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I don't consider anything Rick Shiels "tests" anything I'd draw a conclusion from. It's entertainment, not science in any way shape or form. 

It's like the best before date on almost everything.  The object is to keep stock moving and increase sales.  Golfer's are suckers for new and shiny objects.  I'm surprised that there is a single golf

I think this speaks more to the fact that the balls do not break down when left sitting on the shelf for 20 years. 

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8 hours ago, Golly said:

Limit the ball compression or whatever for professionals only. Same with drivers. Have a max head size say 275cc and 45 inch max length shaft.  

And what you suggest above will have less than ZERO impact to touring professionals in regards to distance off the tee. Players are currently hitting 150-180cc, 43 inch or so 3 woods off the tee over 300 yards. 

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21 hours ago, cristphoto said:

I totally agree. Todays pro golfers are starting to resemble rugby players, and spend lots of time in the gym. In years past they spent lots of time at the bar.  So even if the USGA rolls back the ball (dumb idea) the guys will still hit it further than amateurs. Then what - outlaw pros going to the gym?  

Most pros don't look like rugby players. They are fit and toned for their size but not bulky. As I understand it most of them do workouts to enhance speed and body control vs general strength.

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On 12/18/2020 at 6:07 PM, cristphoto said:

 

Then how is it that the average golfer (100'ish) hasn't gained any distance but the pros have gained a disproportionate amount?  This has been discussed on many forums over the past couple years. This is one reason the USGA wants to step in and possibly roll back the ball.  The average Joe isn't saying they hit the ball too far or courses need to be lengthened.   

 

And over-compression is a non-issue.  Explain why so many pros are switching back to the non-X model golf balls which are softer.   

The biggest thing that happened to tour pro's is the launch monitor. Tour pro's are amazing at repeating the same delivery over and over again. Get them on a launch monitor and they can start optimizing their launch conditions. A decade ago almost all PGA tour pro's were swing down at the drives, launching it too low, with too much spin. Now they almost all know what their optimum launch is, and can deliver it time after time.

 

Once they optimized launch conditions, the next thing was to optimize ball speed. Since the COR and the balls are regulated, the only way to do this is to swing faster. Again the launch monitor is huge here. It instantly lets you track how much faster you are swinging. Imagine someone in the early 80's trying to figure out if they had picked up speed. They'd have to hit hundreds of balls and accurately track where they landed, or use a high speed camera and calculate the club speed by how it moved from frame to frame. Now they hit 5 balls and they know.

 

Combining the launch monitor with training techniques has allowed trainers and coaches to figure out regimens and techniques that improve speed.

 

The equipment has played a small part. The bigger drivers that are much more stable and retain speed all over the face allow the players to swing much faster than in the past and not get punished for slight mishits.

 

Most tour balls are firm enough where over compression isn't an issue, and if it is, they're giving up a few yards of driver distance to get a better spin window on their other clubs.

 

If the USGA/RA is really going to roll back the ball, the only way they're going to do it by lowering the ball speed the pros get, probably by making the balls much softer. Give a pro something like a Wilson Duo, and they're going to lose up to 5 MPH  of ball speed. You or I would probably lose much less. And swinging ever faster isn't going to give the same gains that it does now. A high percentage of amateurs even already play the kind of balls that would cost PGA players ball speed.

 

Anything else you do to the ball is bound to fail. You could add 1000 RPM of driver spin to the balls, but the pro's would just start using lower lofted drivers and swing up at the ball even more (adopting long drive techniques). Very few players do that now, because you need insane ball speed to get distance of spin in the 1200 RPM range, but if those drives were all 2200 RPM, it would be the new way to swing.

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12 hours ago, arbeck said:

The biggest thing that happened to tour pro's is the launch monitor. Tour pro's are amazing at repeating the same delivery over and over again. Get them on a launch monitor and they can start optimizing their launch conditions. A decade ago almost all PGA tour pro's were swing down at the drives, launching it too low, with too much spin. Now they almost all know what their optimum launch is, and can deliver it time after time.

 

Once they optimized launch conditions, the next thing was to optimize ball speed. Since the COR and the balls are regulated, the only way to do this is to swing faster. Again the launch monitor is huge here. It instantly lets you track how much faster you are swinging. Imagine someone in the early 80's trying to figure out if they had picked up speed. They'd have to hit hundreds of balls and accurately track where they landed, or use a high speed camera and calculate the club speed by how it moved from frame to frame. Now they hit 5 balls and they know.

 

Combining the launch monitor with training techniques has allowed trainers and coaches to figure out regimens and techniques that improve speed.

 

The equipment has played a small part. The bigger drivers that are much more stable and retain speed all over the face allow the players to swing much faster than in the past and not get punished for slight mishits.

