How to solve the problem of Pro's overpowering golf courses!!

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How to solve the problem of Pro's overpowering golf courses!!

Ban Dimples.. That will solve all the problems of lack of real estate or old golf courses being largely redundant to the power men.. 

Without dimples the ball will be unstable and will not fly as far it will cost nothing because the ball manufactures can stop one of their processes its win win. Of course us handicappers will still keep them other wise it will take the fun out of it!!

I think the golf ball flies WAY too far, pros could use 90% golf balls it would keep the game sensible for regular golfers That 18 year old girl (forget name) on the LPGA was hitting an average of 269 yards That is not a far of the leading hitters in the mens game of 25 years ago *Greg Norman was at 274 yards! We now have multiple PGA players hitting 310 or more on average, to me its easy, make a golf ball that flies 90%, golf courses can then work for regular golfers as not everyone can hit a ball 300 yards to order and 7000 plus yard courses are pointless for most without loads of tee options.   If there were a vote I would vote PGA TOURS all of them use a 90% golf ball.

I firmly believe that there should be one set of rules for amateurs and one for pros. Although not sure how you get round the Pro-Am event issue.

Is this really a big problem? Is anyone really surprised that golfers today hit longer than those of 25 years ago considering improvements not just in club/ball design but in training and swing analysis. I'm happy to play the same equipment (to an extent) as the pros and to be amazed at what they can do with it. For a handicapper the game is a lot more against the course but for a pro it is more against the other competitors, I doubt they mind if they are 12 under or 2 under as long as they are lower than the other players in any competition.

Golf courses that are billed as championship courses and are stretched just for the hell of it are not better courses, I am not exactly a short hitter but when a hole is long just for the sake of adding yards it does not float my boat and a lot of comes from the PGA hitters hitting so much further than 20 years ago, does not help that amateurs really do not improve much.

There are two arguments here - absolute length, and relative length. The 90% ball might help with the absolute bit (making historic courses redundant - until the training and clubs make an 80% ball a necessity ), but it won't take away Quiros' advantage over, say, Zach Johnson. Which is another argument - the ability to hit the ball a long way (straight enough to not trouble the player more than it is worth) is just as much a part of the game as to be able to nervelessly rap 5 footers time and again, into the back of the cup. Or wedge it stiff.  

Length of courses (or individual holes) is a subjective thing.  I'm not a short hitter, but only reach 3 of our longest par fours probably 1 in four games. More generally, it relies on  a third shot close with a single putt.  In the right conditions, I can reach all of them, same for getting on par 5's in two.  But for most of our senior section, this is an impossibility.  However, as amateur golfers, we have a handicap, which negates the ability of hitting a long ball, in fact, as often as not, a higher handicapper who has a shot on a hole can beat me, or at least halve the hole. Can't see that having smooth balls will have any effect other than increasing amateur players handicaps and making the game less fun and less enjoyable.

Brian, I think the idea is that only pros have to use the un-dimpled balls.  Good idea as more courses could be used for pro tournaments without having to lengthen them.

A ball without dimples wouldn't fly at all. They could design a shorter ball easy enough but two tier wouldn't work. Every wanna bee would use a pro ball and look down on those who didn't

brian 3 wrote (see)

Length of courses (or individual holes) is a subjective thing.  I'm not a short hitter, but only reach 3 of our longest par fours probably 1 in four games. More generally, it relies on  a third shot close with a single putt.  In the right conditions, I can reach all of them, same for getting on par 5's in two.  But for most of our senior section, this is an impossibility.  However, as amateur golfers, we have a handicap, which negates the ability of hitting a long ball, in fact, as often as not, a higher handicapper who has a shot on a hole can beat me, or at least halve the hole. Can't see that having smooth balls will have any effect other than increasing amateur players handicaps and making the game less fun and less enjoyable.

