The real USGA issue

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By Don O

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  • 15 Replies
  1. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    I'm going to go in a different direction than USGA's concerns with the ball. To note, Mr. Nicklaus is truly one of the greats, but he didn't have an issue with the ball in his prime in the 70's when he was the "DJ" (no offense to Dustin, but he has awesome power) of his generation. Courses don't need to be over 7000 yards for 99+ % of golfers. The USGA should focus more on helping redesign courses to be shorter and use more waste areas to minimize water and other maintenance costs. With shorter distances and narrower fairways, there won't be the emphasis on over-swinging. One problem with pace of play is watching guys that drive 220 yards swinging for the moon with no accuracy starting on the 7800 yard tips and lucky for a GIR+2. Not every course needs to be "just like a PGA stop". The Champions Tour and LPGA play less than 7000 yards. Let the PGA be the PGA and have the USGA take care of the millions of average players. Pros hitting wedges on par 5s for a second shot should not be a USGA/R&A issue - that's the PGA's marketing problem. Give us sustainable courses that can afford a lower greens fee and shorter times for a round. We have no issue with all the current equipment improvements. Would power players quit golf if the tips moved to under 7000? Would average players quit golf if they lost 20% distance? I'd say the latter.

  2. Don,
    I agree with you. The USGA/R&A should be concerned with all of the people that play golf and not just the few that play for pay. I firmly believe that they think that the"game of golf" is the Pro Tours and then they forget about the rest of us. Let the tours fix the tours and leave the rest of the golfing world alone.
  3. Fred C

    Fred C
    Mansfield, TX

    What has happened to driving distance and such since the ProV1? It jumped 20+ yards. since the advent of the larger drivers with Titanium, it saw a slight increase. Nicklaus was longer and accurate than his peers because he was better. Today's players all hit it much longer than they would with balata and persimmon. They can roll back the ball and it won't affect amateurs one iota...just the one's that can fully compress today's ball.
  4. Don,
    Thanks for simplifying this with some common sense!
  5. Luke R

    Luke R
    Hamden, CT

    I respect Jack's opinion but he is off base in his argument. Its not the golf ball! Shoot, he sells his own golf balls that are advertised.

    "Our goal: to simplify golf ball selection. In today's world, most golfers don't know which ball is the right ball for them. With Nicklaus Black, Nicklaus Blue, and Nicklaus White, all you need to know is the tee you play from. We have created three cutting edge balls to maximize feel and distance for different levels of play"
  6. MICHAEL K

    MICHAEL K
    Brightwaters, NY

    I Agree Don! The recent USGA rulings such as, I need someone to verify my round before posting for a handicap, shows how little trust they have for the recreational player. There ability to run the US Open for both the men and women have been rule disasters showing again there inability to create a common sense approach to golf. Now my 220yard long drives need to be cut back because of DJ and Rory!!!!
  7. Hotsauce

    Hotsauce
    Georgetown MA

    “Out there in the distance, besides the setting sun, is number 7 at Pebble Beach. I’ve hit 7 iron before. It’s 107 yards. I’ve chipped a 60 degree wedge. Too many variables in an outdoor sport to grasp what is actually happening. What I do know is the USGA does not have their fingers on the pulse of the game. Taking away a putter that helps many many people enjoy the game is wrong. Rolling back the golf ball 20% is another bad idea. Ask the normal golfer how much they would enjoy the game if they flew it 20% shorter. I’m asking. Would you enjoy that? Changing golf for the masses because a small few who play it a different level is wrong. The greats and USGA have it wrong.”- Jimmy Walker

    I couldn’t agree more. Let the pros play, let the armatures play. Let’s focus on making the game more enjoyable, more inclusive, with less delays and less confusion.
  8. Speedy

    Speedy
    Newmarket, NH

    Hotsauce said:

    “Out there in the distance, besides the setting sun, is number 7 at Pebble Beach. I’ve hit 7 iron before. It’s 107 yards. I’ve chipped a 60 degree wedge. Too many variables in an outdoor sport to grasp what is actually happening. What I do know is the USGA does not have their fingers on the pulse of the game. Taking away a putter that helps many many people enjoy the game is wrong. Rolling back the golf ball 20% is another bad idea. Ask the normal golfer how much they would enjoy the game if they flew it 20% shorter. I’m asking. Would you enjoy that? Changing golf for the masses because a small few who play it a different level is wrong. The greats and USGA have it wrong.”- Jimmy Walker

    I couldn’t agree more. Let the pros play, let the armatures play. Let’s focus on making the game more enjoyable, more inclusive, with less delays and less confusion.

