even though they usually have flip wedges into par fours and never face a five par that they can't reach.

Absolutely true.  Iíve always said. Rory nor dj likely have more than 5 yards more carry due to gym time.  The gym time allows them to play more events but the distance is a natural ability.  Really isnít a taught  or trained ability.
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#124 Slanman

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:13 AM

View Postbladehunter, on 15 April 2018 - 01:28 PM, said:

You guys are crazy if you think itís all fairway roll.    Blowing it over bunkers 310 out isnít rare today.  Not at all. Can be done with a 3 wood for some guys.  

Answer to the op is that courses are longer and greens faster.  Thatís why scores stayed same. ******Shorten it to 6300  and slow the greens to 8 and see how Quick someone gets to -30 for 4 Days with todayís stuff.********

Sounds like you’re describing women’s golf

Edited by Slanman, 16 April 2018 - 09:14 AM.


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#125 QuigleyDU

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:33 AM

i would say the biggest equipment gains have been made in the form of practice equipment. E.G. launch monitors, putting trainers, lasers, guide rods, practice clubs. swing trainers. these combined with smarter and better athletes has risen the mean score. So there are more best players then there used to be even if the best scores have not come down much.

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#126 15th Club

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 12:00 PM

The "tennis" example has very little value for our concerns with golf, because tennis is played on a defined court against an opponent with equal technology.

In golf, no one is hitting directly against another player that is bigger and a better athlete just like them.  The game is being played on a venue, that is not (or should not be) getting re-tooled with every new equipment technology advance.

If you don't understand that this is first and foremost by far about preserving historic golf course architecture for use in championship play, you are misunderstanding the argument.  

And if you DO understand that it is all about the golf courses, but you don't really care about the golf courses, that's fine; you are welcome to that opinion but you are going to be sorely disappointed because the USGA and the R&A are like me and they really do care about the courses and the history and the venues for championship play.

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#127 Shilgy

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 12:08 PM

View Postyoudamantiger, on 15 April 2018 - 11:29 PM, said:

View Postbulldog8b, on 10 April 2018 - 06:51 PM, said:

Reading through the thread on PR's ancient irons at the Masters got me thinking. Why haven't scores come down with all the new tech? Seems like going from persimmon to steel to titanium to 460cc titanium with movable weights and $1000 graphite shafts along with Trackman and ProV1s and all the other tech through out the bag would make scores come down. Plus these guys now are bigger and stronger, in better shape and have had coaches and psychiatrists and all the rest since they were kids. So why haven't scores come down much? Harder courses? Faster greens? Pins more tucked?

Just seems strange that 50 years ago with persimmon and butter knives and whatever they used for balls guys could shoot 65 and today with all the tech that same 65 on the same course is a good score.

Or am I totally wrong and scores have come down?

Maybe because the modern players aren't as good? These debates are pointless and never convince anyone but...once more into the breach dear friends. Let's establish some evolutionary parameters. There are NO, ZILCH, NADA, DE RIEN, NEIN, NON, NYET physiological differences between a male born in 1900 and a male born in 1990 except for a slight difference in height. And by slight I mean less than an inch. Massive gains in inherent athleticism would take hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to show up.

So, there are no inherent
physical benefits to being born in 1990 vs 1900. With that possibility eliminated there are only 3 other ways in which today's generation could possibly be "better" than the generation of the mid-60s through the mid-80s. The first is the one you mentioned, better training and nutrition. I would admit that today's players spend more time in the gym and are, generally, speaking more "fit." But so what? Being fit does not benefit you that much in golf. If it did, 145 pound Justin Thomas wouldn't be a distance leader on Tour and neither would beer keg shaped JB Holmes. The Tour stat leaders are a motley, hodgepodge collection of different body types. And we don't even have to just look at the modern Tour to see this effect. Greg Norman looks like he was cut from granite but he was always shorter than doughy Fred Couples. Fat Jack was longer than Arnie and his boxer's physique. And Arnie was longer than Frank Stranahan who looked like he had stepped off the pages of Muscle Magazine. I would never argue that more athleticism doesn't produce an advantage in a sport like football or basketball but this is golf we're talking about. The second best player of the modern era is Phil Mickelson and the only time he lifts a weight is to look behind it for the remote.

The second way in which the modern generation could possibly be better is technique. But this argument only works if you think that there is such a thing as an "ideal" golf swing. I think we all know that there's not. Look at the success Jim Furyk and Daniel Berger have had with their ugly azz swings. Most of the greatest players of all time have technical deficiencies in their swing. Tiger with his head dip on the downswing. Jack with his flying elbow. They still got the job done. There are a lot of different ways to deliver that clubhead to the ball.

The third way modern players could be better is external advantages. And, here, is the one that I don't think anyone could deny. The list of advantages the modern player has is really stunning. Massive distance gains due to technology, pristine turf conditions, ease of travel, less financial insecurity, sports psychologist, nutritionist, personal trainer, full swing coach, short game coach, putting coach, video, trackman, yardage books that are accurate to within a foot thanks to GPS, the same caddy week to week, how could the modern player not be better? But here's the thing, those are external ​advantages, easily transferable to any other generation of golfers. And I still maintain that if we could bring the generation from the mid-60s to the mid-80s forward in time and give them all of these advantages they would outperform the modern generation.

It's really amazing that modern players haven't markedly improved scoring averages even with all the advantages outlined above and even though they usually have flip wedges into par fours and never face a five par that they can't reach.
Question. I find this part of the debate fascinating. Is this not like swimming to an extent?  Teenage girls are faster than Johnny Weismuller.  In your opinion is that technique only? Training? Water is faster?  I know the modern suits are faster but they do not explain teenage girls keeping up with Tarzan.
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#128 Shilgy

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 12:12 PM

View Post15th Club, on 16 April 2018 - 12:00 PM, said:

The "tennis" example has very little value for our concerns with golf, because tennis is played on a defined court against an opponent with equal technology.

In golf, no one is hitting directly against another player that is bigger and a better athlete just like them.  The game is being played on a venue, that is not (or should not be) getting re-tooled with every new equipment technology advance.

If you don't understand that this is first and foremost by far about preserving historic golf course architecture for use in championship play, you are misunderstanding the argument.  

And if you DO understand that it is all about the golf courses, but you don't really care about the golf courses, that's fine; you are welcome to that opinion but you are going to be sorely disappointed because the USGA and the R&A are like me and they really do care about the courses and the history and the venues for championship play.
But the tennis equipment has changed how the game is played. Call it shot values if you will.

