Frank and Valerie,
Thank you for the information you pass on to us weekly.
I, frankly, always look forward to opening my e-mails from you guys. Please keep them coming.
My question is that now un-anchoring is a done deal and the USGA has made its decision without compromise, is the next move to decrease the distance the ball goes or the club that hits it?
Thank you for the question and kind comments.
Yes, the USGA has indicated that it is considering the distance the ball goes.
Some elite golfers – about 0.001% of the golfing population are hitting it too far in the minds of a few.
Most of us (99%) don’t hit it far enough. The average golfer hits the ball about 190 to 200 yards – but thinks he hits it 230 to 240 yards (see our Growing the Game study report).
One sure way to make the USGA unpopular is for it to roll the ball back. I don’t think that this is in the best interests of the game.
Before we get too excited about the distance that some PGA Tour and elite amateur golfers have gained over the last eighteen years – about 25 yards—we need to recognize that it has now reached a plateau, as shown by the PGA Tour average gain in distance over the last six years of 2.5 feet in total.
Let’s make sure the blame for the increase in distance is assigned appropriately.
The facts are:
No ball used on tour has exceeded the overall distance standard—with some upgrading modifications– adopted by the USGA in 1976.
The spring-like effect in drivers – which violated the rule not permitting this effect, is the major contributor to the increase in distance of about 25 yards on tour since 1995.
The synergy of the spring in the face of the club and the new multilayered ball allowed the ball to be launched at optimum conditions for maximum distance.
Today’s ball is the equivalent of a Super Pinnacle i.e. great off the driver with low spin, and high “drop and stop” spin off short irons.
Mark, the bad guy is the club, not the ball and because most of us don’t often hit the sweet spot on the driver, we haven’t gained as much distance compared to the pros on tour.
Let’s make sure the next move the USGA makes is to address the real problems facing the game – NOT grooves – NOT anchoring – and NOT the distance some elite golfers can hit the ball but rather, Slow Play and no Bunny Slopes for Beginners. These are some of the real problems. ( See my book Just Hit It published in 2008)
Hope this helps and please let us know what you think about decreasing the distance the ball goes.