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Taking Issue with all the lengthening


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#1 Happyday_J

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:45 AM

What is with these golf courses of old feeling the need to lengthen their holes over and over again.

Below is the article regarding Augusta just released.

http://www.golfwrx.c..._content=unused

A few things don't make sense to me here about this.

1) The 5th hole ranks in the middle of the pack, as far as par 4 holes in scoring average -> 4.16 (last year). Still plays to over par.

2) If we are really talking about the difference of a 5i in vs 7i now a days, as mentioned in article, what I can't wrap my head around is why??? We all know that even for tour pros, lofts by in large have gotten stronger since "the good ole days". Given that, I think it's safe to say that today's 7i loft is pretty darn close to yesteryear's 5i.

Therefore, it's essentially the same club they are hitting into the greens.

Ontop of that.....

3) Greens are so much firmer and faster now than they used to play, simply because of agronomy.

Sooooo, the way I look at it, they are hitting nearly the same club in as they used to, based on loft and length, to a green that's firmer and faster, leading to a scoring average that is already over par.

Whats the problem that is trying to be fixed here???


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#2 ItIsJack

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:01 AM

I like the change. Everyone hit a wood off the tee last year and they want the players to have to hit driver. Also Augusta likes having easy holes and hard holes instead of 18 holes that are average in difficulty. Kinda like everything is a half par. This hole was always one of those hard holes but now it’s average.  I think they want the scoring average on that hole back closer to 4.5

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#3 PGArox

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:04 AM

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 07:45 AM, said:

Sooooo, the way I look at it, they are hitting nearly the same club in as they used to, based on loft and length, to a green that's firmer and faster, leading to a scoring average that is already over par.

How could players be hitting "nearly the same club in as they used to" if they are hitting the ball greater distances these days?

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#4 Happyday_J

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:15 AM

View PostPGArox, on 13 July 2018 - 08:04 AM, said:

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 07:45 AM, said:

Sooooo, the way I look at it, they are hitting nearly the same club in as they used to, based on loft and length, to a green that's firmer and faster, leading to a scoring average that is already over par.

How could players be hitting "nearly the same club in as they used to" if they are hitting the ball greater distances these days?

I am just simply looking at the numbers, and not the iron on the bottom of the club, but the loft of it.

I really don't believe they are hitting it greater distances to be quite honest.

I recently watched a rerun of Tiger's tourny in Dec a few years back when Sherwood was soaked, no roll out at all, and McDowell hit drives in the 260 range, Keegan Bradley in the 275 range. It wasn't raining nor cold, just wet.

Nicklaus could routinely hit the ball 300+ if he needed to, hogan won a long drive contest at PGA at 340 yards, Palmer drove the first hole at Cherry Hill in US open, 320+

I think there are just MORE guys that are capable of doing what those select few could, again keeping in mind that the fairways now are soooooooo much faster than they used to be as well. This is why I think all distances need to be recorded in carry yardages, not total, and I bet people will be shocked.

Distance sells, these guys are athletes, sells, I honestly believe a large bit of it is marketing

Edited by Happyday_J, 13 July 2018 - 08:15 AM.


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#5 ray9898

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:19 AM

I think you are overstating the loft aspect.  Pro spec clubs are not suffering the same fate of jacked lofts as the consumers.


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#6 PGArox

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:21 AM

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 08:15 AM, said:

I really don't believe they are hitting it greater distances to be quite honest.

I think a lot of people would disagree with you about that.

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#7 gvogel

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:29 AM

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 08:15 AM, said:

View PostPGArox, on 13 July 2018 - 08:04 AM, said:

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 07:45 AM, said:

Sooooo, the way I look at it, they are hitting nearly the same club in as they used to, based on loft and length, to a green that's firmer and faster, leading to a scoring average that is already over par.

How could players be hitting "nearly the same club in as they used to" if they are hitting the ball greater distances these days?

I am just simply looking at the numbers, and not the iron on the bottom of the club, but the loft of it.

I really don't believe they are hitting it greater distances to be quite honest.

I recently watched a rerun of Tiger's tourny in Dec a few years back when Sherwood was soaked, no roll out at all, and McDowell hit drives in the 260 range, Keegan Bradley in the 275 range. It wasn't raining nor cold, just wet.

Nicklaus could routinely hit the ball 300+ if he needed to, hogan won a long drive contest at PGA at 340 yards, Palmer drove the first hole at Cherry Hill in US open, 320+

I think there are just MORE guys that are capable of doing what those select few could, again keeping in mind that the fairways now are soooooooo much faster than they used to be as well. This is why I think all distances need to be recorded in carry yardages, not total, and I bet people will be shocked.

