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Bubba Watson says golf doesn't celebrate "its great players", bemoans limiting big hitters


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https://www.skysports.com/golf/us-open/news/14640/12336172

 

A few quotes

 

"The sad part for me is we celebrate every sport in the world," said dual Masters champion Watson. "We celebrate accomplishments. We celebrate a guy scoring 50 points in the NBA. They are not saying quit shooting three-pointers.

 

"We're the only sport not celebrating accomplishments of being a guy working out in the gym that can hit the ball miles. We're mad at that guy. I don't know why, but we are. I'm not, but some people are - golf course designers.

 

I think Bubba has a point here. It does seem weird that all other sports embrace their athletes becoming bigger and stronger. Why doesn't golf?

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im MAD…but mostly at tapered pants… pants should have BELL BOTTOMS…and mostly plaid   -chris 

He certainly has a point.  However in MLB there were people that bemoaned the increase in HR's.  In football, there are people that bemoan the passing game and the ridiculous offensive records being p

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4 minutes ago, Frankensteins Monster said:

Are you new to these forums?

 

I think what he was asking was who in a position of authority is getting mad , not us jabronis on an internet forum. That's how i took it anyway

 

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4 minutes ago, MtlJeff said:

 

"Mad" is a loose term, but Mike Davis who was essentially the face of the USGA hasn't really hid his disgust at longer distances players are hitting, and the changes made to courses are transparently an attempt to manufacture a certain score, are they not?

 

There's nothing wrong with a winning score being -28 on a 6800yd course, but we don't set them up that way anymore. Because we don't want those scores

 

"mad" might be a poor choice of words, but i think you know what i mean

but he and the powers that be whistle right past the elephant or the gorilla in the corner

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I'm just going to go with what he said and not try and interpret and maybe give his idea more credit.  If it's the whole distance debate turned around to he or someone else is being picked on - enough already.

 

If it's who should be celebrated by "golf" - I guess it depends, but winning tournaments is a biggie.  Plenty of people dig the long ball, but if it's not turning into wins on Tours then it's not going to get the attention Bubba thinks it deserves.  And who is falling short in the celebrating?  Fans vote with their eyeballs and dollars, the Tours push what generate those, historians have their views and maybe in a more complete sense than just hitting it far.

 

Just win Bubba! (And that's what he is celebrated for, winning and creativity).

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We constantly see studies about limiting distance.

 

  1. “The USGA and the R&A have got to wake up sooner or later,” Nicklaus said after being asked about the topic by Nick Faldo. “They can’t just keep burying their heads on this. They see it, they watch television, they see where these guys hit the golf ball. It isn’t about how far they hit it. You just can’t keep making golf courses longer. You just don’t have enough land, you don’t have enough money to do it.”
  2. “We do not think increased distance is good for the game,” Davis said, citing the relentless pressures courses face to increase total yardage and expand their properties, leading to increased costs to battle the threat of irrelevance. “We’ve watched these footprints grow. What good has it done?
  3. Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We believe we have reached a pivotal moment in golf. The publication of this report is highly significant. The impact of long-term hitting distance increases on some of golf’s essential elements are now clear – including changing the strategic challenge of the sport, altering the balance of skills needed to be successful and risking courses being less challenging or obsolete. Our objective as governing bodies is to work with the key stakeholders in golf to address this issue in a way that brings the sport together and which ensures it continues to thrive for many years to come.”

That is three quick thoughts on distance from people of importance to golf. I believe Bubba is saying why is the better athlete/performance being considered a problem in golf? Why is Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Champ or Wilco Nienaber a threat to golf? Bubba thinks what they are doing should be celebrated not defeated. I can't say that I disagree. Player/Coaches are smart. They will always be looking for a way to beat the game.

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14 hours ago, LimaSierra said:

https://www.skysports.com/golf/us-open/news/14640/12336172

 

A few quotes

 

"The sad part for me is we celebrate every sport in the world," said dual Masters champion Watson. "We celebrate accomplishments. We celebrate a guy scoring 50 points in the NBA. They are not saying quit shooting three-pointers.

