Frank, I enjoy the weekly putting tips and your blog: they really do help.
I have a two part question, the first is, after watching the PGA Championship it looks like the pros are hitting the ball a lot longer than they used to and is it not time for two sets of rules?
Second if we had two sets of rules how would you suggest the ball be reduced in distance to cope with the extra distance the pros are getting?
I am pleased that we are providing helpful information with our weekly e-mails.
To your question about two sets of rules, NO I don’t think we need to bifurcate the Rules of Golf. The one set we have seems to be working very well and if we had two sets, when would we change from one set to the other?
For example if we believed that the ball should be different for the PGA Tour (shorter presumably), then when would we switch? Many amateurs enter the US Open and try to qualify at local and sectional sites. Is it here or at their home club – where they developed the qualifying handicap – that they switch to the shorter ball. Does this not affect the club championship as well?
This is only one example of the difficulties of the implementation of two sets of rules.
The other thing we need to recognize is that the average driving distance on the Tour has changed by less than two feet over the last six years. When Rory hits a 340- yard drive, we hear about it ten or more times during the broadcast and therefore come to treat the extraordinary as commonplace. This is the nature of entertainment and unusual feats.
Matt, because I don’t think that there is a problem with distance anymore – this was not the case soon after titanium with the spring-like-effect was introduced—I do not believe that having two sets of rules re. distance is good for the game.
If you do want to differentiate the pros from us mortals and see more shot making, as well as improving the entertainment value of the broadcast, then let’s have a “Condition of Competition” for the Tour where all clubs conform with the rules but they can only use ten. This is an easy rule — actually a ‘Condition of Competition’ — to implement as long as you can count to ten. I discussed this in last week’s column.
Matt, I suppose you can say; Is this not a form of bifurcation? To which my answer is yes but it is not a harmful one as it is a ‘condition of competition’ and does not affect the conformity of equipment.
Hope this give you some food for thought.
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