Distance sells, these guys are athletes, sells, I honestly believe a large bit of it is marketing

The graph says that between 1993 and 2011 average driving distance on the PGA Tour increased 30 yards:

https://www.pgatour....ink/rutgers.pdf

But if you don't believe that, here is an article showing how guys on the PGA Champions Tour have actually picked up distance, even as they got older:

https://www.golfdige...in-their-primes

So, you can stick your head in the sand and believe that the game hasn't changed, or you can look at the numbers.

I doubt that Augusta National would have bought all the land, closed Berckman road, and put in a new tee on No. 5 if they didn't have to protect against modern driver/ball technology.

Wait until they decide to lengthen No. 13.  They already spent more than $20 million to do just that.
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#8 ClintDagger

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:32 AM

Isnít the iron loft stuff a myth?  I remember seeing something in the mags that said Jackís clubs in like Ď76 had the same loft iron by iron as modern day Tiger & Rory.

And as far as there being a difference in length of these players, I think todayís guys are carrying it about as far as the all-in distances of guys from yesteryear.

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#9 PGArox

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:38 AM

View PostClintDagger, on 13 July 2018 - 08:32 AM, said:

And as far as there being a difference in length of these players, I think todayís guys are carrying it about as far as the all-in distances of guys from yesteryear.

We just had a one million page thread about rolling back the ball.

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#10 jonsnow

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:44 AM

View Postgvogel, on 13 July 2018 - 08:29 AM, said:

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 08:15 AM, said:

View PostPGArox, on 13 July 2018 - 08:04 AM, said:

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 07:45 AM, said:

Sooooo, the way I look at it, they are hitting nearly the same club in as they used to, based on loft and length, to a green that's firmer and faster, leading to a scoring average that is already over par.

How could players be hitting "nearly the same club in as they used to" if they are hitting the ball greater distances these days?

I am just simply looking at the numbers, and not the iron on the bottom of the club, but the loft of it.

I really don't believe they are hitting it greater distances to be quite honest.

I recently watched a rerun of Tiger's tourny in Dec a few years back when Sherwood was soaked, no roll out at all, and McDowell hit drives in the 260 range, Keegan Bradley in the 275 range. It wasn't raining nor cold, just wet.

Nicklaus could routinely hit the ball 300+ if he needed to, hogan won a long drive contest at PGA at 340 yards, Palmer drove the first hole at Cherry Hill in US open, 320+

I think there are just MORE guys that are capable of doing what those select few could, again keeping in mind that the fairways now are soooooooo much faster than they used to be as well. This is why I think all distances need to be recorded in carry yardages, not total, and I bet people will be shocked.

Distance sells, these guys are athletes, sells, I honestly believe a large bit of it is marketing

The graph says that between 1993 and 2011 average driving distance on the PGA Tour increased 30 yards:

https://www.pgatour....ink/rutgers.pdf

But if you don't believe that, here is an article showing how guys on the PGA Champions Tour have actually picked up distance, even as they got older:

https://www.golfdige...in-their-primes

So, you can stick your head in the sand and believe that the game hasn't changed, or you can look at the numbers.

I doubt that Augusta National would have bought all the land, closed Berckman road, and put in a new tee on No. 5 if they didn't have to protect against modern driver/ball technology.

Wait until they decide to lengthen No. 13.  They already spent more than $20 million to do just that.

I know everything indicates they are going to lengthen #13 but I wish they wouldn't. I think it is absolutely perfect as is.

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#11 Happyday_J

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 08:58 AM

Again the issue with that, the report was total distance. Within the report, the said, the last two years, there was an increase of 3 yards, and everyone was alarmed. What people missed, is during that same time period, the recorded data on the same courses the increase was less than a yard, negligible as far as I'm concerned.

Have to compare apples with apples, and people didn't do that

Nothing was accounted for course conditions.

Here's where I truly see it, and think about this for a second, we are talking averages here, the older drivers weren't as forgiving. Therefore yes they would hit it significantly shorter on slightest of mishits, and they are pros, I am taking the mishit of a dimple, not extremes... solid drives would still get out there, factoring in course agronomy.
The modern driver is much more forgiving, so couldn't it be possible with mishits, not being as penial, the average have increased given a smaller disparity from longest to shortest??

