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Course Setup To Combat Today's Bomb-And-Gouge Game


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I redesigned the 11th at Winged Foot. I hope you find the changes more appropriately punishing...

The sky is falling! Take 5,973

Not buying that theory at all. You absolutely can make contact missing the center but it won’t go far or straight. It seems to offend many but these guys are good. There, I said it. None of the pros a

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5 hours ago, NRJyzr said:

 

It's not really that, it's MOI that's causing the issue.  MOI restricts the curve in shots, and combined with the very large driver clubheads, allows them to go after it as they all do (for the most part) in the modern game.

 

20+ years ago, when I was starting the game, it was commonly mentioned that new golfers should use a 3w as their primary tee club, because the added loft made the fly straighter.  These days, I can't even count how many times I hear announcers mention when a player goes to his fairway wood that he's doing so to be able to better move the ball laterally.  It's a dichotomy, one borne of MOI.

 

Remember when the SLDR was new?  Most pros wouldn't use it, because it wasn't as accurate.  MOI again.  It shows you don't even need to reduce the driver head size to get something that adds more uncertainty to the tee game.

 

Just cut down the driver MOI for the pros, cap it a lot lower than we see used on Tour now, it'll fix what many are complaining about.

 

I couldn't care less about the club number someone's using on their second shots.  You can call your 33* club an 8 iron, or whatever the h*ll you want, but it's still a 33* club.  Loft still drives distance. 

 

The distance being generated now isn't all that different from Ye Olde Days, when you account for swingspeed differences.

 

I also like @ThinkingPlus's idea of making the greens slower, maybe shaggier.  How many guys complain about putting on poa?  LOL

 

Lot of guys are pointing at the ball, but it's not the ball.  It's never been the ball.  Look at the ball tests done in 2000 and 2001, just after Nike and Titleist joined Bridgestone and Spalding.  There's just not that much difference.  It's the clubs.

I know you are saying it was because of more loft but why ask beginners to hit the three wood off the tee if the larger headed driver is easier to hit? Not only easier but, according to what I have read in this thread, absolutely removes any doubt about hitting a poor shot? I really need one of those tour issue drivers I guess.

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And that is weekend rounds.  I can't imagine what Thursday's and Friday's would be like with a full field hitting 30-40% of the fairways with U.S. Open rough.  I don't think a 7 hour round is out of the question. 

 

On the bright side, think how many commercials NBC could ram down your throat in 7 hours!

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5 hours ago, Quayle said:

 

I think Jack was speaking not as a former player, but as an architect, when he talked about the problems of making courses longer and longer.

 

That is probably a correct take. In Jacks era he gasps the same advantage as the long hitters today. He wouldn’t have wanted it taken away back then.

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4 hours ago, Golf10 said:

 

No worries mate.  Dial back the ball 20% and the architecture is relevant again.  Winged Foot is way short for current ball technology.  They had to trick it up to make it hard.

20% brings the tour average to under 240. 
 

Ive said it before and I will probably need to say it again....Arnie drove the green at the US Open and it was wonderful! Jack dramatically shrugged off his sweater and drove the 18th at the Olde Course in the Open Championship and it was celebrated. A modern tour player does the same and folks are out with pitchforks saying we need a rollback.

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35 minutes ago, Shilgy said:

I know you are saying it was because of more loft but why ask beginners to hit the three wood off the tee if the larger headed driver is easier to hit? Not only easier but, according to what I have read in this thread, absolutely removes any doubt about hitting a poor shot? I really need one of those tour issue drivers I guess.

 

 

The comment was at a time drivers weren't as much larger than a 3w as they are now; I started playing in 1998, that's when I heard and read that generally accepted advice.  I would expect it's different these days.  ?

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5 hours ago, clinkinfo said:


 

so I guess we should modify hockey sticks so the ones who can slap shot hardest don’t have an advantage?

 

i guess we should modify the football so QB’s who can throw it further than everyone else don’t have an advantage?

