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Thomas Dai

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Rollback alliance
« on: August 02, 2019, 02:18:43 PM »
Came across this - https://www.rollbackalliance.org/
Thought others who aren't already aware might like to be so.
atb

Michael Moore

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2019, 02:32:38 PM »
Where's the list of founding members?
Metaphor is social and shares the table with the objects it intertwines and the attitudes it reconciles. Opinion, like the Michelin inspector, dines alone. - Adam Gopnik, The Table Comes First

Kalen Braley

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2019, 02:46:35 PM »
Interesting site, i'll sign up.


P.S.  Can you name that hole?  Background looks a bit like BlackMesa

Jeff_Brauer

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2019, 02:55:02 PM »
I know a guy who asks to "roll the ball back" for a second try, anytime he misses a five footer.....
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Mark Pritchett

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2019, 03:44:28 PM »
Bet they have a "Merch Drop" soon. 




John Emerson

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2019, 11:43:02 PM »
Bet they have a "Merch Drop" soon.


🤣🤣i would bet the farm on it!
“There’s links golf, then everything else.”

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2019, 02:02:16 AM »
Note the email address;


rollbackalliance@gmail.com


A sure sign that this is one guy working out of his bedroom...

Mike Sweeney

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2019, 06:15:38 AM »
Note the email address;


rollbackalliance@gmail.com


A sure sign that this is one guy working out of his bedroom...


Most rebellions start that way, and this one is starting in Melbourne.  ;)


When you look at the Instagram account, which has no post yet, there are many "known" names that are familiar to the conversation that are following them. I think Bifurcation of the Rules, which we already have with separate tees, is a better strategy. But what the hey, I gave them my Google email, and Google already knows everything about my golf game!!


And dang-it, I like the logo and symbolism:


The Rollback Alliance flag is inspired by the International Maritime Signal Flag for the letter G. The phonetic alphabet term for G is golf. When the flag is flown by itself, it is interpreted on the seas as a signal meaning “I require a pilot”. In nautical terms, a pilot is a navigator who guides vessels through hazardous waters.  This analogy is one we find very fitting given our aim of advocacy for golf equipment reform in this complicated time.
"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us."

Dr. Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

John Emerson

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2019, 02:29:13 PM »
After inquiry some of the proposed “founders” post on here quite frequently
“There’s links golf, then everything else.”

Rees Milikin

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2019, 06:33:57 PM »
Instead of waiting for someone to implement a rollback, what’s preventing these guys from playing balls and equipment that aren’t tricked out/juiced? 


Nothing really makes a statement than leading by example.

Mike Sweeney

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2019, 08:21:17 PM »
Instead of waiting for someone to implement a rollback, what’s preventing these guys from playing balls and equipment that aren’t tricked out/juiced? 

Nothing really makes a statement than leading by example.


I think the problem is the Bethpage Black and Shinnecock conversations and also the greens conversations. They keep changing the courses to accommodate the top 0.01% of golfers. I have taken the lead by not playing The Black any longer on my own, but will still play it when out out of towners or my son request it.


I really would rather play Southampton GC these days over Shinnecock. I get it, I am not a member at Shinnecock and it is their course, but this is GCA where we provide "frank commentary".


Then you have the greens conversations where greens are ramped up to compensate for 9 irons into greens, and we have two US Opens on amped up greens at Shinnecock and controversy follows. Now you get Merion GC flattening greens, I am told. Many courses follow the lead of the US Open, so fast greens follow and the "arms race" gets expensive.


Then you take the US Open to modern courses - Erin Hills and that does not really work.


Obviously Mike Clayton was/is a very good to great player who now is an architect. I don't know that he is the driver of this, but he is one of the names following on Instagram along with Shackelford. I don't know Mike or Shack in anyway other than GCA, but Mike seems pretty reasonable.


Thus, all of this leads to my suggestion that "bifurcation" is a better option.


