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


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20 minutes ago, Titleist99 said:

Todays touring Pro can pick up 20-25 yards off the tee by simply optimizing their swing and using the gym. The launch monitor is a marvelous invention. Todays pros hit up on the ball and use the correct launch angle, optimum club head loft combined with fast running fairways and voila! It's not difficult to understand.

 

This assumes that no one or very few pros 20-25 years had optimized swings.  I don't think that is/was the case.  These guys were just as talented and spent as much or more time on the range.  While you can't visually see and differentiate angle of attack, side spin rate, smash factor, etc. there is no doubt in my mind that guys knew enough about their swings and the flight pattern of their ball to pick out when they got the best total distance based upon seeing it.  Plus with those nasty perros blades you can feel dat 

 

The old blind pig adage comes to mind.  Someone would have stumbled upon it just tinkering.

 

OR

 

What was a swing that was "optimized" for the equipment 20-25 years ago, is different than one optimized for today's equipment.

 

What happens when you hit a spinny ball on the upper half of a persimmon driver with an upward angle of attack?  You hit a balloon ball.

What about a shot low off the heel of a persimmon head?  The old heel cut.

 

(Before anyone points out that persimmon was long gone by "20-25 years ago" I know.  I was just using it as an example of equipment changes that impact how you swung the club.)

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1 minute ago, smashdn said:

 

This assumes that no one or very few pros 20-25 years had optimized swings.  I don't think that is/was the case.  These guys were just as talented and spent as much or more time on the range.  While you can't visually see and differentiate  angle of attack, side spin rate, smash factor, etc. there is no doubt in my mind that guys knew enough about there swings and the flight pattern of their swings to pick out when they got the best total distance based upon seeing it.

 

The old blind pig adage comes to mind.  Someone would have stumbled upon it just tinkering.

 

OR

 

What was a swing that was "optimized" for the equipment 20-25 years ago, is different than one optimized for today's equipment.

 

What happens when you hit a spinny ball on the upper half of a persimmon driver with an upward angle of attack?  You hit a balloon ball.

What about a shot low off the heel of a persimmon head?  The old heel cut.

 

(Before anyone points out that persimmon was long gone by "20-25 years ago" I know.  I was just using it as an example of equipment changes that impact how you swung the club.)

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Soloman1 said:

 

Actually, I believe the tour average for men is still about about 1-1.5° down with driver, so not everyone is hitting up. They have enough speed and hitting slightly down is for more control.

 

Women hit up.

 

I get hit up all the time by women looking for a date. I'm sure all of you do also. But it may be because I'm a founder and CEO.

 

 

😂. Same.   “Oh lord it’s hard to be humble , when you’re perfect in every way”

 

 

 

.  100 % truth.  Up is hard to control at 120 mph plus.  It can be done. But it’s much harder.  Most are level or negative.  Rory for instance is the exception.  

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6 hours ago, BlackDiamondPar5 said:

The inflection point in the curve occurred several years before Tiger was on Tour.   How did John Daly gain 18 yards between 1995 and 2002? John wasn't hitting the gym.  Look at most any pro during that period and similar gains can be seen.  Phil went from driving it 269 in 1993 to 284 in 1997, now in 2021 303.  How is 51 year old Phil Mickelson driving it 34 yards farther than 23 year old Phil?

How am I now in my late 50's, driving it farther than 30 yo BD? I say it's at least 90% because of metal woods and the modern ball. 

 

Bubba in his article says "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." --- to that I say hogwash, I haven't seen or heard anyone that is mad at anyone for hitting the gym, not one. He ignores the entire history of the distance increase and its adverse impact on golf course costs. 

 

The problem started in 1990's when they let technology get out of hand and now it's been a constant battle requiring HUGE capital investment and on-going operational cost increases to keep golf courses relevant.  A cost burdening all of us while Bubba and the guys on tour cash checks that have grown exponentially.  Guys hitting the gym only serves to highlight the problem, but no one is "Mad."

