Is a tour ball in the works?

press007press007 Members Posts: 334
I may have a novel approach
There is a growing number of professionals and officials considering a rollback in the distance limits the ball can go. If we dont we`ll need 10.000 yard courses and all the wonderful old courses will end up 9 hole courses. There are many more reasons to keep the ball from going too far but I wont go into them.



It occured to me that we could do a couple things with the ball now and it may work. Of coarse this just came to my mind and anyone that can shoot holes throught it fine thats why I`m posting it.



First many agree that the ball is getting to long, " for the pros" but not for the amateurs. So I suggest that you have 2 official balls or catagories of balls that everyone can choose to play in official tournments or recreationally.



The first ball would be a "2 piece ball" that could have "even longer USGA distance limits" but would have "very limited spin and cover regulations" It would benefit short distance players but may not likely be chosen by better players because it would not have the spin they want to have off irons. If one could develop a game with that ball you could compete because its longer.



The second ball would be a ball that the USGA would roll back the "distance limit" of say 25 yards from today. Technology could do anything it wants but there is a limit to distance just like it is now but 25 yards less.



I think this would be a move that has many benefits for the amateur it would mean there would be a ball they could choose to get "more distance" but would have to develop different shots to make up for much less spin in the short game.



This idea I think allows the USGA to control the balls distance in tournment play and still have a ball for amateurs that gives more distance and gives the manufactures room to improve balls but stay within distance limitations......Jim

Comments

  • billybaroobillybaroo Cold and snowy MassachusettsMembers Posts: 1,213 ✭✭
    I'm not sure why there is so much resistance to a two tier equipment system.



    When I play pick-up b-ball at the gym we don't use NBA regulation courts or balls, yet I have no issues playing.

    When I play soccer we don't always use a FIFA approved field dimension or an official ball, yet I have no issues playing

    When I played baseball I didn't use a wooden bat, yet I had no issue playing.



    If I choose to use what the pros must use I can if I want to or I hope to play at that level, otherwise does it really matter? How many amateur golfers don't maintain an official handicap? Take mulligans? Gimme putts? Use non-conforming clubs or balls? They all seem to get by and enjoy the game...



    A potential wrinkle is how would you modify the handicap system to make this distinction as a handicap with the "pro" ball would not match the handicap of the "regular" ball.
  • press007press007 Members Posts: 334
    The idea behind this is to make a change that helps everyone [ EVEN THE MANUFACTURES] because if they roll back the distance it will hurt the amateur. Both balls would be legal for play in all PGA tournments. The distance ball wouldn`t be just a free distance gain, you would still have to develop a game to replace spin to hold greens, that one of the reasons the pros wouldn`t want to play it.



    As to you potental wrinkle the USGA never made adjustments when the courses got longer they just used the slope ratings. Ones handicap would be established no matter what ball he uses.............Jim
  • CROUSE99CROUSE99 Members Posts: 138 ✭✭
    I too would like to see a separate ball or category of balls for the pro tours. I think the 2 major reasons pros are hitting it so far is the ball and big-headed drivers. Let me explain: the more the ball spins, the farther off-line it goes with a slightly open or closed club face. The average pro of 50 years ago couldn't afford to go after it too hard or he took a huge risk of hitting it 100 yards off-line. There were exceptions (Nicklaus, for example) but the top players usually weren't the longest players (Hogan, Nelson, Player, Trevino, etc.). Today, most of the top players are very long (Woods, Els, Mickelson, Singh), again with exceptions (Furyk). The modern ball is designed to have less spin the harder you hit it and a high launch. In other words, it doesn't stray as far off-line when smashed with a driver and a pro can launch it very high out of the rough if he does miss the fairway and stop it with trajectory. And these modern marvels still offer high levels of spin on shorter shots. Add to this big headed drivers, the result of the use of ultra-light, ultra-strong materials. The larger the head, the harder it is to close through impact thus helping guard against the average pro's bad shot, the hook. And the size and materials allow club designer to manipulate weight to customize ball flight for a touring pro. Add to the above the advances in shaft design and course maintenance (no bad lies allowed and fast, fast fairways) and you have young players trying to hit it as far as possible and, believe me, if you grow up whacking the ball as hard as possible you will be a long hitter.

