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PING’s Solheim Proposes Ball Rating System


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#1 pga43

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 10:37 AM


PING’s Solheim Proposes Ball Rating System
Posted December 19th 2011 at 10:30 am by Scott MacLeod

An interesting bit of golf equipment news just rolled across my desk.  See it in full here:


PHOENIX (December 19, 2011) – John Solheim, Chairman & CEO of PING, is proposing that golf’s rule making bodies consider a “Ball Distance Rating” system (BDR) that would replace today’s single golf ball limit with three different ball distance limits – one that is the same as today’s standard, one that is shorter and one that is longer. Solheim’s “A Long Term Response to Distance”  explains how including a BDR system with a new “Condition of Competition” would give professional events and golf courses an efficient way to address future concerns about distance.

“A BDR Condition of Competition would create a simpler way to control distance at the tour level – and keep the competitive design of the world’s great courses in play,” said Solheim.  “This concept addresses the unique talents of the top 0.1% of the world’s golfers without hurting the other 99.9%.”  Solheim also noted that a key aspect of the idea is to give players who would benefit from it the option of using a longer ball, a choice many golfers may appreciate, especially when taking on today’s longer courses.  “The distance rating of the ball used would factor into handicaps, just like slope rating or choice of tee box does today.”

Solheim recently sent his BDR idea to golf’s governing bodies, and suggested it could be a positive factor in helping to sustain and grow the game.  “I appreciate the challenges faced by those who help govern the game,” said Solheim.  “I am hopeful they give my idea further consideration and use it as a starting point to address some of the issues the game is facing. The positive impact golf has on so many groups requires that we explore a variety of ideas to improve the health of the sport. I hope others have suggestions to offer as well.”

John Solheim’s “Long Term Response to Distance” follows:

A Long Term Response to Distance

For as long as I can remember, golf has been challenged by concerns over driving distance. Unfortunately, over the past dozen or so years, many actions taken in response to that challenge have often been short sighted, costly and/or controversial – such as altering some of golf’s most revered courses and adopting restrictive golf club rules. Now, we learn average driving distance on the PGA Tour just had another increase – it broke through 290 yards for the first time (and with so many dynamic young golfers working toward a Tour card, who knows where it will go from here). So, once again we are hearing the question: “what, if anything, should be done about it?”

With so many other challenges facing the game, we need to be sure any “distance discussions” focus on the long term – on solutions that can quickly and easily respond to future increases in distance (no matter the cause); on ideas that give professional events and courses a tool that allows each to best address the distance concerns unique to their venue; on proposals that recognize it is far simpler to adjust the ball to the course, than to adjust the course to the ball. Finally, we need a response that will resolve this issue once and for all. To get this discussion rolling, here is how I think we can do just that:

- Replace today’s single golf ball distance limit with three different “Ball Distance Ratings” (or “BDRs”) – one that is the same as today’s limit, one that is shorter and one that is longer.

- Adopt a “BDR Condition of Competition” – each event could apply the BDR appropriate for its course design and yardage, and for the skill level of the golfers competing at the event.

- Include BDR as a factor in calculating handicaps – just as “slope rating” or choice of tee box does today, the BDR of the ball you use will factor into your handicap.

BDR golf balls should have similar flight characteristics as today’s ball (trajectory, spin rates, etc) with the only variable being distance. Some details may be challenging, but I have no doubt the USGA and the R&A are up to the task. With distance as the only variable, an example of what could be done would be to adopt a color code for the several BDRs (just like we do with tee boxes), perhaps using “gold, silver and bronze”. A “silver dot” rating could apply to balls that conform to the current distance limits, a “gold dot” rating to balls that are longer (perhaps 30 yards longer), and a “bronze dot” rating for balls that are shorter than today’s ball limit (again, maybe 30 yards shorter). More BDR levels could be added, if needed, to address future increases in driving distance by Tour professionals.

If the game adopted a “BDR Condition of Competition”, I believe the vast majority of events would choose to allow the same balls (and ball limit) used today. Most courses hosting professional tour events were built with, or have added, sufficient length to challenge the world’s best golfers. Perhaps a small number of tournaments, those played at some of the game’s classic courses, would find it exciting to put the original design elements of the layout back in play by requiring shorter rated golf balls. These events may even generate a lot of interest, and TV viewers. A key point of this idea is that it puts control over those decisions with the event itself. It also gives each venue a new “long term” option for responding to future increases in driving distance – bring in the bull dozers, or simply adopt a new BDR.

I recognize asking tour professionals to occasionally switch to a different rated ball creates a new challenge. However, rising above golf’s toughest obstacles is what they do best. These skilled athletes likely realize that imposing equipment limits on tens of millions of amateurs – a group that is critical to golf’s future – is not the best way to resolve issues unique to competitions played at the highest levels. I think the most talented professional golfers in the world would be willing to switch to a shorter ball once in awhile, if that would benefit the remaining 99.9% of us.

Giving amateurs the option of playing a new, longer rated, ball is another key aspect of this idea. Many golfers find it very difficult to play today’s longer courses. Using a longer ball should make that experience more enjoyable. It may even bring some ex-golfers back to the course. Perhaps this idea could even reduce the time needed to complete some rounds, a goal shared by everyone.

There will likely be occasions when amateurs tee it up with a shorter rated ball. Some golfers may choose to do so when playing some classic courses, ones that cannot add yardage, in order to bring out the competitiveness of the original design. Others may choose to do so because it has a positive impact on their handicap. Some courses might even recommend using a shorter rated ball. Higher handicap players may find it easier to play alongside more experienced golfers – from the same tees – when using different rated balls. Each of these choices gives some control over the distance issue where it is needed most – with the golfer and the course.

This proposal could also help the USGA and the R&A. The handicap system may benefit from adding “ball rating” as a factor. This solution is also consistent with the Joint Statement of Principles announced by the USGA and R&A in 2002: it provides an immediate and an efficient way to address future increases in distance, and it is not bifurcation – amateurs and professionals will still play to a ball limit, just not necessarily the same one on the same course. Adopting a few new ball distance ratings is basically the same as adding a few more tee boxes – and adding tee boxes is not bifurcation.

In order to fully evaluate this idea, the constructive input of golf ball manufacturers will be needed (PING currently does not sell or manufacture golf balls, but we did for over 20 years). I realize this suggestion presents challenges, but a BDR system brings with it new opportunities as well. Adding new categories of “conforming” golf balls should lead to exciting new ways for golf ball companies to competitively innovate, and it could increase golf ball sales. If it were as simple to develop a club rating system that included a similar opportunity to innovate longer drivers, I know I would welcome it. However, if golf once again chooses to address driving distance, it needs a practical long term solution, and I believe a BDR system would do the job.