 

image.png.6c192fa806b55d8153477e57636e82b2.png

 

 

Of course the technology has a lot to do with it, but I don't think it is just technology. It is instruction and knowledge as well. When I was playing competitive junior golf in 80s, there was very little golf instruction or access to golf instruction. It was basically self-learn and try to copy what you saw on TV. Since the late nineties and age of internet, access to golf instruction and golf knowledge has exponentially increased in golf. Add in the age of technological advancements, fitness/strength training, and you have exponential increase in talent and talent pool of golf. If I had all the access on the internet to the golf swing and golf instruction in my competitive junior golf days, I would be a a much better golfer today. But yeah, the 1991 Great Big Bertha was game changer. I still have mine.  I also believe shafts (which is not mentioned much) has been a game changer in distance and accuracy.

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18 minutes ago, BlackDiamondPar5 said:

The graph is not disingenuous!  It's real data that I took the time to put into Excel and plot it.  Go look at the stats yourself, do your own research with real data, not anecdotes... it's widely available.   While there may be other factors, it doesn't change the fact that guys are hitting it longer now than when they were younger. It's universally across the board. No way am I stronger today in my late 50's then I was in my early 30's, yet as a lifetime mid-capper I'm hitting it longer today then 25 years ago.  In my last 2 rounds I've had 4 drives between 277 and 287.  I couldn't even sniff a distance like that back then.

 

I don't see this as a problem for 99% us.  But it's a problem for courses that want to host any elite amateur or pro events--- without spending millions on renovations they are obsolete venues.  Renovation costs are significant, ongoing maintenance costs grow and land is a highly finite resource that we all pay for while Bubba laughs his way to the bank.   I like Bubba but he's dead wrong when he says we are mad at some guy. 

 

  

 

 


First, not all data is relevant or can be correlated to a specific result. What I am saying is that there is no way to take simple driving distance averages from select holes and correlate one variable’s impact on those year to year variances. Saying that the distance increases during that time are purely due to equipment is disingenuous. 

As for your personal distance vs the past, what were your launch conditions 30 years ago (willing to bet that you don’t know). Don’t discount the advancements when it comes to optimization (not sure about you, but most equipment 30+ years ago was a poor fit for the majority of players not to mention people were targeting a much lower trajectory off the tee thinking that resulting in greater distance). 
 

Lastly, what percentage of courses are really spending crazy amounts of money renovating let alone even have a realistic chance of hosting a PGA Tour event? Many of the classic courses that people whine about saw the majority of expansion prior to 1990  and rarely host events anyways. Also many of these courses won’t host a big tournament more due to the lack of space for infrastructure and modern galleries than insufficient playing length. Ultimately distance at the highest levels has remained fairly stagnant over the past 15 years and there is little evidence to believe that the trend will drastically change in the future. 

 

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4 hours ago, BlackDiamondPar5 said:

Exactly. Pretty natural for us engineering types to look at that chart and say "geez what's going on here?" 🙂

 

Oh, and here's one more data point for @storm319 How does a guy like Fred Funk go from driving it an average of 254 at age 34 to 271 at age 49?  I mean take your pick and do the research on any one or group of players.  Tell us why everyone hits it farther as they aged from the 90's to the 2000's. I'd be curious to know your theory. 


Equipment is part of it, but I’m willing to bet that he is not swinging the club exactly the same today as he was in the past. Also, were the course setups and competition at the time demanding longer drives? Again the point is that you cannot say that equipment is the sole cause of the increases as there were many variables at play during that time period (equipment was part of it but club head size, COR, and the ball factors that people like to pile on were not as big of an impact than people think).

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24 minutes ago, storm319 said:

As for your personal distance vs the past, what were your launch conditions 30 years ago (willing to bet that you don’t know). Don’t discount the advancements when it comes to optimization (not sure about you, but most equipment 30+ years ago was a poor fit for the majority of players not to mention people were targeting a much lower trajectory off the tee thinking that resulting in greater distance). 

 

If you didn't know then and you still don't now, does a tree falling in the woods make a sound?

 

We figured out where and how to hit the old TM R7 425 drivers as young adults on our own without the benefit of trackman or other stuff.  I remember we spent hours on the range and playing to find the sweet spot (high and to the toe slightly) and to figure out that you needed to swing a little more upward to get the most from it (compared to our older Titleist 975's and GBB's).

 

 

Was there an advance in the understanding of physics somewhere in those last 20-25 years I missed?

