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Is Increasing Driving Distance Ruining the Pro Tours?

PGA Tour European Tour PGA Tour Champions Driving distance Drivers

810 replies to this topic

#31 Big Ben

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 02:53 PM

Now that we know what the players are capable of would it feel right to see them bifurcate rules and manipulate distance? And to what? So as a low handicap 49yr old should I be proud if I drive the ball same distances as the best players in the world do on tour? The answer is infaticalky NO. Let the boys ride...BB

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#32 bscinstnct

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 02:56 PM

Future golf course be like

Posted Image

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#33 golfer07840

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 02:57 PM

View Postfarmer, on 09 May 2018 - 12:10 PM, said:

15 will be here in a minute.

You were close. It took him 11 mins.

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#34 15th Club

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:01 PM

View PostThinkingPlus, on 09 May 2018 - 02:44 PM, said:

View Post15th Club, on 09 May 2018 - 02:38 PM, said:

View PostThinkingPlus, on 09 May 2018 - 02:34 PM, said:

View PostBrianMcG, on 09 May 2018 - 02:27 PM, said:

This is a new and interesting topic.
You know if a bunch of threads just like this one were created we could discuss this interesting topic in even greater detail.


I don't think that I have started a single one of these threads.  They get started, repeatedly, because there is a regular drumbeat of commentary on the subject.  And it is not going away.  Not if you belive Mike Davis, and I think that when it comes to the Rules of Golf, and the rules concerning equipment, and the setup of championship golf courses, Mike Davis is a pretty good guy to pay attention to.

It is the single most pressing issue, and probably the most globally-important issue, in golf today.  (Pace of play and cost of play being constants.)
Agreed. You have not been the one starting fires.  You do, however, spend an awful lot of time pouring gas on the ones already burning.

It is an inevitable, unavoidable issue.  The executive committee of the USGA knows it.  The R&A knows it.  The Tournament Committee at Augusta National knows it.  The leadership of the PGA Tour knows it.  And absolutely nobody knows it better, than the corporate leadership of Acushnet/Titleist.  It is a fire that doesn't require any fuel from me.

I see a lot of the same arguments getting advanced in these threads, as if people didn't read the answers to them three or four times already.  "Narrow the fairways!  Grow the rough!  Slow down the fairways!  Firm up the greens!  The players are just bigger and stronger and more athletic!"  Each and every one has been answered many times over.

Every once in a while I urge everybody to take a breath, step away from their computers and read a book like Geoff Shackelford's "The Future of Golf," or one of a hundred brilliant priceless books on the subject of golf course architecture.  Golf is so incomparably better than any other game, for the quality of its venues, and the quality of the writing about the sport.  I am not saying anything that hasn't already been written (far better than I could imagine) by Harry Colt, or Dr. Mackenzie, or Donald Ross, or Tom Doak, or Geoff Shackelford.

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#35 golfer07840

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:04 PM

View PostBrianMcG, on 09 May 2018 - 02:27 PM, said:

This is a new and interesting topic.

I'm going to guess that this topic will be locked inside of 12 hours. So 4 AM EDT


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#36 golfer07840

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:07 PM

View PostThinkingPlus, on 09 May 2018 - 02:15 PM, said:

Golf is in the best place it has ever been.  More media coverage at all levels, all tours doing great, lots of field depth, lots of great players, etc... .  I am playing the best golf in my life. What is not to like?

Rumor has it that courses like Pebble Beach, built in 1919, are now obsolete.

Apparently there are lots of 52's being shot with all the par 4' greens being reached in 1 shot.

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#37 vanillafunk616

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:09 PM

No, lack of revenue ruins professional sports.  The long ball gets people excited, particularly causual fans.  After all, chicks dig the long ball.  Nobody watches pitchers duels.  The real problem the tours face is the reality that wins for stars are few and far between.  A great player can have a great season and only win once or twice out of 30 tournaments.  Star power drives interest in the game.

