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USGA and R&A announce proposal to limit golf ball performance for elite level competition


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7 hours ago, riddyl said:

Interesting conversation on here with Lou Stagner, Sasho MacKenzie and Mark Crossfield.

https://www.hackitoutgolf.com/

I just listed to that on my way to work, I usually love that podcast but sometimes they need to work on dissenting opinions on their show, Although I could tell that Mark was oddly reserved in this one, and he just posted on Twitter that we should wait and see what the real announcement is.


Listened to this one just after - Same critique, these guys should have had a dissenting opinion.
https://thefriedegg.com/fried-egg-podcast/rollback-is-reportedly-coming-lets-discuss-5/

However both bring up solid points for both sides of the argument.

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5 hours ago, GoGoErky said:

And what do the golfers who already play the forward tees do? How do they shorten the course and still play by the rules.


and you have some concerns about the distance issue and the game

 being harder as you have flipped from it won’t affect the slow swingers to we need to press the greens keeper to keep the tees at the front of the tee box to we shall see what the impact is

I wouldn't be surprised if some courses move forward tees further forward.  It may necessitate switching to a different ball too.

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20 minutes ago, Ty_Webb said:

Bifurcation works in baseball because people who play in the Majors don't also play Little League and vice versa. Golf people play at lots of different levels, so it's different.

 

Baseball actually operate under lots of different levels too. There are independent pro leagues where they use wood bats.  Quite a few major league players have come from indy ball.  There are also some serious recreational wood bat leagues.  That would be akin to mini-tours, high level am events, etc.

 

But the VAST VAST VAST amount of people playing recreational baseball/softball use metal bats.  The VAST VAST VAST amount of golfers will never enter into a USGA event, let alone a club championship, let alone play a round 100% under the rules of golf.  The only reason most golfers play with "conforming" equipment is because they're sold a lie from the manufacturers.

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On 12/2/2023 at 6:55 PM, subrew said:

Just read through an interesting primer description of the actual USGA ball test.  Some snippets:

 

-They wanted to use a golf driver that was commonnly available, and ask OEMs if they would supply one.  Not a single OEM agreed.  So the USGA ball test is done with a Chinese manufactured 360cc titanium driver head.  But since it is robot testing, they dial it in to hit out of the center.  

 

-They also wanted a calibration/baseline ball for setting up the robot.  Something they could use each time they test a new ball, to dial in the settings.  Only one OEM agreed to this, Bridgestone.  They even agreed to make them and sell them to other ball manufacturers for use in their own testing.  They are sold with a "USGA/RA Calibration" stamp on them.

 

-They use these balls to calibrate the robot to hit 10* of launch and 2,500rpm spin at 120mph, before they test any balls.  Target is 317yds overall distance, with a +3yd buffer.  

 

-They then use a ball firing machine (like a baseball self pitcher machine) to shoot balls down a 70' indoor range.  They can adjust the speed of the wheels to test balls at 15 different speeds and spins.  360 shots for each test, which is done in minutes.

 

-The proposed changes (back in the spring) would increase the speed to 127mph, increase launch to 11* and decrease spin to 2,200rpm, more inline with current speed/launch/spin numbers of tour players.

 

 

Too bad the USGA couldn't produce a generic "Ball A" "Ball B" "Ball X" type pictogram graphic, that shows distance of some current balls (not by name) fired off at the current test parameters, and then at the proposed parameters.  Just to see how much dialing back is required.  Is it a case where every ball has to be dialed back 15-20 yards?  Or only the super firm low-spin tour balls, while other balls might only need to drop 2-5 yards?  Feels like they could keep things super generic, and perhaps show (or not show) that it isn't quite the massive change (or it is) some are making it out to be. 

 

I mean, within a single brand of ball manufacturer, they probably have a 15-20yd distance spread at 120mph of their own balls now.   Chromesoft X LS to Supersoft at 120mph is already a healthy gap.  

 

Wow.  The USGA, with all their millions, can't just go and buy the equipment we would buy?  I'm torn where I sit on this ball rollback, but I have to agree with Michael Breed on his show today:  The USGA's track record in initiatives is *not* something to use as justification for getting behind their next one.

