Jump to content

Could a (1)4 handicap win the Open Championship in the 1860's


2bGood
 Share

Recommended Posts

Warning - Silly thread:

 

If a modern golfer with modern equipment could go back in time what handicap would they need to be able to win the Open in the early years?

 

A 4 handicap should be able to lap the field a 2 rounds in the 70's would win easily. Given the radically different course conditions I figure you would have to be a solid 6 or 7 to be able to win.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think by that time they were hitting gutta perchas.  Those things can go.  Maybe a modern single digit with modern equipment would outdrive Young Tom Morris but probably not by much?  I think the modern player would struggle massively on whatever passed as greens back then, could see that costing 5 or more strokes per round in missed putts, especially if you don’t get to practice on them first.

 

So yeah I don’t think I’d put money on anyone worse than a 4hcp.   

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, Superbrit said:

Reckon it would be more interesting to see how the likes of a Young Tom Morris would do nowadays with all the modern equipment and course set up

He would probably adapt and still kick some a**.  The modern tour player has access not only to superior golf equipment, but high quality food and fitness as well.  It would be no different for young Tom Morris.  With all those things as a given, it comes down to talent and YTM had the skills to pay the bills so speak for his time.   

Edited by phizzy30

TM SIM 2, 8* w/Diamana PD 70TX

TM SIM 15* w/Diamana ZF 80TX

TM Tour Issue Rescue 11 TP Deep Face Ghost Proto 16* HB  w/Thump 105x

New Level NLU-01 21* w/KBS Proto 105x

New Level 623-M 5-PW w/MMT 125 TX

54* Miura HB w/KBS 610 S+, 58* Miura w/KBS Tour Black

Scotty Cameron Studio Select Newport 1

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it was held at Prestwick in the wind and the rain in late September or October, like some early opens, then it could be trickier than you might think to shoot 2 sub-80 rounds.

 

Young Tom Morris shot 149 in 1870 for 36 holes... 74-74 would have been needed (or the equivalent in 3 x 12 holes) to beat him.

  • PING G400 Max 9* Tensei Orange 60g S
  • PING Anser 17 & 20* hybrids Graphite Design 85S
  • PING iBlades Green Dot CFS 80-S
  • PING Anser Forged wedges Blue Dot DG Spinner
  • PING PLD Anser (Trisole Carbon Steel) / PING Ketsch TR 400g CB
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, ColinKelvin said:

If it was held at Prestwick in the wind and the rain in late September or October, like some early opens, then it could be trickier than you might think to shoot 2 sub-80 rounds.

 

Young Tom Morris shot 149 in 1870 for 36 holes... 74-74 would have been needed (or the equivalent in 3 x 12 holes) to beat him.

The early 60’s would’ve been easier.  If you shot a pair of 80’s you would’ve won 8 times in the 60’s.  If you extrapolate a little the 12 holes at Prestwick would play about 5700 yards for an 18 hole course.  

 

With that said I think a 4 handicap with modern equipment could get it done.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, PhlashPhace said:

The early 60’s would’ve been easier.  If you shot a pair of 80’s you would’ve won 8 times in the 60’s.  If you extrapolate a little the 12 holes at Prestwick would play about 5700 yards for an 18 hole course.  

 

With that said I think a 4 handicap with modern equipment could get it done.  

 

BTW I understand the purists won’t like what I said but it’s kind of like asking if I could win the 1911 Indy 500 if I had a new Ferrari.  I’m not taking anything away from the players but showing how far equipment has come.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, phizzy30 said:

He would probably adapt and still kick some a**.  The modern tour player has access not only to superior golf equipment, but high quality food and fitness as well.  It would be no different for young Tom Morris.  With all those things as a given, it comes down to talent and YTM had the skills to pay the bills so speak for his time.   