You keep bringing up course architecture and protecting the old courses. But you keep bringing up courses that are not threatened because they either never did hold elite events or could not today. Not because of course length and size but because there is not room for the other infrastructure needed to hole a major event today.  The old courses hold up just fine for the other 99.99%.  I do not believe the USGA has any interest in holding Merion type US Opens every year on courses where they have to severely limit the number of spectators.
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#129 15th Club

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 12:55 PM

Quote

You keep bringing up course architecture and protecting the old courses. But you keep bringing up courses that are not threatened because they either never did hold elite events or could not today. Not because of course length and size but because there is not room for the other infrastructure needed to hole a major event today.  The old courses hold up just fine for the other 99.99%.  I do not believe the USGA has any interest in holding Merion type US Opens every year on courses where they have to severely limit the number of spectators.


I am talking about virtually every course on the traditional rota of British Open venues.

I am talking about the great championship courses of the Melbourne sandbelt.

I am talking about dozens of NCAA tournament-hosting courses.

I am talking about a great many USGA championship courses, past, present and future.

I am talking about the Augusta National Golf Club, and its influence on the greater game of golf.

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#130 thug the bunny

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 01:45 PM

View PostShilgy, on 16 April 2018 - 12:08 PM, said:

View Postyoudamantiger, on 15 April 2018 - 11:29 PM, said:

View Postbulldog8b, on 10 April 2018 - 06:51 PM, said:

Reading through the thread on PR's ancient irons at the Masters got me thinking. Why haven't scores come down with all the new tech? Seems like going from persimmon to steel to titanium to 460cc titanium with movable weights and $1000 graphite shafts along with Trackman and ProV1s and all the other tech through out the bag would make scores come down. Plus these guys now are bigger and stronger, in better shape and have had coaches and psychiatrists and all the rest since they were kids. So why haven't scores come down much? Harder courses? Faster greens? Pins more tucked?

Just seems strange that 50 years ago with persimmon and butter knives and whatever they used for balls guys could shoot 65 and today with all the tech that same 65 on the same course is a good score.

Or am I totally wrong and scores have come down?

Maybe because the modern players aren't as good? These debates are pointless and never convince anyone but...once more into the breach dear friends. Let's establish some evolutionary parameters. There are NO, ZILCH, NADA, DE RIEN, NEIN, NON, NYET physiological differences between a male born in 1900 and a male born in 1990 except for a slight difference in height. And by slight I mean less than an inch. Massive gains in inherent athleticism would take hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to show up.

So, there are no inherent
physical benefits to being born in 1990 vs 1900. With that possibility eliminated there are only 3 other ways in which today's generation could possibly be "better" than the generation of the mid-60s through the mid-80s. The first is the one you mentioned, better training and nutrition. I would admit that today's players spend more time in the gym and are, generally, speaking more "fit." But so what? Being fit does not benefit you that much in golf. If it did, 145 pound Justin Thomas wouldn't be a distance leader on Tour and neither would beer keg shaped JB Holmes. The Tour stat leaders are a motley, hodgepodge collection of different body types. And we don't even have to just look at the modern Tour to see this effect. Greg Norman looks like he was cut from granite but he was always shorter than doughy Fred Couples. Fat Jack was longer than Arnie and his boxer's physique. And Arnie was longer than Frank Stranahan who looked like he had stepped off the pages of Muscle Magazine. I would never argue that more athleticism doesn't produce an advantage in a sport like football or basketball but this is golf we're talking about. The second best player of the modern era is Phil Mickelson and the only time he lifts a weight is to look behind it for the remote.

The second way in which the modern generation could possibly be better is technique. But this argument only works if you think that there is such a thing as an "ideal" golf swing. I think we all know that there's not. Look at the success Jim Furyk and Daniel Berger have had with their ugly azz swings. Most of the greatest players of all time have technical deficiencies in their swing. Tiger with his head dip on the downswing. Jack with his flying elbow. They still got the job done. There are a lot of different ways to deliver that clubhead to the ball.

The third way modern players could be better is external advantages. And, here, is the one that I don't think anyone could deny. The list of advantages the modern player has is really stunning. Massive distance gains due to technology, pristine turf conditions, ease of travel, less financial insecurity, sports psychologist, nutritionist, personal trainer, full swing coach, short game coach, putting coach, video, trackman, yardage books that are accurate to within a foot thanks to GPS, the same caddy week to week, how could the modern player not be better? But here's the thing, those are external ​advantages, easily transferable to any other generation of golfers. And I still maintain that if we could bring the generation from the mid-60s to the mid-80s forward in time and give them all of these advantages they would outperform the modern generation.

It's really amazing that modern players haven't markedly improved scoring averages even with all the advantages outlined above and even though they usually have flip wedges into par fours and never face a five par that they can't reach.
Question. I find this part of the debate fascinating. Is this not like swimming to an extent?  Teenage girls are faster than Johnny Weismuller.  In your opinion is that technique only? Training? Water is faster?  I know the modern suits are faster but they do not explain teenage girls keeping up with Tarzan.

Good analogy regarding swimming, although youdam would maintain that an athletic sport like swimming is not a good analogy. But I (we) disagree and maintain that golf has plenty of athletic/endurance component wherein training/strength/diet makes a difference. youdam brought up a number of examples of good golfers who were not models of physical fitness, but these were singular points of data. When we say fitness is furthering the increase in modern golf performance, we are talking about overall, or average fitness across the entire field, and not singular examples. Sure he can point our Phil or JB, but that is two examples out of hundreds of golfers who overall are much more fit than the field 40 years ago. And, JT is not a valid example as he is young and very fit (size has very little bearing on golf performance).

youdam's second argument about swing technique is also invalid as he once again uses a couple examples of effective unorthodox swings. Across the field swings have become a lot more efficient with regards to spin, speed, aoa, etc. I don't know how one can argue with that.

Then of course you add those two factors to the equipment, and of course you have an increase in performance, which the USGA and R&A view as an attack and a problem to the game, but I still have yet to hear articulate specific reasons as to why.

I realize this may be anathema, I want to ask very specifically: what exactly is wrong with the winning Master's score being -20?

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#131 bervin

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 02:59 PM

View Postyoudamantiger, on 15 April 2018 - 11:29 PM, said:

View Postbulldog8b, on 10 April 2018 - 06:51 PM, said:

Reading through the thread on PR's ancient irons at the Masters got me thinking. Why haven't scores come down with all the new tech? Seems like going from persimmon to steel to titanium to 460cc titanium with movable weights and $1000 graphite shafts along with Trackman and ProV1s and all the other tech through out the bag would make scores come down. Plus these guys now are bigger and stronger, in better shape and have had coaches and psychiatrists and all the rest since they were kids. So why haven't scores come down much? Harder courses? Faster greens? Pins more tucked?