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10 minutes ago, golfortennis said:

 

Wow.  The USGA, with all their millions, can't just go and buy the equipment we would buy?  I'm torn where I sit on this ball rollback, but I have to agree with Michael Breed on his show today:  The USGA's track record in initiatives is *not* something to use as justification for getting behind their next one.

There's a Golf Galaxy about ten minutes from my location.  I would be happy to be the "secret shopper" for the USGA.  Pay my airfare and I'll deliver them to headquarters.

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4 hours ago, grm24 said:

Well then that would be equipment bifurcation and the rules making bodies are against that. Hence where we are now with the ball. As for the COR (it's actually CT for the drivers) it has been at the same limit since 2003. So just like the unneeded ball rollback if the driver CT would be rolled back it would be rolled back for all and not one subset of players.

No, they were for it and proposed it. All of the manufacturers were against it because...they want the $$$

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2 hours ago, 11bravoveteran said:

So the Titleist Professional ball from 1995 won’t pass the 125 chs distance test? How far back are they rolling this thing? I’m in my 50’s and losing distance every year now..maybe and now this?

Breed is talking out of his golf channel a**. Show us the test where that is proven.

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So are they going to test the ball at slower swing speeds to ensure that all swing speeds are equally effected (another poster in this thread claimed they were engineer these balls so it was equal an not just impactful to the 120-127 guys)

 

if they are not, I can bet that manufactures will optimize a ball of for slower swing speeds that still passes this one test.

Edited by Pnwpingi210
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9 hours ago, PedronNiall said:

Do tennis pros & ams play different equipment? What about hockey? Soccer? Equestrian? Football? Maybe each sport's regulations should be based on the totality of how it's played and who plays it.

 

Yes, the OEMs have a stake in this since they want to sell to wannabe pros, top ams, and regular Joes & Jolines, but non-pros also have a stake because beyond wanting to be able to play what they do we also want to be able to enjoy the game without unnecessary complications and frustrations imposed from above. There's no need for bifurcation in golf and the majority do not want it, period. The RBs have done nothing more than cursory testing while ignoring the volumes of feedback sent their way and are tilting off on a fool's errand.

 

I'm sorry, but I'm not going to be on board because a few old men with no concern for the masses who play & support the game want to throw out rules changes that they have no comprehensive or competent testing done for. This only reinforces that the worst parts of golf are the needless complexities brought in by people who couldn't care less about the actual health of the game. 

 

You think bifurcation would have been complicated? It's really going to go to hell in a handbasket if this pushes bodies like the NCAA to create their own rules to avoid messes like this for their players going forward. Then maybe The PGA/DP World Tours create their own rules. Won't it be lovely if we get to go that route because everyone who manages the game for various entities has had enough of the R&A and USGA? Bifurcation isn't the way to go, but we could get it and then some. 

 

Also, just another reminder that they have made no headway in including women at any level or any sizeable groups of men who swing at lower speeds in any of their cursory evaluations thus far, let alone extensive testing. Imagine completely ignoring the largest group of people who will be affected by this change simply because you're butthurt that the Tours told you no. They didn't get their bifurcation, so now they stick it to everyone with zero actual idea of how it's going to play out for most golfers. How is that leadership? How is that behavior we should get behind? 

 

Golf is not baseball, and it should not be governed & regulated like baseball, whatever Tiger & Rory might think. Perhaps there's a reason the majority of their colleagues don't agree with them. 

 

IMO they don't care about anything outside their very limited country club scope of life.  They care about regular USGA members as much as Randolph and Mortimer Duke did about employees.   

Edited by bekgolf
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There is literally no way major golf ball manufacturers will let a rogue company make truck loads of cash on illegal golf balls.

Because that's what will happen if they only supply rolled back balls to the amateur market.

 

Every golfer who plays for fun will be buying the "non conforming" longer distance balls over the conforming competition shorter balls. Knowing that they axactly do what they claim to do, because they've used them prior.