 

i guess we should modify baseballs so the pitchers who can throw the fastest don’t have an advantage?

 

i guess we should modify the golf ball so that the most accurate approach players have some “randomness” added into the ball so they don’t hit as many GIR and don’t have an advantage?

 

this is a sport, you work hard to gain a physical advantage.  Why is the premise that the advantage then has to be removed from the game so it’s more level for the rest of the players?

 

We do, hockey sticks physically break if you put too much into them. Also at the NHL level goalie pad size regulations change somewhat frequently to respond to scoring rates.

 

We do, its called defense. In the NFL kickers were too good for extra points, so they moved the kick back. 

 

We did, pitching used to be from a box 45' from the plate. Then it became a mound of some height, which was later lowered because it was felt it was too advantageous to the pitcher. Funny taking an example from a game that deliberately limits bat tech though.

 

Olympic javelins were redesigned because they were flying too far.

 

Racecars in many series are kept more slowly than would otherwise be possible for safety.

 

Tennis balls were slowed down because players could hit them too hard.

 

The equipment in sports is often modified in response to emergent dominance. Golf is neith a distance competition nor an accuracy competition, it is to see who can use 14 sticks to propel a ball into a hole in the fewest number of whacks. If I want to watch pure athleticism I can watch the Olympics, if I want pure accuracy I can watch darts.

 

Some believe that prior to large-head drivers and low driver/high wedge spin balls, a natural balance existed whereby chasing extra yards became exponentially more difficult. Were there long players? Yes. Can balata be hit 300 with persimmon? Yes! Can balata be hit with persimmon 300 yards, kept within a 50 yards of fairway center, on 14 driving holes in a round? Not at the current level of human performance I don't think, not repeatably. This natural limit balanced distance against control accuracy and in the minds of many today the balance of this era was ideal. (How much this is true vs a nostalgic perception of the era is left as an exercise to the reader).

 

So that's why the premise exists, at least for me.

 

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17 minutes ago, James the Hogan Fan said:

 

We do, hockey sticks physically break if you put too much into them. Also at the NHL level goalie pad size regulations change somewhat frequently to respond to scoring rates.

 

We do, its called defense. In the NFL kickers were too good for extra points, so they moved the kick back. 

 

We did, pitching used to be from a box 45' from the plate. Then it became a mound of some height, which was later lowered because it was felt it was too advantageous to the pitcher. Funny taking an example from a game that deliberately limits bat tech though.

 

Olympic javelins were redesigned because they were flying too far.

 

Racecars in many series are kept more slowly than would otherwise be possible for safety.

 

Tennis balls were slowed down because players could hit them too hard.

 

The equipment in sports is often modified in response to emergent dominance. Golf is neith a distance competition nor an accuracy competition, it is to see who can use 14 sticks to propel a ball into a hole in the fewest number of whacks. If I want to watch pure athleticism I can watch the Olympics, if I want pure accuracy I can watch darts.

 

Some believe that prior to large-head drivers and low driver/high wedge spin balls, a natural balance existed whereby chasing extra yards became exponentially more difficult. Were there long players? Yes. Can balata be hit 300 with persimmon? Yes! Can balata be hit with persimmon 300 yards, kept within a 50 yards of fairway center, on 14 driving holes in a round? Not at the current level of human performance I don't think, not repeatably. This natural limit balanced distance against control accuracy and in the minds of many today the balance of this era was ideal. (How much this is true vs a nostalgic perception of the era is left as an exercise to the reader).

 

So that's why the premise exists, at least for me.

 

 

Hockey sticks actually break because they are being designed thinner and thinner to make the puck faster and faster.  They live on the edge of breaking as a result, that’s not a design feature. 