Yeah i reckon he would still kill it, once he got over the shock of how simple golf has become

Driver: :taylormade-small: Sim2 MAX 9*

3 Wood: :taylormade-small: Sim MAX 15*

Hybrid: :taylormade-small: SLDR 17*

Hybrid Iron: :adams-small:  DHY 21*

Irons:  :mizuno-small: JPX-921 Hot metal pro 5-GW

Wedges:   :mizuno-small: ES-21 54* & 58*

Putter:  :odyssey-small:  1W S black

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's "par" on 12 holes? 45-48? And the best round is a 55. So that's 7-10 over through 12. 

 

Yes a 4hcp would crush it.

 

Easy 75y+ longer off the tee. GPS/laser for yardages. Soft and slow greens means it's easy to chip on. 

 

Sure, they'd suck at putting, but putting on greens from the 1860s was surely more luck than skill. 

 

Cobra SZX 10.5* // Smoke Yellow x-flex

Cobra SZX 15.5* // Smoke Yellow x-flex

TaylorMade SIM UDI 18* // Diamana Thump 100 x-flex

Titleist 755 4-PW // x100 

Titleist Vokey 250.10 // S300

Titleist Vokey SM5 54* // S300

Callaway JAWS 58* // S300

Odyssey 2-Ball Ten Tour Lined S 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Modern golfer with modern equipment yeah. A 4 index is shooting scores on courses 1000yds longer.

 

It would be like playing the ladies tees now. In the past 4-5 years i've played the ladies tees a lot as part of skins games etc. I don't think i've ever shot worse than par

 

If the course was 5500-5700 as someone mentioned with modern equipment a 4 could play 3-wood , wedge into every green

Callaway Mavrik 9 w/Aldila Rogue White 130MSI 60g

Callaway Mavrik SZ 13.5 w/Aldila Rogue White 130MSI 70g

Ping G400 Crossover 20 w/KBS Tour Prototype 85

Ping G410 4-SW w/ DG S300

Titleist Vokey SM8 60/8 M

SGC Northwood CS 400g

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, Murphy76 said:

 

Even with modern equipment, I think it would be much harder than you think. 

 

The course conditions would be the biggest hurdle, as I doubt the fairways were mowed very close.  Not much roll, and slowww putting. 


they literally carried a club specially designed to hit out of deep ruts in the fairway, made by wagons passing through. 

  • Like 2

Callaway Rogue, AD-TP 6S
Callaway Epic Flash 3W        
Titleist U500, Tensei White 90 S
Miura Y Grind, Nippon Modus3 120S
Vokey SM7 52, 56 Callaway PM 60
Artisan 0217, Customer #62

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I think the big challenge would be some of the course conditions. You would have some really gnarly lies. I don't think the slow greens would be as much of an issue. In the area I live in, we play 'winter greens' from time to time when there is frost. Basically just a hole in the fairway. You adjust pretty easy to the very slow speed - there is some randomness to it as it does not roll true, but not a huge deal as you can hit it hard. 

Edited by 2bGood
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah you'd get some squirrelly lies but a modern hybrid will cut through that a lot easier.

 

Assuming you can keep the ball on the planet, you'll win just based off of the strokes gained metrics from length. 

  • Like 2

Cobra SZX 10.5* // Smoke Yellow x-flex

Cobra SZX 15.5* // Smoke Yellow x-flex

TaylorMade SIM UDI 18* // Diamana Thump 100 x-flex

Titleist 755 4-PW // x100 

Titleist Vokey 250.10 // S300

Titleist Vokey SM5 54* // S300

Callaway JAWS 58* // S300

Odyssey 2-Ball Ten Tour Lined S 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, vallygolf said:

We all tend to think of slow greens as a handicap, but with modern trajectories every pin is a green light when you dont have to factor in roll out.  Even chipping could be played right to the hole in many instances.  Wedges werent part of the game at that point.

 

 

This..  I don't get all these people acting like this is some huge disadvantage that a modern player couldn't figure out in 1 or 2 holes.  5 strokes a round?  Gtfo.

