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USGA DISTANCE INSIGHT


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You keep making your first statement as if it is fact. Simply put, you don't know what a pro can or can't do with a driver optimized to hit off a shorter tee. Let me repeat that, YOU DON'T KNOW! You have been shown videos of pros hitting drivers off the deck (even harder than hitting off a 1/2" tee) that have carried darn near 300 yds (and I'm pretty sure one of them did as it pitched in the middle of the green) and you say they are anomalies. You have been shown golfers carrying their 3w 290 yds and you say it isn't 300 yds. BUT IT'S A 3W! And yet you seem to think a driver optimized to hit off a smaller tee will not gain at least 10 more yards of carry. As far as reasonable arguments are concerned, it is more reasonable to believe that after the equipment manufacturers re tune their drivers, the distance lost will not be that great.

 

As to your 3rd point. Most amateurs that I've seen who can't hit their driver well, can't hit their 3w well either. A 3w has a much smaller head, has more loft and is a shorter club, yet amateurs still slice it, duff it, skull it, shank it, pop fly it. You name the bad shot and they still hit them. A smaller less forgiving club head will not be a panacea for amateurs. Also remember, you will be making all the amateurs buy a new driver because their current one will not be playable.

 

The biggest problem I have with your posts is that you state your arguments as if they are fact. But they are not, they are your opinions. And more, they are your opinions not based off any studies, but based solely on how you perceive things. Which is fine, except you state them as fact! You ask other people to prove you wrong, yet you haven't proven your argument to begin with.

 

Now, here is my opinion. I don't think anything needs to be done for amateurs. According to strokes gained the farther we hit it off the tee, the better we will score... I shot my personal best yesterday and I only hit 3 fairways, but I did hit 9 GIR plus a couple more that hit the fringe all because my drives were long enough to get me mid irons into the green. But you want to knock 20 yds off my tee shots so I have long irons in instead of mid irons... Statistically speaking, which way do I score better?

Also my opinion, I don't think anything needs to be done with the pros either. If a classic course is too short, don't play there as a tour stop. That simple. Golfers will still want to play the classic courses. There could never be another Open championship at The Old Course, but I still want to go play it. As far as I'm concerned, they (PGA Tour) should just build a handful of "super stadium" courses and have all the tour stops at those.

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Driver: Taylormade Sim2 Max 9*

4w: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero

Hybrid:  Apex 19 3h 20*

Irons: Callaway Apex CF 19 4i-AW

W1: Vokey SM7 54* S

W2: Vokey SM8 60* L

Putter: Swag Handsome Too

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And did you see the 5 wood he hit on 18 that got 50 yards of roll?? Stop rolling the fairways and drying them out to concrete and the distance will drop .

Indeed. A guy who most golfwrx guys will be 30 yards ahead of just won last week

No offense, but you've got a bunch of ignorant stuff in there. First of all, there is an entire industry dedicated to studying the golf industry. Cost of the game isn't nearly the driver of decline y

 

The longest on the PGA tour, Korn Ferry hits longer on average of 306 versus 294.

These Korn players are not destroying PGA courses even though they hit 12 yards longer on average.

The average 18 HC doesn’t hit very far now, if they used equipment that hits even shorter many second shots will be just as bad or worse.

I suppose, I’m projecting what I’ve seen on the course many decades ago and compared to the past decade?

What I see now is a lot more golfers who can honestly break 100 on occasion rather than quitting as they did in the past.

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Long hitting may be a big factor for strokes gained at the highest levels, but breaking 100 is much more a factor of mistakes - tops, slices, more slices, poor chipping and pitching, and poor lag putting (leading to 3 and 4 putts). Breaking 100 can also be affected by one's choice of tees.

Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove.  P.G. Wodehouse
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The R&A has decided that they will continue to hold Open Championships at The Old Course.

