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


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6 minutes ago, johnseg said:

I really think the ball made a bigger impact than the driver. Guys found out that you could swing as hard as you wanted at the new solid ball.

 

And graphite shafts and lighter, larger club heads made it so you could swing even harder.

 

Circus (Donnie Baker ref) 1995 you had guys rocking pretty low lofted drivers.  I remember around that time (maybe later maybe earlier) the TM burners and Titleist drives (a few big berthas too) in like 8* and 9* lofts (I assume because you could with the lower spin ball).  Then it got to be where guys were swinging 10.5 and maybe more drivers and hitting it high and far because you put that backspin on it you could pump it out there.  Now it seems (with BDC anyway, maybe others) there is a return to lower lofted drivers and just ripping at the ball.  Where did the side spin go?

 

If you dig into the "rollback threads" there is conversations regarding ball spin.  I never played the real spinny balata balls and only played a handful of wound balls I have found.  I do play persimmon woods a fair amount though.  With a chrome soft you can still hit big ol' ugly banana balls if you don't square it.  With a modern driver it is more of an ugly push-cut.

 

So in my estimation the ball and the driver take turns wagging the dog so to speak.  As ball advances are made drivers change to adapt and capitalize on a beneficial characteristic.  As advances are made in drivers and shafts the ball is tweaked to perform better with those new traits.  Whatever the opposite of 'death by a thousand cuts is," it's that.  The tweaks and gains happen so quickly now though.  Lots of money in R&D.  Lots of copying tech and super computers letting engineers do things that couldn't be done in the 90's.

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I always recommend people look at the 99 Ryder cup when it is shown. That was the last one where almost everyone used balata. Phil on the first hole, a 440 yd dog leg left hits driver and leaves 180 yds. He hits 4 iron from there. But if you watch his swings he is swinging in slow motion vs now. why? Because the fear of the balata curving into another zip code. Everything then was fear based because of the spinny golf ball. Now the tech has removed the fear. The result is bomb and gouge.

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6 hours ago, BlackDiamondPar5 said:

I personally don't think anyone has a problem with any specific golfer and their distance.  What I and many others bemoan is what the increased distance is doing to golf courses and the expense of expanding and maintaining them or obsoleting golf courses. 

 

I strongly believe it's mostly equipment related.  Look at what happened from about ~1995- 2003 when avg tour driving distance increased by more than 20 yards in 8 years.  Whereas the 14 years previous to 1995 only increased by ~5 yards and the 14 years after after 2004 has only increased 8 yards.  Yes I know it's going up again, but what caused that big boost in the 1990's?

 

I'd be interested in Bubba's and WRX members theories.

 

image.png.d3229b60762adf33256d0db02d7b1877.png

 

 


You know what else happened during that time? Tiger. He dramatically changed the pro game and everyone else was forced to catch up or flounder. 

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5 hours ago, munichop said:

I always recommend people look at the 99 Ryder cup when it is shown. That was the last one where almost everyone used balata. Phil on the first hole, a 440 yd dog leg left hits driver and leaves 180 yds. He hits 4 iron from there. But if you watch his swings he is swinging in slow motion vs now. why? Because the fear of the balata curving into another zip code. Everything then was fear based because of the spinny golf ball. Now the tech has removed the fear. The result is bomb and gouge.


Pretty sure no one was playing balata on tour in 1999. At that point urethane/other synthetic covered wound balls were the norm which brought a larger drop in spin (wound balata —> wound urethane) than the next paradigm shift (wound urethane —> solid core urethane).

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7 hours ago, BlackDiamondPar5 said:

I personally don't think anyone has a problem with any specific golfer and their distance.  What I and many others bemoan is what the increased distance is doing to golf courses and the expense of expanding and maintaining them or obsoleting golf courses. 

 

I strongly believe it's mostly equipment related.  Look at what happened from about ~1995- 2003 when avg tour driving distance increased by more than 20 yards in 8 years.  Whereas the 14 years previous to 1995 only increased by ~5 yards and the 14 years after after 2004 has only increased 8 yards.  Yes I know it's going up again, but what caused that big boost in the 1990's?

 

I'd be interested in Bubba's and WRX members theories.

 

image.png.d3229b60762adf33256d0db02d7b1877.png

 

 


Its all equipment.

 

TW was hitting 310 with 43” steel shaft and that steel head driver.