One thing is for sure. It is completely silly to have 15,000 courses in the USA, and I think an additional 15,000+ additional courses world wide be subject to being obsolete when a few technical adjustments could be made to the ball that the PGA Tour level pros play, IMO.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 08:28:33 PM by Mike Sweeney »
"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us."

Dr. Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Rees Milikin

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2019, 08:44:46 PM »
Instead of waiting for someone to implement a rollback, what’s preventing these guys from playing balls and equipment that aren’t tricked out/juiced? 

Nothing really makes a statement than leading by example.


I think the problem is the Bethpage Black and Shinnecock conversations and also the greens conversations. They keep changing the courses to accommodate the top 0.01% of golfers. I have taken the lead by not playing The Black any longer on my own, but will still play it when out out of towners or my son request it.


I really would rather play Southampton GC these days over Shinnecock. I get it, I am not a member at Shinnecock and it is their course, but this is GCA where we provide "frank commentary".


Then you have the greens conversations where greens are ramped up to compensate for 9 irons into greens, and we have two US Opens on amped up greens at Shinnecock and controversy follows. Now you get Merion GC flattening greens, I am told. Many courses follow the lead of the US Open, so fast greens follow and the "arms race" gets expensive.


Then you take the US Open to modern courses - Erin Hills and that does not really work.


Obviously Mike Clayton was/is a very good to great player who now is an architect. I don't know that he is the driver of this, but he is one of the names following on Instagram along with Shackelford. I don't know Mike or Shack in anyway other than GCA, but Mike seems pretty reasonable.


Thus, all of this leads to my suggestion that "bifurcation" is a better option.


One thing is for sure. It is completely silly to have 15,000 courses in the USA, and I think an additional 15,000+ additional courses world wide be subject to being obsolete when a few technical adjustments could be made to the ball that the PGA Tour level pros play, IMO.


Do you think that many courses will be subject to being obsolete if nothing is done?


There are thousands upon thousands of courses that run green speeds pretty slow and accommodate playing non tricked up/juiced products.


I agree with you on bifurcation, but the horse is out of the barn.  Only ANGC is gonna have the power to change things...everyone else in “charge” is beta.

Matthew Mollica

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2019, 11:00:34 PM »
Thanks for starting the thread on Rollback Alliance, Thomas. And to those who have visited the site and expressed interest.

Rollback Alliance is the idea of Will Watt (founder and editor of Caddie Magazine) and me. I wrote an article for Volume Four of Caddie, focusing on a Rollback, and Will and me continued to discuss the topic after copies had hit the newsstands. We spoke about doing something more long-term and meaningful. At that time, I was really not achieving a lot by exchanging tweets on distance with Brandel Chamblee.

The aim of the Alliance is to promote informed discussion on the issue, and hopefully increase the likelihood of regulatory reform. Some within the group are in favor of a universal rollback, some are fans of bifurcation. I don't mind the disparate opinions. As long as the communication is positive, educated, and inclusive, I think we can achieve something.

We aim to develop the website into a resource people can visit for more information on the issue, so their thinking is broadened, and their concerns regarding a rollback are addressed. We also hope to unite the voices that have been calling for this sort of change through the last century.

Will and me have approached a handful of individuals to become 'pilots' or informal ambassadors of RA - people of knowledge and passion who are respected within golf. Their association / endorsement of the core message of the Alliance will no doubt assist us in meeting our aims.

A list of pilots will be included within the website when the initial recruitment phase is complete. Mike Clayton was the first to accept the invitation, and several others including Jay Revell, Christian Hafer, Lee Patterson, Tron Carter, Derek Duncan, Ian Andrew, Garrett Morrison and Ran have also accepted. The contribution each makes will vary given time constraints and their workloads elsewhere - something I'm sensitive to given my own busy professional life and young family.