I think you should test out your theory Brian and see if there is an effect.... http://comps.fotosearch.com/comp/TGR/TGR200/living-life-razor_~pra34104.jpg  I seem to remember this guy talking about the benefits! http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ODpZNuh1rC8/UbkUwu6pnVI/AAAAAAAAIgs/CRbgAbhsUiM/s320/dr-evil.jpg  

The distance the ball travels when hit by a pro or good amatuer has been a topic of conversation for as long as I can remember. The two basic answers is to reduce the distance a ball can travel and golf club technology. There are some restraints on the ball and club manufacturer but clearly not enough to prevent golf balls travelling further. I think the answer lies in smarter design of golf courses, which will negate the effect of long driving to a large extent. Conversely many established courses seem obsessed with extending the yardage to enable it to be a 'championship course'. That's fine for courses who have the real estate to do this, but not so good for many other fine courses like Walton Heath, Sunningdale to mention but two.   No one wants to see the extinction of the driver and the wow factor of these guys bombing out there 300yds plus. Nevertheless, possibly par fives apart, designers need to build in a more sublime risk and reward factors. A good quality course should not be judged on distance alone.

golfstore24couk wrote (see)

We now have multiple PGA players hitting 310 or more on average, to me its easy, make a golf ball that flies 90%, golf courses can then work for regular golfers as not everyone can hit a ball 300 yards to order and 7000 plus yard courses are pointless for most without loads of tee options.

I have a very limited field of experience here as the only major courses I have played are The Belfry and St. Mellion. Each of these courses DOES have lots of tee options, so what's the issue?  Pros that hit it 300+ off the tee are one of the massive draws for spectators. But... Length isn't what makes a score otherwise Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson would win every week and Luke Donald would never have made it to World Number 1.

Remember if someone hits it 5 degrees offline and 250 yards will be on the fairway but someone who hits it 300+ and 5 deg offline ends up in the bushes. So the further you hit it the straighter you have to be

Isn't it the dimples on the ball that allow shaping?  removing dimples would sure cure my slice but would take away any ability to play a controlled fade or draw wouldn't it?

As Taz said earlier a non dimpled ball would fly like a ping pong ball, just swerve and crash.  The dimples are designed to improve the aerodynamics and allows the air to travel around the spinning ball successfully.   Anyway, it seems to me that despite all the new Drivers coming out every few months, driving distances have not increased since around 2003 when the trampoline faces were perfected.  Therefore the horse bolted over ten years ago and we just need to adapt accordingly.

Problem is pros hitting too far for traditional courses, i would love to see them at the Old Course in 2015 with 90% golf balls, no more short irons into 17 for example  

Slamdunker wrote (see)

As Taz said earlier a non dimpled ball would fly like a ping pong ball, just swerve and crash.  The dimples are designed to improve the aerodynamics and allows the air to travel around the spinning ball successfully.   Anyway, it seems to me that despite all the new Drivers coming out every few months, driving distances have not increased since around 2003 when the trampoline faces were perfected.  Therefore the horse bolted over ten years ago and we just need to adapt accordingly.

I think the distance is still increasing year on year. Indeed, the USPGA stats confirm this. In 2003 there were 9 players who averaged 300 yards plus on the tour. This year there are 24 so far and in 2013 there was 21 players over the mark.  So, there are more pro golfers who are breaking the 300yds barrier. Of course, a lot of these guys are large muthers and very fit, which helps if you want to crush the ball. Interestingly, if you went back to 1993 no golfers on the tour averaged over 300 yds. The longest was good old John Daly with 288.9 yds, quite pedestrian by today's standards!

For almost a Decade Daly and Tiger were either side of 300 yards as 1 and 2 longest This years stats are not really complete enough to get a picture, but golf courses like the Old Course in particular are not anything like the challenge they were. I remember 4 irons from BOOM BOOM into 17 at the old course!  that is how the hole s meant to be played, drawing a long iron in off the road, now it is just smash it and send a short iron straight at the flag. 288.9 for Daly, but he was HUGE when he came on the scene i hit balls with him in 94 at Troon and people watched him hit like some kind of driving god!  he was only averaging 300! look at the gaps he produced on the field, look at 5th longest, this is a better guide, the ball should be slowed down..

I was watching my local range pro hit balls recently; he was easily clearing the boundary fence at 300yds. He's a scratch player of Jamega comp standard and of average build. There must be many more like him out there.

The ball needs slowed down, the drivers obviously have improved, but the golf balls have improved massively and go forever

golfstore24couk wrote (see)

The ball needs slowed down, the drivers obviously have improved, but the golf balls have improved massively and go forever

 is the right answer

golfstore24couk wrote (see)

Problem is pros hitting too far for traditional courses, i would love to see them at the Old Course in 2015 with 90% golf balls, no more short irons into 17 for example  

Faldo won the 1990 Open at St. Andrews with a score of 270 (18 under). John Daly won it in 1995 with a score of 282. I maintain that smashing it off the tee doesn't necessarily produce the best scores. Why change the ball on the basis of an event that is held once every 5 years? Only 21 out of 125 PGA tour players average 300+ yards. That 16.8% of players would still be hitting it further than everyone else wouldn't they? They still have to hole the putts. This is the current top driving distance stats on the PGA tour: Apart from Bubba, how many major winners are in there in the top 15?