Just seems strange that 50 years ago with persimmon and butter knives and whatever they used for balls guys could shoot 65 and today with all the tech that same 65 on the same course is a good score.

Or am I totally wrong and scores have come down?

Maybe because the modern players aren't as good? These debates are pointless and never convince anyone but...once more into the breach dear friends. Let's establish some evolutionary parameters. There are NO, ZILCH, NADA, DE RIEN, NEIN, NON, NYET physiological differences between a male born in 1900 and a male born in 1990 except for a slight difference in height. And by slight I mean less than an inch. Massive gains in inherent athleticism would take hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to show up.

So, there are no inherent physical benefits to being born in 1990 vs 1900. With that possibility eliminated there are only 3 other ways in which today's generation could possibly be "better" than the generation of the mid-60s through the mid-80s. The first is the one you mentioned, better training and nutrition. I would admit that today's players spend more time in the gym and are, generally, speaking more "fit." But so what? Being fit does not benefit you that much in golf. If it did, 145 pound Justin Thomas wouldn't be a distance leader on Tour and neither would beer keg shaped JB Holmes. The Tour stat leaders are a motley, hodgepodge collection of different body types. And we don't even have to just look at the modern Tour to see this effect. Greg Norman looks like he was cut from granite but he was always shorter than doughy Fred Couples. Fat Jack was longer than Arnie and his boxer's physique. And Arnie was longer than Frank Stranahan who looked like he had stepped off the pages of Muscle Magazine. I would never argue that more athleticism doesn't produce an advantage in a sport like football or basketball but this is golf we're talking about. The second best player of the modern era is Phil Mickelson and the only time he lifts a weight is to look behind it for the remote.

The second way in which the modern generation could possibly be better is technique. But this argument only works if you think that there is such a thing as an "ideal" golf swing. I think we all know that there's not. Look at the success Jim Furyk and Daniel Berger have had with their ugly azz swings. Most of the greatest players of all time have technical deficiencies in their swing. Tiger with his head dip on the downswing. Jack with his flying elbow. They still got the job done. There are a lot of different ways to deliver that clubhead to the ball.

The third way modern players could be better is external advantages. And, here, is the one that I don't think anyone could deny. The list of advantages the modern player has is really stunning. Massive distance gains due to technology, pristine turf conditions, ease of travel, less financial insecurity, sports psychologist, nutritionist, personal trainer, full swing coach, short game coach, putting coach, video, trackman, yardage books that are accurate to within a foot thanks to GPS, the same caddy week to week, how could the modern player not be better? But here's the thing, those are external ​advantages, easily transferable to any other generation of golfers. And I still maintain that if we could bring the generation from the mid-60s to the mid-80s forward in time and give them all of these advantages they would outperform the modern generation.

It's really amazing that modern players haven't markedly improved scoring averages even with all the advantages outlined above and even though they usually have flip wedges into par fours and never face a five par that they can't reach.


I don't know anyone who would argue that Jack and dem boys weren't as good of golfers as today's cream of the crop.  But I don't think you can deny the growth of the game at all levels, particularly the junior level.  More kids are growing up with access to a game that has long been guarded by those who enjoyed much more exclusive access.  Kids of all backgrounds are able to learn the game through the many different organizations that are now prevalent.  This has absolutely churned out MORE (not BETTER) elite golfers.  The level of competition debate is a silly one to me.  There is clearly more talent today than 50 years ago just by way of golf's evolution - not the golfer's evolution.

This is just one data point you left out from your "only 3".
D: TaylorMade '17 M1 8* - HZRDUS Black 6.5 62g
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5i - PW: TaylorMade ' 14 TP MB - DG X100 120
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11

#132 15th Club

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 03:39 PM

Quote

Then of course you add those two factors to the equipment, and of course you have an increase in performance, which the USGA and R&A view as an attack and a problem to the game, but I still have yet to hear articulate specific reasons as to why.



I realize this may be anathema, I want to ask very specifically: what exactly is wrong with the winning Master's score being -20?


The reason that a winning score at the Masters would likely be bad, would be if the players who were scoring -20 were doing it by playing #13 with Driver/9i.  And #15 with Driver/8i.  And #11 with Driver/PW.  Etc., etc.  If no more mid-irons were required on any of the Par-3's.  You get the idea.  They aren't so concerned about scoring, per se, but rather the quality of play.  And rightly so.

Returning to the USGA and the R&A; they simply want to be able to contest their championships on historic courses that have served them well for a century.  Those venues supply an essential historic element to the game, and are part of defining those championships.

You would need to be very careful, about accusing the USGA and the R&A of viewing "an increase in performance... as an attack and a problem."  It is clear to me that they do regard the technologically-aided distance gains since 2000 as a problem.  They certainly don't regard fitness or skill as a problem.  But again please remember that whether or not all distance gains in golf are attributable to the ball (they aren't; at least not all of them), the golf ball is the simplest, easiest, most inoffensive thing to re-regulate.

12

#133 Roadking2003

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 05:00 PM

View Post15th Club, on 16 April 2018 - 03:39 PM, said:

The reason that a winning score at the Masters would likely be bad, would be if the players who were scoring -20 were doing it by playing #13 with Driver/9i.  And #15 with Driver/8i.  And #11 with Driver/PW.  Etc., etc.  If no more mid-irons were required on any of the Par-3's.  You get the idea.  They aren't so concerned about scoring, per se, but rather the quality of play.  And rightly so.

But why do you care about the number on the bottom of the club?   The ball doesn't know if it's a 5 iron or a sand wedge.   The skill involved is directly related to the distance, not the club.

So look at the distances for Reed and McIlroy on Sunday.  Reed only had two holes with less than 150 yards.  McIlroy had five, but only hit two of those greens.

And look how many they had over 180 yards in.  Reed had eight holes of 180 yards or more and McIlroy had nine.

Hitting a ball 200 yards to those small landing areas requires a lot of skill and the number on the bottom of the club does not matter.

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#134 youdamantiger

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:07 PM

View PostShilgy, on 16 April 2018 - 12:08 PM, said:

View Postyoudamantiger, on 15 April 2018 - 11:29 PM, said:

View Postbulldog8b, on 10 April 2018 - 06:51 PM, said:

Reading through the thread on PR's ancient irons at the Masters got me thinking. Why haven't scores come down with all the new tech? Seems like going from persimmon to steel to titanium to 460cc titanium with movable weights and $1000 graphite shafts along with Trackman and ProV1s and all the other tech through out the bag would make scores come down. Plus these guys now are bigger and stronger, in better shape and have had coaches and psychiatrists and all the rest since they were kids. So why haven't scores come down much? Harder courses? Faster greens? Pins more tucked?