One of two things will happen: there will be a separate set of specs for balls and drivers for play on sub 7,000 courses for elite players. Or there will be changes across the board. Martin Slumbers has indicated that the distance "problem" is a result of both the ball, and the driver club head; so I would look for changes to both when the rules are adjusted. My hope is that there is bifurcation, and at the grass roots level one will decide which driver/ball to play. I also think that the best players my continue to play "modern" equipment at some, or many venues on the PGA Tour.

If they best can get used to playing in the PGA Championship in San Francisco in 55* and heavy marine air, they can make the transition to a reduced distance ball fairly quickly. They are that good.

Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove.  P.G. Wodehouse
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Bifurcation is not really possible, and of course USGA would state that modern equipment hits much farther. They know which is the buttered side of the bread.

Seems likely that professionals could use old style equipment played on the old courses, but that likely won’t shorten distances as much as some seem to think. Players will still have much better fittings.

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It is a fact, as I stated in an earlier post, that Mcilroy on the range is consisitently 280 carry with a 3 wood. And he's as long as anyone, virtually.. The driver example you quote is ridiculous, 3 pros there for god knows how long with god knows how many attempts.

A lot of rank bad amateurs DO hit their driver well. Very well. It destroys the rest of their game because no other club rewards a mishit so generously.

I dont want to knock 20 yards off your tee shots (although you said earlier it wouldnt make a difference...) I want you to play appropriate tees with allowing for less carry off the tee.

your last point is pure sacrilege. Lets forget Augusta for a start, theres several tees that have nowhere to go (most of all 15, now often a drive wedge. The Old course now encroaches on the Eden course. Lytham has nowhere to extend at all. I've played plenty of 'tour' courses not many are at all memorable. Far rather play the classic tests, as would most golfers with a soul.

Fact.

 

 

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You may remember that there were 2 balls in use up until as recently as 1990, the ‘British Ball’ at 1.62” and the ‘US ball’ at 1.68.”

US players preferred using the British Ball at the Open (until 1974 when the British Ball was banned for the Open) as it was longer and easier to work in the wind. They switched back to the US ball the following week so it can be done. If you’ve played both balls you would know that the playing characteristics between them differed considerably.

I remember the first US ball I found on the course in around 1982, it was called ‘Impact’ iirc and it felt like I was hitting a tennis ball in comparison to the British Ball. For me, it was a lot easier to play with, particularly around and on the green. I switched between both balls depending on what I found on the course, but obviously always preferred playing the US ball. After a couple of holes of adjustment, however, I could score just as well with the smaller ball with a few minor changes in strategy. Trying to keep the small ball straight with the driver was a real skill which is why I never graduated from a 3-wood until Titanium came along.

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Lol, I remember being a kid when one of us would find a Super Condor (small ball) in a range bucket and pocket it to go out and hit bombs that day until it went OB. Happened a few times per summer. Given that our range balls largely came from the wooded areas OB, it might’ve been the same ball the whole time.

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bifurcation already exists with grooves, the one ball rule, etc. by using conditions of competition. We are in this mess now because an entire generation of idiots in the governing bodies worried more about money than anything else. Now that a golf course cannot test the pro by design the only challenge left for the pros is wind, a lot of wind. Everything else has become golf by numbers, track man numbers.

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The question of ball specification has never been a straightforward issue: History of the Ball

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The history of the past 30 years (or since 1974 which is when the R&A aligned to the USGA for The Open) is more relevant than what occurred 90 years ago. The R&A won’t deviate from the USGA moving forward and I doubt that there will be a sweeping rules change without agreements from the PGA Tour and PGA of America (more likely another limited use local condition).

Also, here is a quote from that article from when the R&A dissented from the USGAs first ball rollback in 1931 that I believe still holds true today:

The advantages of the proposed change are not commensurate with the disturbance of conditions of play and manufacture likely to result there from”.

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Recent history dilutes the very essence of golf. Ignore the principles and tenets that established the game in the dim and distant past and you start creating a new game. It’s happening now. The game played in the US is losing the historical links and heritage of the game and in doing so is a new game is being created that is a pale-shadow of the original.

The drive to make the game easier for the masses is a product of the PGA Tour and by association, the OEMs seeking to make more profit, nothing else.