    All of this could be somewhat curtailed by requiring the pros play a ball that has at least a minimum amount of spin when hit with a driver, in other words, the harder the ball is hit, the more it spins and by further limiting the size of club heads (maybe down to 250cc?).

    The precedent for this sort of thing already exists in other sports. The aluminum baseball bat and half-court games of basketball at the Y come to mind. For that matter, it already exists in one sense in golf. The average weekend golfer uses a cart and some sort of range finder or GPS, both of which are not allowed during pro tournament rounds.
  • press007press007 Members Posts: 334
    I agree with you. For the first time in history the advancements in these technologies have the ability to destroy all the great golf courses and change the game to one that is far to heavly weighted in favor of longer drivers of the ball, many of these courses many holes are a driver and wedge for the pros and as you say theres not much of a penality for coming out of the ruff for them, so just go and kill the ball off the tee.



    Another point, there is getting to be a bigger gap between the pros and the rest of us who play the game. I believe if the gaps keep getting bigger less people will stay intrested in watching them because fewer will identify with what they do and we do.



    Nicklaus was right the ball is the key because they know how to control the distance through design and have the ability to test it.



    I am really kind of tired of hearing this pro hit the drive 350 I just dont identify with that............Jim
  • oregongolforegongolf Lefty Boomers Posts: 8,566 ✭✭
    press007 wrote on Dec 6 2007, 10:26 AM:
    I agree with you. For the first time in history the advancements in these technologies have the ability to destroy all the great golf courses and change the game to one that is far to heavly weighted in favor of longer drivers of the ball, many of these courses many holes are a driver and wedge for the pros and as you say theres not much of a penality for coming out of the ruff for them, so just go and kill the ball off the tee.



    Another point, there is getting to be a bigger gap between the pros and the rest of us who play the game. I believe if the gaps keep getting bigger less people will stay intrested in watching them because fewer will identify with what they do and we do.



    Nicklaus was right the ball is the key because they know how to control the distance through design and have the ability to test it.



    I am really kind of tired of hearing this pro hit the drive 350 I just dont identify with that............Jim


    Everyone bemoans about the ball...



    It's nuts though. Sure, the tech has come a long way. But attributing distance to just equipment is ludicrous and short-sighted. Fitness, club-fitting, new swing theory, and golf course conditioning has just as much or more to do with the distance.



    These guys have personal trainers, personal club fitters, and green speed fairways.
  • drew123drew123 Members Posts: 1,616 ✭✭
    No you'd be crazy to think even with all the fitness and conditioning and green speed fairways that if todays players were forced to use persimmon head driver and balata balls they would hit they hardly any farther than the pros back then did.
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  • Skaffa77Skaffa77 No place like the Sand Hills! ClubWRX Posts: 6,842 ClubWRX
    As silly as this sounds (I'm sure I'll get blasted), I actually like the thought that I can compare my game (however poor it is) to how the pros play it. That was one thing I always loved about this game; people of different skill levels can all play under the same rules and similar conditions and we can judge our game/skills on something of an equal ground.



    Personally, that's why I never bought a non-conforming driver even though it might give me more distance.



    If they do limit the ball, I would personally prefer it to be industry wide, not just at a pro level.
  • Swingtheclub  Swingtheclub Members Posts: 3,752
    I too would be in total disagreement with the two ball idea.



    First off I do not think you will ever get them to shortent the ball that we are now playing with. I do think that someday they may have to do something but not for a long while.



    The new course people are building have multiple tees. This helps make up for the longer ball.



    I am not going to want to play in a handicap tournament with two different balls .



    You want to make it harder on the PGA tour player narrow the fairways and grow the rough it works everytime.
  • press007press007 Members Posts: 334
    [

    It's nuts though. Sure, the tech has come a long way. But attributing distance to just equipment is ludicrous and short-sighted. Fitness, club-fitting, new swing theory, and golf course conditioning has just as much or more to do with the distance.



