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Masters Chairman Sets Stage for Golf's Civil War

Masters Chairman Sets Stage for Golf's Civil War

Postby lagpressure » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:49 am



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Re: Masters Chairman Sets Stage for Golf's Civil War

Postby lagpressure » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:59 am

I was excited to see new Augusta Chairman Fred Ridley taking a hard line on the technology issue impacting golf.
Clearly there is no viable solution to rolling back Super Golf.

The obvious solution is bifurcation. Could this be setting the stage for the future?

Quoting Bobby Jones about the 13th in particular "Going for the green should be a momentous decision" and Ridley saying currently "it is not".

The can of worms only starts there.

Some interesting discussion from the pundits over at Golf Channel I posted also. Mostly the same points I have been making here for a decade.

The most threatening comment Ridley makes "AS LONG AS WE ARE STILL TALKING"
He's being very diplomatic, but clearly setting the stage for a confrontation with the USGA.

Ridley is unique as Master's Chairman in that he is a former US Amateur champion. I don't get the feeling he is just looking at the situation with $$$$ in his eyes.
We should remain hopeful.
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Re: Masters Chairman Sets Stage for Golf's Civil War

Postby Wknhacker » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:17 pm

When I read the comments on golf forums it appears that the vast majority of recreational golfers are vehemently opposed to a roll back (both at the pro and amateur level) of the equipment; ball included. They readily acknowledge that length the ball travels now is unsustainable as more and more courses are becoming obsolete. However, the consensus is that the PGA tour should make the courses harder viz longer rough, harder greens etc.

There is a generation now who have not known any other equipment than Pro V1 balls and Titanium 460cc drivers. Most have never held a persimmon driver in their hands or ever heard of a balata ball. To this generation, a rolling back of the equipment is tantamount to forcing Apple to discontinue the iPhone and bring back a flip cell phone. I've heard lots of young players who think that the most exciting thing in pro golf is watching Bubba or Justin Thomas drive par 4s or smash a drive 400 yards and reach par 5s in two.

If the USGA does roll back the ball or legislates a "Pro ball" as some are advocating, there will be lots of angry millennials about. :)
"I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone's golf game: it's called an eraser." - Arnold Palmer
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Re: Masters Chairman Sets Stage for Golf's Civil War

Postby Range Rat » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:34 pm

Rats love revolutions! I'll just dust off the old musket and powder horn and wait for the whites of their eyes. :lol:
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Re: Masters Chairman Sets Stage for Golf's Civil War

Postby LesMurray » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:50 pm

Of course, there is nothing preventing Augusta National from requiring their own ball. Go get some old Dunlops from the 50's and let 'em have at it.

Bring back the Balata! If anyone can do it Augusta can.
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Re: Masters Chairman Sets Stage for Golf's Civil War

Postby lagpressure » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:59 pm

Wknhacker wrote:When I read the comments on golf forums it appears that the vast majority of recreational golfers are vehemently opposed to a roll back (both at the pro and amateur level) of the equipment; ball included. They readily acknowledge that length the ball travels now is unsustainable as more and more courses are becoming obsolete. However, the consensus is that the PGA tour should make the courses harder viz longer rough, harder greens etc.

There is a generation now who have not known any other equipment than Pro V1 balls and Titanium 460cc drivers. Most have never held a persimmon driver in their hands or ever heard of a balata ball. To this generation, a rolling back of the equipment is tantamount to forcing Apple to discontinue the iPhone and bring back a flip cell phone. I've heard lots of young players who think that the most exciting thing in pro golf is watching Bubba or Justin Thomas drive par 4s or smash a drive 400 yards and reach par 5s in two.

If the USGA does roll back the ball or legislates a "Pro ball" as some are advocating, there will be lots of angry millennials about. :)


The game has to bifurcate. There is no other option. I agree, the public outcry would be epic. But if The Masters rolled their event back, that would make a huge statement. Would people stop watching it? It would be a gamble. If the event lost popularity, but put Jone's vision back in place, I am sure a lot of the members at Augusta wouldn't care.

It will be interesting what they do in the next few years.

If I were them I would just shut down the event for 5 years, maybe 10. Then open it back up like Wonka's Chocolate Factory and invite the worlds best to play the 6800 course with persimmon, blades and balata. It would regain it's mystique and really reclaim the game whether people like it or not.

Are there any players that would not accept an invite to play in Mr Augusta Wonka's reset of the game of golf? I doubt it.

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It would be the biggest spectacle in sports history when they re-open the gates to Magnolia Lane. Sell green and gold tickets found in balata golf ball boxes that pop up in golf pro shops all across the world.

It would absolutely reset the game.
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Re: Masters Chairman Sets Stage for Golf's Civil War

Postby Wknhacker » Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:47 am

My question is: how are they planning to roll back the ball? Everyone keeps talking about rolling it back but no one is talking about HOW they will do it.

Will they go back balatas? Will they go back to the design and make of the first ProV1? Will there be a contract for one manufacturer to make one pro ball similar to how Rawlings is contracted to make MLB baseballs? Is there a certain distance it will be allowed to fly/carry off a driver?