 

"We're the only sport not celebrating accomplishments of being a guy working out in the gym that can hit the ball miles. We're mad at that guy. I don't know why, but we are. I'm not, but some people are - golf course designers.

 

I think Bubba has a point here. It does seem weird that all other sports embrace their athletes becoming bigger and stronger. Why doesn't golf?

 

 

The difference is the guy making 3-pointers (ala Steph Curry) isn't using a smaller ball through the same size rim.  Golfers are using a golf ball developed to the limits (ProV1) and now driver heads and shafts that are as forgiving and distance enabling as possible.  It's an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Putter - Ben Hogan by Bettinardi BHB5-SS

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16 hours ago, LimaSierra said:

I think Bubba has a point here. It does seem weird that all other sports embrace their athletes becoming bigger and stronger. Why doesn't golf?

 

I don't think all of what Bubba said there is accurate.  First, we do celebrate long drivers.  It has always been appreciated but it is only one facet of the game.  Driving doesn't really show up in a box score the way scoring does in basketball.

 

Secondly, not sure that golf course designers are mad per se, but maybe concerned is the right word.  Some have gotten quite busy due to increased driving distances.  However, they see the trouble it takes to get a new course permitted.  The money it takes to move a certain amount of dirt.  How much it costs not only to build but maintain bigger and bigger courses.  You don't want the required land area to build a course to become the reason golf courses aren't built and the game doesn't progress.

 

Last thing, golf seems to have always had a balance where great driving distance could be equaled with outstanding ball striking or scrambling or putting.  Blame it on increased driving distance or on an understanding of the stats or systems but there is now a "formula" to improving your odds at winning (notice I didn't say winning outright) and that particular formula is highly driver driven.  It takes a bit of the "art" of golf away.  It also destroys the David v. Goliath aspect of golf where the seeming underdog can execute a different game plan maybe better and win.

 

Golf is similar to baseball in that you can over power the playing field.  They both, oddly enough, are fighting the modern, statistic driven execution of the game too (imo).  The playing field size evolved within the constraints of the equipment and the players.  Drastic changes in equipment effect how the game is played.  Baseball reined it in to a an extent by adjusting over time (mound height, ball characteristics, sticking to wood bats).  Golf adjusted less so from an equipment standpoint and more on adjusting the playing field size.

 

I see where some parts of his statement are true.  Others not so much.

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To me the one item that isn't given enough credence in the distance wars is Trackman. Players now understand how to optimize everything for distance. There have been improvements in many areas but not really in the last 10 years or so. Rory is at 318.7 this year and in 2010 he was 300.0 and for Phil he is 303.5 and 299.1. I really don't believe that it is equipment that much in that time frame. I really think it is using science to improve. Spin rate, launch angle, clubhead speed, ball speed, Angle of Attack etc. has given these guys a ton of distance and control.

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Yes, Bubba's point is a fair assessment.

Equipment is tapped, every OEM has gear that is as close to performing as well as their competitors. 

The player is the only difference,

Whether its training and  physical attributes to the distances being seen, theUSGA  and R & A response has been to reign in equipment, roll back the game, roll backwards, we just have to do  something ..... 

The USGA and R & A need to Stop . And if course architecture needs a sand trap, may I suggest, place it in the 280 yd. TO 310 yd. fairway location.

 

Edited by puttingmatt


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The "Long Drive Contest" mentality has slowly creeped into professional golf. We are seeing super low lofted drivers on longer shafts. Pros are starting to change their swings and setup, mimicing the long drive dudes. I won't be surprised when some of these guys start playing lower spin, harder balls to get more off the tee.

 

But, as we see every week, long balls off the tee do not translate to wins, just yet...

 

For me, the addition of the "driveable par 4" has been a fun addition, we see at least one of these a week it seems, each tour stop has added one.

 

Just grow the rough, water the fairways and let them bomb away.

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10 minutes ago, shanx said:

The "Long Drive Contest" mentality has slowly creeped into professional golf. We are seeing super low lofted drivers on longer shafts. Pros are starting to change their swings and setup, mimicing the long drive dudes. I won't be surprised when some of these guys start playing lower spin, harder balls to get more off the tee.