Just seems strange that 50 years ago with persimmon and butter knives and whatever they used for balls guys could shoot 65 and today with all the tech that same 65 on the same course is a good score.

Or am I totally wrong and scores have come down?

Maybe because the modern players aren't as good? These debates are pointless and never convince anyone but...once more into the breach dear friends. Let's establish some evolutionary parameters. There are NO, ZILCH, NADA, DE RIEN, NEIN, NON, NYET physiological differences between a male born in 1900 and a male born in 1990 except for a slight difference in height. And by slight I mean less than an inch. Massive gains in inherent athleticism would take hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to show up.

So, there are no inherent
physical benefits to being born in 1990 vs 1900. With that possibility eliminated there are only 3 other ways in which today's generation could possibly be "better" than the generation of the mid-60s through the mid-80s. The first is the one you mentioned, better training and nutrition. I would admit that today's players spend more time in the gym and are, generally, speaking more "fit." But so what? Being fit does not benefit you that much in golf. If it did, 145 pound Justin Thomas wouldn't be a distance leader on Tour and neither would beer keg shaped JB Holmes. The Tour stat leaders are a motley, hodgepodge collection of different body types. And we don't even have to just look at the modern Tour to see this effect. Greg Norman looks like he was cut from granite but he was always shorter than doughy Fred Couples. Fat Jack was longer than Arnie and his boxer's physique. And Arnie was longer than Frank Stranahan who looked like he had stepped off the pages of Muscle Magazine. I would never argue that more athleticism doesn't produce an advantage in a sport like football or basketball but this is golf we're talking about. The second best player of the modern era is Phil Mickelson and the only time he lifts a weight is to look behind it for the remote.

The second way in which the modern generation could possibly be better is technique. But this argument only works if you think that there is such a thing as an "ideal" golf swing. I think we all know that there's not. Look at the success Jim Furyk and Daniel Berger have had with their ugly azz swings. Most of the greatest players of all time have technical deficiencies in their swing. Tiger with his head dip on the downswing. Jack with his flying elbow. They still got the job done. There are a lot of different ways to deliver that clubhead to the ball.

The third way modern players could be better is external advantages. And, here, is the one that I don't think anyone could deny. The list of advantages the modern player has is really stunning. Massive distance gains due to technology, pristine turf conditions, ease of travel, less financial insecurity, sports psychologist, nutritionist, personal trainer, full swing coach, short game coach, putting coach, video, trackman, yardage books that are accurate to within a foot thanks to GPS, the same caddy week to week, how could the modern player not be better? But here's the thing, those are external ​advantages, easily transferable to any other generation of golfers. And I still maintain that if we could bring the generation from the mid-60s to the mid-80s forward in time and give them all of these advantages they would outperform the modern generation.

It's really amazing that modern players haven't markedly improved scoring averages even with all the advantages outlined above and even though they usually have flip wedges into par fours and never face a five par that they can't reach.
Question. I find this part of the debate fascinating. Is this not like swimming to an extent?  Teenage girls are faster than Johnny Weismuller.  In your opinion is that technique only? Training? Water is faster?  I know the modern suits are faster but they do not explain teenage girls keeping up with Tarzan.

I know nothing about swimming as a competitive sport but on sheer speculation I would guess it has to do with better technique, better training, and (probably) better nutrition. There have been astounding advances in the nutritional sciences since the 1930s. We understand macro and micro nutrients much better. What it can't be is evolutionary biology. Not to beat a dead horse, but the human body cannot evolve over the span of 80 or 100 years. The inch or so that the average American male has gained in height over the past century is due entirely to better nutrition and the easy availability of animal-based proteins. If we could go back in time, kidnap Young Tom Morris from his crib, bring him to the future, feed him a modern diet, and give him all the advantages that modern golf technology affords, he would hit it just as far as modern players do.

14

#135 Big Ben

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 06:48 PM

Very interesting perspectives I like it! I would think it's all true to some degree with the key word being evolution. Things change and if we do it right they improve, why not!

Edited by Big Ben, 16 April 2018 - 06:49 PM.

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#136 Shilgy

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:09 PM

View Post15th Club, on 16 April 2018 - 03:39 PM, said:

Quote

Then of course you add those two factors to the equipment, and of course you have an increase in performance, which the USGA and R&A view as an attack and a problem to the game, but I still have yet to hear articulate specific reasons as to why.



I realize this may be anathema, I want to ask very specifically: what exactly is wrong with the winning Master's score being -20?


The reason that a winning score at the Masters would likely be bad, would be if the players who were scoring -20 were doing it by playing #13 with Driver/9i.  And #15 with Driver/8i.  And #11 with Driver/PW.  Etc., etc.  If no more mid-irons were required on any of the Par-3's.  You get the idea.  They aren't so concerned about scoring, per se, but rather the quality of play.  And rightly so.

Returning to the USGA and the R&A; they simply want to be able to contest their championships on historic courses that have served them well for a century.  Those venues supply an essential historic element to the game, and are part of defining those championships.

You would need to be very careful, about accusing the USGA and the R&A of viewing "an increase in performance... as an attack and a problem."  It is clear to me that they do regard the technologically-aided distance gains since 2000 as a problem.  They certainly don't regard fitness or skill as a problem.  But again please remember that whether or not all distance gains in golf are attributable to the ball (they aren't; at least not all of them), the golf ball is the simplest, easiest, most inoffensive thing to re-regulate.
How many sports are playing in/at the same venues today as a century ago?  Should the game not grow at all? Just keep playing championships at the same courses? Where is the cut off? 1900? 1925? There have been some great courses built in the last 50 years. Can we not use any of them?
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16

#137 knock it close

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:15 PM

View PostShilgy, on 16 April 2018 - 07:09 PM, said:

View Post15th Club, on 16 April 2018 - 03:39 PM, said:

Quote

Then of course you add those two factors to the equipment, and of course you have an increase in performance, which the USGA and R&A view as an attack and a problem to the game, but I still have yet to hear articulate specific reasons as to why.


I realize this may be anathema, I want to ask very specifically: what exactly is wrong with the winning Master's score being -20?

