Titleist golf ball study; Finally, some facts added to the debate

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  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭

    tnord wrote:


    just because they didn't fix the problem during jack's era, doesn't mean they shouldn't fix it now.




    What problem is that?




    time and cost to participate in golf primarily. unfriendliness for beginners/youth to pick it up - general barriers to entry.



    the divergence of golf courses to be either beginner friendly, or "player" friendly only exacerbates the above problem.
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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,911 ✭✭
    The course where I started learning to play, picking up a club for the first time in 1994, cost me $15 to walk on a weekday afternoon and $20 on weekend mornings. That same course, when I last played it a year ago, was charging $15 to walk weekdays and is now up to $25 on weekends. Factor in inflation, that is actually cheaper than it was a quarter-century ago.



    Semi-private memberships in my area were available for around $700-$900 per year in the 90's and those same courses are roughly the same price now. One slightly nicer semi-private course (which to be fair, was in much better shape back in the golf boom days) used to cost about $1,800 per year and you can now play there for about half that much.



    In my area the same courses that were in operation before the ProV1 came along are unchanged, have not been lengthened and are no more expensive now. A couple of higher-$$$ courses were built in the late 90's and early 00's but those have really struggled and had to reign in their pricing since the big downturn of 2007-08. Nobody within 50 miles of me has built any new, longer, bigger, more expensive courses since the advent of the ProV1 and 460cc driver. There's just no market for it.
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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,303 ✭✭
    tnord wrote:


    major championship courses used to play just over 6000yds, now they play around 7500.




    Slight exaggeration. Here are a few examples.



    Augusta National was 6800 yards in 1940 and is now 7435.



    Oakmont was 6921 in 1973 and is now 7230.



    Pebble Beach is 7040 and has been almost the same length since it's first US Open in 1972.



    Carnoustie was 7252 in 1968 and is now 7421.
  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,911 ✭✭
    If you want to see major championships played at 6,000 yards then either you're going to roll back equipment to the Victorian era or you're going to accept winning scores of -30 or you're going to have to quit mowing the grass and let it be played in a pasture, putting on sand greens.
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  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭
    i might be exaggerating.....but the point remains. I've gone through this before with the staple courses of the US Open rota, and i think from the 30s through today the average increase in distance was like 600 yards.



    1915 US Open at Baltusrol was played at 6200.
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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,303 ✭✭
    tnord wrote:



    What problem is that?




    time and cost to participate in golf primarily. unfriendliness for beginners/youth to pick it up - general barriers to entry.




    But the courses have already been built, so the costs are sunk and cannot be recovered by making the holes shorter. There might be minor savings by maintaining less fairway, but you can do that without shortening the courses.



    Most courses already have short tees in the 5000 - 6000 yard length. So rather than shorten the course, people can just choose to play shorter tees.


    the divergence of golf courses to be either beginner friendly, or "player" friendly only exacerbates the above problem.




    There is nothing stopping anybody from building a course to attract beginners. That's called supply and demand and there is nothing wrong with it.



    Also, IF THERE IS DEMAND, most courses could build even shorter tees at very little cost. They could have tees at 4000 or 4500 yards for beginners. Why don't they do that? Because there is NO DEMAND for it.
  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭
    edited Jan 2, 2018 #428
    the understanding of what makes golf challenging and fun needs to go deeper than strictly tee placement and yardages.



    if courses can be enjoyable for both a 20 index and a scratch golfer, that makes the financial viability of a course more likely. when you've got courses that are either one or the other.....that's not healthy.
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  • Roadking2003Roadking2003 AustinMembers Posts: 5,303 ✭✭


    The course where I started learning to play, picking up a club for the first time in 1994, cost me $15 to walk on a weekday afternoon and $20 on weekend mornings. That same course, when I last played it a year ago, was charging $15 to walk weekdays and is now up to $25 on weekends. Factor in inflation, that is actually cheaper than it was a quarter-century ago.




    In Austin, good muni course fees are $25 weekdays, $32 weekends. Junior fees are $12 weekdays, $15 weekends.



    The Harvey Penick First Tee course is $11 and $6 for juniors on weekdays and $14 / $8 on weekends.



    That's quite affordable.
  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭
    i neglected to mention time/pace of play, as well as water availability as significant issues facing the game.
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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,911 ✭✭


    If you want to see major championships played at 6,000 yards then either you're going to roll back equipment to the Victorian era or you're going to accept winning scores of -30 or you're going to have to quit mowing the grass and let it be played in a pasture, putting on sand greens.