All of us, including those in the manufacturing community, have a responsibility to offer new ideas and appropriately work with the rule making bodies to help improve the game It can be done, as demonstrated by the positive results from the November 2010 Vancouver forum, and the solution PING provided in resolving the Eye2 controversy on the PGA Tour in early 2010. I will continue to do what I can, and I believe others will as well. The game has seen many positive changes over its long history, changes that appropriately recognize the relationship between the challenge and the enjoyment of the game at all skill levels. I believe a BDR system would provide a way to continue do just that – for a long time to come.

John A. Solheim

Chairman and CEO of PING







http://www.flagstick...equipment/?p=74













Greg


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#2 Vindog

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 10:55 AM

Interesting. This isn't a rip on PING, but I'm not surprised this comes from a CEO of a company that has no stake in the ball market.

But this is something that some folks have been calling for.  some kind of restrictive measure on the ball as it relates to course design and playability of older classic courses.
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#3 J.W.

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:15 AM

I am not and have never been a fan of limiting the golf ball.  Put a cap on its current technology but don't make it fly shorter than it does now.  Golf is not dominated by the long ball right now, as seen by Luke Donald.  I also think its a bad idea to have amateurs playing different rules than professionals, that is what makes golf interesting to me and different than other sports.  I can't go play basketball, football or baseball to the same degree as golf but one time I can tee it up on a championship style course and have the same experience as a touring professional.  Scoring 30 points in a rec game isn't the same as scoring 30 in an NBA game but 72 at Oakmont is still 72 at Oakmont.

So what does this do exactly?  Bring more courses into the mix as far as majors or tournament sites?

Edited by J.W., 19 December 2011 - 11:21 AM.

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#4 Skaffa77

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:37 AM

View PostVindog, on 19 December 2011 - 10:55 AM, said:

Interesting. This isn't a rip on PING, but I'm not surprised this comes from a CEO of a company that has no stake in the ball market.

But this is something that some folks have been calling for.  some kind of restrictive measure on the ball as it relates to course design and playability of older classic courses.

This was my first thought as well.   It struck me as ironic that this initiative comes from a company that sued about changes to other equipment rules (previous groove rules - Eye2).

I really hope this doesn't lead to separate golf balls.   IF they want to limit the golf ball...just do it and don't try to sell me separate types of golf balls.  I didn't care for the previous idea of "conforming" and "non-conforming" balls (pro's vs. amatuers).   Having 3 different types of balls...honestly, I can only imagine how confusing it would be for the average golfer (non-GolfWRX) looking to make sense of it.  

Golfer A - "I've been out driving you by 10 yards and I scored 1 stroke better than you today."  
Golfer B - "Yeah...you're using a 'bronze' ball.   That one is jacked to go farther...plus it impacts your handicap...so you're not as good as you think.  I hope you are entering you handicap accordingly to the ball you've been play."

I mean the new groove rules were pretty clear in my mind and we have people still confused about what it means.

Edited by Skaffa77, 19 December 2011 - 11:38 AM.


#5 Vindog

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:50 AM

View PostSkaffa77, on 19 December 2011 - 11:37 AM, said:

This was my first thought as well.   It struck me as ironic that this initiative comes from a company that sued about changes to other equipment rules (previous groove rules - Eye2).

I really hope this doesn't lead to separate golf balls.   IF they want to limit the golf ball...just do it and don't try to sell me separate types of golf balls.  I didn't care for the previous idea of "conforming" and "non-conforming" balls (pro's vs. amatuers).   Having 3 different types of balls...honestly, I can only imagine how confusing it would be for the average golfer (non-GolfWRX) looking to make sense of it.  

Golfer A - "I've been out driving you by 10 yards and I scored 1 stroke better than you today."  
Golfer B - "Yeah...you're using a 'bronze' ball.   That one is jacked to go farther...plus it impacts your handicap...so you're not as good as you think.  I hope you are entering you handicap accordingly to the ball you've been play."

I mean the new groove rules were pretty clear in my mind and we have people still confused about what it means.

I could be wrong in this but aren't there non-conforming balls out there already?

As far as the irony...I think Little Solheim is trying to improve that image by creating the waiver.

Edited by Vindog, 19 December 2011 - 11:51 AM.

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#6 Skaffa77

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:59 AM

View PostVindog, on 19 December 2011 - 11:50 AM, said:

View PostSkaffa77, on 19 December 2011 - 11:37 AM, said:

This was my first thought as well.   It struck me as ironic that this initiative comes from a company that sued about changes to other equipment rules (previous groove rules - Eye2).

I really hope this doesn't lead to separate golf balls.   IF they want to limit the golf ball...just do it and don't try to sell me separate types of golf balls.  I didn't care for the previous idea of "conforming" and "non-conforming" balls (pro's vs. amatuers).   Having 3 different types of balls...honestly, I can only imagine how confusing it would be for the average golfer (non-GolfWRX) looking to make sense of it.  

Golfer A - "I've been out driving you by 10 yards and I scored 1 stroke better than you today."  
Golfer B - "Yeah...you're using a 'bronze' ball.   That one is jacked to go farther...plus it impacts your handicap...so you're not as good as you think.  I hope you are entering you handicap accordingly to the ball you've been play."

I mean the new groove rules were pretty clear in my mind and we have people still confused about what it means.

I could be wrong in this but aren't there non-conforming balls out there already?

As far as the irony...I think Little Solheim is trying to improve that image by creating the waiver.

There are non-conforming balls out there today...how many golfers do you know that play them?   My point is that the govering bodies have toyed with the idea marketing an amatuer ball ("non-conforming") and pro ball ("conforming") and some have argued that most amatuers won't care.   I argue that most golfers would care because in a weird sort of way, our egos get in it and we want to play with the same type of equipment as the pro's.   Otherwise every wedge manufacturer would still be  producing/selling non-conforming wedges and market it to the amatuer (like Feel Golf).   We want to feel that we hit that 300 yard drive not because of an advantage from non-conforming equipment, but because we hit it well.   As side-effect, the non-conforming equipment is almost viewed as "cheating" especially if fellow golfers are keeping score.

Interesting view on Solheim trying to improve that image...personally, I still think it has to do with the fact that they have no vested stake in the ball market.

