Is The Ball Going Too Far?

The USGA and R&A have issued another report entitled Distance Insights.

This is a very comprehensive report and I commend the effort. However, I need some more reading time before I can make any constructive comments.

“To measure is to know”  but lets make sure we are making the right measurements which will help clearly define the problem, at which time we can develop solutions.

The very vociferous concern about distance started after the introduction of the Haskell ball – invented in 1898.

Fortunately, the laws of nature are playing an important part in governing the distance the ball will travel, while the athleticism of the elite golfers – about 0.1% of the golfing population– has changed, as it has in all other sports. Unfortunately — for most of us – this has not been as significant a change.

To help in better defining the extent of the problem, we would like to get some input from our Frankly Friends.

Please let us know if you think the ball is going too far, and also, what length golf course you would prefer to play? Simply reply below to share your thoughts with us and other Frankly Friends.

Most of all, “Putt Well” and enjoy this wonderful game of golf.



26 thoughts on “Is The Ball Going Too Far?

  1. A lot f the problem is the way tournament courses are laid out. Hard and fast. the second is the size and style of play the modern pros. I’ve been playing since 1946 and have seen lots of changes in equipment. The most important part of the game is still getting up and down from under 100 yards to make birdies. The courses are too difficult for beginners. I have seen courses I play changed to make them harder. We need more easy courses for new players.

  2. yes the balls is going far but not too far……I hve never been a long hitter but have won my share of Tourns……..I have worked on my chipping and putting……..what the Pro’s do if a different game……..let them be and I will continue to win my share……..the new balls have helped my short game………keep it up

  3. As a 65 year old senior golfer, the new type of ball has made a significant difference in how I play. Golf is more fun and the equipment changes have added to that. I changed balls and added a club to my distance. I now can hit a 7 iron where I used to hit a 6. I still hit the ball 260 yards and play golf courses in the 6000 to 6300 yard range, about the same length most of my life. My handicap is in about the same range, I’m a 3 handicap, as when I was younger. The equipment surely has helped me stay at this level, along with trying to stay in shape. I think the only ones the USGA should worry about as far as distance is concerned is pros and maybe elite amateurs. I think if you tweeked the course a bit, instituted narrower fairways, rough a little higher and made bunkers a penalty instead of the easy out they are now and you’d see a difference in the pro game.
    If we want golf to prosper, we need to keep the game fun. As someone who has gone from elite amateur to senior golfer, the equipment has kept golf playable and fun. People won’t play if they are constantly struggling. I hate to see how I would play if I had to use my old blades and small wooden heads of yesteryear and those awful golf balls. A lot of golf courses are being made for pro type games, even though most golfers aren’t pros!! Pete Dye started that movement of making courses too hard and complicated. We as amateurs don’t want to struggle and shoot high numbers, we want to have fun. Too many courses are too hard for the average guy. I think golf should go back to natural designs instead of these tricked up courses you see today. Courses go out of business because there is too much maintenance and then the fee to play skyrockets. Keep the dogleg in fashion, narrow fairways, a well placed tree or bunker and smaller greens! Greens are way to big and use up too much resources!! Keep golf simple!!

  4. Hi Frank:
    Keep up the good work you do.
    With respect to the golf ball going too far, I think this is a non issue similar to the banning of anchoring the putter that
    RandA and the USGA wrongfully adopted, in my view.
    Good golf course design including impinging the landing areas , as well as angled greens , and false fronts are just a few design characteristics that can easily give the Pro Golf game back to shot makers. My opinion.

  5. The USGA & R & A missed the boat years ago. Both balls and clubs, mostly drivers, have gotten out of hand for tour caliber players, not the rest of us. But, a consequence of being unwilling to have separate equipment rules for elite competitions is that newer courses have been built as if they would all hold pro tournaments. Therefore, the courses have gotten longer than most people can play, either due to total length, forced carries or both. They have also gotten more expensive due to the cost of upkeep.

  6. No! No! No! The ball is not going to far. I believe in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, Average Tour Pro was 5’9″ and NOBODY was @ the GYM. Now, 6’2″ – 6″4″, and they can wrestle a Gorilla. I didn’t see the White Flag come out when “The Big Three” and many others poked it out there 285+. I saw Chi Chi & Doug Sanders @ Puerto Rico/Shell’s golf, hit the 290-300 yard with Balata & Perseimon Heads. All the NEW equipment and all us Seniors are complaining, “We’ve Lost 20 yards.”

  7. The USGA AND R & A have got it all wrong. They need to change the mindset of the golfer. Even if they rein in the golf ball distance, there will ALWAYS be golfers trying to get more distance with the ball and equipment they have. Its human nature.

  8. Golf is stuck with 2 conflicting mindsets: the traditionalist “death before bifurcation” group and “how do we make the game more appealing to more people to play” group. You’re never going to make the game more appealing to non-pros if people are forced to play 7000 yard courses, yet one of the big attractions of the game is that anybody can go out and play any number of courses that the big boys play on TV.

    Therefore, somehow, the game needs to figure out a way to allow Bubba Watson play Pebble Beach as designed, while allowing somebody like me who’s lucky to get one to roll out to 250 yards play essentially the same course and hit similar shots.

    Tee selection is one easy solution: I don’t mind looking back over my shoulder at a tournament tees “way back there”, but it’s not practical for courses to keep scooting things further back.

    Therefore, I’m now firmly in the camp of allowing tournaments to make a local rule requiring restricted balls when necessary. If that means that the PGA Tour used a restricted ball almost every weekend, I’d be fine with it.

    I also think that could open up some opportunities for us amateurs. Say a young, strapping 20 year old wants to go play with his 80 year old grandfather. 20 year old hits it 275 off the tee, and gramps only hits it 180. No problem, the young guy could play a restricted ball and level the playing field, and play off the same tees. Ditto to middle aged parents playing with their kids.

    At the same time, the USGA and R&A need to figure out the “optimal human swing” and calculate how much speed a human could potentially generate, and then use that data to test equipment while establishing distance standards.

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