The reason that a winning score at the Masters would likely be bad, would be if the players who were scoring -20 were doing it by playing #13 with Driver/9i.  And #15 with Driver/8i.  And #11 with Driver/PW.  Etc., etc.  If no more mid-irons were required on any of the Par-3's.  You get the idea.  They aren't so concerned about scoring, per se, but rather the quality of play.  And rightly so.

Returning to the USGA and the R&A; they simply want to be able to contest their championships on historic courses that have served them well for a century.  Those venues supply an essential historic element to the game, and are part of defining those championships.

You would need to be very careful, about accusing the USGA and the R&A of viewing "an increase in performance... as an attack and a problem."  It is clear to me that they do regard the technologically-aided distance gains since 2000 as a problem.  They certainly don't regard fitness or skill as a problem.  But again please remember that whether or not all distance gains in golf are attributable to the ball (they aren't; at least not all of them), the golf ball is the simplest, easiest, most inoffensive thing to re-regulate.
How many sports are playing in/at the same venues today as a century ago?  Should the game not grow at all? Just keep playing championships at the same courses? Where is the cut off? 1900? 1925? There have been some great courses built in the last 50 years. Can we not use any of them?
Venues in other sports change because they need more seats, nicer concessions and more suites, not because the dimensions need to be altered, Yankee Stadium's dimensions were kept the same with the new stadium for example, so it's kind of comparing apples to oranges.
M2, maybe
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17

#138 Shilgy

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:17 PM

View Postyoudamantiger, on 16 April 2018 - 06:07 PM, said:

View PostShilgy, on 16 April 2018 - 12:08 PM, said:

View Postyoudamantiger, on 15 April 2018 - 11:29 PM, said:

View Postbulldog8b, on 10 April 2018 - 06:51 PM, said:

Reading through the thread on PR's ancient irons at the Masters got me thinking. Why haven't scores come down with all the new tech? Seems like going from persimmon to steel to titanium to 460cc titanium with movable weights and $1000 graphite shafts along with Trackman and ProV1s and all the other tech through out the bag would make scores come down. Plus these guys now are bigger and stronger, in better shape and have had coaches and psychiatrists and all the rest since they were kids. So why haven't scores come down much? Harder courses? Faster greens? Pins more tucked?

Just seems strange that 50 years ago with persimmon and butter knives and whatever they used for balls guys could shoot 65 and today with all the tech that same 65 on the same course is a good score.

Or am I totally wrong and scores have come down?

Maybe because the modern players aren't as good? These debates are pointless and never convince anyone but...once more into the breach dear friends. Let's establish some evolutionary parameters. There are NO, ZILCH, NADA, DE RIEN, NEIN, NON, NYET physiological differences between a male born in 1900 and a male born in 1990 except for a slight difference in height. And by slight I mean less than an inch. Massive gains in inherent athleticism would take hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to show up.

So, there are no inherent
physical benefits to being born in 1990 vs 1900. With that possibility eliminated there are only 3 other ways in which today's generation could possibly be "better" than the generation of the mid-60s through the mid-80s. The first is the one you mentioned, better training and nutrition. I would admit that today's players spend more time in the gym and are, generally, speaking more "fit." But so what? Being fit does not benefit you that much in golf. If it did, 145 pound Justin Thomas wouldn't be a distance leader on Tour and neither would beer keg shaped JB Holmes. The Tour stat leaders are a motley, hodgepodge collection of different body types. And we don't even have to just look at the modern Tour to see this effect. Greg Norman looks like he was cut from granite but he was always shorter than doughy Fred Couples. Fat Jack was longer than Arnie and his boxer's physique. And Arnie was longer than Frank Stranahan who looked like he had stepped off the pages of Muscle Magazine. I would never argue that more athleticism doesn't produce an advantage in a sport like football or basketball but this is golf we're talking about. The second best player of the modern era is Phil Mickelson and the only time he lifts a weight is to look behind it for the remote.

The second way in which the modern generation could possibly be better is technique. But this argument only works if you think that there is such a thing as an "ideal" golf swing. I think we all know that there's not. Look at the success Jim Furyk and Daniel Berger have had with their ugly azz swings. Most of the greatest players of all time have technical deficiencies in their swing. Tiger with his head dip on the downswing. Jack with his flying elbow. They still got the job done. There are a lot of different ways to deliver that clubhead to the ball.

The third way modern players could be better is external advantages. And, here, is the one that I don't think anyone could deny. The list of advantages the modern player has is really stunning. Massive distance gains due to technology, pristine turf conditions, ease of travel, less financial insecurity, sports psychologist, nutritionist, personal trainer, full swing coach, short game coach, putting coach, video, trackman, yardage books that are accurate to within a foot thanks to GPS, the same caddy week to week, how could the modern player not be better? But here's the thing, those are external ​advantages, easily transferable to any other generation of golfers. And I still maintain that if we could bring the generation from the mid-60s to the mid-80s forward in time and give them all of these advantages they would outperform the modern generation.

It's really amazing that modern players haven't markedly improved scoring averages even with all the advantages outlined above and even though they usually have flip wedges into par fours and never face a five par that they can't reach.
Question. I find this part of the debate fascinating. Is this not like swimming to an extent?  Teenage girls are faster than Johnny Weismuller.  In your opinion is that technique only? Training? Water is faster?  I know the modern suits are faster but they do not explain teenage girls keeping up with Tarzan.

I know nothing about swimming as a competitive sport but on sheer speculation I would guess it has to do with better technique, better training, and (probably) better nutrition. There have been astounding advances in the nutritional sciences since the 1930s. We understand macro and micro nutrients much better. What it can't be is evolutionary biology. Not to beat a dead horse, but the human body cannot evolve over the span of 80 or 100 years. The inch or so that the average American male has gained in height over the past century is due entirely to better nutrition and the easy availability of animal-based proteins. If we could go back in time, kidnap Young Tom Morris from his crib, bring him to the future, feed him a modern diet, and give him all the advantages that modern golf technology affords, he would hit it just as far as modern players do.
The post you replied to you bolded bigger, stronger and better shape as an impossibility from the hereditary angle. Let's say I believe you (I actually do but know next to nothing about the subject so you could be full of it 😉).  Why can't golfers still be bigger? When I was growing up as a young lad 5'10" was considered to be the ideal height for a golfer. Now you see a lot of 6'1 to 6'5" guys on tour. So clearly they are bigger. Since it's not hereditary I will venture a guess and believe it is a combination of the equipment and modern training.
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Srixon U65 18° Atmos Red 7s
Adams A12 UST Silver S 21°
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Titleist Vokey 54*F  58*S
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To paraphrase Dr Seuss: Don't cry because the round of golf is over-smile because it happened .  :)

18

#139 Shilgy

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:22 PM

[quote name='knock it close' timestamp='1523924104' post='17223376']
[quote name='Shilgy' timestamp='1523923787' post='17223342']
[quote name='15th Club' timestamp='1523911193' post='17222284']
[quote]
Then of course you add those two factors to the equipment, and of course you have an increase in performance, which the USGA and R&A view as an attack and a problem to the game, but I still have yet to hear articulate specific reasons as to why.