 

Yes a 4 handicap would not only win if they time-travelled back there with modern equipment, they would likely win by a pole.  For the same reason any decent college pitcher today would win about 15 Cy Youngs in the early 1900s because no one was throwing mid-90s or snapping nasty sliders off back then.


And no, Tom Jones would have almost zero % chance to make the modern pro tour if he were time-machined to the future to play with modern equipment, even with a year of practicing with it.  Athletically, human bodies have evolved very fast from those days. 

 

 

Edited by sekrah
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, 2bGood said:

Warning - Silly thread:

 

If a modern golfer with modern equipment could go back in time what handicap would they need to be able to win the Open in the early years?

 

A 4 handicap should be able to lap the field a 2 rounds in the 70's would win easily. Given the radically different course conditions I figure you would have to be a solid 6 or 7 to be able to win.

The first Open only had 12 holes and the winner shot 55-59-60.  The whole course was 3,799 yards.  Anyone better than a 6 would make those guys look foolish with little effort.  Just my opinion and I think I am being generous.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure where you draw the line - 1860 is pretty far back.

 

But the 1913 US Open was played on a course that is relatively unchanged from today aside from better agronomy. Basically the same length and layout. They played to 304 (12 over par) over 4 days in horrendous conditions. I would be very surprised if a scratch golfer today could put up the same number in the same conditions.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The lawn mower was invented in 1830 specifically to mow sporting fields, so the greens might not be a shaggy as assumed.  They didn't water, so everything could be hard as a rock, and I suspect the bunkers were horrific.  A competent 4 might have more trouble than it appears.

I don't know how Tom Jones got thrown into the mix, he's an 80 year old singer.  Of course he's not making the tour.

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, raynorfan1 said:

Not sure where you draw the line - 1860 is pretty far back.

 

But the 1913 US Open was played on a course that is relatively unchanged from today aside from better agronomy. Basically the same length and layout. They played to 304 (12 over par) over 4 days in horrendous conditions. I would be very surprised if a scratch golfer today could put up the same number in the same conditions.

Agronomy is everything here.  Average stimp when Eddie Stimpson invented the stimpmeter in 1937 was 2.5 feet.  Admittedly the USGA has since modified to the "speed stick", but in 1963 Stimpson measured the US open greens at 2.7 feet, and then finally 6.5 by the USGA in the mid 70's.  That is a big difference in playablility.  Also Ouimet Played a course at 6200 yards.  Brookline today plays closer to 7000.  Big difference.   Ouimet played par 5's at 430, 435, 520, and 470 yards respectively.  1913 oepn had 2 par 4's over 400 yards,  and 3 par fours 300 yards or less.  Scratch golfer playing to every pin on a 6200 yard course without penal greens.  I think it is very doable.  Weather factor goes to the better ball and equipment.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

One thing not mentioned is the added pressure the modern golfer would feel. I have to assume that Tom Morris Sr & Jr, wanted to win the Open's but it did not carry anywhere near the prestige as it does now. I mean how many people really cared about golf back then? So the old time gofers felt allot less pressure as the OPEN is not then what it is now.

Edited by 2bGood
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, vallygolf said:

Agronomy is everything here.  Average stimp when Eddie Stimpson invented the stimpmeter in 1937 was 2.5 feet.  Admittedly the USGA has since modified to the "speed stick", but in 1963 Stimpson measured the US open greens at 2.7 feet, and then finally 6.5 by the USGA in the mid 70's.  That is a big difference in playablility.  Also Ouimet Played a course at 6200 yards.  Brookline today plays closer to 7000.  Big difference.   Ouimet played par 5's at 430, 435, 520, and 470 yards respectively.  1913 oepn had 2 par 4's over 400 yards,  and 3 par fours 300 yards or less.  Scratch golfer playing to every pin on a 6200 yard course without penal greens.  I think it is very doable.  Weather factor goes to the better ball and equipment.

