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USGA and RA about to screw up this game over distance


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Seriously, there will always be longer hitters. These organizations had no problems with the distance when it was attracting people to the sport. Tournament setups of no rough, no focus on accuracy... just bomb and birdie. Now, they go and do a study... get ready for stupid changes instead of just making a premium on accuracy. I can't wait to see what these folks to combat the "distance problem".....

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Again, the USGA makes decisions based on the 0.00001 percent of golfers. Forget about the other 60 million that keep the game alive.

Why don’t they do like they did for the US Open at Merion. Grow the rough up and narrow the fairways. Not for the everyday member but in preparation for a pro tourney. 1 over won that week at 6900 yar

Is there a distance problem at the high level of .1% of all golfers? probably. Let's realize that the majority of all golfers do not break 100 let alone 90. Trying to make the game much harder for t

A shorter distance ball for the pro's won't affect us so who cares?

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The natural counter to what you are saying is that even when the equipment was old and wooden and steel, the majority of golfers didn't break 100 let alone 90. A roll back or whatever you want to call it will not change it. The game won't be much harder as the equipment has not made it much easier for the bulk of golfers.

 

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I understand what you and @smashdn have said. My concern would be how many golfers would leave the game? The point about the UK is interesting, I would definitely say the US is the opposite and had the Tiger effect happen.
I would be nervous about a rollback and with the large but aging baby boomer population causing a large decline in golfers overall.

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Not discounting your concerns regarding baby boomers, but realistically if the concern is about that demographic, how much longer can you count on them to buoy golfer numbers as a whole? I do see your point that it gets reported that golfer numbers are declining and there is no need to speed their departure for any reason.

Baseball is currently suffering an identity crisis as well and is, imo, making some unsavory changes in an attempt to be all things to all people. Unfortunately they are alienating their core base. I hope golf does not follow suite.

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In the UK, 30 years ago you queued for well over an hour for a tee on a public course. Private clubs had waiting lists (in years) for members and charged a joining fee in addition to annual subscriptions.

Now you can pretty well walk straight out on a public course. Private clubs are competing for members. No joining fees and special deals for new members.

Most clubs have no junior section, small ladies section. Very few players under 50 years of age. Some clubs even offer free membership if under 21.

It would seem to me that in the UK the game is dying.

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Man that is so different. Albeit it is prime season right now in Florida I have 12 public courses within a 30 minute drive. Right now it is nothing but crowds and slow rounds. I go to a range after work and it's packed. It's good in the sense of public interest, but played a Par 67 as a twosome in 4:30 and there was literally no where to go.

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It's similar in New Zealand. To be honest we've probably always had too many golf courses per capita. I was perusing some info on my old club, in the mid nineties they had over a thousand members. But that dwindled to perhaps half that.

I'm really torn between initiatives to attract new players and maintaining value for existing members. Here most of the courses are 'public' in that the sense if you are happy to pay a green fee, you can play. There are some truly private clubs, but there's probably less than a dozen. Of course this doesn't mean you could ring up my course on Wednesday and book 9am the following Saturday, but if there were some free afternoon slots almost anyone can play.

As for distance, the sooner we have bifurcation, the better. I only know a smattering about baseball, but surely if wooden bats mean the don't have to rebuild stadiums then surely golf could follow suit for professionals. NB, I don't necessarily mean pros going back to persimmon!!

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If "Them Powers That Be" do this right, it could be a win-win for everyone.

I look at it this way. A shorter ball doesn't make the game harder for the average player if the courses are also shortened. So instead of 6200-6700 yards, the courses become 5500 - 6200 yards from the white and blue tees. If the new tee boxes are in the right places, the holes become manageable with the shorter ball while retaining their strategic integrity. If the ball doesn't go as far, there is less chance of losing a ball from a wayward shot. Less time wasted looking for lost balls. Fewer lost balls mean faster rounds. Shorter courses also mean less area to maintain. Less maintenance means lower greens/membership fees. These are all good things IMO.

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No way the USGA/R&A roll back the ball just because the pro's hit it so long. Some of you guys worry too much.

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The last I checked, average joe's shoot 90+ from 6100 yards. If there is a problem it's 1) within .001% of the golfing population, and 2) due to course lay outs and conditions allowing and encouraging such shots.

I find this whole thing quite funny, because the PGA Tour is almost actively ruining their own game. All they do is play highlights and air guys like Rory murdering the ball 360, meanwhile the average score hasn't gone down in lord knows in how long. They want to attract new viewers by showing us how "se.xy" golf is, and now a bunch of old crusty guys who want us off their proverbial golf lawn are essentially threatening to take it all away. It's pure gold.

Stop worrying people. You heard Peter Kostis... the Tour is ALL about that $$$. Big drives sell. You think those fat cats are going to let the R&A risk their precious profits???

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A different ball on tour vs amateurs would be the beginning of the end for golf. So would amateurs playing in USGA/R&A events have to play with the tour ball? What about the junior/high school/ college level? No way Matthew Wolfe or Victor Hovland would have been able to jump straight into professional golf from the college game. It would take months maybe even years before they would be able to adjust from the amateur ball to the tour ball. Hell what about a friendly game with your buddies? One guy breaks out a tour ball and shoots 80 and another guy in the group plays the amateur ball but shot 78. Is the distance loss worth 2 shots? Potentially. Assuming the course has 3-4 par 5’s that’s at least 3-4 holes that are now harder to reach in 2. It’s a simple solution guys. Grow the rough up super high for tour events and stop cutting down trees. Problem solved.

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