 

Defense?  I have no clue how to relate that to this, other than to talk about course layout, because that’s what golf defense is I guess (but we’ve been doing that).  The kicker being moved back was a statistical decision so the endings and extra points of football games were not so “predetermined”, football didn’t change the ball or the kicking process to make it more “fair” for all kickers, even the ones who can’t kick as far.  And kicking far and accurate in the NFL is the perfect example, that’s a competitive advantage that a player has worked on to gain that advantage.  Why would it be logical to make all kickers ability more “even” by introducing a “short flight” football for kicking?  They are athletes, it’s their job to get better and better, and the very best play professionally.  

 

Race cars are not the same discussion, they’ve always been limited, that’s the concept of the modern sport. 

 

Bats in baseball are just like the COR in a driver.  We already have that limit in place along with a size limit for the head and rebound maximum for the ball.   The pitcher was a decision for the game of baseball because it was more fair for ALL batters (Something both sides did evenly) and they wanted more runs per game.  It wasn’t trying to equalize batting ability across batters so the short hitters could still play with the homerun hitters.  

 

No clue on the tennis balls and Javelins, your probably right on those, it’s not black and white for sure and I don’t know enough to comment.  

 

The object of golf is to get the ball in the hole 18 times in the least amount of strokes.  I don’t think I want the sport to end up over-regulating how that’s done.  If someone can do it by being hyper accurate, great.  If someone can do it by being crazy long, great.  Why is either a problem?  The only thing I keep hearing is “well....the short guys on tour can’t keep up anymore”.  So maybe those guys are not meant to be on tour?  Just like a great kicker who can always get it through the uprights from 30 yards max.  That’s probably good for high school, not so great in college, and it certainly isn’t going to be good enough to be a pro.  

 

Part of the change that’s happening is the introduction of athletes to a game that was historically not populated by true training athletes.   We have guys who are strength training to death specific to golf and swing movements, with the support of entire training teams and analytics.   As a result, they can crush the ball.  This was never how anyone approached golf before, but it’s the new way athletes are.  I think it’s really odd to attempt to “equalize” all abilities, even those who have not embraced that idea.  Because I still don’t understand exactly why.....it’s still the lowest score that wins each week.  

 

if the reason why is simply “it’s so unfair, that guy can hit it so much farther!”...my instinct is tough, adapt and overcome, that’s life. 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Shilgy said:

Not buying that theory at all. You absolutely can make contact missing the center but it won’t go far or straight. It seems to offend many but these guys are good. There, I said it. None of the pros are missing the center of the club face as much as a typical scratch player even when the pro swings ALL out. The ball will not go as far or as straight as BDC hit it if not centered. Zach Johnson misses a fairway by 10 yards and folks think he pulled it just a hair. BDC or Wolff or DJ ....hit it on exactly the same line and it ends up 25 yards left and folks think they just wail away with no thought.

A couple of the par 4’s had BDC hitting three wood off the tee and attempting to reach the green. He had no issue centering the face with an all out swing with a 170cc fairway. Why would he worry about hitting a , what did you call it, why would he hit a smotherducksnorter just because you called it a driver instead if a fairway wood?

These guys are indeed good, they are excellent. But it’s no coincidence that swing speeds have increased dramatically with the advent of supersized drivers.  The freedom to swing away is largely due to the reduced and almost eliminated fear of a mishit. You said it yourself, these guys are good, they aren’t going to miss the center by much. They can miss the center by 1/2 inch now and still hit a decent drive. Miss a Pittsburgh Persimmon by 1/2 inch and watch out. 

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33 minutes ago, golfandfishing said:

These guys are indeed good, they are excellent. But it’s no coincidence that swing speeds have increased dramatically with the advent of supersized drivers.  The freedom to swing away is largely due to the reduced and almost eliminated fear of a mishit. You said it yourself, these guys are good, they aren’t going to miss the center by much. They can miss the center by 1/2 inch now and still hit a decent drive. Miss a Pittsburgh Persimmon by 1/2 inch and watch out. 