 

I remember projects in physics lab that demonstrated this to be false.  It wasn't so much thinking that the lower trajectory was needed for distance it was that because you needed to hit more downward to keep that spinny ball from ballooning on you.  So indirectly you did need it for distance but not with the thinking "i need to hit this low liner to get the most from the club."  It was, "I need to catch this flush and level or the ball is going to sky on me."

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1 hour ago, storm319 said:


First, not all data is relevant or can be correlated to a specific result. What I am saying is that there is no way to take simple driving distance averages from select holes and correlate one variable’s impact on those year to year variances. Saying that the distance increases during that time are purely due to equipment is disingenuous. 

As for your personal distance vs the past, what were your launch conditions 30 years ago (willing to bet that you don’t know). Don’t discount the advancements when it comes to optimization (not sure about you, but most equipment 30+ years ago was a poor fit for the majority of players not to mention people were targeting a much lower trajectory off the tee thinking that resulting in greater distance). 
 

Lastly, what percentage of courses are really spending crazy amounts of money renovating let alone even have a realistic chance of hosting a PGA Tour event? Many of the classic courses that people whine about saw the majority of expansion prior to 1990  and rarely host events anyways. Also many of these courses won’t host a big tournament more due to the lack of space for infrastructure and modern galleries than insufficient playing length. Ultimately distance at the highest levels has remained fairly stagnant over the past 15 years and there is little evidence to believe that the trend will drastically change in the future. 

 

You're correct.....The PGATOUR is playing today on a golf course that's 6800 yards.

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I don't think golf fans need to "celebrate" like other sports:

 

"Thousands of Montreal Canadiens fans celebrated their team's first Stanley Cup Finals berth since 1993 by flipping police cars, lighting fireworks, and tussling with officers outside the city's Bell Centre arena after Thursday night's Game 6 win over Vegas.

Montreal police say 15 people were arrested, 60 tickets were given, and two officers were injured, according to Global News Canada.

Ultimately police dispersed the crowd using tear gas, but not until after eight police cars were damaged and fans were apprehended for everything from armed assault and mischief to obstructing a police officer. Two cops suffered minor injuries."

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15 minutes ago, Soloman1 said:

I don't think golf fans need to "celebrate" like other sports:

 

"Thousands of Montreal Canadiens fans celebrated their team's first Stanley Cup Finals berth since 1993 by flipping police cars, lighting fireworks, and tussling with officers outside the city's Bell Centre arena after Thursday night's Game 6 win over Vegas.

Montreal police say 15 people were arrested, 60 tickets were given, and two officers were injured, according to Global News Canada.

Ultimately police dispersed the crowd using tear gas, but not until after eight police cars were damaged and fans were apprehended for everything from armed assault and mischief to obstructing a police officer. Two cops suffered minor injuries."

Absolutely somehow I’m OK being the one sport that doesn’t riot when their team wins. Worst we saw is at kiawah.  And Phil claims to have elbowed a guy in the giblets to keep it under control.  😂

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8 hours ago, Titleist99 said:

Can Kyle Berkshire beat a 4 handicapper? You ask. Kyle is a plus 3, trying to get to plus 5 which is minimum to compete on the big tour. A plus 3 won't make it on the mini tours....IMO. I think KB might beat the brains out of a four HC. that's assuming that a real question.

 

I assume you did not know about the inside joke.

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DeChambeau is celebrated by most people, but it is just his primadonna persona which does not help him with his popularity.

 

  • He didn't respectfully congratulate Richard McEvoy after losing the European Open in 2018.
  • His ridiculous slow play and lack of admittance.
  • Berating an official cameraman for recording him whilst he was having a poor hole.
  • Smashing his putter into a green at the WGC Mexico in 2019.
  • Whinging with the rules official at the 2020 Memorial that his ball was in bounds.
  • The Koepka feud is just lame.
Edited by iBanesto
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Power needs to be rewarded just as other golf skills like putting, bunker play, working the ball, accurate wedge play, etc etc does too. If it's only about the long ball, then it's a long drive contest which none of the pga long hitters would be competitive in. 

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On 6/25/2021 at 9:00 PM, iBanesto said:

DeChambeau is celebrated by most people, but it is just his primadonna persona which does not help him with his popularity.