#7 Vindog

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:10 PM

View PostSkaffa77, on 19 December 2011 - 11:59 AM, said:

View PostVindog, on 19 December 2011 - 11:50 AM, said:

View PostSkaffa77, on 19 December 2011 - 11:37 AM, said:

This was my first thought as well.   It struck me as ironic that this initiative comes from a company that sued about changes to other equipment rules (previous groove rules - Eye2).

I really hope this doesn't lead to separate golf balls.   IF they want to limit the golf ball...just do it and don't try to sell me separate types of golf balls.  I didn't care for the previous idea of "conforming" and "non-conforming" balls (pro's vs. amatuers).   Having 3 different types of balls...honestly, I can only imagine how confusing it would be for the average golfer (non-GolfWRX) looking to make sense of it.  

Golfer A - "I've been out driving you by 10 yards and I scored 1 stroke better than you today."  
Golfer B - "Yeah...you're using a 'bronze' ball.   That one is jacked to go farther...plus it impacts your handicap...so you're not as good as you think.  I hope you are entering you handicap accordingly to the ball you've been play."

I mean the new groove rules were pretty clear in my mind and we have people still confused about what it means.

I could be wrong in this but aren't there non-conforming balls out there already?

As far as the irony...I think Little Solheim is trying to improve that image by creating the waiver.

There are non-conforming balls out there today...how many golfers do you know that play them?   My point is that the govering bodies have toyed with the idea marketing an amatuer ball ("non-conforming") and pro ball ("conforming") and some have argued that most amatuers won't care.   I argue that most golfers would care because in a weird sort of way, our egos get in it and we want to play with the same type of equipment as the pro's.   Otherwise every wedge manufacturer would still be  producing/selling non-conforming wedges and market it to the amatuer (like Feel Golf).   We want to feel that we hit that 300 yard drive not because of an advantage from non-conforming equipment, but because we hit it well.   As side-effect, the non-conforming equipment is almost viewed as "cheating" especially if fellow golfers are keeping score.

Interesting view on Solheim trying to improve that image...personally, I still think it has to do with the fact that they have no vested stake in the ball market.

Sure I agree and certainly am not trying to pick a fight.  But I lived in a Tourist area and I can tell you the there we plenty of dudes (mostly older gentlemen) that played non conforming balls because of the added distance.  Also younger guys that didn't know any better and didn't play in any leagues or hold Hcaps played them.  So...those guys didn't care at all.  Some even played illegal drivers, just because they wanted to pound the ball like in the Slazenger commercials.

J Somheim could have easily been stubborn and not waived the court ruling.  Maybe his dad would not have I don't know.  But J decided it was better this way, and he thought was the right move........for PING, of course.  And yeah, I seriously doubt Titleist or Bstone or TM would come out with this after everyone, including themselves, took it in the rear already with the groove rule.

Edited by Vindog, 19 December 2011 - 12:10 PM.

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#8 ram01002

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:11 PM

I agree with the general idea, but I'm not crazy about the "ratings/handicap system" for the golf balls. Also, not really excited about this coming from a non-ball OEM.

#9 J13

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:36 PM

Just cap the distance now and be done with it. People need to play from the appropriate tee's and the length of the course isn't an issue.  And ya know it's ok that some courses are just short.  That's not a bad thing.  For some reason "Short" became a taboo thing that is horrible in golf.  Last time I checked the avg score is the same as it was 20 years ago.

All in all this is a terrible idea.  More confusion more equipment, more people moving away from the game.
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#10 kduffy

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:39 PM

Honestly I don't like the idea at all, it just complicates things and I think its better if everyone CAN play more or less the same ball. I think just place restrictions now on the current ball without having to go back to old golf balls and without making, for example, the 2011 Pro-V model non-conforming. Putting in rules that require or impulse people to buy new clubs is the silly way to go about things and introducing this BDR system is going to make the amateurs seem like another land far away from the professionals.


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#11 bepo

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:17 PM

I think it's a great idea, it seems like a lot of the comments are missing the point.  Amateurs will still play the same ball as the pros, and have the choice of playing a longer ball, shorter ball or the same they are playing.  You can still play any old ball and not change anything.  It's really not complicated, if you understand tee boxes you can understand this.

I play at a fairly short course that even from the back tees is only 6800 yards.  I think it would be great to have a shorter ball that makes the course feel larger.  On the other side I've played with several older guys who barely hit driver 200 yards and play the white tees.  Yes, they should be playing the red tees further up but I'd never suggest that to them.  You don't think the game would benefit from them playing a ball 30 yards longer?  I know speed of play sure would improve and they would enjoy the round a lot more.

I also think it would make awesome TV to see events using shorter and longer balls.  We would get to see some classic courses being played with the shorter ball and possibly some cool exhibition type events using a longer ball for lower scores.

Edited by bepo, 19 December 2011 - 02:12 PM.


#12 HoosierMizuno

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:29 PM

i think its time for the USGA, R&A, to really start thinking of ways to restrict the length players are hitting the ball. With this said, i don't think many amateurs want to play anything different than what they see the pro's on TV play.

The gains in distance over the past 10 years due to ball and club technology have been proven to be increasing. Even now courses are continually needing to be increased in length. Even if the issue isn't at the top of the list now, what happens in another 10 years. I would love to see a way where they could start regulating the ball so that higher swing speeds still have an advantage in length, but stop the continual increase in distance by all swing speeds.

Right now, a swing speed of 100mph might generate 250 yard drive. In 15 years, the combination of club technology and a better ball the same swing will generate a 270 yard shot. I think this will be a problem, but thing is to regulate distance without saying "here's a ball for amateurs, and here's a ball for pro's". i think most golfers want to be on the same playing field as a pro. We haven't seen the NBA raise the rim or shrink the size of the hoop for pros, and i don't want to see the same with the PGA.
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#13 Skaffa77

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 01:40 PM

View PostVindog, on 19 December 2011 - 12:10 PM, said:

View PostSkaffa77, on 19 December 2011 - 11:59 AM, said:

View PostVindog, on 19 December 2011 - 11:50 AM, said:

View PostSkaffa77, on 19 December 2011 - 11:37 AM, said:

This was my first thought as well.   It struck me as ironic that this initiative comes from a company that sued about changes to other equipment rules (previous groove rules - Eye2).