Absolutely true.  In fact, to use the scientist Bryson as an example, I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't purposefully try to get it a 1/2 inch out towards the toe when he's into the wind.  Not only can you hit these modern drivers basically anywhere on the face, but hitting it out towards the toe produces rocket knuckleballs with even lower spin rates then the modern shaft head combo's already produce. 

 

There is no way these guys could swing like they do now with even the early titanium woods from the early 2000's. 

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29 minutes ago, golfandfishing said:

These guys are indeed good, they are excellent. But it’s no coincidence that swing speeds have increased dramatically with the advent of supersized drivers.  The freedom to swing away is largely due to the reduced and almost eliminated fear of a mishit. You said it yourself, these guys are good, they aren’t going to miss the center by much. They can miss the center by 1/2 inch now and still hit a decent drive. Miss a Pittsburgh Persimmon by 1/2 inch and watch out. 

We all have our own opinion but go on YouTube and watch old videos of Johnny Miller. He was up on his toes like Bubba. There was absolutely no holding back.  Or Norman recoiling off his back. 
Your typical scratch is not missing by half an inch. I am a 4 and suck with driver and rarely am off over half an inch either way. Holding back to “control” it will create more variance than 100%.  All out is consistent. Trying to do more than that gets big misses.

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2 hours ago, Shilgy said:

We all have our own opinion but go on YouTube and watch old videos of Johnny Miller. He was up on his toes like Bubba. There was absolutely no holding back.  Or Norman recoiling off his back. 
Your typical scratch is not missing by half an inch. I am a 4 and suck with driver and rarely am off over half an inch either way. Holding back to “control” it will create more variance than 100%.  All out is consistent. Trying to do more than that gets big misses.

Players of that era definitely had an extra gear.  Whether it was Johnny, Jack, or Seve - they could all tune it up when needed.  But they did it within the framework of the equipment they were using.  Today's players have built entire swings around drivers with sweetspots the size of a sand dollar.  Centering a modern driver and centering a persimmon are absolutely worlds apart.  And I know, I switch back and fourth between the two all season long.  I love my vintage clubs. 

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1 hour ago, James the Hogan Fan said:

 

We do, hockey sticks physically break if you put too much into them. Also at the NHL level goalie pad size regulations change somewhat frequently to respond to scoring rates.

 

We do, its called defense. In the NFL kickers were too good for extra points, so they moved the kick back. 

 

We did, pitching used to be from a box 45' from the plate. Then it became a mound of some height, which was later lowered because it was felt it was too advantageous to the pitcher. Funny taking an example from a game that deliberately limits bat tech though.

 

Olympic javelins were redesigned because they were flying too far.

 

Racecars in many series are kept more slowly than would otherwise be possible for safety.

 

Tennis balls were slowed down because players could hit them too hard.

 

The equipment in sports is often modified in response to emergent dominance. Golf is neith a distance competition nor an accuracy competition, it is to see who can use 14 sticks to propel a ball into a hole in the fewest number of whacks. If I want to watch pure athleticism I can watch the Olympics, if I want pure accuracy I can watch darts.

 

Some believe that prior to large-head drivers and low driver/high wedge spin balls, a natural balance existed whereby chasing extra yards became exponentially more difficult. Were there long players? Yes. Can balata be hit 300 with persimmon? Yes! Can balata be hit with persimmon 300 yards, kept within a 50 yards of fairway center, on 14 driving holes in a round? Not at the current level of human performance I don't think, not repeatably. This natural limit balanced distance against control accuracy and in the minds of many today the balance of this era was ideal. (How much this is true vs a nostalgic perception of the era is left as an exercise to the reader).

 

So that's why the premise exists, at least for me.

 

The only difference between golf and the sports you mentioned is the fact the us, you and me the paying public play the same courses the Pros play and use the same equipment the pros use......Even the highest handicapper love the thought of that and to mess with that by changing specs because of 300 golfers (PROS) is irresponsible....IMO

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1 minute ago, Shilgy said:

We all have our own opinion but go on YouTube and watch old videos of Johnny Miller. He was up on his toes like Bubba. There was absolutely no holding back.  Or Norman recoiling off his back. 
Your typical scratch is not missing by half an inch. I am a 4 and suck with driver and rarely am off over half an inch either way. Holding back to “control” it will create more variance than 100%.  All out is consistent. Trying to do more than that gets big misses.