 

  • He didn't respectfully congratulate Richard McEvoy after losing the European Open in 2018.
  • His ridiculous slow play and lack of admittance.
  • Berating an official cameraman for recording him whilst he was having a poor hole.
  • Smashing his putter into a green at the WGC Mexico in 2019.
  • Whinging with the rules official at the 2020 Memorial that his ball was in bounds.
  • The Koepka feud is just lame.

His hat is stupid too

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On 6/25/2021 at 9:00 PM, iBanesto said:

DeChambeau is celebrated by most people, but it is just his primadonna persona which does not help him with his popularity.

 

  • He didn't respectfully congratulate Richard McEvoy after losing the European Open in 2018.
  • His ridiculous slow play and lack of admittance.
  • Berating an official cameraman for recording him whilst he was having a poor hole.
  • Smashing his putter into a green at the WGC Mexico in 2019.
  • Whinging with the rules official at the 2020 Memorial that his ball was in bounds.
  • The Koepka feud is just lame.

Don't forget to add the anthill drop drama to the list.  Instead of a bullet point could you use this - 🐜.  More emphasis needs to be placed on what a meanie he is✅

 

 

 

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On 6/25/2021 at 10:00 PM, iBanesto said:

DeChambeau is celebrated by most people, but it is just his primadonna persona which does not help him with his popularity.

 

  • He didn't respectfully congratulate Richard McEvoy after losing the European Open in 2018.
  • His ridiculous slow play and lack of admittance.
  • Berating an official cameraman for recording him whilst he was having a poor hole.
  • Smashing his putter into a green at the WGC Mexico in 2019.
  • Whinging with the rules official at the 2020 Memorial that his ball was in bounds.
  • The Koepka feud is just lame.

Absolutely- 

 

and then there’s Bruce.  Same exact Mo.  just different schtick angle. 
 

🐜social media arm day posts from the gym 

🐜dad bod espn nudie pics ( ew) 

🐜always injured ( fragile ) 

🐜Leaches off DJs fame , then turns out to be a”frienemy” 

🐜says he only tries hard at “ majors “. 🤦‍♂️ 
🐜now he starts this girly feud or at least is The one  who publicized it 

 

 

Im fine if they kick them both off the Tour Doug ! 

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31 minutes ago, TiScape said:

Awwww, the good ol’ Grafalloy Bi-Matrix. They still actually making these, or does Bubba manufacture them at the house??? 😂 

 

I think it is one of the only shafts he can use. Super low torque at 2.0. That shaft is a 2x4. It did not break at the seam where steel meets graphite. It broke at the hosel. Never seen a steel shaft break at hosel. 

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This is not a trend that will be going away soon. I played yesterday morning with a college player. He routinely hit his drives close to or over 300 yards with little effort, and this is at sea level.  On most holes, despite playing from the back tees, he was hitting less than driver. 
He tells me that all of the young guys are being taught to maximize club head speed. 
He thinks that the next generation of young golfers will be hitting it further than currently.

I cannot comment on that, but I do know that when my driver is on length-wise, my round is a lot better. Certainly, he was hitting short clubs into most holes, except the par 5s where he was on or close in 2. 
 

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Young baseball athletes all the way through college play aluminum bats. The majors is wood bats… same as forever. What if they started making baseballs super hot and went to composite bats with spring face design and everyone is hitting dingers - ie 300+ yard drives?  Would that be ok?  I’m not saying roll back to persimmon but it’s a fair analogy yes?  Roll it back to something such that average driving distance is reduced from the 40 yard gain it’s seen since 1980.

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On 6/25/2021 at 11:33 AM, Soloman1 said:

 

Actually, I believe the tour average for men is still about about 1-1.5° down with driver, so not everyone is hitting up. They have enough speed and hitting slightly down is for more control.

 

Women hit up.

 

I get hit up all the time by women looking for a date. I'm sure all of you do also. But it may be because I'm a founder and CEO.

 

 

LPGA Tour average is +3 for AoA.  These gals need as much distance as they can get off the tee.  IMO, hitting up on it can add a little more ss.  When I was younger, my AoA was +3-5 whereas now it's more 0 to +2 due to age and injuries.  I hit the ball 20 yards further off the tee back then. 

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