    I should have added "or you can play at a Par of 66 or 67". I've always thought you could build a very entertaining TV golf venue by eliminating most of the middling length Par 4's and easily reachable Par 5's and having an entire course of exciting holes.



    Put five Par 3's and have them all 220+ yards. Split the Par 4's with most of them being "driveable" in one form or another (say 290 to 340 yards) with one per side being really long and possibly narrow "tests" of driving plus long iron play (say 450-500 yards). And have the only Par 5's be a couple of 630 or 650 yard monsters, maybe one of them with water fronting the green.



    Heck, that's a Par of 69 right there and could be done on something like 6,000 yards.
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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,911 ✭✭
    tnord wrote:


    i neglected to mention time/pace of play, as well as water availability as significant issues facing the game.




    And again, if you give me a ball that goes 30 yards shorter and send me out to play my home course that's been there generally unchanged for 50+ yards how it that going to improve pace or play or reduce water usage?



    Do you think they'll just quit watering the back tees on each hole? That's gotta save, what, maybe 2% of the water used on the course.



    And how is it faster for me walk forward past three sets of tees instead of two?



    Again, you're not talking about anything that affects the ordinary golfer playing every Saturday and Sunday at his local muni or country club.
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  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭
    that's fine....you can disagree with every architect's viewpoint i've ever read or listened to if you want. i'm not here to argue with you yet again.
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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,911 ✭✭
    tnord wrote:


    that's fine....you can disagree with every architect's viewpoint i've ever read or listened to if you want. i'm not here to argue with you yet again.




    You're talking about "architects" whose livelihood depends on convincing rich guys to pay them to build a newer, better, golf course to compete with the boring old ones most of us play on. I'm not surprised that those guys would love to be a huge Rules change that they can use as an excuse to pitch more new courses.



    My only perspective is a retail golfer who writes a check every month to go play golf three times a week at a local course that suits me just fine as-is, with today's equipment. I think if every last golf course architect were to cease pitching and building courses it would probably be many decades before I even noticed...
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  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭
    edited Jan 2, 2018 #435
    thanks for illustrating how narrow of a view of the golfing world you have.



    EDIT; i knew i'd read something like this before, took me a minute to find it in my "library." again, i don't give two craps about what NB thinks of this, i'm only posting for the casual follower of the discussion.



    Something very drastic ought to have been done years and years ago. Golf courses are becoming too long.

    Alister MacKenzie



    All architects will be a lot more comfortable when the powers that be in golf finally solve the ball problem. A great deal of experimentation is now going on and it is to be hoped that before long a solutions will found to control the distance of the elusive pill. If, as in the past, the distance to be gotten with the ball continues to increase, it will be necessary to go to 7500 and even 8000 yard courses and more yards mean more acres to buy, more course to construct, more fairway to maintain, and more money for the golfer to fork out."

    William Flynn - Architect of Shinnecock Hills



    ...the fetish of distance is worshipped entirely too often and there should be a quick end to it.

    A.W. Tillinghast



    In a nutshell, the phenomenon of this eye-catching, longer-hitting trend - caused by new balls and clubs as well as stronger players, all-out swing instruction, and modern agronomy-is more easily corrected by just shortening the ball, i.e., putting a governor on it. Though politically challenging, this cure isn't rocket science or U.N. diplomacy. The issue cries out for a concerted attention, resolve, and action-all with a sense of urgency.

    Bill Campbell, former USGA president and captain of the R&A



    More distance results from changes made to drivers and, more recently, to balls that are designed to react with clubs by departing at a higher launch angle, and with less spin. Ironically, the technological changes do nothing for the average golfer; to take full advantage of equipment innovations, a player must be exceptionally consistent-close to a scratch player. When the average golfer hits a ball in the center of a club, it's an accident....increased distance leads to greater expense, to slower golf, and robs us of the meditative pleasure of comparison

    Frank Hannigan, former USGA executive director.



    I can tell you right now this ball thing is coming to an end. Otherwise it'll be the demise of golf courses...I guarantee as sure as I'm sitting here, the USGA has not had the leadership to do it, and I'm an admirer of the USGA. Something's going to be done in the future, but by whom I'm not sure."

    Gary Player
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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,911 ✭✭
    Yes, my viewpoint and opinions only encompass the "game" as a thing done by myself and the few hundred fellow retail golfers I've had the pleasure of sharing rounds with over the years. That's actually a remarkably wide range of people, places and experiences.