We can disagree, I appreciate the “civilness”. Miller and Norman were exceptions, their incredible talent and work ethic allowed them to perform swinging like that. Look at Phil’s swing 1994 v today. He was far slower and smoother. Tiger as well.  I think what a lot of folks want is players swinging like Miller and Norman, and also others like Kite, Strange, Sutton, Crenshaw or Price. The variety of styles of play are disappearing and the 1 dimensional play is tough to watch week in and week out. Golf was a game of power, creativity, imagination and precision. What Wolff and Bryson did this week was amazing, I mentioned in another thread that playing from the rough they did required advanced skill and it was remarkable for them to consistently hit greens like they did. But EVERYONE swings the way you mentioned in Norman and Miller because the equipment allows them to do it, talent is less of a factor now. Guys on tour absolutely miss the center by 1/2 inch. They aren’t missing the sweet spot by that amount because it’s so large, but they do miss the center by that amount with the driver. Norman and Miller wore dime size marks in their drivers. DJ, Bryson, Champ and others have wear marks the size of quarters. Both cover the sweet spots available to them during their eras. 

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2 hours ago, Shilgy said:

20% brings the tour average to under 240. 
 

Ive said it before and I will probably need to say it again....Arnie drove the green at the US Open and it was wonderful! Jack dramatically shrugged off his sweater and drove the 18th at the Olde Course in the Open Championship and it was celebrated. A modern tour player does the same and folks are out with pitchforks saying we need a rollback.

That's correct.  But they say such feats are supposed to be rare.   In the end, it's because people struggle to wrap their heads around the fact that more players are physically able to do it now than there were then.  

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27 minutes ago, madeintheshade said:

Just make the PGA Tour players play with dark colored balls, don’t have spotters, and enforce a one minute search time rule. 
 

when Bryson is losing four five balls a round, he will need to change his game. 
 

 

Or they could paint the whole course white, or play in the middle of the night.  Why don't they also put windmills and clown mouths around the holes?

 

 

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2 hours ago, Shilgy said:

20% brings the tour average to under 240. 
 

Ive said it before and I will probably need to say it again....Arnie drove the green at the US Open and it was wonderful! Jack dramatically shrugged off his sweater and drove the 18th at the Olde Course in the Open Championship and it was celebrated. A modern tour player does the same and folks are out with pitchforks saying we need a rollback.

Been saying it for decades along with Nicklaus.  No worries on your opinion

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5 minutes ago, Ashley Schaeffer said:

Question for the panel: Are these modern pros also swinging for the fences with impunity with irons? 

I wouldn't think so, being that if they need to hit it farther, they can just get a longer club.  No such option with the ol' Number 1.

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Just now, Ashley Schaeffer said:

Question for the panel: Are these modern pros also swinging for the fences with impunity with irons? 

Absolutely.  Modern irons are probably more forgiving then the drivers.  And the modern iron shafts are in another world when it comes to stability and spin reduction.   Pair all of this with a golf ball that flies straight and stable and is so advanced that it can spin less with the driver while still spinning plenty around the greens and you’ve got the modern professional game.  A game full of athletes who’ve tuned their bodies and swings to meet the advanced equipment.  
 

 

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On 9/20/2020 at 3:17 PM, Kilo1545 said:

I'm just waiting for that Tommy Fleetwood-looking long drive dude to come over and dominate the Tour.

I think Kyle Berkshire is a great example of how much all around skill guys like BAD, Wolff, etc. have. The reason Berkshire isn't on tour now is that it takes more than strength and speed. Maybe the rest of his game will develop with lots of hard work, but right now he'd be unlikely to make a cut on the KF tour.