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#12 Happyday_J

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:03 AM

View Postray9898, on 13 July 2018 - 08:19 AM, said:

I think you are overstating the loft aspect.  Pro spec clubs are not suffering the same fate of jacked lofts as the consumers.

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#13 Lagavulin62

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:06 AM

Although pros are hitting every club longer itís most apparent with driver and woods, where technology has had the most gains. So obviously that would mean they are hitting shorter clubs on approach. On your initial post you left out where their drives are ending up.

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#14 Happyday_J

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:09 AM

View Postgvogel, on 13 July 2018 - 08:29 AM, said:

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 08:15 AM, said:

View PostPGArox, on 13 July 2018 - 08:04 AM, said:

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 07:45 AM, said:

Sooooo, the way I look at it, they are hitting nearly the same club in as they used to, based on loft and length, to a green that's firmer and faster, leading to a scoring average that is already over par.

How could players be hitting "nearly the same club in as they used to" if they are hitting the ball greater distances these days?

I am just simply looking at the numbers, and not the iron on the bottom of the club, but the loft of it.

I really don't believe they are hitting it greater distances to be quite honest.

I recently watched a rerun of Tiger's tourny in Dec a few years back when Sherwood was soaked, no roll out at all, and McDowell hit drives in the 260 range, Keegan Bradley in the 275 range. It wasn't raining nor cold, just wet.

Nicklaus could routinely hit the ball 300+ if he needed to, hogan won a long drive contest at PGA at 340 yards, Palmer drove the first hole at Cherry Hill in US open, 320+

I think there are just MORE guys that are capable of doing what those select few could, again keeping in mind that the fairways now are soooooooo much faster than they used to be as well. This is why I think all distances need to be recorded in carry yardages, not total, and I bet people will be shocked.

Distance sells, these guys are athletes, sells, I honestly believe a large bit of it is marketing

The graph says that between 1993 and 2011 average driving distance on the PGA Tour increased 30 yards:

https://www.pgatour....ink/rutgers.pdf

But if you don't believe that, here is an article showing how guys on the PGA Champions Tour have actually picked up distance, even as they got older:

https://www.golfdige...in-their-primes

So, you can stick your head in the sand and believe that the game hasn't changed, or you can look at the numbers.

I doubt that Augusta National would have bought all the land, closed Berckman road, and put in a new tee on No. 5 if they didn't have to protect against modern driver/ball technology.

Wait until they decide to lengthen No. 13.  They already spent more than $20 million to do just that.

Also, there is no need for comments, about sticking head in sand...... it is merely a discussion, and as noted in previous post, as with all numbers, they can be skewed with different variables.

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#15 Ferguson

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:15 AM

View Postjonsnow, on 13 July 2018 - 08:44 AM, said:

View Postgvogel, on 13 July 2018 - 08:29 AM, said:

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 08:15 AM, said:

View PostPGArox, on 13 July 2018 - 08:04 AM, said:

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 07:45 AM, said:

Sooooo, the way I look at it, they are hitting nearly the same club in as they used to, based on loft and length, to a green that's firmer and faster, leading to a scoring average that is already over par.

How could players be hitting "nearly the same club in as they used to" if they are hitting the ball greater distances these days?

I am just simply looking at the numbers, and not the iron on the bottom of the club, but the loft of it.

I really don't believe they are hitting it greater distances to be quite honest.

I recently watched a rerun of Tiger's tourny in Dec a few years back when Sherwood was soaked, no roll out at all, and McDowell hit drives in the 260 range, Keegan Bradley in the 275 range. It wasn't raining nor cold, just wet.

Nicklaus could routinely hit the ball 300+ if he needed to, hogan won a long drive contest at PGA at 340 yards, Palmer drove the first hole at Cherry Hill in US open, 320+

I think there are just MORE guys that are capable of doing what those select few could, again keeping in mind that the fairways now are soooooooo much faster than they used to be as well. This is why I think all distances need to be recorded in carry yardages, not total, and I bet people will be shocked.

Distance sells, these guys are athletes, sells, I honestly believe a large bit of it is marketing

The graph says that between 1993 and 2011 average driving distance on the PGA Tour increased 30 yards:

https://www.pgatour....ink/rutgers.pdf

But if you don't believe that, here is an article showing how guys on the PGA Champions Tour have actually picked up distance, even as they got older:

https://www.golfdige...in-their-primes

So, you can stick your head in the sand and believe that the game hasn't changed, or you can look at the numbers.