I realize this may be anathema, I want to ask very specifically: what exactly is wrong with the winning Master's score being -20?
[/quote]

The reason that a winning score at the Masters would likely be bad, would be if the players who were scoring -20 were doing it by playing #13 with Driver/9i.  And #15 with Driver/8i.  And #11 with Driver/PW.  Etc., etc.  If no more mid-irons were required on any of the Par-3's.  You get the idea.  They aren't so concerned about scoring, per se, but rather the quality of play.  And rightly so.

Returning to the USGA and the R&A; they simply want to be able to contest their championships on historic courses that have served them well for a century.  Those venues supply an essential historic element to the game, and are part of defining those championships.

You would need to be very careful, about accusing the USGA and the R&A of viewing "an increase in performance... as an attack and a problem."  It is clear to me that they do regard the technologically-aided distance gains since 2000 as a problem.  They certainly don't regard fitness or skill as a problem.  But again please remember that whether or not all distance gains in golf are attributable to the ball (they aren't; at least not all of them), the golf ball is the simplest, easiest, most inoffensive thing to re-regulate.
[/quote] How many sports are playing in/at the same venues today as a century ago?  Should the game not grow at all? Just keep playing championships at the same courses? Where is the cut off? 1900? 1925? There have been some great courses built in the last 50 years. Can we not use any of them?
[/quote]
Venues in other sports change because they need more seats, nicer concessions and more suites, not because the dimensions need to be altered, Yankee Stadium's dimensions were kept the same with the new stadium for example, so it's kind of comparing apples to oranges.
[/quote]Ah so grasshopper... More seats. Which is exactly what I have been saying about the real reason many of the old venues are no longer used. A classic course like Merion even at just under 7000 yards was plenty to vex the top players. But does the usga really want to have to limit fan count and tents every year?

[quote name='knock it close' timestamp='1523924104' post='17223376']
[quote name='Shilgy' timestamp='1523923787' post='17223342']
[quote name='15th Club' timestamp='1523911193' post='17222284']
[quote]
Then of course you add those two factors to the equipment, and of course you have an increase in performance, which the USGA and R&A view as an attack and a problem to the game, but I still have yet to hear articulate specific reasons as to why.


I realize this may be anathema, I want to ask very specifically: what exactly is wrong with the winning Master's score being -20?
[/quote]

The reason that a winning score at the Masters would likely be bad, would be if the players who were scoring -20 were doing it by playing #13 with Driver/9i.  And #15 with Driver/8i.  And #11 with Driver/PW.  Etc., etc.  If no more mid-irons were required on any of the Par-3's.  You get the idea.  They aren't so concerned about scoring, per se, but rather the quality of play.  And rightly so.

Returning to the USGA and the R&A; they simply want to be able to contest their championships on historic courses that have served them well for a century.  Those venues supply an essential historic element to the game, and are part of defining those championships.

You would need to be very careful, about accusing the USGA and the R&A of viewing "an increase in performance... as an attack and a problem."  It is clear to me that they do regard the technologically-aided distance gains since 2000 as a problem.  They certainly don't regard fitness or skill as a problem.  But again please remember that whether or not all distance gains in golf are attributable to the ball (they aren't; at least not all of them), the golf ball is the simplest, easiest, most inoffensive thing to re-regulate.
[/quote] How many sports are playing in/at the same venues today as a century ago?  Should the game not grow at all? Just keep playing championships at the same courses? Where is the cut off? 1900? 1925? There have been some great courses built in the last 50 years. Can we not use any of them?
[/quote]
Venues in other sports change because they need more seats, nicer concessions and more suites, not because the dimensions need to be altered, Yankee Stadium's dimensions were kept the same with the new stadium for example, so it's kind of comparing apples to oranges.
[/quote]Ah so grasshopper... More seats. Which is exactly what I have been saying about the real reason many of the old venues are no longer used. A classic course like Merion even at just under 7000 yards was plenty to vex the top players. But does the usga really want to have to limit fan count and tents every year?
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#140 thug the bunny

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:30 PM

View Postyoudamantiger, on 16 April 2018 - 06:07 PM, said:

View PostShilgy, on 16 April 2018 - 12:08 PM, said:

View Postyoudamantiger, on 15 April 2018 - 11:29 PM, said:

View Postbulldog8b, on 10 April 2018 - 06:51 PM, said:

Reading through the thread on PR's ancient irons at the Masters got me thinking. Why haven't scores come down with all the new tech? Seems like going from persimmon to steel to titanium to 460cc titanium with movable weights and $1000 graphite shafts along with Trackman and ProV1s and all the other tech through out the bag would make scores come down. Plus these guys now are bigger and stronger, in better shape and have had coaches and psychiatrists and all the rest since they were kids. So why haven't scores come down much? Harder courses? Faster greens? Pins more tucked?

Just seems strange that 50 years ago with persimmon and butter knives and whatever they used for balls guys could shoot 65 and today with all the tech that same 65 on the same course is a good score.

Or am I totally wrong and scores have come down?

Maybe because the modern players aren't as good? These debates are pointless and never convince anyone but...once more into the breach dear friends. Let's establish some evolutionary parameters. There are NO, ZILCH, NADA, DE RIEN, NEIN, NON, NYET physiological differences between a male born in 1900 and a male born in 1990 except for a slight difference in height. And by slight I mean less than an inch. Massive gains in inherent athleticism would take hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to show up.

So, there are no inherent
physical benefits to being born in 1990 vs 1900. With that possibility eliminated there are only 3 other ways in which today's generation could possibly be "better" than the generation of the mid-60s through the mid-80s. The first is the one you mentioned, better training and nutrition. I would admit that today's players spend more time in the gym and are, generally, speaking more "fit." But so what? Being fit does not benefit you that much in golf. If it did, 145 pound Justin Thomas wouldn't be a distance leader on Tour and neither would beer keg shaped JB Holmes. The Tour stat leaders are a motley, hodgepodge collection of different body types. And we don't even have to just look at the modern Tour to see this effect. Greg Norman looks like he was cut from granite but he was always shorter than doughy Fred Couples. Fat Jack was longer than Arnie and his boxer's physique. And Arnie was longer than Frank Stranahan who looked like he had stepped off the pages of Muscle Magazine. I would never argue that more athleticism doesn't produce an advantage in a sport like football or basketball but this is golf we're talking about. The second best player of the modern era is Phil Mickelson and the only time he lifts a weight is to look behind it for the remote.