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#38 ThinkingPlus

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:25 PM

View Post15th Club, on 09 May 2018 - 03:01 PM, said:

View PostThinkingPlus, on 09 May 2018 - 02:44 PM, said:

View Post15th Club, on 09 May 2018 - 02:38 PM, said:

View PostThinkingPlus, on 09 May 2018 - 02:34 PM, said:

View PostBrianMcG, on 09 May 2018 - 02:27 PM, said:

This is a new and interesting topic.
You know if a bunch of threads just like this one were created we could discuss this interesting topic in even greater detail.


I don't think that I have started a single one of these threads.  They get started, repeatedly, because there is a regular drumbeat of commentary on the subject.  And it is not going away.  Not if you belive Mike Davis, and I think that when it comes to the Rules of Golf, and the rules concerning equipment, and the setup of championship golf courses, Mike Davis is a pretty good guy to pay attention to.

It is the single most pressing issue, and probably the most globally-important issue, in golf today.  (Pace of play and cost of play being constants.)
Agreed. You have not been the one starting fires.  You do, however, spend an awful lot of time pouring gas on the ones already burning.

It is an inevitable, unavoidable issue.  The executive committee of the USGA knows it.  The R&A knows it.  The Tournament Committee at Augusta National knows it.  The leadership of the PGA Tour knows it.  And absolutely nobody knows it better, than the corporate leadership of Acushnet/Titleist.  It is a fire that doesn't require any fuel from me.

I see a lot of the same arguments getting advanced in these threads, as if people didn't read the answers to them three or four times already.  "Narrow the fairways!  Grow the rough!  Slow down the fairways!  Firm up the greens!  The players are just bigger and stronger and more athletic!"  Each and every one has been answered many times over.

Every once in a while I urge everybody to take a breath, step away from their computers and read a book like Geoff Shackelford's "The Future of Golf," or one of a hundred brilliant priceless books on the subject of golf course architecture.  Golf is so incomparably better than any other game, for the quality of its venues, and the quality of the writing about the sport.  I am not saying anything that hasn't already been written (far better than I could imagine) by Harry Colt, or Dr. Mackenzie, or Donald Ross, or Tom Doak, or Geoff Shackelford.
Be careful what you ask for.  Usually issues of this nature tend to be decided by lawyers these days. We know who wins in that case.
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#39 North Butte

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:33 PM

You know there's a whole forum where mentions of Tom Doak or "Dr. Mackenzie" are considered some sort of reasoned argument rather than just name-dropping.

Of course even over there mentioning Geoff Shackelford is like passing gas in church.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#40 johnseg

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:42 PM

All the talk of old courses being obsolete is true but it isn't due to distance. It is due the properties not being large enough to support all of the corporate and high dollar areas. Older courses that have the property are still getting events. I really believe it has less to do with the yardage on the card and more about the acreage outside the ropes.


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#41 15th Club

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:45 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 09 May 2018 - 03:33 PM, said:

You know there's a whole forum where mentions of Tom Doak or "Dr. Mackenzie" are considered some sort of reasoned argument rather than just name-dropping.

Of course even over there mentioning Geoff Shackelford is like passing gas in church.

I think that mentioning "GolfWRX" there (I am a member, btw) would be like passing gas in church.  But I don't like to hide out among like-minded online converts.  I'm not much an "online community guy."  I am more of a "debating society" guy.

I happen to like golf equipment, and I like GolfWRX, and the fact that my opinion about a ball rollback is so different from so many GolfWRX members only means to me that I have to be extra-careful, extra-tolerant of the personal insults, and extra-determined in making the points that I believe in.

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#42 Sean2

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:48 PM

View Postbscinstnct, on 09 May 2018 - 02:56 PM, said:

Future golf course be like

Posted Image

Greens fees should drop, and pace of play shouldn't be an issue.
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#43 hybrid25

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:48 PM

It would be nice to see professional golfers using more then the high lofted wedges or irons to reach the green, and use a 4, 5, or 6 iron to reach the green.

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#44 JaNelson38

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:50 PM

Ive never watched a professional golf event, either live or on TV, and said, "Gosh, I wish these guys didnt hit it so far."

If a golf course has 14 out of 18 holes that are par-4 or par-5, that means the tee shot is 14 shots out of a round.  Whether the course is par-70, 71, or 72, there are still far, far more shots that take place from on and around the green than the tee box.  The game of golf always has been, and always will be, played from 100 yards and in.  Because being a monster off the tee doesnt guarantee you anything.  