A couple more quotes from the article that still hold true:

’...the Royal and Ancient Golf Club Rules Committee in 1919 it announced its intention to “limit the power of the ball, in order to retain the special features of the game”“we should be compelled to learn and re-learn how to control the flight of the ball in every kind of wind and circumstance, which is the quintessence of golfing skill, an art that is now being lost simply because there is no occasion for its employment”.

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None of your points prove that a pro won't be able to carry a driver optimized to hit off a shorter tee 300 yds.

Now, my game would surely be affected by a shorter tee. I am one of those amateurs that hit up on the driver and it has taken me a very long time to learn how to hit that darn club. I would have to learn a completely new swing to hit off a 1/2" tee. But the pros, they are actually good and the tour average is something like 1* down anyway... Now the LPGA, they mostly hit up. So really, who do you think would be the most affected?

I don't know why people can't disagree without showing the other person contempt on this site, but it seems that is the way it is. This will be my last post directed to you, I prefer not to have dialogue with those who think I am soulless for not agreeing with them.

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In the bag

Driver: Taylormade Sim2 Max 9*

4w: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero

Hybrid:  Apex 19 3h 20*

Irons: Callaway Apex CF 19 4i-AW

W1: Vokey SM7 54* S

W2: Vokey SM8 60* L

Putter: Swag Handsome Too

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Agree with your assessment. It takes most amateurs to learn anything new, much less a new swing off the tee.

What the “roll backers”, and I put them in quotes because what they are actually proposing is another “dumb down”.

One proposal is 1/2” tee which sort of implies a 3W design of some sort? I can’t pretend to really understand the logic myself? What I showed is that there are plenty of players who could still carry those distances with current technology.

If such a rule we’re in place, the club makers and ball makers would immediately design new clubs and balls to overcome any new rules limitations.

The professionals won’t be affected as much as amateurs. They are much more skilled at hitting so fast and consistently it would likely only take a few months for them to adjust.

The industry would be figuring out designs for amateurs for years. In the meantime, we’ll all be playing 6 hour rounds.

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I think you are soulless for wanting todo away with the classic golf courses and play everything on a TPC. I would reckon most of the board would agree.

you were criticising what I was saying as statements of fact, but tell me, what’s not a fact:

 

smaller tee equals smaller clubhead. Is that a fact?

you can’t swing as fast with a smaller club because the error is magnified. Is that a fact?

Rory is consistently 280 carry off a short tee, year in, year out. Is that a fact?

he is amongst the longest players and the tour average carry with a 3 wood is substantially less. Is that a fact?

average golfers aren’t measurably improving, and many can hit only a 460 driver and nothing else. Is that a fact?

it is simpler and quicker to change the tee rather than anything else. Is that a fact?

it would avoid bifurcating the game, which a pro ball rollback will. Is that a fact?

 

right, now beyond all that, is up for debate. Will they gain back those yards? My opinion would be some, but not all.

would it do the average amateurs game any harm if they couldn’t tee it up? No, I think it would help them more than they realise, but it’s an opinion only

 

 

 

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Watching the PGA Championship for the last 10 minutes, I haven’t seen the cream of world golf hit a fairway with 460ccs yet...with the exception of Tiger.

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We all know they let the genie out of the bottle allowing 460ccs...can’t see that being reversed but that is where the problem lies.

The advantage that tennis has over golf is that the ball specification was set in 1925 and has been carefully monitored ever since.

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I have seen a few more than that but they all seem to be slicing off to the right...JT and Cupcake were doing this last weekend too. Is this the new norm? Should I have been practicing my slice instead of trying to correct it? I might try it in the morning to see if I can gain the same benefit of always having an open shot into the green.

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The USGA set all meaningful limits on the ball for the factors that contributed to universal distance gains back in the 1970’s and they have also been monitoring it for years as well.

I do agree that the USGA dropped the ball by not acting sooner to limit club head size and maybe some the first step in gaining some credibility with the general golfing public would be to accept responsibility for this misstep (I’m not going to hold my breath for that to happen).

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