What’s all this nonsense over distance?
While there are many who believe golf is in the middle of a distance crisis, a few golfers have spoken out against making any changes.
Both Jimmy Walker and Lucas Glover are the latest to voice their opinions — against those of Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus — that golf does not need to change the ball or the equipment.
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.
While we all have loads of respect for Jack and Tom, why are we listening so intently to those who played the game so long ago? I’m not meaning to be disrespectful to either of those two legends, but the sport has evolved and with that manufacturers have also evolved and improved their products.
Golfers have also evolved; they are taller, younger, put a lot more emphasis into working out, and spend a lot more time perfecting their swings. There will be many who don’t like that I used that argument, but it’s true. All those things are going to add up to an increase in driving distance around the world no matter what golf ball is played.
I happen to like what Ian Poulter said (which is crazy to me) about the recent distance study released by the USGA and R&A on his Instagram account. Poulter, who hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since 2012 and is averaging 298 yards off the tee (ranked 84th), didn’t hold back:
Very very interesting details that will be released later today by the R&A and USGA about the distance in golf. And how that has increased in the last number of years… read below to see what really has happened… What makes me laugh is certain manufacturers claiming there product on release goes 12 yards longer than the previous driver and then the next time a driver goes 10 yards longer than that one then 8 yards longer than old one……😂😂😂😂😂😂 marketing BS.
I think this detailed analysis puts all of that nonsense to bed…. The facts are 2003-2016 club head speed has increased by 1.5 MPH which is about 5 yards of distance and distance has jumped 6.6 Yards…
So that tells you why… 2016-2017 an increase of 2.5 yards now that is a gain but remember the average age on your is younger than it was in 2003. Players are taller than 2003, We are being fitted for the perfect launch conditions to maximize our potential,
Guys are more athletic than 2003 which means guys are in better physical shape and able to hit the ball harder that’s why the distance’s has gone up… Most players on tour are working to increase club head speed to hit it further
Yes, yes, and yes. We’re asking guys who have taken drastic steps to not only perfect their craft, but their bodies as well, to go at it even harder? Does anyone think if the ball is rolled back 20 percent that players won’t put in even more time in the gym to become bigger and stronger than they currently are so they can keep pounding the ball out there?
Even though I consider myself a golf purist, trying to make golf take a step back into the past doesn’t seem like it will benefit the sport. However, to please the masses I wouldn’t be opposed to halting any changes in equipment that adds five to 10 yards instead of rolling things back.
But hey, keep pumping out those “golf has a distance problem” articles and maybe the governing bodies will make them all play with a rock and a persimmon wood.