My Q&A several weeks ago addressed this issue and suggested that, the perception that there is a problem, is in itself a problem. This perception is once again taking hold and from what I read the governing bodies are strongly suggesting that something must be done – for various reasons — to reduce the distance the ball goes. Part of the justification for this concern is based on statistics gathered from Tour events in various countries.
Rolling the ball back has many downsides and few upsides when the problem is based on the performance of less than 0.01 % of the golfing population. If the solution is to roll the ball back for this group of players — bifurcation of the Rules of Golf — this is something the governing bodies, for many years, have been very reluctant to do as it violates one of the fundamental tenets of the game.
As important is the fact that bifurcation is difficult to implement, recognizing that the elite players come from the ranks of the golfing population and would need to change their equipment (ball) when competing in or trying to qualify for, major tour events. There are just too many awkward steps to get there to make it practical.
The solution may therefore be to roll the ball back for all golfers.
This is a fairly drastic move when we recognize that less than 0.01% may be causing the problem.
With the assumption that the governing bodies decide to roll the ball back – instead of modifying the course setup for Tour events to discourage the long hitters from hitting it as far as they can – they must be completely transparent every step of the way.
Using real scientifically analyzed data to justify each move or the reversal of a move is needed, as well as careful consideration of the consequences of any proposed move. Transparency is essential and must be afforded to the governed if their support of any proposal is expected. Without this support the governors lose their authority to govern.
Complete transparency and justification every step of the way is essential for a peaceful transition to any form of change.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts below.