Possble USGA Ball Roll Back :-(

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By Ryan M

  • 28 Replies
  1. Hey guys and gals,

    So with all this talk lately of golf roll back I was wonder what your thoughts were? I see Titleist put out a statement that was well written and thought out.

    I don't know about you but this would be extremely awful (obviously). Especially for major ball companies like Titleist. I did the Ball Plant 3 and R&D walk through last year and if I was Titleist I'd be extremely p!$$_d. I saw the endless work that goes into the R&D and it was honestly mind blowing (MIND BLOWING IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT). There are no words to describe the testing, thought, trial and error, science and so MANY other factors that I'd never, ever consider that go into producing a ball that goes on the store shelf. I believe that like 100's of ideas they do have, may never see the light of day. Basically the time and money and research that goes into making the #1 ball in golf, then take all those hours, years, etc. and now negate it seems like an absolute kick to the face on the work that companies like Titleist does.

    Also golf is HARD. So why punish 99.99% of golfers because some pros hit far? We are the 99.99% that pay greens fees to keep local courses open, we pay for equipment to keep golf shops open. Why punish 99.99% of us.

    I hope this never happens, because I believe it could be the final nail in the coffin to growing the game.

    What's your thought on this possibly ball roll back?

  2. Speedy

    Newmarket, NH

    It's stupid... There are other ways to make the game tougher for the PROS. Ian Poulter posted something on Instagram the other day about this and mad some good points. I'm not gonna copy and paste what he said so go follow him and check it out. Today the players are focusing more on their health and fitness which leads to better results on the golf course. Faster swing speed, ball speed, etc. Think of the all the time they're hitting the gym, getting massages whatever.. Heck, if i could focus full time on golf and was paid for it I be doing the same thing... Back in the 60s, 70s and 80s they didn't have this type of environment. They were smoking, drinking and just playing golf.. Today, they're drinking tons of water, nuts and whatever healthy snacks that's available to them today and taking care of their body..

    Wanna make it hard for the pros start focusing on the course, how can we make this harder. Narrow the fairways? make the roughs thicker? make the greens faster or smaller? there are PLENTY of ways.. But to start messing with the technology and everything that's been in place for years is just dumb.. Leave it alone. That's not the issue...

    For giggles, let's give them those X out balls and see how they do..
  3. Frank W

    Frank W

    The USGA & PGA Tour are irrelevant to me.

    I quit renewing my usga membership 7 or 8 years ago due their mismanagement of the us open and general ineptness. I couldn’t care less about their opinion on anything.

    The distance issue is a PGA Tour issue. Let them deal with it at their tournament sites, with their members.

    Golf is difficult enough and struggling to be relevant in today’s recreational world. Make it harder and everyone will regret it.
  4. Todd S

    Todd S
    Beavercreek, OH

    I believe at the tour level there needs to be something done.
    Par 5 's are not suspose to be Driver mid iron or less!
    I don't know it just a professional dial back is appropriate or not.
    But if they do dial back the ball for everyone imagine the fish stories we could tell in ten years. "I hit Driver Pitching wedges into that par 5 and made Eagle when I was your age! ". Lol
  5. chris b

    chris b
    Leesburg, VA

    Just dial back the Professionals & leave us general hackers alone. For that matter, let them play with feathery or gotta percha balls ... that will make it interesting for them.
    Otherwise I will have to start stocking up on ProV1's so when they do roll it back, I'll still be good to go.
  6. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    For absurdity, dialing back the ball 20% means the golf courses will need to add at least one or two more tee boxes - shorter. My wife's 140 yard drive would drop to 110 yards. She would need tees in the 4000-4500 yards from the current 5600. This could drive many women and others playing forward for pace to play to quit. In all sports, the professionals have access to such specialized training that their skills keep separating them further from "us".
  7. Hotsauce

    Georgetown MA

    I don't support bifurcation in anyway. Two sets of rules and/or equipment only complicates things. Instead of focusing on equipment or making the courses longer, they should look at the agronomy of the course.

    Titleist did an awesome study on this a couple of years ago, and Tour fairways are rolling as fast- or faster- than the greens at your local muni. I recently played El Camaleon in Mexico, and the fairways were so firm and fast it was crazy. I don't hit a long ball, but with the extra roll, I was getting a ton of distance. I even hit it though the fairway a couple of times which is something I rarely do.

    If the USGA/PGA is worried about scores being too low (stupid all together outside of maybe a US Open), or they want these guys to lay up and hit 5 and 6 irons all day, they should cut the fairways longer, or make them tighter. They could make the rough more penal, or create more hazards at 300 yards.