    But I'll cop to being too "narrow" to much care what yourself or people playing for millions of dollars on television might or might not get worked up over. If you tell me that your needs or theirs are in conflict with my own, of course I'm going to be advocating for golfers like myself. Naturally.
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  • storm319storm319 Members Posts: 3,767 ✭✭
    tnord wrote:


    scores are a secondary and distant concern.



    long hitters will always be long no matter the equipment, and they will always have something of an advantage. the suggestions to narrow and soften as a method for negating some of that advantage is actually going to have the opposite effect. sure, the distance numbers will be less, but the focus on bomb and gouge will be greater.



    the speed long hitters in tournament play swing with is a function of the forgiveness of the equipment in play. take away some of the forgiveness and the speed, and consequently distance will come down.




    How are scores a lesser concern? Isn't that the whole point of the game? It doesn't matter how you get there, what matters is the score you write down at the end of the hole.
  • storm319storm319 Members Posts: 3,767 ✭✭
    edited Jan 2, 2018 #438
    tnord wrote:


    tnord wrote:


    just because they didn't fix the problem during jack's era, doesn't mean they shouldn't fix it now.




    What problem is that?




    time and cost to participate in golf primarily. unfriendliness for beginners/youth to pick it up - general barriers to entry.



    the divergence of golf courses to be either beginner friendly, or "player" friendly only exacerbates the above problem.




    Interesting how the USGA also did nothing when there were more serious barriers prior to the 1960's like not being able to play unless you were a wealthy white male, don't you think?



    Also, rolling back to a shorter, higher spinning ball is the opposite of a "beginner friendly" change. The game has a lot bigger participation barriers than distance.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭
    storm319 wrote:

    tnord wrote:


    scores are a secondary and distant concern.



    long hitters will always be long no matter the equipment, and they will always have something of an advantage. the suggestions to narrow and soften as a method for negating some of that advantage is actually going to have the opposite effect. sure, the distance numbers will be less, but the focus on bomb and gouge will be greater.



    the speed long hitters in tournament play swing with is a function of the forgiveness of the equipment in play. take away some of the forgiveness and the speed, and consequently distance will come down.




    How are scores a lesser concern? Isn't that the whole point of the game? It doesn't matter how you get there, what matters is the score you write down at the end of the hole.




    as a player, yes, score is all that matters.



    since we're playing fantasy-administrator of the game, what we care about is generally participation and enjoyment.
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  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭
    storm319 wrote:

    tnord wrote:


    tnord wrote:


    just because they didn't fix the problem during jack's era, doesn't mean they shouldn't fix it now.




    What problem is that?




    time and cost to participate in golf primarily. unfriendliness for beginners/youth to pick it up - general barriers to entry.



    the divergence of golf courses to be either beginner friendly, or "player" friendly only exacerbates the above problem.




    Interesting how the USGA also did nothing when there were more serious barriers prior to the 1960's like not being able to play unless you were a wealthy white male, don't you think?



    Also, rolling back to a shorter, higher spinning ball is the opposite of a "beginner friendly" change. The game has a lot bigger participation barriers than distance.




    absolutely. the tour and the USGA don't exactly have a great history of getting it right on social issues.



    what do you view as the biggest barrier to participation?
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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,911 ✭✭
    The biggest barrier for most beginners is surely that it costs real time (4-5 hours in many cases) and real money (anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on location) every time they want to tee it up even though, as beginners, they are going to find it incredibly frustrating to get the ball in the air and moving toward the target even half the time they swing a club. You've got really enjoy an activity to spend real time and money while completely sucking at it for months or years until you figure out how it's supposed to be done.



    As for existing golfers, the usual excuses I hear trotted out are it takes too much time and it can't be done without either belonging to a club or planning in advance to get a tee time. So they gradually play less, therefore they're always rusty, therefore they can't play to their own expectations, so they play even less and eventually they're playing 4-5 times a year instead of 4-5 times a month.



    I can't see how handing a beginner a distance-limited ball does ANYTHING to make the game cheaper, less time consuming or easier to master. Quite the opposite, I'd think.



    And if you have a guy who used to play twice a week to a 12 handicap, who now plays half a dozen times each summer and shoots 95-100 and is losing interest in the game, how in the world is reducing the performance of his equipment going to rekindle his interest or lower his disappointment with his worsening performance?
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  • ShilgyShilgy Members Posts: 11,394 ✭✭
    tnord wrote:

    storm319 wrote:

    tnord wrote:


    tnord wrote:


    just because they didn't fix the problem during jack's era, doesn't mean they shouldn't fix it now.