I really hope this doesn't lead to separate golf balls.   IF they want to limit the golf ball...just do it and don't try to sell me separate types of golf balls.  I didn't care for the previous idea of "conforming" and "non-conforming" balls (pro's vs. amatuers).   Having 3 different types of balls...honestly, I can only imagine how confusing it would be for the average golfer (non-GolfWRX) looking to make sense of it.  

Golfer A - "I've been out driving you by 10 yards and I scored 1 stroke better than you today."  
Golfer B - "Yeah...you're using a 'bronze' ball.   That one is jacked to go farther...plus it impacts your handicap...so you're not as good as you think.  I hope you are entering you handicap accordingly to the ball you've been play."

I mean the new groove rules were pretty clear in my mind and we have people still confused about what it means.

I could be wrong in this but aren't there non-conforming balls out there already?

As far as the irony...I think Little Solheim is trying to improve that image by creating the waiver.

There are non-conforming balls out there today...how many golfers do you know that play them?   My point is that the govering bodies have toyed with the idea marketing an amatuer ball ("non-conforming") and pro ball ("conforming") and some have argued that most amatuers won't care.   I argue that most golfers would care because in a weird sort of way, our egos get in it and we want to play with the same type of equipment as the pro's.   Otherwise every wedge manufacturer would still be  producing/selling non-conforming wedges and market it to the amatuer (like Feel Golf).   We want to feel that we hit that 300 yard drive not because of an advantage from non-conforming equipment, but because we hit it well.   As side-effect, the non-conforming equipment is almost viewed as "cheating" especially if fellow golfers are keeping score.

Interesting view on Solheim trying to improve that image...personally, I still think it has to do with the fact that they have no vested stake in the ball market.

Sure I agree and certainly am not trying to pick a fight.  But I lived in a Tourist area and I can tell you the there we plenty of dudes (mostly older gentlemen) that played non conforming balls because of the added distance.  Also younger guys that didn't know any better and didn't play in any leagues or hold Hcaps played them.  So...those guys didn't care at all.  Some even played illegal drivers, just because they wanted to pound the ball like in the Slazenger commercials.

J Somheim could have easily been stubborn and not waived the court ruling.  Maybe his dad would not have I don't know.  But J decided it was better this way, and he thought was the right move........for PING, of course.  And yeah, I seriously doubt Titleist or Bstone or TM would come out with this after everyone, including themselves, took it in the rear already with the groove rule.

Nah...I don't see this as picking a fight.   Just good discussion which would likely be more entertaining over a good stout (or scotch).   :drinks:

I think we are essentially saying the same thing...you'll have an audience who will play whatever because they either don't know any better or just don't care.   From my own side, I don't see a ton of people who play illegal equipment...even those who play casually and fudge the rules a bit.   I don't see the availability of non-conforming equipment in proshops and retail stores.   My take on it was that most golfers (even the casual ones) consider it taboo.   For whatever reason, golf has held the tradition of amatuers playing the same equipment as the pro's (excluding the "retail vs. tour" debate), same rules and handicaps.

#14 eric_b

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:02 PM

View PostJ13, on 19 December 2011 - 12:36 PM, said:

Just cap the distance now and be done with it. People need to play from the appropriate tee's and the length of the course isn't an issue.  And ya know it's ok that some courses are just short.  That's not a bad thing.  For some reason "Short" became a taboo thing that is horrible in golf.  Last time I checked the avg score is the same as it was 20 years ago.

All in all this is a terrible idea.  More confusion more equipment, more people moving away from the game.


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#15 bigred90gt

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:06 PM

View PostJ.W., on 19 December 2011 - 11:15 AM, said:

I am not  and have never been a fan of limiting the golf ball.  Put a cap on its  current technology but don't make it fly shorter than it does now.  Golf  is not dominated by the long ball right now, as seen by Luke Donald.  I  also think its a bad idea to have amateurs playing different rules than  professionals, that is what makes golf interesting to me and different  than other sports.  I can't go play basketball, football or baseball to  the same degree as golf but one time I can tee it up on a championship  style course and have the same experience as a touring  professional.  Scoring 30 points in a rec game isn't the same as scoring  30 in an NBA game but 72 at Oakmont is still 72 at Oakmont.

So what does this do exactly?  Bring more courses into the mix as far as majors or tournament sites?

View PostHoosierMizuno, on 19 December 2011 - 01:29 PM, said:

i  think its time for the USGA, R&A, to really start thinking of ways  to restrict the length players are hitting the ball. With this said, i  don't think many amateurs want to play anything different than what they  see the pro's on TV play.

The gains in distance over the past  10 years due to ball and club technology have been proven to be  increasing. Even now courses are continually needing to be increased in  length. Even if the issue isn't at the top of the list now, what happens  in another 10 years. I would love to see a way where they could start  regulating the ball so that higher swing speeds still have an advantage  in length, but stop the continual increase in distance by all swing  speeds.

Right now, a swing speed of 100mph might generate 250  yard drive. In 15 years, the combination of club technology and a better  ball the same swing will generate a 270 yard shot. I think this will be  a problem, but thing is to regulate distance without saying "here's a  ball for amateurs, and here's a ball for pro's". i think most golfers  want to be on the same playing field as a pro. We haven't seen the NBA  raise the rim or shrink the size of the hoop for pros, and i don't want  to see the same with the PGA.




View Postbepo, on 19 December 2011 - 01:17 PM, said:

I think  it's a great idea, it seems like a lot of the comments are missing the  point.  Amateurs will still play the same ball as the pros, and have the  choice of playing a longer ball, shorter ball or the same they are  playing.  You can still play any old ball and not change anything.  It's  really not complicated, if you understand tee boxes would would  understand this.

I play at a fairly short course that even from  the back tees is only 6800 yards.  I think it would be great to have a  shorter ball that makes the course feel larger.  On the other side I've  played with several older guys who barely hit driver 200 yards and play  the white tees.  Yes, they should be playing the red tees further up but  I'd never suggest that to them.  You don't think the game would benefit  from them playing a ball 30 yards longer?  I know speed of play sure  would improve and they would enjoy the round a lot more.

I also  think it would make awesome TV to see events using shorter and longer  balls.  We would get to see some classic courses being played and  possibly some cool exhibition type events using a longer ball for higher  scores.
I have to agree with bepo. I dont think people read the entire post. No one is saying there is a separation of equipment, and that amateurs will have one ball while pro's have another. Everyone will have the same access to the same balls, it will just give options. I dont see options as a bad thing.

