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Jason Topp

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Re: USGA/R&A Distance Insight Project
« Reply #175 on: February 20, 2020, 04:18:00 PM »
Jason Topp, I simply believe there are factors much beyond length and challenge to top players dictating the viability of a course/club. There are too many examples of bad courses doing great and good courses suffering.

Sorry Jim - I was not monitoring posts.  I will try and react to your main points:

1.  Who loses the most distance - 

I suspect the average player will not lose as much as the good player because much of the reason the average player hits it shorter has nothing to do with equipment, but rather inefficient impact characteristics - (too much spin, poor club path, poor strike).  I assume a slower swinger who makes good impact will lose the same 10% as the good player who makes good impact.  There are a bunch of variables that could impact that effect a little bit but I think any such effect will be so minor so as to not matter.  (I consider myself lightly informed on this topic - so I could be wrong.).

2.  Who would regain it -

The best players will be the most effective in extracting additional distance but I do not think it is likely that the advantage a better player enjoys will be affected all that significantly.  (I do not really buy the rollback arguments based on "de-skilling" the game.  I think skill wins ultimately regardless of equipment rules).

3.  Is it worth engaging in the fight given all of the outcry from players, lawsuits from manufacturers, etc?

I think it might be worth the fight.  I have listed the benefits I envision (environmental impact, cost, time to play the game, able to play the Open from tees actually located on the Old Course).  My guess is that there would be a huge outcry for a period of time and then people would adjust.  Remember how much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the flagstick a year ago? I hardly hear anyone talk about it now other than the annoying playing partner that wants the flagstick in or out when the rest of the group wants the opposite. 

4.  Factors beyond length and challenge:

Without a doubt, factors beyond length impact course survival but I do think length commands a premium price in the marketplace.  That is based on intuition rather than any specific study.  Nonetheless, I strongly suspect that a consultant would advise against a new course being built to 6300 yards, even though that is plenty of length for 85% of players.  It will be interesting to see how Doak's course at Sand Valley changes that conversation, if at all. 


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