The second way in which the modern generation could possibly be better is technique. But this argument only works if you think that there is such a thing as an "ideal" golf swing. I think we all know that there's not. Look at the success Jim Furyk and Daniel Berger have had with their ugly azz swings. Most of the greatest players of all time have technical deficiencies in their swing. Tiger with his head dip on the downswing. Jack with his flying elbow. They still got the job done. There are a lot of different ways to deliver that clubhead to the ball.

The third way modern players could be better is external advantages. And, here, is the one that I don't think anyone could deny. The list of advantages the modern player has is really stunning. Massive distance gains due to technology, pristine turf conditions, ease of travel, less financial insecurity, sports psychologist, nutritionist, personal trainer, full swing coach, short game coach, putting coach, video, trackman, yardage books that are accurate to within a foot thanks to GPS, the same caddy week to week, how could the modern player not be better? But here's the thing, those are external ​advantages, easily transferable to any other generation of golfers. And I still maintain that if we could bring the generation from the mid-60s to the mid-80s forward in time and give them all of these advantages they would outperform the modern generation.

It's really amazing that modern players haven't markedly improved scoring averages even with all the advantages outlined above and even though they usually have flip wedges into par fours and never face a five par that they can't reach.
Question. I find this part of the debate fascinating. Is this not like swimming to an extent?  Teenage girls are faster than Johnny Weismuller.  In your opinion is that technique only? Training? Water is faster?  I know the modern suits are faster but they do not explain teenage girls keeping up with Tarzan.

I know nothing about swimming as a competitive sport but on sheer speculation I would guess it has to do with better technique, better training, and (probably) better nutrition. There have been astounding advances in the nutritional sciences since the 1930s. We understand macro and micro nutrients much better. What it can't be is evolutionary biology. Not to beat a dead horse, but the human body cannot evolve over the span of 80 or 100 years. The inch or so that the average American male has gained in height over the past century is due entirely to better nutrition and the easy availability of animal-based proteins. If we could go back in time, kidnap Young Tom Morris from his crib, bring him to the future, feed him a modern diet, and give him all the advantages that modern golf technology affords, he would hit it just as far as modern players do.

EXACTLY. The point being, if gains in performance in a sport are based on better performance of the athlete, why not let it be? Why make changes to mitigate those gains? What difference does it make if those advances are genetic or through training? They should make tracks slower because of Usain Bolt. They should have started with Jesse Owens. You make my argument for me.

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#141 knock it close

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 07:44 PM

Shilgy I'm not denying that and I've said that is a factor before (not in here though) but Merion was also tricked the f up to get it there, also they did do a significant land buy for both yardage and overall space. I think that's a reason they don't go to the shorter courses because they feel like they have to do so much to protect par, and sure you can just say well why protect par, which would be fair but then you'd have a whole other group of people bitching about how a US Open shouldn't be -15, if space or resources weren't an issue I'd have no reason to be part of this conversation but unfortunately they are.

Also fwiw I just looked it up and the more seats thing for yankee stadium doesn't even apply because their total capacity went down.

Edited by knock it close, 16 April 2018 - 07:50 PM.

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#142 Shilgy

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 08:49 PM

View Postknock it close, on 16 April 2018 - 07:44 PM, said:

Shilgy I'm not denying that and I've said that is a factor before (not in here though) but Merion was also tricked the f up to get it there, also they did do a significant land buy for both yardage and overall space. I think that's a reason they don't go to the shorter courses because they feel like they have to do so much to protect par, and sure you can just say well why protect par, which would be fair but then you'd have a whole other group of people bitching about how a US Open shouldn't be -15, if space or resources weren't an issue I'd have no reason to be part of this conversation but unfortunately they are.

Also fwiw I just looked it up and the more seats thing for yankee stadium doesn't even apply because their total capacity went down.
I am talking about seats at the golf, not baseball. They reduced ticket sales dramatically to go to Merion.
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#143 thug the bunny

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:49 PM

View PostShilgy, on 16 April 2018 - 08:49 PM, said:

View Postknock it close, on 16 April 2018 - 07:44 PM, said:

Shilgy I'm not denying that and I've said that is a factor before (not in here though) but Merion was also tricked the f up to get it there, also they did do a significant land buy for both yardage and overall space. I think that's a reason they don't go to the shorter courses because they feel like they have to do so much to protect par, and sure you can just say well why protect par, which would be fair but then you'd have a whole other group of people bitching about how a US Open shouldn't be -15, if space or resources weren't an issue I'd have no reason to be part of this conversation but unfortunately they are.

Also fwiw I just looked it up and the more seats thing for yankee stadium doesn't even apply because their total capacity went down.
I am talking about seats at the golf, not baseball. They reduced ticket sales dramatically to go to Merion.

Also, hasn't home run production gone up over the years? Judge could blow the record out of the water if he stays good and healthy. Time to roll back the baseball...
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#144 Short Pete

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 02:52 AM

View Post15th Club, on 16 April 2018 - 12:00 PM, said:

The "tennis" example has very little value for our concerns with golf, because tennis is played on a defined court against an opponent with equal technology.

In golf, no one is hitting directly against another player that is bigger and a better athlete just like them.  The game is being played on a venue, that is not (or should not be) getting re-tooled with every new equipment technology advance.

If you don't understand that this is first and foremost by far about preserving historic golf course architecture for use in championship play, you are misunderstanding the argument.  

And if you DO understand that it is all about the golf courses, but you don't really care about the golf courses, that's fine; you are welcome to that opinion but you are going to be sorely disappointed because the USGA and the R&A are like me and they really do care about the courses and the history and the venues for championship play.

I do understand all of what you say, don't worry. Plus, I am a huge supporter of the traditional layouts, in contrast to the tricked up TPC courses with stupid forced carries and artificial peninsula greens and fairways these old school golf courses are a pleasure to play, at least for me. Give me Merion over TPC Sawgrass any day, I'll be perfectly fine.