I'll use my uncle as an example. My home course, while it isnt particularly long (right around 7000 yards from the tips), my uncle doesnt like playing it because he says it is too long for him. He is usually hitting driver 3w to most par 4's, and still coming up short on some of them. I can see where that is not fun for him. That is with him playing the white tees, not the tips. He is not quite old enough, in his mind, to play the "senior tees", though I have told him that if it helps his game and makes it more enjoyable, he should just play from there. He, like many other men, will not play anything short of the "mens" tees because it would be a "slight against his manhood", a knock to his ego. He started playing golf when there were Pro tees, Mens tees, senior tees, and ladies tees. With the new initiative by the USGA, those definitions are basically being done away with, which is a good thing.

If he had a ball that was 30 yards longer, it would make the game much more enjoyable for him (even though he certainly enjoys it now).


#16 eric_b

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:11 PM

View Postbepo, on 19 December 2011 - 01:17 PM, said:

I think it's a great idea, it seems like a lot of the comments are missing the point.  Amateurs will still play the same ball as the pros, and have the choice of playing a longer ball, shorter ball or the same they are playing.  You can still play any old ball and not change anything.  It's really not complicated, if you understand tee boxes would would understand this.

I play at a fairly short course that even from the back tees is only 6800 yards.  I think it would be great to have a shorter ball that makes the course feel larger.  On the other side I've played with several older guys who barely hit driver 200 yards and play the white tees.  Yes, they should be playing the red tees further up but I'd never suggest that to them.  You don't think the game would benefit from them playing a ball 30 yards longer?  I know speed of play sure would improve and they would enjoy the round a lot more.

I also think it would make awesome TV to see events using shorter and longer balls.  We would get to see some classic courses being played and possibly some cool exhibition type events using a longer ball for higher scores.


While I think that, in principle, what you are saying is completely true....I think that in practice, it wouldn't work.

With respect to the amateurs playing the appropriate ball....they wouldn't.  Proof is in your example.  They don't play the right tees, they won't play the right ball.  Heck, they probably don't play the right ball now anyway (i.e. probably playing a tour ball instead of a distance ball....and, as we all know, that makes quite a bit of difference).

With respect to playing different tournaments with different balls....we all know how confused people get when the Stableford system comes along.  Or how about powerplay golf?  My word, they spent most of that telecast explaining what was going on as opposed to just showing the golf.  I think it would just lead to an unfortunately large number of people being confused and frustrated when watching golf because they can't figure out the intricasies of the rules (if you've ever tried to teach someone the rules of NFL football, you know what I'm talking about).

I think we can all agree that what Solheim is doing is trying to protect courses and the way the game is played....but we all play....quite often no less....is golf really that much easier?  Has your handicap plummeted because of equipment?  Sure, good equipment helps....but THAT much?  

In addition, shouldn't we be taking a step back here.  Is golf less fun to play or watch with equipment enhancements?  I would argue no....and I think most of you would agree with me or you wouldn't be here.  

Finally, is the long ball killing the game?  Luke Donald is number one and a bomber can't win without the wedges and putter being hot.  So no.

I think this is a novel idea and I'm glad he's putting it out there....but I hope it doesn't cause some sort of silly reaction that isn't needed because, in the end, I don't think there's a problem.

#17 Skaffa77

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:18 PM

View Posteric_b, on 19 December 2011 - 02:11 PM, said:

View Postbepo, on 19 December 2011 - 01:17 PM, said:

I think it's a great idea, it seems like a lot of the comments are missing the point.  Amateurs will still play the same ball as the pros, and have the choice of playing a longer ball, shorter ball or the same they are playing.  You can still play any old ball and not change anything.  It's really not complicated, if you understand tee boxes would would understand this.

I play at a fairly short course that even from the back tees is only 6800 yards.  I think it would be great to have a shorter ball that makes the course feel larger.  On the other side I've played with several older guys who barely hit driver 200 yards and play the white tees.  Yes, they should be playing the red tees further up but I'd never suggest that to them.  You don't think the game would benefit from them playing a ball 30 yards longer?  I know speed of play sure would improve and they would enjoy the round a lot more.

I also think it would make awesome TV to see events using shorter and longer balls.  We would get to see some classic courses being played and possibly some cool exhibition type events using a longer ball for higher scores.


While I think that, in principle, what you are saying is completely true....I think that in practice, it wouldn't work.

With respect to the amateurs playing the appropriate ball....they wouldn't.  Proof is in your example.  They don't play the right tees, they won't play the right ball.  Heck, they probably don't play the right ball now anyway (i.e. probably playing a tour ball instead of a distance ball....and, as we all know, that makes quite a bit of difference).


Absolutely agree.

#18 J.W.

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:22 PM

View Postbigred90gt, on 19 December 2011 - 02:06 PM, said:

View PostJ.W., on 19 December 2011 - 11:15 AM, said:

I am not  and have never been a fan of limiting the golf ball.  Put a cap on its  current technology but don't make it fly shorter than it does now.  Golf  is not dominated by the long ball right now, as seen by Luke Donald.  I  also think its a bad idea to have amateurs playing different rules than  professionals, that is what makes golf interesting to me and different  than other sports.  I can't go play basketball, football or baseball to  the same degree as golf but one time I can tee it up on a championship  style course and have the same experience as a touring  professional.  Scoring 30 points in a rec game isn't the same as scoring  30 in an NBA game but 72 at Oakmont is still 72 at Oakmont.

So what does this do exactly?  Bring more courses into the mix as far as majors or tournament sites?

View PostHoosierMizuno, on 19 December 2011 - 01:29 PM, said:

i  think its time for the USGA, R&A, to really start thinking of ways  to restrict the length players are hitting the ball. With this said, i  don't think many amateurs want to play anything different than what they  see the pro's on TV play.

The gains in distance over the past  10 years due to ball and club technology have been proven to be  increasing. Even now courses are continually needing to be increased in  length. Even if the issue isn't at the top of the list now, what happens  in another 10 years. I would love to see a way where they could start  regulating the ball so that higher swing speeds still have an advantage  in length, but stop the continual increase in distance by all swing  speeds.

Right now, a swing speed of 100mph might generate 250  yard drive. In 15 years, the combination of club technology and a better  ball the same swing will generate a 270 yard shot. I think this will be  a problem, but thing is to regulate distance without saying "here's a  ball for amateurs, and here's a ball for pro's". i think most golfers  want to be on the same playing field as a pro. We haven't seen the NBA  raise the rim or shrink the size of the hoop for pros, and i don't want  to see the same with the PGA.