 

Jimbow wrote (see)

I was watching my local range pro hit balls recently; he was easily clearing the boundary fence at 300yds. He's a scratch player of Jamega comp standard and of average build. There must be many more like him out there.

Why is he only a local pro, not on the European Tour then?

17th at St Andrews is the best example I can come up with. The hole is meant to be a long iron drawn into a green, a challenge risk and reward, NOW it is a flip with a short iron at the right portion of the green. The score is down to the weather, Faldo had 4 perfect days no wind, the Weather dictates the score at the old course, the GOLF BALL dictates the shot TYPE i would love to see the worlds best drawing long irons into 17 that is the hole at its best and we will not see it ever again unless the ball is slowed down.  

golfstore24couk wrote (see)

i would love to see the worlds best drawing long irons into 17 that is the hole at its best and we will not see it ever again unless the ball is slowed down.  

That is a daft reason for changing the whole professional game IMO. You've just said yourself that the weather has more impact on the scoring than the ball does.

Golf used to be a game of skill, there was an amazing level of skill required to hit the 17th green in two as you had to fade your tee shot then draw a long iron. Daft reason?   The Home of Golf hosts the Open next year, golfers are not being challenged by the course in anything like the way they were at its best, it does not make for good viewing watching a wedge hit into what was once one of the most demanding par 4s on the planet. 13th at Augusta another example, where the ability to draw the tee shot then hit a cut of the bank has been removed as it is now BOMB it as far as you can (as the tee is now miles back) and hit it is hard and high as you can from where you land.  

Yep, he's got that right.

Still is a game of skill. It's incredibly skillful to middle a ball when your club head speed is 123mph. Pros of yesteryear were not 6'4" and 90kg either. The road hole is listed at 495 yards; assuming a 310 yard drive, why is hitting a 185 yard second shot onto a shallow green that slopes away from the players that is protected by an 8 foot deep bunker any less skillful than it once was? Pros might hit a 7 iron, but if anyone can hit a wedge that distance then fair play to them. Unless they POSITION the drive properly, it's still a bail out to the right for a chip up along the green. The whole of the professional game probably shouldn't be changed for the sake of a handful of courses the may/may not be overpowered by less than 10% of pros. 

pros are on average over 10% longer than they were 25 years ago, that is a fact so why not take 10% from the distance the ball goes and stop screwing up designs to accommodate these players BTW.. the road hole is not played as it is measured and is a lot less than 495 as the measurement is a double dogleg

The simple solution would be to have a fairways 50 yards wide at 250 yrds and then have it gradually reduce to 10 yards wide at 320 then the big hitters can have a go at bombing it 320 but they would have to be very accurate to get the advantage and if they can hit it that straight and that far then they deserve to have that advantage over the rest of the field.

Samiguel wrote (see)

 

Jimbow wrote (see)

I was watching my local range pro hit balls recently; he was easily clearing the boundary fence at 300yds. He's a scratch player of Jamega comp standard and of average build. There must be many more like him out there.

Why is he only a local pro, not on the European Tour then?

That was kind of my point; a big hitter but absolutely nowhere near tour level. I wouldn't change the game to accommodate the tiny minority who wallop a ball to make a living. Tournament organisers can always pinch the fairways nearer the hole, or more radically, limit the amount of times players can use their drivers during a round.

An interesting discussion with most people agreeing the same - the ball is travelling too far and courses are being lengthened to accomodate big hitting. Something which rarely gets mentioned but amazes me is how far these guys are hitting their irons. It is not unusual to see a pro hitting a wedge 140 -150 yds, 7 iron 170-180 yds is the norm. As for long irons, some of these dudes are hitting these 230-250 yds. That is about the same distance some pros were hitting a driver 30 years or so ago! Finally, just a little bit of nostalgia. I recall back in the early 1980s going to Sunningdale to watch the European Open. The longest drive of the week was by a chap called Bernhard Langer - 311 yds. Funny how some things stick in your mind.