Those who know me are aware I'm already playing reduced flight balls (McIntyre) and play most rounds with hickory clubs, especially through the warmer / dryer six months of the year. Rees, the issue is far beyond what equipment me and Will play, as you know. Mike Cirba's Feature Interview in April included the following lines -

"A game dependent upon so much of the earth's acreage on a shrinking planet with finite resources is inevitably going to be on the wrong side of history, and a game where the balls and implements aren't effectively controlled within certain parameters befitting the challenge is similarly going to become antiquated".

I think this is a very important point. Anyone here who has read Geoff Shackelford's book "The Future of Golf" (and I hope most here have!) knows golf must step up and deal with several pressing issues regarding the health and heritage of the game - with this being one such issue. It's my hope the Rollback Alliance facilitates the game's governing bodies reaching a suitable solution to this, for all parties concerned.


Matt Mollica
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 07:19:06 AM by Matthew Mollica »
"The truth about golf courses has a slightly different expression for every golfer. Which of them, one might ask, is without the most definitive convictions concerning the merits or deficiencies of the links he plays over? Freedom of criticism is one of the last privileges he is likely to forgo."

Tom Bacsanyi

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2019, 11:18:10 PM »
^^^Interesting.  Tell us about these limited flight balls.  Are there any balls out there that mimic the flight of the old Titleist Tour Balata or Titleist Professional?
Don't play too much golf. Two rounds a day are plenty.

--Harry Vardon

Mike_Clayton

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2019, 11:30:36 PM »
Mike Sweeney,


I'm far from reasonable - at least when it comes to this!!


Rees,


Most courses aren't 'obsolete' because most courses weren't intended to be the courses likely to decide big championship golf. 6600 yards is plenty of golf for 95% of people who play.
Whilst not the be-all-and-end all, 'championship courses' (the important ones anyway and not just those attaching the label for marketing hype) are important.  Places like Royal Melbourne,Shinnecock and Muirfield, for example.


In Australia all of our best clubs and courses were designed to replicate the tests set by the championship courses of Britain. They were members clubs but their dual roll was to be well able to hold state and national titles - both amateur and professional.


Alister MacKenzie, Alex Russell and a couple of others designed and redesigned a number of them - Royal Melbourne,Kingston Heath,Royal Adelaide,Royal Sydney,Lake Karrinyup,Victoria -  and had significant influences at many more.


All have been stretched as far as possible by they are now obsolete (and have been for some time) if the measure is how the original designers saw them playing and intended them to play.
Holes at Royal Melbourne we all used to play with drives and middle irons and now mostly driver and wedge. The Presidents Cup in December will simply be another piece of evidence.


Of course our problem in Australia is we have no influence - because the game is run by the seemingly impotent USGA and R&A  -whose role - whose purpose - in the equipment debate was to maintain the skill it took to play the game (something clearly diminished by the modern ball and the frying pan drivers) and to protect the great courses against exactly what has happened.


I think a rollback is inevitable because we aren't even close to what's possible in terms of how far the best players will be able to make the ball go. All it is going to take is the emergence of the next generation of kids to are being taught to swing at 125-130 mph and to propel the ball at 200mph.
Then it is truly all over and they will be forced to act - unless of course the manufacturers are as powerful as the most powerful lobby groups - pick your poison - in the USA.



Matthew Mollica

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Re: Rollback Alliance
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2019, 11:34:41 PM »
^^^Interesting.  Tell us about these limited flight balls.  Are there any balls out there that mimic the flight of the old Titleist Tour Balata or Titleist Professional?

Tom - visit here.

https://www.mcintyregolf.com/replica-golf-balls


They don't spin much but feel soft and don't go as far as contemporary balls. They're ideal for hickories.
"The truth about golf courses has a slightly different expression for every golfer. Which of them, one might ask, is without the most definitive convictions concerning the merits or deficiencies of the links he plays over? Freedom of criticism is one of the last privileges he is likely to forgo."

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2019, 03:28:11 AM »
Well done to the folks from Downunder for progressing this matter.