View Postbepo, on 19 December 2011 - 01:17 PM, said:

I think  it's a great idea, it seems like a lot of the comments are missing the  point.  Amateurs will still play the same ball as the pros, and have the  choice of playing a longer ball, shorter ball or the same they are  playing.  You can still play any old ball and not change anything.  It's  really not complicated, if you understand tee boxes would would  understand this.

I play at a fairly short course that even from  the back tees is only 6800 yards.  I think it would be great to have a  shorter ball that makes the course feel larger.  On the other side I've  played with several older guys who barely hit driver 200 yards and play  the white tees.  Yes, they should be playing the red tees further up but  I'd never suggest that to them.  You don't think the game would benefit  from them playing a ball 30 yards longer?  I know speed of play sure  would improve and they would enjoy the round a lot more.

I also  think it would make awesome TV to see events using shorter and longer  balls.  We would get to see some classic courses being played and  possibly some cool exhibition type events using a longer ball for higher  scores.
I have to agree with bepo. I dont think people read the entire post. No one is saying there is a separation of equipment, and that amateurs will have one ball while pro's have another. Everyone will have the same access to the same balls, it will just give options. I dont see options as a bad thing.

I'll use my uncle as an example. My home course, while it isnt particularly long (right around 7000 yards from the tips), my uncle doesnt like playing it because he says it is too long for him. He is usually hitting driver 3w to most par 4's, and still coming up short on some of them. I can see where that is not fun for him. That is with him playing the white tees, not the tips. He is not quite old enough, in his mind, to play the "senior tees", though I have told him that if it helps his game and makes it more enjoyable, he should just play from there. He, like many other men, will not play anything short of the "mens" tees because it would be a "slight against his manhood", a knock to his ego. He started playing golf when there were Pro tees, Mens tees, senior tees, and ladies tees. With the new initiative by the USGA, those definitions are basically being done away with, which is a good thing.

If he had a ball that was 30 yards longer, it would make the game much more enjoyable for him (even though he certainly enjoys it now).

So why can't I say that both of you are missing the point?  Your uncle plays for enjoyment, right?  So he could just as easily play another set of tees or use a golf ball that is illegal now.  You think it would make him feel better about his game to use a "cheater" ball versus moving up 30 yards to a different teeing ground?  How does that make any sense?  I see it the opposite, I would never use a ball that went 30 yards further than the ball being played at the highest level.  Why change the ball to make more variables for the game?  With bepo, why can't you hit 3 wood off the tee or play a different course?  You guys both referenced 6800-7000 yard golf courses, those IMO are not the "norm" or even "short" by today's standards for the average golf course.  Short for PGA Tour standards?  Yes.  I think there is one course within maybe 30 miles of my home that's more than 7,000 yards.  Changing the golf ball would be even dumber than the groove rule IMO.
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#19 tbowles411

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:24 PM

View PostSkaffa77, on 19 December 2011 - 02:18 PM, said:

View Posteric_b, on 19 December 2011 - 02:11 PM, said:

View Postbepo, on 19 December 2011 - 01:17 PM, said:

I think it's a great idea, it seems like a lot of the comments are missing the point.  Amateurs will still play the same ball as the pros, and have the choice of playing a longer ball, shorter ball or the same they are playing.  You can still play any old ball and not change anything.  It's really not complicated, if you understand tee boxes would would understand this.

I play at a fairly short course that even from the back tees is only 6800 yards.  I think it would be great to have a shorter ball that makes the course feel larger.  On the other side I've played with several older guys who barely hit driver 200 yards and play the white tees.  Yes, they should be playing the red tees further up but I'd never suggest that to them.  You don't think the game would benefit from them playing a ball 30 yards longer?  I know speed of play sure would improve and they would enjoy the round a lot more.

I also think it would make awesome TV to see events using shorter and longer balls.  We would get to see some classic courses being played and possibly some cool exhibition type events using a longer ball for higher scores.


While I think that, in principle, what you are saying is completely true....I think that in practice, it wouldn't work.

With respect to the amateurs playing the appropriate ball....they wouldn't.  Proof is in your example.  They don't play the right tees, they won't play the right ball.  Heck, they probably don't play the right ball now anyway (i.e. probably playing a tour ball instead of a distance ball....and, as we all know, that makes quite a bit of difference).


Absolutely agree.
I agree, but if the argument were compelling enough, maybe some amateurs would make a change.  I played a Q-Star a few weeks ago and it performed great for my skill level.  Who would have thought a 2-piece distance ball with slight spin could make a difference from balls that I liked, but I struggled with.

Now from playing from thr right tees, that's a bit tougher to admit..  :black eye:

#20 swbyps

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:30 PM

I like the premise. No doubt something needs to be done. I would say that the current ball characteristics and development should remain as is for amateurs. Another set of restricted flight specs should be established for pros. Two sets of specs..not 3. Having a third ball that goes farther opens up a can of worms IMO..especially if you're talking about the ball factor being included in handicaps. Also, I think its pretty obvious that a ball that goes farther would end up being the one predominantly used by amateurs. Could that encourage more people to play from the tips when they otherwise would not have thus creating more issues with pace of play? I dont know. I think that all we need to do is just create a restricted flight ball for the pros and leave everything else as is.


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#21 MadGolfer76

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:43 PM

That...would never work. You could roll the ball back to balata and guys would still find ways to nail it 290+. The flaw in the logic (pertaining to the tour) is that it is the ball alone that makes guys so long. This mentality is fostered along by an aging group of former players that still fail to realize the amount of talent, skill, and strength possessed by the current best players. A shorter ball would only further serve to disadvantage the shorter hitters on tour. The longest guys are always going to be long, no matter what they play.
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#22 jaskanski

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 02:53 PM

I've had a long hard think about it and I'm going to say - no thanks.
The game is already complicated enough on the equipment front with a rather ludricrous and un-enforceable groove ruling, but leaving a stock pile of non-conforming balls to the tune of several billion would ruin the game even further. Some good points on either side of the arguement have been well made and I know John Solheim has the interests of the game of golf to heart - his family's contribution to the game has been exemplary.
I do however think that this concept has an ill-found statistic at it's core - distance isn't everything to the world of golf. The rules of golf already have pretty strict tolerances for golf balls on size, weight, initial velocity and overall distance standard. There are already conforming and non-conforming balls that perform the same for all golfers. The sooner the so-called powers that be can understand that all people are not created equal - the better.
There will always be those who can hit a ball (of any description) longer or shorter than another. Changing the ball will not alter this. The only possible way to create a level playing field is for everybody to have the same conforming equipment, not a tiered structure based on ability. Even the groove ruling does not allow for the single most important factor - talent. Some can spin a ball, some can't. If there really has been an aspect of equipment that has gone un-noticed through the past few years, then it's probably the shaft. Todays modern professional can accelerate the club with maximum speed because (a) the shaft is as light a comfortably possible and (b) because the flex can be controlled without fear of too much dispersion. XX stiff shafts are more commonplace than a few years back, with ever increasing lengths with no loss of control - absolutely unheard of a few years ago.
If the overall distance of courses is looking to be restricted, perhaps the agrimony of the actual course itself needs looking at first. Super slick fairways and uber manicured courses that are eye candy for TV viewing are a bigger part of the problem than any piece of equipment IMHO (apart form ultralight extra stiff shafts perhaps).