There have been plenty of bombers who dont really do much on Tour, other than drive it a long ways.  However, you can find that no matter the time period you look, the players with excellent putting and short games are almost unequivocally consistent winners on Tour.  Even Tiger Woods in his prime....everyone was in awe of his distance, but his putter and wedge won him far more tournaments than his club used off the tee.

Scores are getting better because a lot of the good young players now hitting their prime on Tour are excellent with the putter and with their short game.  In fact, most weeks, those two statistics are usually what separates the contenders for the win from the rest of the field in a given week...not driving distance.

Edited by JaNelson38, 09 May 2018 - 03:54 PM.


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#45 15th Club

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:56 PM

View Postjohnseg, on 09 May 2018 - 03:42 PM, said:

All the talk of old courses being obsolete is true but it isn't due to distance. It is due the properties not being large enough to support all of the corporate and high dollar areas. Older courses that have the property are still getting events. I really believe it has less to do with the yardage on the card and more about the acreage outside the ropes.

Please understand; this isn't just about Scioto CC not being able to host a U.S. Open for lack of space and infrastructure; it is about Scioto being able to host a U.S. Open qualifier.

And in fact, Scioto has been able to host a U.S. Open (in 1926), and a U.S. Senior Open (in 2016), and more Open Sectional qualifiers than I can count.  Scioto has done that, by stretching the length of the golf course to its absolute maximum that the property can allow, and with a Nicklaus redesign (in part to overcome some bad qualities like excessive tree planting) in the intervening years.

There are other Columbus qualifier sites -- Brookside, the Lakes, Scarlet -- that have all felt the real push of technology-aided distance gains in recent years.  They stretched the Scarlet out for additional distance (which the NCAA men need) but Brookside and the Lakes not so much.

So it is about a whole range of competition, not just major championships.


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#46 JaNelson38

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:57 PM

View Posthybrid25, on 09 May 2018 - 03:48 PM, said:

It would be nice to see professional golfers using more then the high lofted wedges or irons to reach the green, and use a 4, 5, or 6 iron to reach the green.

Why?

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#47 MtlJeff

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:58 PM

We know that purses are going up....ratings are going down over 15+ years but almost all television ratings are going down given the abundance of options, so that's a bad indicator.

Pro golf is a business, i have yet to see any detailed fact based argument yet that increased distance is hurting the business of the pro game.

What i have seen a lot of is complaining about optics or courses from yesteryear from a certain demographic. Though there is no proof i'm aware of that indicates this is actually hurting the business.

Would love to see actual proof of this.
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#48 North Butte

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 03:59 PM

View PostJaNelson38, on 09 May 2018 - 03:57 PM, said:

View Posthybrid25, on 09 May 2018 - 03:48 PM, said:

It would be nice to see professional golfers using more then the high lofted wedges or irons to reach the green, and use a 4, 5, or 6 iron to reach the green.

Why?

Because everyone knows the most important skill in golf is how well you can hit a 4-iron...and it has to be a 30-degree 4-iron with a heavy steel shaft!

Any hack can drive it 330 in the fairway, knock down flags from 150 yards with a wedge in hand and make lots of 20-foot putts. Only real golfers can work a high fade or low draw into a tucked pin with a blade long iron.
Everything has its drawbacks, as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down upon him for the funeral expenses.

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#49 MtlJeff

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 04:07 PM

View PostJaNelson38, on 09 May 2018 - 03:57 PM, said:

View Posthybrid25, on 09 May 2018 - 03:48 PM, said:

It would be nice to see professional golfers using more then the high lofted wedges or irons to reach the green, and use a 4, 5, or 6 iron to reach the green.

Why?

what's a "6" iron anyway? in 2018 it's like 26 degrees. in 1988 it was 32 degrees. Assuming the announcers even club them right, a 7 iron might be 30 degrees in that dude's bag
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#50 farmer

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 04:17 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 09 May 2018 - 02:32 PM, said:

View Post15th Club, on 09 May 2018 - 12:21 PM, said:

Quote

This whole idiotic media campaign seems to be based on the notion that it is inherently more entertaining to watch someone hit a
golf ball
250 yards than 300 yards.