 

The members play every day from effectively the same tees that Ouimet played (there are a couple of changes, but nothing really significant). The US Open card from 1913 was 6,245; the members' tees today are 6,357 with most of those yards added on the 16th hole (a par 3).

 

But the "par 4's" of 300 yards or less in 1913 (holes 2, 4, and 6) are still less than 300 yards (only one of them will be used as a Par 4 in 2022).

 

A round anywhere close to par in tournament conditions would be an excellent outcome for a scratch golfer...four of them in a row? Very unlikely.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Our picks

    • 2021 Fortinet Championship - Discussion and Links
      Please put and questions or comments here
       
       
      2021 Fortinet Championship - Tuesday #1
      2021 Fortinet Championship - Tuesday #2
      2021 Fortinet Championship - Tuesday #3
      2021 Fortinet Championship - Tuesday #4
      2021 Fortinet Championship - Tuesday #5
      2021 Fortinet Championship - Tuesday #6
      2021 Fortinet Championship - Tuesday #7
      2021 Fortinet Championship - Tuesday #8
       
       
      New Ping putter - 2021 Fortinet Championship
      New Bettinardi putters & Cover - 2021 Fortinet Championship
      Ping Putters - 2021 Fortinet Championship
      Odyssey putters - 2021 Fortinet Championship
      Cameron putter and new ball marker - 2021 Fortinet Championship
       
       
      Sneds - WITB - 2021 Fortinet Championship
      Peter Uihlein - WITB - 2021 Fortinet Championship
      Charles Howell, III - WITB - 2021 Fortinet Championship
      Scott Piercy - WITB - 2021 Fortinet Championship
      Brandan Steele - WITB - 2021 Fortinet Championship
      Mito Pereira - WITB - 2021 Fortinet Championship
      Kevin Tway - WITB -2021 Fortinet Championship
      Joseph Bramlett - WITB - 2021 Fortinet Championship
       
       
       
      • 19 replies
    • 2021 Tour Championship - Discussion and Comments
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       
       
       
      Odyssey putters - 2021 Tour Championship
      LA Golf putter shafts - 2021 Tour Championship
       
       
       
      • 25 replies
    • 2021 BMW Championship - Discussion and Links
      Put any questions of comments here
       
       
      2021 BMW Championship - Tuesday #1
      2021 BMW Championship - Tuesday #2
      2021 BMW Championship - Tuesday #3
      2021 BMW Championship - Tuesday #4
      2021 BMW Championship - Tuesday #5
      2021 BMW Championship - Tuesday #6
      2021 BMW Championship - Tuesday #7
       
       
      Cameron T-11 & T-11.5 putters at 2021 BMW Championship
      Mizuno Pro FliHi and 225 irons - 2021 BMW CHampionship
       
       
       
      • 18 replies
    • 2021 Ping i59 irons & Glide Forged wedges in hand comparison pics!!!
      In hand pics of the new 2021 Ping i59 irons and Glide Forged wedges...
       

       
      Ping i59 7 iron
       

       
       
      Ping i59 PW
       

       
      Ping i59 Comparison Photos

       

       

       

       
       
       
       
      PING Glide Forged Wedges

       
      Ping Glide Eye Toe Wedge
       
        • Thanks
        • Like
      • 99 replies
    • 2021 The Northern Trust - Discussion and Links
      Please put any questions or comments here
       
       
       
      2021 The Northern Trust - Tuesday #1
      2021 The Northern Trust - Tuesday #2
      2021 The Northern Trust - Tuesday #3
      2021 The Northern Trust - Tuesday #4
      2021 The Northern Trust - Tuesday #5
      2021 The Northern Trust - Tuesday #6
      2021 The Northern Trust - Tuesday #7
       
       
      New Cameron for JT - 2021 The Northern Trust
      New Cameron putters for Garrick Higgo - 2021 The Northern Trust
      New Odyssey putter covers - 2021 The Northern Trust
       
       
      • 6 replies
×
×
  • Create New...