#23 eric_b

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:01 PM

View PostMadGolfer76, on 19 December 2011 - 02:43 PM, said:

That...would never work. You could roll the ball back to balata and guys would still find ways to nail it 290+. The flaw in the logic (pertaining to the tour) is that it is the ball alone that makes guys so long. This mentality is fostered along by an aging group of former players that still fail to realize the amount of talent, skill, and strength possessed by the current best players. A shorter ball would only further serve to disadvantage the shorter hitters on tour. The longest guys are always going to be long, no matter what they play.


+1

#24 Vindog

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:06 PM

View PostMadGolfer76, on 19 December 2011 - 02:43 PM, said:

That...would never work. You could roll the ball back to balata and guys would still find ways to nail it 290+. The flaw in the logic (pertaining to the tour) is that it is the ball alone that makes guys so long. This mentality is fostered along by an aging group of former players that still fail to realize the amount of talent, skill, and strength possessed by the current best players. A shorter ball would only further serve to disadvantage the shorter hitters on tour. The longest guys are always going to be long, no matter what they play.

Gonna have to agree with you here.  Especially the bold
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#25 Outlier

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:36 PM

We all know people with ego problems that make it unpalatable to move-up a teebox (or two), I'll take me as an example.  But why should the game take a "me problem" and legislate rules as if it's a "we" problem?

My opinion, I honestly think at it's core all these "they hit it too far" debates are a bunch of spoiled old rich 80 year olds, who are plain old jealous and resent a bunch of young "diverse" kids obliterating the record books.  I liken golf to ML Baseball....nobody really complained about the proliferation of dominate 100 mph pitchers, the homeruns, though- that was an abomination on God and all that is right in the world.

SO WHAT if a course is only 7000 yds. and all pros can drive it 320?  It mysteriously wasn't a problem when John Daly was a young freak of nature - when Eldrick came around we needed to "Tiger Proof" everything.  If it was really about ensuring superior skill remained the determining factor, there is no way Belly Putters would be allowed....

Further,  how come I never even hear a peep of a controversy about putter grooves?  All the same arguments used about a wedge out of the rough, could be applied to a putter with grooves.  

I suggest all these rules decisions add up to a transparent and hypocritical attempt to artificially preserve a place in the game for the "Cory Pavin's" at the expense of the "Keagan Bradleys".

Why do we care if the new even par round on tour is 67?  


View Postbigred90gt, on 19 December 2011 - 02:06 PM, said:

View PostJ.W., on 19 December 2011 - 11:15 AM, said:

I am not  and have never been a fan of limiting the golf ball.  Put a cap on its  current technology but don't make it fly shorter than it does now.  Golf  is not dominated by the long ball right now, as seen by Luke Donald.  I  also think its a bad idea to have amateurs playing different rules than  professionals, that is what makes golf interesting to me and different  than other sports.  I can't go play basketball, football or baseball to  the same degree as golf but one time I can tee it up on a championship  style course and have the same experience as a touring  professional.  Scoring 30 points in a rec game isn't the same as scoring  30 in an NBA game but 72 at Oakmont is still 72 at Oakmont.

So what does this do exactly?  Bring more courses into the mix as far as majors or tournament sites?

View PostHoosierMizuno, on 19 December 2011 - 01:29 PM, said:

i  think its time for the USGA, R&A, to really start thinking of ways  to restrict the length players are hitting the ball. With this said, i  don't think many amateurs want to play anything different than what they  see the pro's on TV play.

The gains in distance over the past  10 years due to ball and club technology have been proven to be  increasing. Even now courses are continually needing to be increased in  length. Even if the issue isn't at the top of the list now, what happens  in another 10 years. I would love to see a way where they could start  regulating the ball so that higher swing speeds still have an advantage  in length, but stop the continual increase in distance by all swing  speeds.

Right now, a swing speed of 100mph might generate 250  yard drive. In 15 years, the combination of club technology and a better  ball the same swing will generate a 270 yard shot. I think this will be  a problem, but thing is to regulate distance without saying "here's a  ball for amateurs, and here's a ball for pro's". i think most golfers  want to be on the same playing field as a pro. We haven't seen the NBA  raise the rim or shrink the size of the hoop for pros, and i don't want  to see the same with the PGA.




View Postbepo, on 19 December 2011 - 01:17 PM, said:

I think  it's a great idea, it seems like a lot of the comments are missing the  point.  Amateurs will still play the same ball as the pros, and have the  choice of playing a longer ball, shorter ball or the same they are  playing.  You can still play any old ball and not change anything.  It's  really not complicated, if you understand tee boxes would would  understand this.

I play at a fairly short course that even from  the back tees is only 6800 yards.  I think it would be great to have a  shorter ball that makes the course feel larger.  On the other side I've  played with several older guys who barely hit driver 200 yards and play  the white tees.  Yes, they should be playing the red tees further up but  I'd never suggest that to them.  You don't think the game would benefit  from them playing a ball 30 yards longer?  I know speed of play sure  would improve and they would enjoy the round a lot more.

I also  think it would make awesome TV to see events using shorter and longer  balls.  We would get to see some classic courses being played and  possibly some cool exhibition type events using a longer ball for higher  scores.
I have to agree with bepo. I dont think people read the entire post. No one is saying there is a separation of equipment, and that amateurs will have one ball while pro's have another. Everyone will have the same access to the same balls, it will just give options. I dont see options as a bad thing.