 

If guys still hit that now, a big drive would be 

 

309 

 

🤣

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4 minutes ago, storm319 said:


One could make the argument that part of the average increase during that time was due to his ascent (as were some of the course lengthening trends around that time). 

 

 

 

But the data doesn't support that. Tiger was not the leading driver on tour 

https://www.pga.com/archive/news/pga-tour/how-driving-distance-has-changed-over-past-40-years-pga-tour

 

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8 minutes ago, munichop said:

Storm319 is right. The titleist professional was the ball at the 99 Ryder cup.  It was a wound ball with a more durable cover than balata. The next Ryder cup everyone had switched to the pro v.

 

And by 1999 the Professional was already 5 years old as it was released in 1994. First urethane covered ball Titleist released.

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13 hours ago, smashdn said:

I don't care if it is good for him or not.  I want to know how I am supposed to perceive him.  This thread is about perceptions.  Bubba thinks we hate long drivers.

 

Should I hate Wilco?  If not Wilco, why hate Bryson?  If I hate Bryson, shouldn't I hate Phil?

 

Haters gonna hate.  I just need to know where to splash the haterade about.

doc.jpg

 

Who cares what Bubba thinks?  I don't think that's his point anyway but who really has the time to hate a dude for hitting a golf ball far??   If you want to "know how to perceive" a guy, if you have to ask, then maybe you're taking this too seriously.

 

Personally, I LOVED Happy Gilmore.

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To be honest I'd like to see more 59s being scored.  I hope guys like Bryson and Wilco are the norm 5yrs from now.  Bubba is absolutely right. 

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The courses they play on doesn’t help, with it being such an advantage being able to pump it 320 through the air. If they played courses like Harbour Town every week it might be a different story.

 

The game needs a bit of variety, and IMO Bubba is great for the game. Yes he can smash it, but at least he plays some shots. It’s those big tree trunks who only have one shot that are making it dull to watch.

 

 

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On 6/22/2021 at 10:50 AM, Soloman1 said:

 

Who is getting mad? Can you give some examples of who gets mad at good golf?

Exactly. Nobody gets mad at good golf. Occasionally get mad at easy setups , or boring golf , but not good golf.  

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30 minutes ago, bladehunter said:

Exactly. Nobody gets mad at good golf. Occasionally get mad at easy setups , or boring golf , but not good golf.  

Exactly Blade. No one is mad at the guy.  That quote by Bubba and others agreeing is a complete strawman. 

 

I'll also add that Bubba probably doesn't care that each course he plays has spend many millions in renovations to fit the game... he just cashes six and seven figure checks, while the rest of us share the renovation costs. 

Edited by BlackDiamondPar5
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On 6/22/2021 at 11:03 AM, 3whacker said:

Bubba has a point.....even here on WRX we idolize certain players who have accomplished very little and mock others who have accomplished record book feats...and mainly because a few people dont like the way they look or their swing

 

 

You have a sign in name and can post individually, so please don't speak for the group. 

 

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7 hours ago, Nixhex524 said:

 

Who cares what Bubba thinks?  I don't think that's his point anyway but who really has the time to hate a dude for hitting a golf ball far??   If you want to "know how to perceive" a guy, if you have to ask, then maybe you're taking this too seriously.

 

Personally, I LOVED Happy Gilmore.

 

Sky Sports does.

 

You brought up BDC and Cameron Champ and how they are perceived for hitting the ball a long way.  I want to know how we are supposed to look at other players who do the same.  Which ones is it ok and which ones is it not.  Clearly they aren't all good or all bad.  Some we have given a pass, others not.  I want to explore why that is.

 

 

 

Maybe you are missing the whole point of the thread and what Bubba said.  This is all about perception.

 

"We're mad at that guy. I don't know why, but we are."

 

Distance bad.  Putting good.  Short game good.  Flying doglegs bad.  Shaping shots around dogleg good.

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9 hours ago, BlackDiamondPar5 said:

But the data doesn't support that. Tiger was not the leading driver on tour 

https://www.pga.com/archive/news/pga-tour/how-driving-distance-has-changed-over-past-40-years-pga-tour

 

 

Tiger was nipping at the heels of the driving distance leader every year during that era and was near the top in every other aspect of the game. Tiger’s length off the tee wasn’t a revelation, but a bomber with a dominant short game was. Pretty much all prior bombers post-Jack tended to have deficiencies elsewhere that allowed shorter players to make up ground (especially putting). 