    What Hotsauce said...
  9. Steve S

    Steve S
    Tuckerton, NJ

    The USGA is constantly talking about growing the game. But their actions say something totally different.
    Play Well,
    Steve S.
  10. Frank P

    Frank P
    Port St. Lucie, FL

    Here we go again. Every time the USGA opens it's mouth on equipment, the average golfer suffers. 30 years ago it was grooves, then drivers, then golf balls, then putters. Now it's golf balls again. Either have bifurcation or grow the rough and narrow the fairways for those who are concerned. As for me, I say leave the game alone. "Let, Them Play!".
  11. Rich T

    Rich T
    Shrewsbury, MA

    A golf clap for you, Don! Couldn't agree more that the 'problem' of the ball going too far is for the top 1% of the top 1% in the golf world. The real issues are very different for the amateur golfer.

    And Hotsauce - you have hit the nail on the head with enjoyment, inclusiveness and pace of play. How are we going to grow the game? What is going to make my young daughter's want to go out and play the game (outside of the fact they love to ride in the golf cart)?

    Hotsauce said:
    "I couldn’t agree more. Let the pros play, let the armatures play. Let’s focus on making the game more enjoyable, more inclusive, with less delays and less confusion."

  12. Barry S

    Barry S
    Oakville, ON

    Very well said Don!
    I think the USGA should worry bout things that actually matter, instead of how far DJ is hitting the ball.
  13. Dave N

    Dave N
    Lady Lake, FL

    Bifurcation is not the answer. I play a complete bag of titleist knowing I have the best equipment on the planet, this includes golfballs. I want to know when I stand up to the ball the power and the glory is in my hands. Kinda really diminishes that if they use different balls and or clubs then we use. Just sayin.
  14. A friend of mine and I had this very conversation today while playing behind a foursome of twenty somethings with no knowledge of golf etiquette trying to play from the black tee's (7200 yards). We had a front row seat to the horror show going on in front of us for 9 holes while we discussed how courses could speed up play by closing the back tees on weekends or charging more for playing from the black or even blue tees unless the players have a index within a certain range. We ended up skipping the half way house to jump in front and while waiting on the 10th tee the foursome in question complained that we jumped in front of them. I suggested that we have a long drive contest the whoever had the longest drive in the fairway got to play on. They of course figured their was no way the bald, portly, 50 year old was going to out drive them and agreed. All four tee'd off and not a one hit the fairway after which I took a 3 wood and smoked one right done the middle and my friend and I played the back nine in utter bliss.
  15. To me and I am sure many others, one of the best feelings is crushing a drive 250-300 yards right down the pipe. And before the technology, and the big hitters we have these days on tour watching golf was....just OK. Honestly its amazing to see those guys just bomb it, and in turn it makes me work harder and practice more to hit it farther and better. I honestly think that the PGA and USGA also have to look at these facts as they drive the interest in golf. They also drive the sales in drivers and other clubs as well as balls. Scaling back anything will definitely hurt their economy, as well as my own game. As I do not want to buy a ball that maxes out at a certain distance no matter how perfect I hit it.
  16. Allen L

    Allen L
    Clarington, OH

    Good post Don, and you are absolutely right. USGA should be focused on slow play. Encouraging courses to have plenty of tee options. Etiquette lessons for new players. Making golf enjoyable for all age groups and skill levels. Seems like the USGA is always wanting to limit the new technology. Isn't it funny, the PGA isn't complaining about the balls to my knowledge, neither are the PGA players.

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