    These guys have personal trainers, personal club fitters, and green speed fairways.



    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<



    It doesn`t matter where it comes from but its destroying the golf courses and changing the game. The ball is a way to stop it and the two theory helps everyone.................Jim
  • Skaffa77Skaffa77 No place like the Sand Hills! ClubWRX Posts: 6,842 ClubWRX
    press007 wrote on Dec 6 2007, 03&#58;46 PM:
    [

    It's nuts though. Sure, the tech has come a long way. But attributing distance to just equipment is ludicrous and short-sighted. Fitness, club-fitting, new swing theory, and golf course conditioning has just as much or more to do with the distance.



    These guys have personal trainers, personal club fitters, and green speed fairways.



    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<



    It doesn`t matter where it comes from but its destroying the golf courses and changing the game. The ball is a way to stop it and the two theory helps everyone.................Jim




    Good point...you can't just blame equipment although there have been some major advances which allow those with better swings to really take advantage of new technology.



    I don't 100% oppose limiting the ball (although I'm not in favor of it), I would just rather there be 1 ball.



    Now keep in mind, they are considering a change to the rules on groove width which should penalize those who just "bomb" it into the rough. If the groove width is restricted, it'll significantly reduce the player's (pro's included) ability to spin the ball out of the rough for those tight pins, but will not necessarily reduce spin as severely from the fairway.



    One of two things is expected to happen. 1. Pro's will want a ball that retains it's ability to spin out of the rough and it anticipated that a ball that retains it's ability to spin out of the rough will not travel as far. 2. Pro's will refocus on accuracy so they can control their shots into the greens.



    The proposed advantage to this approach is that it will help indirectly pull back distance off the tee at the tour level and the average person will not be as affected since the rough on most courses isn't nearly as thick as Tour stops.
  • ej002ej002 Guests Posts: 5,129 ✭✭
    I think they should just roll back the ball across the board. PERIOD. Lets say it does get cut back 25 yards from the pros who hit 300. Does that mean the amateur who hits 220 will lose 25 yards, or a % equal to the 300. So maybe an amateur loses 15 yards. I think many amateurs can handle that. And if amateurs really want more distance, let them buy illegal drivers or illegal balls, but just restrict that equipment from being used for official handicaps. JMO
  • mat562mat562 My ex had an irrational phobia of salad cream. Honestly. Members Posts: 10,947 ✭✭
    I find it bizarre that the ruling bodies have jumped up and imposed limits on all sorts of things like COR, clubhead size, MOI and other things that have impacted on the clubs that we can all use, but they have overlooked a simple solution to halting the tide of the ball going too far.



    Roll back the ball.



    It's incrediby easy to do, has minimal impact on the pockets of the club amateur and can be implemented easily in the pro game. Even the manufacturers and retailers don't suffer since current stock has a finite shelf life anyway and can be depleted by natural wastage in the lead-in to the new regulations. It's been touted as a solution for years, but the powers that be have been more concerned with other things.



    No-one ends up out of pocket and the courses that currently exist remain playable and relevant to the game at all levels, including top professional golf.
  • nightwalkernightwalker Members Posts: 379
    The best way to "roll back the ball" while still allowing for innovation would be to restrict the "dimple coverage" of the ball. The biggest gains in distance come from improved lift created by the complex dimple patters on the current balls. If you were to mandate a certain amout of non-dimpled surface on a ball, the gap between the fastest and slowest swings would close, since the highest swing speeds benefit the most from the high lift balls. It would still give the longest hitters an advantage (which is fair) but would narrow the gap between the longest and shortest players and still protect the classic courses to a reasonable degree.
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  • msguillorymsguillory Members Posts: 32
    CROUSE99 wrote on Dec 6 2007, 11&#58;15 AM:
    The average weekend golfer uses a cart and some sort of range finder or GPS, both of which are not allowed during pro tournament rounds.




