Yes, it goes too far (51.72%)
Interesting to get some figures on this and some comments on this new 'drive' by some in the game.
I say yes, with the caveat that it should be restricted on Tour only or in Pro golf only. The Amateur game should be left as is.
Would you maybe think of adding a poll option for that? As I think that's what a few people are suggesting.
Basically, the thinking is that absolutely nothing should be done to make the game more difficult for the average player, or general amateurs.
But for Tour golf, as an entertainment spectacle, something has definitely been lost since so many players now hit mid irons into the likes of 13 and 15 at Augusta. Removing that risk of hitting a very long iron or (God forbid) a wood off the deck definitely reduces the drama of the events, and probably cuts down the number of guys who genuinely have a chance to compete - again, less fun for the spectator.
Some of the old and most favorite courses have and will be extended to adjust, but they're running out of room. Playing new venues in the desert that are 8,000 yards long with zero strategy involved, or allowing tournaments to be routinely won with 26 under par are not good options.
Reduce the driving distance and bring the trouble back into play - not allowing guys to bomb over bunkers or dog legs that they used to have to work around. Bring back the risk reward of par 5s by making it a genuinely long hit for the second shot, if at all. This should mean that guys can actually falter if they're in the lead, and not just cruise home as they always seem to do.
It hasn't changed much in ten years, don't understand what the big fuss is about.
I don't think length should be the sole defence of a course anyhow, plenty of other ways of keeping the course tough.
I think the concern is more about the change in the last 2 years; https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.101.html
68 lads averaging 300 yrds +
I think I've seen something in the last few days though that indicates the distance has started to creep up again in the last year or so. It might have been on Golfwrx, can't remember.
Its a tricky one, I'm totally against bifurcation, and yet the added distance is really only applicable to a tiny, tiny percentage of golfers worldwide.
Maybe reducing the head size of drivers back down to 320cc or something (for everyone) so its not so easy to hit the sweetspot when swinging out of your shoes ? I dunno.
I think on Sky sports I've seen Dennis Pugh say something along the lines of: you need to be swinging over 113mph to really get the benefit of the modern ball. Apparently there's an exponential jump once you get to that speed, and realistically, how many people (apart from on the internet) actually swing at that speed ?
Totally agree that there's not much fun in watching someone blast a drive 340yds over the trouble and still able to chip onto the green out of the rough.
Also I totally see the savings in terms of land needed for courses, additional cost of maintenance and water on longer bigger courses, longer rounds etc etc that reining in the ball might bring. Yet I'm not 100% convinced we need to change the rules because of 40/50 long hitters on tour.
If I had to come down on one side or the other, I'd say yes bring it back a little.
The last 10 years is a short time. It doesn’t even take into account the Tiger era.
But even still, look at the number of “long hitters” as opposed to the yardage changes. In 2008, one guy was averaging 300 yards. Now pretty much half the field on the Saturday and Sunday of every tournament does so. That’s a huge change.
So, again from an entertainment perspective, where it used to be amazing to see a guy hit a short iron onto a par 5, or drive a par 4, now it’s every other John Tour Player who can do so.
Bare in mind, the driving is only part of the story. The ball goes further off irons as well. So if average driving goes up by 10 or 20 yards, add on more benefit for the 175 9 irons they’re now hitting.
Also worth pointing out that Daly (in the 90s) was using a Wilson Ultra ball - not a balata. So to get those distances he was sacrificing short game benefit. That’s not the case anymore.
I don’t get the bifurcation argument.
What we watch on TV and what we play at the weekend are two different sports. There are already different rules for the tour / pros than for amateurs. There’s a really clear and distinct line could be drawn at main tour or secondary tour level to say: beyond here, you use a limited ball. Any elite player heading that direction will be able to work with that.
For everyone else, nothing changes, other than we get a bit of the entertainment value back that has been stripped away.
In fairness, is us that pays for the tour through TV rights, eyeballs for sponsors, equipment and BALL sales. So it’s not a ridiculous ask to want to preserve it as a spectacle.
I'm sure engineers could design a ball that had diminishing returns as the swing speed goes in excess of 100mph. So someone swinging at 120mph wouldn't get 20% more distance maybe only 110% the distance.
With the current balls i think it is the opposite in that someone swing at 120mph probably gets 25% more distance of the 100mph swinger due to the way the core flexes.
Don't see the argument of limiting the driver head size. The sweet spot stays the same size and the guys hitting it 300+ aren't missing the middle.
I understand argument of spectator sport ete. However, hitting the ball far is a player skill, not equipment or the R&A would have stopped it before it began. These guys are doing more work than your John Dalys to earn that extra yardage. And if you take out roll most of the drives are much less spectacular. It just seems unfair to punish the guys putting in the work and reward the players who don't.
Two points I sort of disagree with there,
Guys hitting it 300 can miss the middle of the club quite often, not by much, but by enough that a 460cc head lets them away with it.
I don't agree that guys who don't hit it far aren't putting in the work. Some players, no matter what they do, will never hit it 300yds. I would have thought the authorities should try to have a game where skill it still a little bit important along with distance, these days at the top level its all about power and little else really, essentially most weeks, with a few exceptions, boil down to a putting contest (in the States anyway, probably not so much in Europe).
These are the same guys hitting 3woods (smaller head) 260-280 in the air, really can't see the smaller head being a problem for long. Once they got used to it the smaller head will be swung even faster (weight+aerodynamics) so you would have the same "problem"
Why not, 110ss or so with a bit of roll will see 300yds and that's more or less the tour average. I'm sure most just look for fairway and give up a small bit if distance. Rory, DJ etc just go 100% and get the risk or reward.
If hitting the ball far wasn't a skill everyone would do it.
I presume all proponents of "the ball goes too far and this needs to stop" are the poorest drivers on tour?
Jack Nicklaus has been beating this drum for over 20 years and no one could accuse Jack, in his pomp, of being a short hitter.
Tiger has recently joined the chorus.
Something has to be done to bring the game back and changing the ball is the easiest solution.
If nothing is done new courses will need to go over 8,000 yds with par 5 nearer 700 yds. Where will designers get the land to build these new courses.
I think they should tighten up fairways around the 280 - 350 yard mark! That'll stop them pounding one down that far and won't really effect the everyday golfer.
No one would accuse Jack, in his pomp, of being a short hitter. However he certainly wasn't calling for these changes while in his pomp. Same too with Woods. It's great to have him back but he will use his clout to it's fullest to manipulate his chances of winning against his new opponents who now have a better long game than he does. His best chance of winning will certainly be to eliminate the advantage that the guys have who can swing 100% at the ball and still hit the fairway have over him. Was he calling for drastic changes to eliminate his advantage of the rest of the field during the tiger-proofing years? No. I'm sure the very term "tiger-proofing" give him great pride in his heyday.
re: courses needing to be 8,000y+ and 700y par5's, If you like, but why does it matter if -20 or +20 wins a comp?
Also changing the ball is not an easy solution to regulate unless you eliminate all the ball making manufacturers and standardise the ball to be made by a single manufacturer. Otherwise, well think of the type of cheating that's gone on in cycling by the teams to help them get every advantage. Cheating accusations in golf would be rampant whenever one guy outdrives another, "test that ball", "oh he hit it into the water - how convenient".