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16 minutes ago, Foxx said:

There is literally no way major golf ball manufacturers will let a rogue company make truck loads of cash on illegal golf balls.

Because that's what will happen if they only supply rolled back balls to the amateur market.

 

Every golfer who plays for fun will be buying the "non conforming" longer distance balls over the conforming competition shorter balls. Knowing that they axactly do what they claim to do, because they've used them prior.

There's always been non-compliant, distance golf balls. No one even slightly serious about golf would play one. Never even found one on the course. But I'm sure we all find plenty distance limited, softer, non premium balls regularly. 

 

 

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Conflicted on this one - want every golfer to be using the same balls and equipment, but reality is the pros are SO far ahead of the average golfer with their clubs. Yes, we could spend thousands on fittings and the latest tech, but reality is 99.99% of us won't.

Two advantages I'm here for -> Longer irons for the pros into par fours and courses stop becoming obsolete.

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13 minutes ago, BlackDiamondPar5 said:

There's always been non-compliant, distance golf balls. No one even slightly serious about golf would play one. Never even found one on the course. But I'm sure we all find plenty distance limited, softer, non premium balls regularly. 

 

 

 

That's why I mentioned they'll buy them because they'll know they are the same as the ones we play today. Instead of a gimmick ball.

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14 minutes ago, Swisher said:

Conflicted on this one - want every golfer to be using the same balls and equipment, but reality is the pros are SO far ahead of the average golfer with their clubs. Yes, we could spend thousands on fittings and the latest tech, but reality is 99.99% of us won't.

Two advantages I'm here for -> Longer irons for the pros into par fours and courses stop becoming obsolete.

 

Define longer irons

Define obsolete

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Swing hard in case you hit it!

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11 minutes ago, clevited said:

Just for fun.  Mr. Snell on this issue.

 

image.png.f8247d7380f6a71ab0482d7ca3f82354.png

Weird it’s like I’ve read those comments somewhere before and that some disputed them. Oh wait I remember it’s this thread 

 

Weird that the PGA tour doesn’t do that, oh that’s right they are selling distance and setup their courses to promote it. Thus again no distance issue.

Edited by GoGoErky
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Typical USGA and R&A.  They said they were going to make it a local rule, but didn't get a response that it would be implemented, so to they moved forward.  Think that said a lot.  Have to question if this gets pushed back a few years.  Can't wait to see the conforming ball list.  It would be nice if they post a list of which ones will no longer be legal.

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12 hours ago, RCGA said:

 

I don't have a great answer than that other than to say there are 8-10k people who try to qualify for the US Open (I assume many are pros of some sort), and there are around 26 million golfers in the US. Those trying to qualify account for 0.003% of US golfers. 

 

My thought is a 5% rollback isn't enough for the pro game. But any more than that is too much for the amateur level.

 

A COR/CT restricted driver at the pro level impacts almost no one (relatively speaking) and solves every single issue with distance and future course design. 

Also add in the US Am and it's qualifiers.  Jr Am and it's qualifiers.   All the State Opens and State Amateurs and their qualifiers.   Ranked Junior  tournaments.   Ranked Amateur tournaments.  NCAA.  High School You are probably getting more into the 100s of thousands counting all those.   Are they all going to get the rolled back ball, and if not, where do you draw the line? 

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This interview has been interesting.  Slumbers keeps saying it is "environmental responsibility".  They need to reduce courses having to lengthen.  Not sure about anyone else on here, but I have not seen one course in my area expand in length.  This again is focused on the few pro, maybe US Am tournaments.  I feel they have lost their true focus.

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6 minutes ago, TroyB123 said:

Also add in the US Am and it's qualifiers.  Jr Am and it's qualifiers.   All the State Opens and State Amateurs and their qualifiers.   Ranked Junior  tournaments.   Ranked Amateur tournaments.  NCAA.  High School You are probably getting more into the 100s of thousands counting all those.   Are they all going to get the rolled back ball, and if not, where do you draw the line? 

 

If you want to play in a professional event, you play the pro driver. 


Simple.

 

If you win the US Am and play the Masters, I'm sure someone will give you a pro driver if you're that hard up for cash. 

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