    I don't know what average golfers are in your area, but when I play here in Houston I almost never see anyone with such equipment. A few of the courses I play used to have GPS on the cart, but I can only think of two now that still do.



    Now with that being said, personally I don't see why it is a big deal for weekend golfers to use such equipment. The pro golfers have advantages than we do not. The caddie know distance to just about everything. They don't need these devices because they already have the information. That includes pin location, carry to specific parts of the green ect... They also have 1000 people spotting their ball if it goes off line a little. If I go offline and think it might be lost I hit a provisional because lost ball is the same as OB! Can't tell you how many times my friends and I have said "that ball wouldn't be lost of the PGA Tour".



    Anyway, my point is that it seems to me that GPS, or rangefinders seem to be the same as have a pro caddie with a yardage book.
  • hollabachgthollabachgt Members Posts: 640 ✭✭
    edited Jan 18, 2008 #16
    I've always liked that growth of technology and innovation has been so paramount in the game. And I feel that the regulations that have been put into practice by the governing bodies are correct. That being said, I also feel that the game is becoming too long and needs to be controlled. But I don't like the notion of stopping innovation. If that was such, then we may all still be playing with hickory shafts and persimmon heads. I propose the maximum club limit be lowered from 14 to 10 clubs. This way the player chooses how they would like to play and what to sacrifice. If a player still wants to be long, then they give up some of their accuracy. If they want to be accurate, they have to sacrifice distance. By dropping the club limit we let the players handicap themselves, rather than handicapping the equipment.
  • stage1350stage1350 If you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything. Members Posts: 10,239 ✭✭
    edited Jan 18, 2008 #17
    press007 wrote on Dec 6 2007, 08&#58;33 AM:
    There is a growing number of professionals and officials considering a rollback in the distance limits the ball can go. If we dont we`ll need 10.000 yard courses and all the wonderful old courses will end up 9 hole courses. There are many more reasons to keep the ball from going too far but I wont go into them.



    It occured to me that we could do a couple things with the ball now and it may work. Of coarse this just came to my mind and anyone that can shoot holes throught it fine thats why I`m posting it.



    First many agree that the ball is getting to long, " for the pros" but not for the amateurs. So I suggest that you have 2 official balls or catagories of balls that everyone can choose to play in official tournments or recreationally.



    The first ball would be a "2 piece ball" that could have "even longer USGA distance limits" but would have "very limited spin and cover regulations" It would benefit short distance players but may not likely be chosen by better players because it would not have the spin they want to have off irons. If one could develop a game with that ball you could compete because its longer.



    The second ball would be a ball that the USGA would roll back the "distance limit" of say 25 yards from today. Technology could do anything it wants but there is a limit to distance just like it is now but 25 yards less.



    I think this would be a move that has many benefits for the amateur it would mean there would be a ball they could choose to get "more distance" but would have to develop different shots to make up for much less spin in the short game.



    This idea I think allows the USGA to control the balls distance in tournment play and still have a ball for amateurs that gives more distance and gives the manufactures room to improve balls but stay within distance limitations......Jim


    Sounds like a **** lawyer in Michigan. Chuck, is that you? I'll know it's you when you start to pontificate about Shackelford.



    When the long hitters start beating Tiger week over week with the long game, I'll consider a rollback. The reality is that Tiger wins with laser irons, tight wedges, and clutch putting DESPITE his accuracy off the tee. As for now, leave the rules alone.
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  • Sean2Sean2 #TheWRX (Callaway Trip) Members Posts: 30,826 ✭✭
    I don't think they need to change the technology or lengthen courses. Just make the courses tougher. Thick, thick rough...no bomb and gouge. Narrow fairways...narrower where the long hitters would usually land it. Fast, hard greens. Hazards that require a layup, etc.
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  • putterzzputterzz Members Posts: 136
    Why change anything, scores are NO better today than they were 20 years ago. Even with the advent of all this new technology the average golf score has not dropped for the best players in the world...the only thing technology accomplishes is making the game more enjoyable for the less than average golfer...
  • RNFRNF Members Posts: 303
    edited Jan 18, 2008 #20
    With all this talk about equipment making the game easier, one you think that the average players handicap/score would be better than it was 25-years ago......wrong.