BUT: If a course can't defend itself against today's players via the layout or the conditioning, so be it. Some courses can, some courses cannot. Take the Old course at St. Andrews: Winning scores at the Open are regularly in double figures, because the course is simply very short for today's play. But it was short 27 years ago, Faldo shot -18 in 1990. But this golf course is one cool layout, it has all the tradition, and everybody knows the Road Hole and the short 18th. Set it up challenging but not unfair, and then let the lowest score win. In a time where Brooks Koepka reaches a 660 yard par 5 with two 3-woods length ist not the factor to protect courses from being slayed. It's course setup. Make the landing area smaller, grow the rough there, let them use irons off the tee for strategic playing. Rough should be rough to play out of, not like the "plush rough" at Augusta. And if today's players can shoot -14 for 4 days on such a layout, what is the problem with that? Length is not a factor for these guys anymore. Last year they held the Porsche European Open at a venue that was labelled the longest ever on the Tour. Winning score was -13! That course is wide open, no trees to block lines, just hammering off the tee, and no real penalty if you hit it offline.

And comparing golf to tennis does not work? Well, take the most traditional tennis tournament of them all, Wimbledon. With the new breed of stronger players and better material the governing body at Wimbledon feared that their beloved grass courts could become obsolete for today's pro play. What did they do? They slowed down the grass, they slowed down the ball. What did they get? An annual baseline slugfest just like any other tournament around the world. No variety, no serve and volley, no sliced shots, just bombing away from the baseline. It's the evolution of the sport.

50 years ago a dunk at basketball was an absolute exception, nowadays almost every NBA pro can do it. Did they hang the basket higher to protect the game? No.
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#145 OrangeGravy

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 03:53 AM

View Postthug the bunny, on 16 April 2018 - 09:49 PM, said:

View PostShilgy, on 16 April 2018 - 08:49 PM, said:

View Postknock it close, on 16 April 2018 - 07:44 PM, said:

Shilgy I'm not denying that and I've said that is a factor before (not in here though) but Merion was also tricked the f up to get it there, also they did do a significant land buy for both yardage and overall space. I think that's a reason they don't go to the shorter courses because they feel like they have to do so much to protect par, and sure you can just say well why protect par, which would be fair but then you'd have a whole other group of people bitching about how a US Open shouldn't be -15, if space or resources weren't an issue I'd have no reason to be part of this conversation but unfortunately they are.

Also fwiw I just looked it up and the more seats thing for yankee stadium doesn't even apply because their total capacity went down.
I am talking about seats at the golf, not baseball. They reduced ticket sales dramatically to go to Merion.

Also, hasn't home run production gone up over the years? Judge could blow the record out of the water if he stays good and healthy. Time to roll back the baseball...

Home run production increases is a direct result of using advanced stats and trackman baseball and actively trying to hit more home runs at the expense of increasing strike outs and averages dropping. They just decided that home runs were statistically more valuable than average for players that had the power to hit more than 20. It has nothing to do with the ball or bat. The baseball to golf equivalent would be if there were suddenly 50 or more guys that were north of 50 home runs every year. Baseball is kind of different in that they also actively looked the other way with PED use for ratings bump. Until the steroid uproar, baseball didn't test in the minors for a reason and only had a show of testing in the big leagues.

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#146 Roadking2003

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 08:28 AM

View PostShort Pete, on 17 April 2018 - 02:52 AM, said:

BUT: If a course can't defend itself against today's players via the layout or the conditioning, so be it. Some courses can, some courses cannot. Take the Old course at St. Andrews: Winning scores at the Open are regularly in double figures, because the course is simply very short for today's play. But it was short 27 years ago, Faldo shot -18 in 1990.

St Andrews scores have been pretty flat over the last 35 years in spite of huge improvements in golf balls and drivers over that period of time.

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#147 15th Club

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 08:39 AM

....Because the R&A has stretched and pulled and refashioned The Old Course in almost every way possible, short of a wholesale redesign, to make the course more difficult in response to equipment technology.

From the Journal of Sports Analytics.

And:

Gary Player: It is sad that The Old Course has been brought to its knees by equipment.

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#148 Roadking2003

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 08:46 AM

View Post15th Club, on 17 April 2018 - 08:39 AM, said:

....Because the R&A has stretched and pulled and refashioned The Old Course in almost every way possible, short of a wholesale redesign, to make the course more difficult in response to equipment technology.

From the Journal of Sports Analytics.

And:

Gary Player: It is sad that The Old Course has been brought to its knees by equipment.

The Old Course is still relevant today as witnessed by almost a flat winning score trend.  Gary Player, not so much.

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#149 15th Club

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 09:15 AM

View PostRoadking2003, on 17 April 2018 - 08:46 AM, said:

View Post15th Club, on 17 April 2018 - 08:39 AM, said:

....Because the R&A has stretched and pulled and refashioned The Old Course in almost every way possible, short of a wholesale redesign, to make the course more difficult in response to equipment technology.

From the Journal of Sports Analytics.

And:

Gary Player: It is sad that The Old Course has been brought to its knees by equipment.

The Old Course is still relevant today as witnessed by almost a flat winning score trend.  Gary Player, not so much.

Let me get this straight; are you acknowledging, or denying, that the basic reason that the R&A has managed to keep scoring at The Old Course relatively flat is because they have made more and more changes, including many more longer teeing grounds?  Longer, to the extent that if you have ever been to St. Andrews as I have and walked The Old Course, you catch yourself thinking things like, They put the 2nd tee where?  Is that even part of the golf course?

And that basic principle is repeated throughout elite-level golf now.  The ONLY courses that have held their own for championship play and their ability to combat scoring are the courses that have undertaken significant architectural changes in the Pro V era.

Agree?

Edited by 15th Club, 17 April 2018 - 09:16 AM.


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#150 Roadking2003

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 09:31 AM

View Post15th Club, on 17 April 2018 - 09:15 AM, said:

Let me get this straight; are you acknowledging, or denying, that the basic reason that the R&A has managed to keep scoring at The Old Course relatively flat is because they have made more and more changes, including many more longer teeing grounds?  Longer, to the extent that if you have ever been to St. Andrews as I have and walked The Old Course, you catch yourself thinking things like, They put the 2nd tee where?  Is that even part of the golf course?

And that basic principle is repeated throughout elite-level golf now.  The ONLY courses that have held their own for championship play and their ability to combat scoring are the courses that have undertaken significant architectural changes in the Pro V era.

Agree?

No, I don't agree.  I have no data to support your statement.  If you have data on dozens of championship courses that changed since 2003, post it.

I'm just saying that scoring has stabilized and distance has stabilized so there is no need to panic.

The old course is still relevant.  

BTW, scores at the Old Course went down steadily from 318 to 279 during the first half of the last century.  Should they have rolled the ball back in 1960?  or made steel shafts illegal in 1960?


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