Put some nice bits of sand in some very big holes and bulk up the front edge (alot) at the right distance on the fairways. "Go on lads knock yourselves out".  

I disagree with the fact the game needs to be shortened, I love seeing Bubba smash one off the tee with the track-man showing just how far it's gone and how its shaped. But I dont think the distance is proving to make as much difference as you say to results. Bubba has the longest average drive length of 322 from the current PGA stats however he is 83rd on the list of fairway %  Zack Johnson only has an average drive of 283 however he is 2nd on fairway % Zack already has a tournament win under his belt (Bubba has a second when he missed that put from what 6ft at the waste mgmt to force a playoff - drive for show put for dough much). It is subjective as they have not played the same tourneys but I do think it does shine a light on the fact that Pros are not out there only winning events if they hit it long. I dont think you can say that Zack overpowered any courses and the fact that some hit it so far is always going to be the case but the fact is they dont win every week. Just on a final note Bubba lost to Kevin Stadler in the Waste Mgmt, his driving average? 295

Agree with Matt on this one, its not like you dont see any deft touches with the wedges.. What I dont get is how long the rounds take... its not like there hunting round in the rough for balls, or one of their 3 ball has just skulled their ball for the 4th time on the par 4..  but upwards of 5 hours.. shocking!

"Agree with Matt on this one" now there is something you are not going to hear a lot of, might get that framed.

The problem is when is it going to stop. There are examples of "new golfballs" that have been developed that a regular 15-handicapper could hit over 400 yards (yes, four hundred). Everyone enjoys hitting it far and seeing big hitters smash it down the fairway, me included, but I feel that distance has become overly important. I hate it when I play a new course and find out there are 4 par 3s all over 180 yards. One thing I don't feel good about is separating pro golfers' golfballs from those of mere mortals. I'm not sure why, just feel we'll lose something.

When you say ONLY 283, you reaise this is further than GREG NORMAN used to drive and he was the best driver of a golf ball in the pro game. It creeps every year, it is not the fact the pros hit far, it is the fact that courses are no longer the tests they should be and NEW courses require 7000 yards to be championship courses, older famous layouts cannot expand. In a recession when 50,000 golfers a week world wide are leaving the game each week, it makes perfect sense to take pressure of golf courses to design layouts that most golfers will never play and simply take 10% off the golf ball speed and return pros to the driving distances of around 20 years ago.   I could not care less about their scores, it is the fact that the golf ball makes a mockery of historic layouts and requires new facilities to be enormous. I would personally much prefer to see the pros hitting 10% short of where they hit now and having longer approach shots with less tricked up conditions to keep their scoring in check.  Have a look at the AUGUSTA NATIONAL scorecard of 25 years ago and now, it is only still a major as they bought land to expand! It is fun to hit a ball that goes 300 yards, but hitting 300 yards now is not even a big deal, I remember when if you REALLY hit the ball a true 250yards you were a long hitter. 20 years time, there will be guys averaging 360yards and golf courses will regularly need to be 8000 yards to be championship courses, at what stage do you stop it?   Oh yes, it should be pointed out that amateurs have not picked up anything like the yardage of the pros, so the pros are getting further and further ahead of the guys that play golf on 99.9% of the time and courses are designed with there one off visits in mind!

have you got any more details on those golfballs, I think I could do with a few? The guidelines for hole length though should mean you are happier with the new technology and that the ball is being hit further to reach those par 3s, the guidelines for designating course pars have not changed for a while! 1956Par 3 - Up to 250 yardsPar 4 - 251 to 470 yardsPar 5 - 471 yards or more  Current Par 3 - Up to 250 yardsPar 4 - 251 to 470 yardsPar 5 - 471 yards to 690 yardsPar 6 - 691 yards or more

Greg Norman's average drive in 2012 was 293 on the Champions tour... Greg Norman's average drive in 1982 was 292 on the PGA tour...  

I know the PAR specs haven't changed, I'm talking about the thought behind the course design. Every on-course challenge seems to be orientedmore and more  towards distance of some degree. Oh to find more holes like the postage stamp on golf courses.   (A friend close to the R&A said the balls were tested but not approved. They do exist though).