It seems a bit of a logistical nightmare for the USGA and R&A. But hey, they failed to nip this in the bud when they had a chance to all those years ago and now they have to deal with the consequences.
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Re: Masters Chairman Sets Stage for Golf's Civil War

Postby 20 Mule Team » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:14 am

I'm really glad that someone as influential as the Masters Chairman is talking about this publicly, and the golf channel is covering it. But I hope they take a comprehensive approach to solving this because its not as simple as just changing the ball.

I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but as I see it, there are at least 5 equipment related factors that got us to where we are now:
- driver faces are too hot/elastic
- driver shafts are too long
- driver shafts are too light
- driver heads are too large
- tour balls are too hard

Each of these contribute to the ridiculous distances that pros now hit the golf ball and so each must be addressed.

The Pro V1 was a sea change in the golf ball evolution. The marriage of a hard core ball with high iron spin outer cover meant that you could have the distance (and side-spin stability) of a rock-flite (that's what we ALL called them) with the (near-) backspin control of balatas. [ side note - I don't know about others who still hit persimmons like I do, but I won't play Pro V1's. The impact is too harsh to me. I prefer a softer ball]

In the past, pros used a hard faced driver (persimmon) and a soft ball (balata). This meant that more energy was lost in the driver-golf ball collision as the golf ball was squashed at impact. Today, more of the squashing is done by the soft face of the driver (which then rebounds) and less by the ball, which is harder than before. Net effect: less energy is lost by the ball during the collision in today's game than in the past, resulting in greater ball speed for a given swing speed.

Now add to that longer, lighter shafts and hotter, larger, more forgiving heads that allow players to swing more aggressively and you not only have increased the efficiency of the impact collision but also have increased the input of clubhead speed -- a double whammy.

And the benefits increase geometrically with swing speed. So the pro swinging 120 mph sees far more distance gains than the recreational golfer swinging 85-90.

Its generally estimated that swing speed is increased by 1 mph for every 1/2" of increased shaft length. So from a 43" avg persimmon driver to a 45" avg modern driver you've potentially gained 4 mph. Its also estimated that for every 25 gram decrease in shaft length you gain 1 mph. So moving from a 125 steel shaft to a 50 gram graphite nets you another 3 mph. That combined 7 mph is worth somewhere between 10-25 yards depending on swing speed.

Regarding hot/elastic driver faces (Coefficient of Restitution), Tom Wishon says, "with a driver the difference in carry distance between a head with a COR of 0.820 and another head with a COR of 0.830 would be 4.2 yards for a swing speed of 100 mph. It is true that as swing speed increases, the distance difference is greater. And likewise, as swing speed decreases the distance difference for each increment of the COR measurement is less. This is one of the reasons why the USGA rule which limits the COR of a clubhead has the effect of penalizing the slower swing speed golfer much more than the high swing speed player."

So the difference between a persimmon head (0.78 COR) and a modern (0.83) is worth another 20 yards (at 100 mph -- again, depending on swing speed it could be significantly more or less).

Add a hard core ball that deflects less at impact and you can see the reasons why pro's are hitting the ball 50 yards farther today than in, say, 1980.

***

When we were kids we played a lot of wiffle ball. We lived in a neighborhood and nobody had a yard large enough for baseball. If you're familiar with the equipment, you know that the yellow plastic bats were very thin in diameter, increasing the difficulty of making solid contact. Every once in a while some new kid would show up to play with a Fat Albert bat, a ginormous red plastic bat that was about ten times greater in diameter than a standard wiffle bat, while still being relatively the same weight. Now, EVEN AS KIDS WE KNEW THIS WAS A GROSSLY UNFAIR ADVANTAGE. So that kid was shunned, banned, or badgered into giving up the bat and using the same equipment as everyone else.

Why is it so hard for grown men at the USGA to understand this?
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Re: Masters Chairman Sets Stage for Golf's Civil War

Postby k2baloo » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:03 am

I agree 20MT. They'll maybe get a 10 yard roll back with changing the ball, but is anyone going to address the space age drivers??

I think any roll back though is good for the game in the end, so I'm glad it's being discussed. But you're right, there are so many other things that have changed.

Watching the shots into 13 and 15 was nice yesterday though as the rain made it play much longer for many of the guys. Long irons, fairway woods, or a layup. Reed had a great long iron on 13 that led to eagle and was bold to hit 3 Wood into 15. Almost put that one in the drink.
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Re: Masters Chairman Sets Stage for Golf's Civil War

Postby 20 Mule Team » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:47 am

Here's an interesting review of a modern Pro V1 vs a mid 1990's Titlist Professional 90, using modern clubs (sand wedge, 7 iron, driver).

Long story short (as regarding our topic here), the driving difference for a pro (SS 111+/-) due to the modern ball was 11 yards. Which confirms my thoughts on the subject that they have to take a holistic approach to fixing the distance problem. Its not just the ball.

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