    We'd be back to the days of the old R&A ball and USGA ball.



    I know everyone doesn't want to admit it, but the players are just better atheletes these days.



    The biggest difference I see in balls today are less side spin. I've taken my persimmon woods out to the course with some old (but new in the box) balata balls vs ProV1 and the side spin is a massive difference. If course the balata (while new) have been sitting for over 12 years so they are no where near fresh. Interestingly, on the launch monitor the initial velocity of the balata ball is still pretty good though.
  • alcap26alcap26 Charter Members Posts: 1,345 ✭✭
    I always wanted to use this icon



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  • HeadonaStickHeadonaStick FloridaMembers, ClubWRX Posts: 5,395 ✭✭
    edited Jan 18, 2008 #22
    I don't want to see a rule change because 0.0001% of golfers play the game really well.



    Here's another idea: Let's take that 0.0001% of golfers and let them play for a fee, and we could all watch them play. Then we could go back and play the same game, with the same equipment, and compare ourselves to the best golfers on the planet.



    Just say no to bifurcation....
  • Sean2Sean2 #TheWRX (Callaway Trip) Members Posts: 30,826 ✭✭
    RNF wrote on Jan 18 2008, 08&#58;56 PM:
    With all this talk about equipment making the game easier, one you think that the average players handicap/score would be better than it was 25-years ago......wrong.



    We'd be back to the days of the old R&A ball and USGA ball.



    I know everyone doesn't want to admit it, but the players are just better atheletes these days.



    The biggest difference I see in balls today are less side spin. I've taken my persimmon woods out to the course with some old (but new in the box) balata balls vs ProV1 and the side spin is a massive difference. If course the balata (while new) have been sitting for over 12 years so they are no where near fresh. Interestingly, on the launch monitor the initial velocity of the balata ball is still pretty good though.


    Not to change the subject, but I had the opportunity to play one last season. I loved the way it felt off the putter. Nothing comes close today.
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  • mat562mat562 My ex had an irrational phobia of salad cream. Honestly. Members Posts: 10,947 ✭✭
    edited Jan 18, 2008 #24
    HeadonaStick wrote on Jan 18 2008, 09&#58;29 PM:
    Just say no to bifurcation....




    Just the use of the word 'bifurcation' is worthy of respect. image/good.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':clapping:' />



    Most people would have written 'different balls..'
  • heybradyheybrady Members Posts: 1,826
    Why not just stop making the pga courses like driving a ball down a runway? These guys get 75 yards of roll on drives routinely. If the fairways are watered and the rough is cut long, it makes it much harder to just bomb away. It proves that keeping it striaght can win (Zach Johnson, Furyk, Funk).



    The thing is, you dont see too many wins from the guys who are strictly long hitters. Look at Daly, Bubba, JB Holmes, etc. It always comes down to the approach shots and putting.
  • mozgolfmozgolf Members Posts: 3,954
    Which courses are destroyed? Sure some championship courses are so long from the tips normal everyday golfers cant really play it- so what use the other tees. All the golf I watch on TV looks pretty good, if its not broke why try and fix it.
  • oregongolforegongolf Lefty Boomers Posts: 8,566 ✭✭
    heybrady wrote on Jan 18 2008, 08&#58;19 PM:
    Why not just stop making the pga courses like driving a ball down a runway? These guys get 75 yards of roll on drives routinely. If the fairways are watered and the rough is cut long, it makes it much harder to just bomb away. It proves that keeping it striaght can win (Zach Johnson, Furyk, Funk).



    The thing is, you dont see too many wins from the guys who are strictly long hitters. Look at Daly, Bubba, JB Holmes, etc. It always comes down to the approach shots and putting.


    No kidding.



    Have them play golf in the NorthWET in March and see how far the ball goes image/tongue.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':clapping:' /> Drive, carry, ...plug!
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