No; it is just more interesting to watch a golf tournament at The Old Course, or Merion, or Shinnecock Hills, than it is to watch a golf tournament at the TPC of Wherever.

That is your opinion.  Merion is still a great course if set up properly.  The problem isn't the course at a lot of the older venues.  The problem is logistics of getting people in and out, places to stay, seating in, tents in, etc. because there isn't enough room.
I told you 15 would be here.  Watches like an eagle for any possibly related topic.  Another thing with the old, classic courses is that they have no need or desire to have 100,000 people walking around on their course.


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#51 Sean2

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 04:19 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 09 May 2018 - 03:58 PM, said:

We know that purses are going up....ratings are going down over 15+ years but almost all television ratings are going down given the abundance of options, so that's a bad indicator.

Pro golf is a business, i have yet to see any detailed fact based argument yet that increased distance is hurting the business of the pro game.

What i have seen a lot of is complaining about optics or courses from yesteryear from a certain demographic. Though there is no proof i'm aware of that indicates this is actually hurting the business.

Would love to see actual proof of this.

Proof is no longer relevant Jeff...one's opinion should suffice. :-)
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#52 buckeyefl

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 04:29 PM

View Post15th Club, on 09 May 2018 - 12:21 PM, said:

Quote

This whole idiotic media campaign seems to be based on the notion that it is inherently more entertaining to watch someone hit a

golf ball

250 yards than 300 yards.


No; it is just more interesting to watch a golf tournament at The Old Course, or Merion, or Shinnecock Hills, than it is to watch a golf tournament at the TPC of Wherever.


Opinion. Like nearly everything else you post on the topic. Could you explain how your opinion should be allowed to intrude on everyone elses golf? You are more than welcome to play older courses with older equipment, including older golf balls.

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#53 buckeyefl

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 04:32 PM

View Post15th Club, on 09 May 2018 - 12:21 PM, said:

Quote

This whole idiotic media campaign seems to be based on the notion that it is inherently more entertaining to watch someone hit a

golf ball

250 yards than 300 yards.


No; it is just more interesting to watch a golf tournament at The Old Course, or Merion, or Shinnecock Hills, than it is to watch a golf tournament at the TPC of Wherever.


Opinion. Like nearly everything else you post on the topic. Could you explain how your opinion should be allowed to intrude on everyone elses golf? You are more than welcome to play older courses with older equipment, including older golf balls.

View PostSean2, on 09 May 2018 - 02:01 PM, said:

Perhaps if hitting it the rough was actually penal these guys wouldn't just bomb it and gouge it. They would have to actually think their way around the course. That only happens in a few tournaments every year.

They even interviewed one of the officials last week who made this exact point.

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#54 buckeyefl

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 04:37 PM

View Post15th Club, on 09 May 2018 - 02:38 PM, said:

View PostThinkingPlus, on 09 May 2018 - 02:34 PM, said:

View PostBrianMcG, on 09 May 2018 - 02:27 PM, said:

This is a new and interesting topic.
You know if a bunch of threads just like this one were created we could discuss this interesting topic in even greater detail.


I don't think that I have started a single one of these threads.  They get started, repeatedly, because there is a regular drumbeat of commentary on the subject.  And it is not going away.  Not if you belive Mike Davis, and I think that when it comes to the Rules of Golf, and the rules concerning equipment, and the setup of championship golf courses, Mike Davis is a pretty good guy to pay attention to.

It is the single most pressing issue, and probably the most globally-important issue, in golf today.  (Pace of play and cost of play being constants.)

Actually Mike isn't a good source for very much when it comes to the average golfer or helping golf.