 

But, as we see every week, long balls off the tee do not translate to wins, just yet...

 

For me, the addition of the "driveable par 4" has been a fun addition, we see at least one of these a week it seems, each tour stop has added one.

 

Just grow the rough, water the fairways and let them bomb away.

I doubt about the distance balls. Everything about a PGA Tour pro is controlling spin on the green. Can't do that when pitching and chipping. Full swings, I'm sure they'll have zero problems getting the correct spin. On less than full swings inside 100 yards, they'll have far less control than they'll want.

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16 hours ago, LimaSierra said:

Why doesn't golf?

I like Bubba, but his rant overlooks golfs history and nature.  Golf is about personal accomplishment found as each of us drives the ball, and what's on scorecard walking off 18.  At 70yrs old I hit another big 308yd drive, 50+yds by each player, and nobody was jumping up and down.  They looked at me and said wow.  We chose golf because it fits our personality.  Similar reason why, when younger, I was a CAT racer.  Most people in golf and cycling don't need the accolades or adulation.

 

Golf is a low-key sport, while many arena sports are about being aggressive, feeding that aggression, being loud, jumping up and down in the stands.  Then there's this: the astronomical costs laid on a limited few people to fund perpetually expanding certain golf course holes to accommodate a tiny segment of guys hitting gigantic drives doesn't make fiscal sense.

 

 

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Guys like Bryson are not celebrated? We talk non-stop about the guy. Many people like him. They get tons of YouTube views and likes on his videos. 

They give him more coverage than just about anyone...

 

Maybe the "governing bodies" are the only ones who don't love his long hitting. 

 

Was length not an advantage at the US Open at Torrey?

Bubba just thinking negatively. 

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1 hour ago, bscinstnct said:

Cmon Bubba.

 

Baseball players have been using the same bat for 100 years

 

You got a NASA engineered toaster head on a graphite launch catapult.

 

Go back to using pro-worthy gear and they can shorten the courses for you ; )

 

 

 

You need to follow baseball a little harder They use trackman to tweak their swings for better launch angles for more homeruns and bat makers have special trees specifically for bats that are harder for better ball speed. Just because it looks the same doesn't mean it is. 

 

Golf does need to be careful to not turn into what baseball is becoming with only power bats. Golf has a decent mix of length with all being able to win. The concern is in 10 years everyone is a bomber and control of the tee is basically dead so there is no variety to the game. Also many older courses are becoming to easy for the modern pro so there are fewer pga venues. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Jc0 said:

 

You need to follow baseball a little harder They use trackman to tweak their swings for better launch angles for more homeruns and bat makers have special trees specifically for bats that are harder for better ball speed. Just because it looks the same doesn't mean it is. 

 

Golf does need to be careful to not turn into what baseball is becoming with only power bats. Golf has a decent mix of length with all being able to win. The concern is in 10 years everyone is a bomber and control of the tee is basically dead so there is no variety to the game. Also many older courses are becoming to easy for the modern pro so there are fewer pga venues. 

 


 

Mickey Mantle hit the ball as far as anybody does now

 

Was anybody on the PGA Tour hitting 370 yard drives in 1955?

 

🤣

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20 minutes ago, Jc0 said:

 

You need to follow baseball a little harder They use trackman to tweak their swings for better launch angles for more homeruns and bat makers have special trees specifically for bats that are harder for better ball speed. Just because it looks the same doesn't mean it is. 

 

Golf does need to be careful to not turn into what baseball is becoming with only power bats. Golf has a decent mix of length with all being able to win. The concern is in 10 years everyone is a bomber and control of the tee is basically dead so there is no variety to the game. Also many older courses are becoming to easy for the modern pro so there are fewer pga venues. 

 


 

Here are the dimensions of Yankee Stadium during Mantles time,

 

CF-490!

LC-460!

RC-429

 

Here are the current dimensions 

 

CF-408

LC-399

RC-385


Roger Marris hit 61 Home runs in that old stadium. 
 

This is like if golf courses were 7500 yards in the 1950s and they reduced them to 6500 yards now. Obviously absurd notion and underlines how equally absurd golf equipment is now compare to baseball.

 


 

 

 

 

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