 

Most tour balls are firm enough where over compression isn't an issue, and if it is, they're giving up a few yards of driver distance to get a better spin window on their other clubs.

 

If the USGA/RA is really going to roll back the ball, the only way they're going to do it by lowering the ball speed the pros get, probably by making the balls much softer. Give a pro something like a Wilson Duo, and they're going to lose up to 5 MPH  of ball speed. You or I would probably lose much less. And swinging ever faster isn't going to give the same gains that it does now. A high percentage of amateurs even already play the kind of balls that would cost PGA players ball speed.

 

Anything else you do to the ball is bound to fail. You could add 1000 RPM of driver spin to the balls, but the pro's would just start using lower lofted drivers and swing up at the ball even more (adopting long drive techniques). Very few players do that now, because you need insane ball speed to get distance of spin in the 1200 RPM range, but if those drives were all 2200 RPM, it would be the new way to swing.

All of this then you add in the variety of equipment, specifically custom fitted shafts available and gains are inevitable. Not too many years ago there where what, 5 widely used graphite shafts? Now on tour, between companies, weights, flexes, and one offs for individual players, those conditions are able to be optimized more than ever before. Remember when we had 2-3 choices for steel irons shafts? That wasn't that long ago in the grand scheme of things. Along with diet, nutrition, exercise and science, players get every technological tool to make them the best they could possibly be. Would love to see who in the older generations would have thrived with that technology then.

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On 12/20/2020 at 4:53 PM, arbeck said:

Anything else you do to the ball is bound to fail. You could add 1000 RPM of driver spin to the balls, but the pro's would just start using lower lofted drivers and swing up at the ball even more (adopting long drive techniques). Very few players do that now, because you need insane ball speed to get distance of spin in the 1200 RPM range, but if those drives were all 2200 RPM, it would be the new way to swing.

They could go back to using wound balls again with a liquid center in the days of old so Pros could again use drivers with 7.5 degrees of loft.  

 

In a way, I wouldn't mind if they did.  I miss the days of the Titleist Professional and the Maxfli Revolution.

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On 12/12/2020 at 9:31 PM, Socrates said:

It's like the best before date on almost everything.  The object is to keep stock moving and increase sales.  Golfer's are suckers for new and shiny objects.  I'm surprised that there is a single golfer that stays married more than an 18 month cycle.

I'm surprised that most golfers only have one wife at a time!

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On 12/14/2020 at 12:12 PM, phizzy30 said:

I disagree.  If you look at the driving distance for PGA Tour between back then and now, you will see that the guys now are hitting it farther than ever.  However with that being said,  there are other factors besides the ball such as better fitness, equipment, etc. 

 

I would say its more from the increases in player speed and optimization of launch/spin conditions through technology than any other factor.  There are a lot more players swinging 120+ than a decade ago.  In 2009, there were 7 PGA Tour players averaging 120+.  In 2019, there were 26.

 

https://www.pgatour.com/content/pgatour/stats/stat.02401.y2010.html

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On 12/14/2020 at 11:12 AM, phizzy30 said:

I disagree.  If you look at the driving distance for PGA Tour between back then and now, you will see that the guys now are hitting it farther than ever.  However with that being said,  there are other factors besides the ball such as better fitness, equipment, etc. 

The key factor is swing speed. Tiger and Daly were both 130-135mph when they wanted. Most of today's long hitters are low 120's.

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17 hours ago, forrester_fire said:

 

I would say its more from the increases in player speed and optimization of launch/spin conditions through technology than any other factor.  There are a lot more players swinging 120+ than a decade ago.  In 2009, there were 7 PGA Tour players averaging 120+.  In 2019, there were 26.

 

https://www.pgatour.com/content/pgatour/stats/stat.02401.y2010.html

The key factor is swing speed. Tiger and Daly were both 130-135mph when they wanted. Most of today's long hitters are low 120's.

Sim 10.5 ventus black 7x

PXG 0311x 17 driving iron
G425 5 and 7 woods red ventus 90x

Tsi2 3 wood RDX black x

ram 7 wood x100

PXG 0311xp 5-gw, 0211 G,SW,LW

Cleveland cbx2 wedges x100 52/56/60
2ball
Taylormade tp5x

(Just had a shoulder replaced and I am buying clubs for my fantasy bag).

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6 hours ago, cavemeister said:

The key factor is swing speed. Tiger and Daly were both 130-135mph when they wanted. Most of today's long hitters are low 120's.

 

Most definitely, swing speed is the #1 factor in average distance gains over the years.  It's not that the top speed guys today have a ton of speed over the top speed guys of yesteryear...there's just a lot more of them.  Tiger and Daly were practically statistical outliers in the early 2000s.

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