    Or ban Tour players from working out and force them all to eat a double bacon cheeseburger at the turn...

    I really don't understand the uproar. Par is an arbitrary number, and I like watching guys make birdies- and I like making them myself! No matter what the USGA/PGA does, these athletes are so skilled they'll find a way to adapt. Any restrictions on equipment will only harm the weekend warrior and we will continue to see people less interested in golf. Look at the groove change rule- it makes it harder for amateurs, but hasn't had much of an impact on the big boys.
  8. I agree wholeheartedly. If the pros are hitting it too far then punish the pros. My distances surely haven't gone up. I also feel that if they do roll the ball back 20% then the time it takes to play a round of golf will increase and the pace of play will get worse. Shorter distances=more shots and more shots=more time. I know that the subject of bifurcation is also a concern. The traditionalists want everyone to play by the same set of rules and having two sets makes the game different. I really don't care. I had shoulder surgery a year ago and my doctor said that I shouldn't hit balls from deep rough, thick sand, or near tree roots. I've managed to survive the sand part and my course doesn't have thick, deep rough, but it does have a lot of trees. So if I get near them and their roots I move my ball to a safer lie, further from the hole and don't take a penalty stroke. If that make me less of a golfer, so what. The senior golf league that I play in also has several "local" rules that differ from the official rule book. There are plenty of times where the rules are altered to deal with the situations. Dear USGA, here's a newsflash- there are already two different games of golf, one for the pros and one for people like me. So if you cut back on the ball for the pros fine, just leave the rest of the game of golf alone!!!

    Mark F
  9. Mark P

    Mark P
    foxboro, MA

    Keep the balls for amateurs where they are. As I get older it is tougher to reach the places I used to on the course. Ball advancement has kept me relevant with my partners. Why would I want to see a change.
  10. John B

    John B
    Kenmore, NY

    Just disappointing that shortening the ball for the less than one percent will hurt the rest of our enjoyment in playing a difficult game. But this isn't the first time the USGA has hurt the little guy - see long putter and wedge grooves. I hope Titleist will continue to produce non conforming Pro Vs (2017 versions) if the USGA and R & A go through with this idea. I might just have to break a future "short ball rule". Because instead of hitting it 250, I can only hit it 200 - that will make golf more fun.
  11. Gary D

    Gary D
    Cranston, RI

    Why not have a "tournament" ball for elite golfers ? All pro's and elite golfers playing in elite golfer tournaments (US Amateur etc.) have to use this "tournament" ball. They all play the same ball which would level the playing field a little. Pro's would drive the ball @ 275yrds off the tee, like they used to in the 1960's and 70's. Non elite golfers could continue to play whatever ball they wanted to.
  12. Michael B

    Michael B
    Prairieville, LA

    I'm not totally surprised to hear the older guys who are heavily invested in ownership and design (Like Mr. Nicklaus) complaining about ownership and design problems. Were he playing today, he'd be fighting limits tooth and nail. We all know Arnie was a complete tweaker of equipment his entire life, can you imagine how he would react?

    Time to just man up and let the scores go where they want. Reality is, there are plenty of ways to keep the scores closer to Par and we all know the litany: narrower fairways, taller rough, moving fairway bunkers back into the 300-330 range, sucking more moisture out of the greens, creating openings in the treelines to windward....I could go on.

    Monkeying with the ball is not the answer. I still don't understand why the limited the depth of the grooves on wedges. Was excessive spin REALLY a threat to the game?

  13. J.R. F

    J.R. F
    La Porte, IN

    Change the course set up to muni speeds where you don't get 50 yards of roll off the tee.
  14. Tom B

    Tom B
    Northborough, MA

    IF....they would stop making these courses wide open, with little penalty for hitting it in the rough or hazards, and stop cutting the fairways directionally so that the ball gets as much roll as possible, then the bombers wouldn't win everything by bombing away unimpeded. Bring back the rough (I'm not talking the ridiculous US Open rough of the 80's, where you can only wedge out, but put some fear back in them where they WILL get flyers out of a decent rough cut. Build courses through the trees instead of cutting those trees down. Put the hazards back, especially water. Bring back shotmaking, where you have to put the ball in a certain area of the fairway and green. Then we don't have to worry about bombers winning everything.
  15. Ralph C