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4 minutes ago, storm319 said:


The problem is that “Good” and “Boring” are extremely subjective. Plenty of people bemoaning what Bryson is doing simply due to not liking the tee to green optics.

People who gripe about Bryson or Brooks generally dislike the person not the game.  Nobody out there protesting Keith Mitchell or Finau.   It’s the carnival barkers not the length. 

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6 minutes ago, storm319 said:


The problem is that “Good” and “Boring” are extremely subjective. Plenty of people bemoaning what Bryson is doing simply due to not liking the tee to green optics.

And by boring , I mean a soft course with 4 par 5s and a drivable par 4.  When they start out -5 it can be boring. 
 

But it’s mostly course dependent.  Like last week. Torrey is boring as heck , until Rahm made 2 putts.  It took 70 holes to to feel one ounce of excitement.  That’s boring golf.  

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11 minutes ago, storm319 said:

 

Tiger was nipping at the heels of the driving distance leader every year during that era and was near the top in every other aspect of the game. Tiger’s length off the tee wasn’t a revelation, but a bomber with a dominant short game was. Pretty much all prior bombers post-Jack tended to have deficiencies elsewhere that allowed shorter players to make up ground (especially putting). 

But again Tiger wasn't setting the standard for driving length, John Daly was.  Daly's length increased by nearly 18 yards from 1995 - 2002 and it wasn't because he was getting in better shape.    Also the inflection of point in the slope occurred before Tiger arrived on tour.

  

image.png

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1 hour ago, smashdn said:

 

Sky Sports does.

 

You brought up BDC and Cameron Champ and how they are perceived for hitting the ball a long way.  I want to know how we are supposed to look at other players who do the same.  Which ones is it ok and which ones is it not.  Clearly they aren't all good or all bad.  Some we have given a pass, others not.  I want to explore why that is.

 

 

 

Maybe you are missing the whole point of the thread and what Bubba said.  This is all about perception.

 

"We're mad at that guy. I don't know why, but we are."

 

Distance bad.  Putting good.  Short game good.  Flying doglegs bad.  Shaping shots around dogleg good.

 

I don't think we need to explore it.  It's already right in front of our face...  Lot of people dont like BDC, so claiming that what he is accomplishing is bad for the game is easier to attack him for publicly than just saying " I hate that guy."  And while I am not a Bryson lover, it looks like a passive way of trying to tear a guy down.  A guy who is putting in the time and effort.... but that's what we do when we've already made a judgement about someone.  What logical reason is there to "hate" a guy for hitting the golf ball farther than anyone else?  Especially when he said, this is my goal and then he goes out and is accomplishing it.  Why not use it as a way to highlight what we can do once we set our minds to things we want to accomplish?  Why not celebrate it?  Isn't that what Bubba is saying?  Maybe I misread it....

 

Dial the clubs back, the ball, make the rough longer, the fairways more narrow... guess what?  Someone out there is STILL going to be the longest driver of the ball on tour and it may be an advantage, it may not be.  But grown adults getting their feelings hurt over a guy hitting the golf ball a long way is a bad look, IMO.  

 

I am assuming you read that article?  You said "Bubba thinks we hate long drivers" when he literally never said anything like that.  His whole argument is why the accomplishments made by players in the sport aren't celebrated like they are in other sports... If anyone "hates" a guy for making it look easy, that person probably just need to check them self first.

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1 hour ago, bladehunter said:

And by boring , I mean a soft course with 4 par 5s and a drivable par 4.  When they start out -5 it can be boring. 
 

But it’s mostly course dependent.  Like last week. Torrey is boring as heck , until Rahm made 2 putts.  It took 70 holes to to feel one ounce of excitement.  That’s boring golf.  


Again, that is your subjective opinion and others may not share that opinion.

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21 hours ago, munichop said:

I always recommend people look at the 99 Ryder cup when it is shown. That was the last one where almost everyone used balata. Phil on the first hole, a 440 yd dog leg left hits driver and leaves 180 yds. He hits 4 iron from there. But if you watch his swings he is swinging in slow motion vs now. why? Because the fear of the balata curving into another zip code. Everything then was fear based because of the spinny golf ball. Now the tech has removed the fear. The result is bomb and gouge.

Interesting- maybe this explains why I feel so much shorter now compared to the people I play with?  I never could swing fast but I could hit it pretty straight; now others with more speed no longer have to hold back. 

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