    What problem is that?




    time and cost to participate in golf primarily. unfriendliness for beginners/youth to pick it up - general barriers to entry.



    the divergence of golf courses to be either beginner friendly, or "player" friendly only exacerbates the above problem.




    Interesting how the USGA also did nothing when there were more serious barriers prior to the 1960's like not being able to play unless you were a wealthy white male, don't you think?



    Also, rolling back to a shorter, higher spinning ball is the opposite of a "beginner friendly" change. The game has a lot bigger participation barriers than distance.




    absolutely. the tour and the USGA don't exactly have a great history of getting it right on social issues.



    what do you view as the biggest barrier to participation?
    Interest? It's a hard game that does not need to be dumbed down to create more participation imo. Some like the challenge of golf and some do not.

    To me it's similar to the interest in soccer in the US at the youth level. Kids hate failure in Little league baseball when they strike out. But the same kid can think he played a sport by running around on the soccer pitch for an hour.
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  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭
    edited Jan 2, 2018 #443


    The biggest barrier for most beginners is surely that it costs real time (4-5 hours in many cases) and real money (anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on location) every time they want to tee it up even though, as beginners, they are going to find it incredibly frustrating to get the ball in the air and moving toward the target even half the time they swing a club. You've got really enjoy an activity to spend real time and money while completely sucking at it for months or years until you figure out how it's supposed to be done.



    As for existing golfers, the usual excuses I hear trotted out are it takes too much time and it can't be done without either belonging to a club or planning in advance to get a tee time. So they gradually play less, therefore they're always rusty, therefore they can't play to their own expectations, so they play even less and eventually they're playing 4-5 times a year instead of 4-5 times a month.



    I can't see how handing a beginner a distance-limited ball does ANYTHING to make the game cheaper, less time consuming or easier to master. Quite the opposite, I'd think.



    And if you have a guy who used to play twice a week to a 12 handicap, who now plays half a dozen times each summer and shoots 95-100 and is losing interest in the game, how in the world is reducing the performance of his equipment going to rekindle his interest or lower his disappointment with his worsening performance?




    we've had this argument before.



    1) the "distance limited ball" will have minimal affect on how far the average player hits it. as has been covered a number of times, you need significant swing speed to use "all of the equipment."



    2) the only real defense of a golf course to a good player anymore is goofy pin positions and green conditions. a dialed back ball allows for different practices in agronomy on the green....slower and more receptive. that helps YOU the regular guy hitting a hybrid into every green. know what a shorter ball that spins more does to me? that actually makes it HARDER to place the ball because you have to keep from ripping the ball back off the green.



    3) if you cant acknowledge that a smaller golf course with less stressed turf conditions costs less to maintain and takes less time to walk, well, you're really beyond help. i might as well be arguing with a trump voter.



    4) a ball that spins more will actually help the average player in all facets of the game - the average player needs more spin to keep the ball in the air and hold the green.



    5) lets look at a real world case study in what a shorter, spinnier ball does to a guy like me, and how it makes the game of golf better.



    24589527507_7e90e91269_b.jpg



    a) how do you think the hole was originally designed to be played?

    b) how do you think the average 15-25hdcp plays it today?

    c) how do you think i play it?

    d) how do you think i would play it if i hit it 10% shorter with a ball that spins more?
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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,911 ✭✭
    edited Jan 2, 2018 #444
    I have no idea how you are anyone else would play some golf hole shown in a photo.[



    I've just never in my life played any hole and thought "Man, that would have been more fun hitting a whiffle ball".



    Striking a golf ball, seeing it soar a long way through the air and then land and roll right up to the thing you were aiming at is the most elemental pleasure in golf. It's the one thing that makes me pay money to play golf instead of just going out for a 3-hour walk.



    That pleasure is not increased by starting off closer to the target and hitting a ball that flies shorter.
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  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭
    edited Jan 2, 2018 #445
    i don't know why you even ever "participate" in any of these discussions. if you can't look at a picture, or a drawing of a golf hole and think up a strategy, or how someone with different skills may interpret a golf hole, you really have no business involving yourself in issues pertaining to architecture or the game of golf as a whole.



    you have perhaps the most narcissistic view of the game of anyone i've "encountered."
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  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    tnord wrote:



    The biggest barrier for most beginners is surely that it costs real time (4-5 hours in many cases) and real money (anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on location) every time they want to tee it up even though, as beginners, they are going to find it incredibly frustrating to get the ball in the air and moving toward the target even half the time they swing a club. You've got really enjoy an activity to spend real time and money while completely sucking at it for months or years until you figure out how it's supposed to be done.