    Ralph C
    Portland, ME

    Titleist's statement was elegant and well thought out. And I'm very much in agreement.
    Only a couple of us, certainly not me, are going to drive 300 yards, I think it's only an issue in the minds of people who somehow think the Pros are cheating. Sour Grapes! The current standard is just fine with me, in fact, since technology would allow a much longer ball than Iron Byron will currently allow, can concentrate on building a more shapeable, controllable ball. The evolution of the V1 and X are testament to that.
    My concern is with the new generation of golfers. I certainly don't want the USGA rain on their parade, or dreams. They are the future, they deserve to have the same standards of play us older guys have enjoyed. Keeping the standards the same is only fair.
  16. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    I say cool the jets and let them play golf. There are a number of factors other than just golf ball technology, that affect the ball going farther such as better conditioned golfers, faster conditioned courses, and better equipment. They need to look at the overall picture, but again, best to let a sleeping dog lie. With respect.
  17. Personally I'm against the whole "tour ball" and "am ball".

    The best part of golf is being able to show up to a course the pros play and be able to test yourself vs what they play with the same equipment if you wanted too (you know what I mean, all clubs that pass USGA specs etc.).

    Personally I think the whole thing should be left alone. Hopefully they don't look at things like the long putter, and U groove ban and say "See you guys got used to those changes, and now years later no one is complaining."
  18. vurich

    First Tee Box

    I love the idea of having Titleist manufacturing and making the official ball of the PGA Tour. One tour ball for all players. The same ball for the range and the course. The only difference is a player's number and/or marking of the "official Tour ball." Maybe or maybe not, a different ball for the LPGA Tour, also manufactured by Titleist. I'm also in favor of shortening the courses with only two sets of tee boxes like they have at Augusta. One for pros or those who want to play the tips, the other for everyone else. Shorter courses will not only speed up the game, it will also save on costs for the owners, thus lowering costs for players. Also, with shorter course, there should be more obstacles that will really test all levels of players, which will make the game much more enjoyable, in my opinion. Just bombing drives every hole is not as fun, interesting and exciting as pure shot making. I want to see all players (including myself), use all the clubs in my bag. Test our ability of really playing the game. Of course, there will be holes where the player can unleash on a monster drive, but not every hole. Also, I would not change anything about the ball for the average and/or amateur player. And I seriously doubt that will ever change. All the manufactures can try and compete with Titleist. "Try," being the operative word. The ball would only change for Tour players. All professional tours. As far as equipment, no changes. Also, the use of range finders permissible for every situation. Television can aid in this but having a board or indicator of distance viewable for every player and the spectators. Maybe LED boards carried for every group. Just like they do in pro football indicating to everyone how far for a first down. Taking the time to judge distance is a huge waste of everyone's time and should be readily and quickly accessed and available. Out of bounds should also be treated the same as a water ball. Anyway, those are my humble thoughts and opinions. #TeamTitleist
  19. Has the ball gotten better? Yes it has. However, the golfers have now become athletes. Stronger, more flexible, which will increase club head speed, which will make the ball go further. Add in the invention of the trackman, where they can improve on or decrease spin, especially with the driver, has helped them hit it longer.
    Make the courses tougher, rough longer, fairways not as wide, fairways not as hard, getting 30 yds of roll
  20. Joey L

    Joey L
    Chico, Ca

    I think the PGA Tour should have an official ball, just like other major professional sports, and I think the ball should be a Titleist. After that, all the governing bodies could study the official ball’s performance and decide what to do, or not do as far as change. Titleist and all other companies (not that I care what the others do) should keep moving forward with making the ball better for the pros and everyone else.
    Since the pros get their balls and equipment for free, it’s amateur golfers that keep the companies in business.
  21. I don't see it happening really fast if at all. Anyone know how many balls are made daily? How many these manufacturers have stockpiled now waiting for ink? How many millions (billions?) are sitting in warehouses waiting for an order from TGW, Golf Galaxy, any retailer that needs an order filled? I've got only 8 dozen sitting in my house. At my rate, that's a few years of golf seeing as I only use 1 possibly 2 a round. So in the meantime I'll stockpile more premium balls. It's similar to the runs on firearm ammunition. Buy cheap and stack it deep is a familiar term. Amateur golf folks won't have to worry about much of anything, pros probably won't either.
  22. Jerry M

    Jerry M
    Dallas, TX

    Found this article on a golf website and it was fascinating to me. The article was data regarding how far amateurs actually hit the ball.


    On another note, think of all of the money spent lengthening courses in the past 4-5 years. I have not seen any data regarding this, but it has got to be a staggering amount.
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