It's is far from the most pressing issue ( more opinion listed as if it's fact)

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#55 widow-maker

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 04:42 PM

The game has changed because of the ball, the equipment, the ergonomics, and the physical fitness of the modern player.  The game has evolved and it's just different.  They needed to stop it in the 1990's if that was their intention but they've let the cat out of the bag now and there's no going back.  The game is played in the air where it used to be played closer to the ground.  It's a different game and the courses need to be bigger, which has made some of the older courses a bit obsolete.   What's crazy is that instead of changing the ball when this all started going haywire, they chose to spend 3 to 5 million dollars on re-constructions to make the golf courses fit the golf ball.  How crazy was that?  Heck, Augusta has probably spent 20 million on land acquisition in the last 20 years.  

I don't see it going backwards, so each venue needs to adjust the best they can with what they've got.  If 20 under wins at St Andrews, Troon, or Liverpool,  then 20 under is what it is.  I understand why the R&A isn't fond of that idea, but what else are they going to do?  Bifurcation of the golf ball isn't going to work, unless it's strictly on the PGA Tour.  None of us want to give up the distance gains we've seen.


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#56 MadGolfer76

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 05:20 PM

I actually used to enjoy watching the odd bladed long iron being hit into a green.

All this comes down to a matter of money. The Tour makes cash off the image of players hitting huge drives and throwing the ball in close with a wedge. They won't roll back squat. They also won't dole out more cash to lengthen courses. The only thing going on in the conference rooms regarding this issue is something along the lines of:


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#57 gatorMD

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 05:42 PM

View Postmjen43, on 09 May 2018 - 02:09 PM, said:

View PostSean2, on 09 May 2018 - 02:01 PM, said:

Perhaps if hitting it the rough was actually penal these guys wouldn't just bomb it and gouge it. They would have to actually think their way around the course. That only happens in a few tournaments every year.

Penal rough doesn’t create the need to think. If anything it does the exact opposite and encourages players to blast away considering you will always hit balls in the rough, regardless of what club you hit off the tee.

what about titrated rough?   shorter rough to about 280 from the tee. and longer rough 280-380 from the tee....?
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#58 bladehunter

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 05:49 PM

Lol. So the truth IS out ?  Cant believe  it took this long for them to figure it out.
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#59 bladehunter

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 05:53 PM

View PostMtlJeff, on 09 May 2018 - 04:07 PM, said:

View PostJaNelson38, on 09 May 2018 - 03:57 PM, said:

View Posthybrid25, on 09 May 2018 - 03:48 PM, said:

It would be nice to see professional golfers using more then the high lofted wedges or irons to reach the green, and use a 4, 5, or 6 iron to reach the green.

Why?

what's a "6" iron anyway? in 2018 it's like 26 degrees. in 1988 it was 32 degrees. Assuming the announcers even club them right, a 7 iron might be 30 degrees in that dude's bag

We talking a  metric 6 or a standard 6 Jeff ?  


At least they finally admitted that everyone IS hitting it farther.  Now itís a debate of if itís bad or not.
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#60 bladehunter

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Posted 09 May 2018 - 05:55 PM

View PostNorth Butte, on 09 May 2018 - 03:59 PM, said:

View PostJaNelson38, on 09 May 2018 - 03:57 PM, said:

View Posthybrid25, on 09 May 2018 - 03:48 PM, said:

It would be nice to see professional golfers using more then the high lofted wedges or irons to reach the green, and use a 4, 5, or 6 iron to reach the green.

Why?

Because everyone knows the most important skill in golf is how well you can hit a 4-iron...and it has to be a 30-degree 4-iron with a heavy steel shaft!

Any hack can drive it 330 in the fairway, knock down flags from 150 yards with a wedge in hand and make lots of 20-foot putts. Only real golfers can work a high fade or low draw into a tucked pin with a blade long iron.

See.  We can agree when we first set out to see the other side.  Welcome aboard.    See Deninny for your membership badge  and foil hat !  









( super sarcasm man if you missed it ).

Edited by bladehunter, 09 May 2018 - 05:55 PM.

17 M1 8.7  Tour Issue Aldila Synergy Blue 70TX
17 M1 14.5  Tour issue Graphite Design   AD DI 8X
Titleist 816H2 21 Graphite Design AD DI 105X
Miura 1957 Small Blades 3-pw Modus 130X
Vokey  sm6   54M  300 series 59  Modus 125X
009 GSS 1.5  , Beached, tungsten sole weights, vertical stamp face

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