/members/images/102933/Gallery/2014-02-14_12_12_23-Driving_Distance_-_1989_-_PGA_TOUR_Official_Stat.jpg    25 years ago  BTW. he did not average 292 in 82, it is an error on the pga site, have a closer look he average 275 for many years     10th longest hitter  since 84, average has risen by 30.8 yards from 272 yards  to  302.8 yards over 10%    Makes a world of sense to clip 10% off the ball speed now

Was just looking through and it was 2003 that the top 10 all had an average drive over 300, now is is the top 24 in the world. That's over 10 years of the top professionals all hitting the sort of length they are at the moment, you can't say that this is a recent trend. In 2003 by the way the top was Hank Kuehne he had an average of 321 thats a yard off Bubba's current average.   EDIT - I did have a look at Norman's other years and you are right it was around 275 but I think the comparison to what he hit in 2012 was the most interesting as it suggests that he would be in the same bracket as Bubba or even longer with the current tech.  

Matt Wells wrote (see)

Greg Norman's average drive in 2012 was 293 on the Champions tour... Greg Norman's average drive in 1982 was 292 on the PGA tour...  

He really needs to upgrade his driver.... 

So as a 57 year old norman is almost 20 yards longer than he was in his 20s! There now an 18 year old LPGA pro who hits it the same length Norman did in his 20s! I think the 292 was possibly down to him competing in a very small number of events (This years stats are skewed as always happens early with the longest being massive) it always comes back down through the year Looking at 10th place is a better indicator than longest as the longest guys like Daly, Woods etc in the past have often been our on their own.    Step forward 25 years, the progress is linear it keeps rising year on year, so we can look forward to 340 yard AVERAGES in 20 years! All this means is, any golf course that wants to be CHAMPIONSHIP has to be enormous, this has cost and is wasteful and traditional courses are no longer played as intended. 18 at St Andrews with a slight breeze is a very driveable par 4 for many, I remember Faldo hitting a 7 iron in !  

My two penneth...   When I started we used wooden drivers and my first metal driver was a Taylor Made Burner.  All of those clubs were difficult to use, but if you played well with them you could hit it long and shape it.  However you saw regular tops and skies, even some nobbles off the toe, which could be terminal. The big headed Driver gave amateurs a massive boost, especially the mid to high handicappers as they eradicated the faults.  However, when the trampoline faced Drivers came in around 2002, they were just unbelievable....it felt like you were cheating, the ball was travelling 30 yds further.   I found a 30yr old top flite small ball recently that had been dug up and used it on a 550 yd slight down hill/wind par five.  I hit it through the back in two!  I could not have hit a Pro v1any further. So....I know it won't happen, but banning the trampoline face would be where I would start.

Old top flights were called ROCKS I had the TM burner too, the metal headed job with what is now a tiny head, try hitting one now! Almost impossible, big headed drivers make your swing less accurate over time, to hit the TM burner properly you need to swing really well as the head was tiny You only need to use that spray or strike strips to see where golfers hit now, if you have a huge face to use, you use it!  

Watching the WGC event last week the distances these boys were hitting the ball was outrageous. Okay, it was at altitude and the ball travelling even further than normal. That said, many of the guys were taking something less than a driver either for position or to avoid bunkers.  Personally I thought is was a great competition with a worthy winner (no I did not back Jason Day) even though Tiger, Phil and Adam Scott decided to site this one out for whatever reason. 

The old burner driver gs24 did you have the flex twist shaft in it? Black and silver as i remember, a real belter! I snapped mine was gutted, then Put in the swix shaft, what a great shaft that was.

I watched a Shell thingy during the week, Nicklaus v Trevino. I would guess circa 2000 they were playing a 6,900 yd course and both Jack and Lee would be about 60 years of age. Jack shot -1 and Lee -3 to win the match. Great scores given their age and the length of the course. Strange to see them playing with small headed metal drivers, they looked more like a 3 wood. I bought my first 460cc driver in 2001 - the Callaway ERCII. Gave me 20 yards instantly! 

MoaningM wrote (see)

The old burner driver gs24 did you have the flex twist shaft in it? Black and silver as i remember, a real belter! I snapped mine was gutted, then Put in the swix shaft, what a great shaft that was.

  I broke 4 of those flextwist shafts, they looked awesome but seemed very prone to breaking! The original TM BURNER with metal head and flextwist shaft, not an easy thing to hit after years of 460cc clubs.. basically your swing declines as you have more margin for error

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