I'll use my uncle as an example. My home course, while it isnt particularly long (right around 7000 yards from the tips), my uncle doesnt like playing it because he says it is too long for him. He is usually hitting driver 3w to most par 4's, and still coming up short on some of them. I can see where that is not fun for him. That is with him playing the white tees, not the tips. He is not quite old enough, in his mind, to play the "senior tees", though I have told him that if it helps his game and makes it more enjoyable, he should just play from there. He, like many other men, will not play anything short of the "mens" tees because it would be a "slight against his manhood", a knock to his ego. He started playing golf when there were Pro tees, Mens tees, senior tees, and ladies tees. With the new initiative by the USGA, those definitions are basically being done away with, which is a good thing.

If he had a ball that was 30 yards longer, it would make the game much more enjoyable for him (even though he certainly enjoys it now).

Edited by Outlier, 19 December 2011 - 03:39 PM.


#26 swbyps

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:46 PM

View PostMadGolfer76, on 19 December 2011 - 02:43 PM, said:

That...would never work. You could roll the ball back to balata and guys would still find ways to nail it 290+. The flaw in the logic (pertaining to the tour) is that it is the ball alone that makes guys so long. This mentality is fostered along by an aging group of former players that still fail to realize the amount of talent, skill, and strength possessed by the current best players. A shorter ball would only further serve to disadvantage the shorter hitters on tour. The longest guys are always going to be long, no matter what they play.

Yes the longer guys will always remain longer but I think the point is that the courses cannot keep up with the rate of the technology that contributes to them being able to hit it longer. Something has to be done because the average driving distance on tour is going to continue to increase. If its 300 now, where will it be 10 years from now? In todays economy I believe the issue is that these courses cannot continue with these major overhauls every 4 or 5 years in order to remain a viable venue for tour events. The only thing that happens in those cases is that some of those costs manifest in the form of higher membership dues, daily fees, beer and dogs at the turn, etc. The trickle down effect of that is eventually less people paying...etc etc etc. Im sure you get the point.

#27 jaskanski

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:48 PM

I must admit I find it rather strange how a company who built their reputation (and a sizeable empire) on building standardized equipment for the masses suddenly change their tune.
Ping, for the most part, acheived much of their success with clubs that transcended ability. The Eye 2 irons and Anser putter are two classic examples of equipment that were equally at home in the hands of a professional or weekend golfer. Pro's used OTR clubs the same as the public. Even their philosophy on shafts was "one flex fits all" at one point. Ping had so much success with it's unique selling point of it's general "all things to all golfers", or a similarity to the golf equivalent to a Model T Ford, that it's new tack of rating equipment that they don't excell at producing (ie. the golf ball) based on abilty seem rather two-faced.

Edited by jaskanski, 19 December 2011 - 03:49 PM.


#28 Outlier

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:53 PM

Who says they have to over-haul the course?  It's 7000 yds., the avg. drive becomes 318, the average score becomes 67- NOW WHAT?  Does the earth stop rotating or something?  


View Postswbyps, on 19 December 2011 - 03:46 PM, said:

View PostMadGolfer76, on 19 December 2011 - 02:43 PM, said:

That...would never work. You could roll the ball back to balata and guys would still find ways to nail it 290+. The flaw in the logic (pertaining to the tour) is that it is the ball alone that makes guys so long. This mentality is fostered along by an aging group of former players that still fail to realize the amount of talent, skill, and strength possessed by the current best players. A shorter ball would only further serve to disadvantage the shorter hitters on tour. The longest guys are always going to be long, no matter what they play.

Yes the longer guys will always remain longer but I think the point is that the courses cannot keep up with the rate of the technology that contributes to them being able to hit it longer. Something has to be done because the average driving distance on tour is going to continue to increase. If its 300 now, where will it be 10 years from now? In todays economy I believe the issue is that these courses cannot continue with these major overhauls every 4 or 5 years in order to remain a viable venue for tour events. The only thing that happens in those cases is that some of those costs manifest in the form of higher membership dues, daily fees, beer and dogs at the turn, etc. The trickle down effect of that is eventually less people paying...etc etc etc. Im sure you get the point.


#29 ibradley

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:02 PM

I have a friend who plays on the Canadian Tour. He played in a special event the USGA put on to test a ball that flew about 30 yards shorter. He said he LOVED it. He really enjoyed hitting mid and the occasional long iron into greens instead of short irons and wedges. He loved being able to hit more drivers off tees instead of 3 & 5 woods.

I am a scratch and I would love to have the option of playing a shorter golf ball. I think it would be great to get more variety in the game.

#30 eric_b

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Posted 19 December 2011 - 04:04 PM

View Postswbyps, on 19 December 2011 - 03:46 PM, said:

View PostMadGolfer76, on 19 December 2011 - 02:43 PM, said:

That...would never work. You could roll the ball back to balata and guys would still find ways to nail it 290+. The flaw in the logic (pertaining to the tour) is that it is the ball alone that makes guys so long. This mentality is fostered along by an aging group of former players that still fail to realize the amount of talent, skill, and strength possessed by the current best players. A shorter ball would only further serve to disadvantage the shorter hitters on tour. The longest guys are always going to be long, no matter what they play.

Yes the longer guys will always remain longer but I think the point is that the courses cannot keep up with the rate of the technology that contributes to them being able to hit it longer. Something has to be done because the average driving distance on tour is going to continue to increase. If its 300 now, where will it be 10 years from now? In todays economy I believe the issue is that these courses cannot continue with these major overhauls every 4 or 5 years in order to remain a viable venue for tour events. The only thing that happens in those cases is that some of those costs manifest in the form of higher membership dues, daily fees, beer and dogs at the turn, etc. The trickle down effect of that is eventually less people paying...etc etc etc. Im sure you get the point.


I think you make a good point with respect to tour courses requiring major overhauls to be tour ready....although, as Paul "Sunshine" Goydos pointed out: longer courses (and deeper rough) don't really the bomber, it just messes up the shorter hitters like him.  If you want to make it more difficult....make the course fast.  It's hard to be in the fairway when they're fast (you have to place the ball, and bombers aren't placers) and if you're in the rough, you can't hold a fast green.

But I digress.....my point is, there's only a handful of tour courses.  So the trickle down effect doesn't really hit THAT many people....and people who are members at tour courses aren't hurting for money.

If there are local course (muni or otherwise) getting longer, well that's just silly.  Cause as much as we'd all like to think modern equipment (ball or otherwise) is making us longer....it's not having THAT much of an effect.  I'm sure that "when you catch it" it's out there for miles....but the rest of see that it went 250.....TOPS. :man_in_love:


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