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39 minutes ago, Ashley Schaeffer said:

That's correct.  But they say such feats are supposed to be rare.   In the end, it's because people struggle to wrap their heads around the fact that more players are physically able to do it now than there were then.  

Doesn’t that make it a more competitive game then? If more players are the same length, then there should be less dominance than when only a couple of guys could really drive it far. 
 

does the NFL, care that more receivers and defensive backs run 4.3 forties in 2020 than did in 1970? 

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3 minutes ago, madeintheshade said:

Doesn’t that make it a more competitive game then? If more players are the same length, then there should be less dominance than when only a couple of guys could really drive it far. 
 

does the NFL, care that more receivers and defensive backs run 4.3 forties in 2020 than did in 1970? 

I think we see things the same way, here.

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17 minutes ago, Dr. Block said:

Absolutely.  Modern irons are probably more forgiving then the drivers.  And the modern iron shafts are in another world when it comes to stability and spin reduction.   Pair all of this with a golf ball that flies straight and stable and is so advanced that it can spin less with the driver while still spinning plenty around the greens and you’ve got the modern professional game.  A game full of athletes who’ve tuned their bodies and swings to meet the advanced equipment.  
 

 

?  I remember an article in Golf Digest back in the late 90s with the headline: "He hit a 7-iron How Far?!!" or something like that.  (I got the print version for probably 20 years).  It went into a thing about how pros use lofts that aren't "really" 7-iron lofts, etc. and how we shouldn't believe what we see on TV.  It might've even been Dan Jenkins.  IDK why, but your post reminded me of that article.  

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I don't necessarily buy into the OPs premise, but if you want to put more of a premium on hitting fairways/driving accuracy (and less on speed/strength) I'd suggest more birdieable par 4s. Specifically:

1. 420 yards +/- with front pins/no run up.

2. 300 yards +/- risk/reward holes (like WF 6 or the ones Morikawa drove at the PGA and Workday)

 

Holes that are ~470+ tend to favor longer hitters that can keep it on the golf course...Shorter hitters have a tough time making birdie even when they hit the fairway.

 

The USGA still has some defend par mentality, so not a ton of par 4s that become good birdie opportunities by simply hitting the fairway.

 

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2 hours ago, golfandfishing said:

We can disagree, I appreciate the “civilness”. Miller and Norman were exceptions, their incredible talent and work ethic allowed them to perform swinging like that. Look at Phil’s swing 1994 v today. He was far slower and smoother. Tiger as well.  I think what a lot of folks want is players swinging like Miller and Norman, and also others like Kite, Strange, Sutton, Crenshaw or Price. The variety of styles of play are disappearing and the 1 dimensional play is tough to watch week in and week out. Golf was a game of power, creativity, imagination and precision. What Wolff and Bryson did this week was amazing, I mentioned in another thread that playing from the rough they did required advanced skill and it was remarkable for them to consistently hit greens like they did. But EVERYONE swings the way you mentioned in Norman and Miller because the equipment allows them to do it, talent is less of a factor now. Guys on tour absolutely miss the center by 1/2 inch. They aren’t missing the sweet spot by that amount because it’s so large, but they do miss the center by that amount with the driver. Norman and Miller wore dime size marks in their drivers. DJ, Bryson, Champ and others have wear marks the size of quarters. Both cover the sweet spots available to them during their eras. 

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1 hour ago, Ashley Schaeffer said:

?  I remember an article in Golf Digest back in the late 90s with the headline: "He hit a 7-iron How Far?!!" or something like that.  (I got the print version for probably 20 years).  It went into a thing about how pros use lofts that aren't "really" 7-iron lofts, etc. and how we shouldn't believe what we see on TV.  It might've even been Dan Jenkins.  IDK why, but your post reminded me of that article.  


 

I think I read that same article.  It’s why I always laugh at the jacked up loft discussions on irons because that article clearly said many of tour players at the time were Secretly playing jacked up lofts already.

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