I doubt that Augusta National would have bought all the land, closed Berckman road, and put in a new tee on No. 5 if they didn't have to protect against modern driver/ball technology.

Wait until they decide to lengthen No. 13.  They already spent more than $20 million to do just that.

I know everything indicates they are going to lengthen #13 but I wish they wouldn't. I think it is absolutely perfect as is.


Agreed.   Love it.


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#16 bladehunter

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:42 AM

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 08:15 AM, said:

View PostPGArox, on 13 July 2018 - 08:04 AM, said:

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 07:45 AM, said:

Sooooo, the way I look at it, they are hitting nearly the same club in as they used to, based on loft and length, to a green that's firmer and faster, leading to a scoring average that is already over par.

How could players be hitting "nearly the same club in as they used to" if they are hitting the ball greater distances these days?

I am just simply looking at the numbers, and not the iron on the bottom of the club, but the loft of it.

I really don't believe they are hitting it greater distances to be quite honest.

I recently watched a rerun of Tiger's tourny in Dec a few years back when Sherwood was soaked, no roll out at all, and McDowell hit drives in the 260 range, Keegan Bradley in the 275 range. It wasn't raining nor cold, just wet.

Nicklaus could routinely hit the ball 300+ if he needed to, hogan won a long drive contest at PGA at 340 yards, Palmer drove the first hole at Cherry Hill in US open, 320+

I think there are just MORE guys that are capable of doing what those select few could, again keeping in mind that the fairways now are soooooooo much faster than they used to be as well. This is why I think all distances need to be recorded in carry yardages, not total, and I bet people will be shocked.

Distance sells, these guys are athletes, sells, I honestly believe a large bit of it is marketing

Just not true. For the best players their pw is around 46-48 now. Old days it was 50. Not 2 clubs difference.  Very few guys playing G.I. stuff stronger than that.

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#17 bladehunter

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:44 AM

I love how guys love todayís tech.  And now are outraged that courses need to be lengthened.  Lol. Duh. Of course they do.  Par 5s of original Augusta would be Driver sand wedge now if they hadnít.

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#18 bladehunter

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:45 AM

View PostPGArox, on 13 July 2018 - 08:21 AM, said:

View PostHappyday_J, on 13 July 2018 - 08:15 AM, said:

I really don't believe they are hitting it greater distances to be quite honest.

I think a lot of people would disagree with you about that.

Goodness.  Hard to believe people donít believe what they see with their own eyes.  I guess they are all getting shorter ?  Smh

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#19 DFS PFD

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:53 AM

I blame the ball....
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#20 bscinstnct

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 10:30 AM

Gotta also wonder about the

Heightening!

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#21 smashdn

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 10:49 AM

Some combination of ball and irons is creating a higher ball flight.  Balls land and stick or spin.  A swale or water fronting a green is not a threat when you can dial up your trusty 174 1/4 yard club and stick it tight and not have to worry with it running off the back.

The ground game is nearly a completely lost art.  I play two sets of clubs just for grins.  One "modern" set with forged cavity backs, a pot on a stick, a hybrid, the whole schmear.  And one old set of early 80's irons, who knows how old wedges and true persimmon woods with steel shafts.  The forgiveness and distance in the irons is comparable.  I may even hit the older ones farther for some reason.  The wedges and the woods are not even close.  You aren't spinning those old wedges and the ball flight on the woods is crazy low.  Should go without saying the sweet spots are magnitudes smaller.

My point is, I don't even know how you go about challenging the best of the best without turning to gooney golf that the USGA gets derided for.  8k yards?  Force them to hit true long irons into greens?  Even a 600 yard par five is not long enough.

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#22 widow-maker

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:37 AM

Augusta is trying to stay in front of the distance gains, whether they be because of ball, clubs, or agronomy.  A lot of the old time courses have given up on lengthening because they don't have the room and don't want to spend the money.  Augusta doesn't have that problem because their Tournament adds a boatload of money each year to their coffers.  

It's not just how far players are hitting their drivers.  These guys are absolutely nuking their irons now.  They hit PW 150+.  I caddied for George Bayer in a couple of local Monday events in the early 70's, and he'd play with us on occasion in the evenings as play slowed down.  He hit his PW in the 115 range.  You couldn't just nuke a balata ball with an iron and expect it to go straight.  You had to throttle back to control it.   And even though George could hit it a long way when he went after it, most of his drives were in the 250-260 range.  He actually was pretty adept at controlling his ball for as big as he was.  It's not just the drivers that are 50 yards longer in today's game, but then you're hitting short irons 35 yards longer than they used to go.  