    As for existing golfers, the usual excuses I hear trotted out are it takes too much time and it can't be done without either belonging to a club or planning in advance to get a tee time. So they gradually play less, therefore they're always rusty, therefore they can't play to their own expectations, so they play even less and eventually they're playing 4-5 times a year instead of 4-5 times a month.



    I can't see how handing a beginner a distance-limited ball does ANYTHING to make the game cheaper, less time consuming or easier to master. Quite the opposite, I'd think.



    And if you have a guy who used to play twice a week to a 12 handicap, who now plays half a dozen times each summer and shoots 95-100 and is losing interest in the game, how in the world is reducing the performance of his equipment going to rekindle his interest or lower his disappointment with his worsening performance?




    we've had this argument before.



    1) the "distance limited ball" will have minimal affect on how far the average player hits it. as has been covered a number of times, you need significant swing speed to use "all of the equipment."



    2) the only real defense of a golf course to a good player anymore is goofy pin positions and green conditions. a dialed back ball allows for different practices in agronomy on the green....slower and more receptive. that helps YOU the regular guy hitting a hybrid into every green. know what a shorter ball that spins more does to me? that actually makes it HARDER to place the ball because you have to keep from ripping the ball back off the green.



    3) if you cant acknowledge that a smaller golf course with less stressed turf conditions costs less to maintain and takes less time to walk, well, you're really beyond help. i might as well be arguing with a trump voter.



    4) a ball that spins more will actually help the average player in all facets of the game - the average player needs more spin to keep the ball in the air and hold the green.



    5) lets look at a real world case study in what a shorter, spinnier ball does to a guy like me, and how it makes the game of golf better.



    24589527507_7e90e91269_b.jpg



    a) how do you think the hole was originally designed to be played?

    b) how do you think the average 15-25hdcp plays it today?

    c) how do you think i play it?

    d) how do you think i would play it if i hit it 10% shorter with a ball that spins more?




    Grab a distance restricted range ball for your game, if you like, and let others grab the current balls.



    There are enough short hitters, that have too much spin...

    ...which is sometimes the reason, why they are short...

    ...if you increase spin, then those players become even shorter, and the hooks / slices even more exaggerated.



    Many believe architects think, that they are artists...

    ...and this has a reason.
  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,911 ✭✭
    edited Jan 2, 2018 #447
    So it is "narcissism" for me to speak about my own way of experiencing the game, a point of view shared by the vast majority of golfers?



    While at the same time you bang on endlessly about how the game needs to be changed to suit you. That is...well what is it exactly? Altruism?



    C'mon.
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  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭
    you are absolutely correct that some could gain distance by reducing spin, but i do not believe that to be the case for the majority. i could be wrong.



    sidespin != backspin



    backspin actually makes the ball go straighter.



    do people with under a 10hdcp not get to enjoy the game of golf too? or is it only for people that can't break 90?
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  • tnordtnord Members Posts: 2,309 ✭✭


    So it is "narcissism" for me to speak about my own way of experiencing the game, a point of view shared by the vast majority of golfers?



    While at the same time you bang on endlessly about how the game needs to be changed to suit you. That is...well what is it exactly? Altruism?



    C'mon.




    read again. i'm proposing making the game harder for myself, while reducing time and cost to play for everyone.
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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 9,911 ✭✭
    I play occasionally with an older fellow who is about a two handicap now but a few decades ago he was a +2 who could more than hold his own in local and state level tournament play. He plays a ProV1 and says if he could find a ball that was longer while still playing all the shots he needs inside 100 yards he'd be all over it in a moment.



    I do not think he would buy your arguments that "less than 10 handicap" golfers need a reduced-distance ball in order to enjoy the game more.
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  • UhitUhit Members Posts: 861
    edited Jan 2, 2018 #451
    tnord wrote:


    you are absolutely correct that some could gain distance by reducing spin, but i do not believe that to be the case for the majority. i could be wrong.



    sidespin != backspin



    backspin actually makes the ball go straighter.



    do people with under a 10hdcp not get to enjoy the game of golf too? or is it only for people that can't break 90?




    A lot of amateurs don't de-loft the club at impact, or they even scoop through impact - both is adding spin.



    A spinny ball, doesn't know if the player wanted pure backspin with a perfect vertical spin axis, or also side spin, because of a tilted spin axis.



    Guess what, a amateur has bigger problems to control the spin axis, than a pro...

    ...thus the amateur will get more punished by a more spinning ball, than the pro.



    btw



    there are low handicappers, who hit it short, and high handicappers who hit it a long way...



    ...because the short game is also important.
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