Sure, they can change the agronomy and reduce distance that way.  But, Augusta has chosen to keep it hard and fast and lengthen the course.  The ball and clubs have evolved to where you can swing as hard as you can.  Either you combat that with length or you slow the course down and add a bunch of hazards.  There are different ways to skin the cat and Augusta has chosen theirs.

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#23 farmer

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:38 AM

Why is it a surprise that a golf course built in 1933 needs to make changes?  The off course property they've bought may be to tidy up the neighborhood or to be used as parking.  Whatever their intentions, I would like to own the Wendy's and Olive Garden that are still in place.

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#24 thegoomba

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 01:30 PM

Recently found and am reading Nicklaus how I play golf and in it he says his average drive carried 260, to get 270 he would have to jump out of his socks and doubts he can ever  carry a US size ball 280 in still air at sea level. Book was written in 1974.

Edited by thegoomba, 13 July 2018 - 01:31 PM.


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#25 Singapore Joe

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 05:09 PM

View Postsmashdn, on 13 July 2018 - 10:49 AM, said:


My point is, I don't even know how you go about challenging the best of the best without turning to gooney golf that the USGA gets derided for.  8k yards?  Force them to hit true long irons into greens?  Even a 600 yard par five is not long enough.

For a 450 yard par4, declare the area from 300 yards to 400 yards as OB? More fun, add REAL hazards on the way. Rough doesn't stop the pros, neither do bunkers unless you dig wells on the course and fill them with sand. Maybe some ponds scattered around fairways? That would just make the course artificially penal and introduce an element of randomness into the game. No good.

Athletes do only get better over time (as does equipment), unless there is a way of penalising them for being good I don't think the length issue can be solved. I am also of opinion that they shouldn't be penalised for being good.

Tennis had the issue of matches turning into huge guys serving ace after ace. That was fixed by changing the ball to become slower and now the guys run around like dogs chasing rabbits (not so much the female tennis players) which makes for enjoyable tennis to watch. Not sure if it's as enjoyable to play, lot of tennis players seem to suffer from injuries. Golf is fundamentally different from tennis and I don't believe changing the golf ball would be a solution, either.

I still don't get why it is so important to protect par. Just like the stamp in the bottom of the club, it's just a number. Let's get back to this once we start seeing hole in ones on par4s.

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#26 BottleCap

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 06:36 PM

Why don't they jus narrow the fairways and grow the rough out
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#27 Valtiel

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:07 PM

View PostClintDagger, on 13 July 2018 - 08:32 AM, said:

Isn't the iron loft stuff a myth?  I remember seeing something in the mags that said Jack's clubs in like '76 had the same loft iron by iron as modern day Tiger & Rory.

And as far as there being a difference in length of these players, I think today's guys are carrying it about as far as the all-in distances of guys from yesteryear.

Tiger and Rory themselves have very different lofts. Tiger plays the older traditional spec based and Rory plays a stronger modern spec. 46* vs 50* pitching wedges.
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#28 IVM

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 07:08 PM

Augusta is Augusta they can do what they want and they will do it very well. There will be a lot of thought going into it and the 5th hole will only be the start . I suspect the 13th will be the next hole to be lengthened.
I have nothing to do with Augusta but have attended the Tournament and they run the best business . These people are not fools and they know that every year  these new kids on tour hit it further .

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#29 bladehunter

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 09:43 PM

View Postfarmer, on 13 July 2018 - 11:38 AM, said:

Why is it a surprise that a golf course built in 1933 needs to make changes?  The off course property they've bought may be to tidy up the neighborhood or to be used as parking.  Whatever their intentions, I would like to own the Wendy's and Olive Garden that are still in place.

The shock is that itís the umpteenth time theyíve lengthened or changed.

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#30 Shilgy

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Posted 13 July 2018 - 11:37 PM

View Postbladehunter, on 13 July 2018 - 09:43 PM, said:

View Postfarmer, on 13 July 2018 - 11:38 AM, said:

Why is it a surprise that a golf course built in 1933 needs to make changes?  The off course property they've bought may be to tidy up the neighborhood or to be used as parking.  Whatever their intentions, I would like to own the Wendy's and Olive Garden that are still in place.

The shock is that itís the umpteenth time theyíve lengthened or changed.
They are the WRX course indeed. We all fiddle with our swings and bag setup. They tinker with the course. Going back to switching nines, damming Rae's Creek and so on through the years.

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