The quote from Mike Cirba's interview that Matthew has re-posted sums things up nicely so I'll repeat it once more -

"A game dependent upon so much of the earth's acreage on a shrinking planet with finite resources in inevitably going to be on the wrong side of history, and a game where the balls and implements aren't effectively controlled within certain parameters befitting the challenge is similarly going to become antiquated".


The game more important than the manufacturers.


atb


Sean_A

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2019, 03:44:49 AM »
I am confused as to why roll backers don't think equipment bifurcation is the better option to an across the board ball roll back. I say this for a few reasons

1. It is a form of compromise which will be more acceptable for most golfers.

2. The fear of having to alter courses, that is, mainly where tees will be placed and if so how far from greens, will be reduced.

3. Bifurcation may very well lead back to unification if and when golfers become convinced a roll back isn't the end of the world.

I understand a two ball spec may cause issues at the local club level, but with the world wide capping system coming online part of the issue isn't. Plus, part of a possible unification system down the road could by led by clubs having "elite" divisions in comps where non elite players choose to use a roll back ball. I can even imagine some clubs becoming elite, meaning if you join you do so knowing that comps use elite equipment regardless of handicap.

On the bigger picture, it's easy to make pro events and world amateur ranking events use elite rules roll back equipment.

Ciao

« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 03:46:51 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Matthew Mollica

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Re: Rollback Alliance
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2019, 05:08:22 AM »
 Sean –

I’m of the same mind as you. Neat, clean universal rollback. This is probably a more palatable option for the ball manufacturers – and I’m sensitive to them in this whole issue.  The games stakeholders all need to be as united as can be – which is going to require some diplomacy and political nous!

I’m not speaking for everyone in the Alliance when I convey this.  My personal view is -

Nothing can convince me otherwise - ball manufacturers possess the ability to make a ball that barely taxes the short hitting amateur, yet sees greater percentage reduction to flight and roll of faster swing speed / bigger hitting player.  The trick will be to ensure some degree of proportionality among professional players – so that the far hitting, strong and quick guys like Wolff and Brooks enjoy some equitable and appropriate advantage over the Kelly Krafts and Zac Blairs of this world.

No intelligent golfer wants DJ or Bubba to hit it the same distance as Judge Smails. The long guy should be (and hopefully always will) be long.  Long driving is a skill and I don’t want to bring the furthest hitting golfers back to the pack. I want the scale of the game to proportionately and universally reduce to a more manageable and responsible measure.

When balls go further, and courses are modified (rightly or wrongly) to preserve the intent / challenge / integrity – holes invariably get longer. Or skinnier. Back tees are added, and holes take longer to walk and play. A scenario which sees slow play more likely become a problem.

When holes are longer – they require more water. Which is becoming a more scarce and costly commodity in many corners of the world – a situation that will only worsen in times ahead.

Longer golf holes require more mowing, more chemicals and more man hours to maintain.  Longer holes cost more money to build and maintain.  Which all sees a round of golf get more expensive.

When balls go further, as they do today, errant shots go further offline.  That’s true of professionals and amateurs alike. Many, many golfers hit it too far these days. Ask any architect who consults at an average suburban golf club with roads or houses nearby. 10% of regular golfers at these locations come into an architect’s safety considerations.  Distances between centerlines and boundaries.  Higher fences.  Hole geometry.  Netting.  It all requires thought.  Greater insurance premiums can result - due to balls endangering property and individuals outside the course.  This sees that more land is required to lay out a course in attempts to avoid such issues.


Contemporary forces have conspired such that the scale of golf is often wrong today. And this situation will only increase in frequency in future, with stronger, faster, bigger golfers, accessing better instruction, better conditioning and TrackMan. These issues effect the amateur game just as much if not more than the professional Tours. The solution must therefore address the game as a whole.  An intelligent, and responsible universal rollback of balls and/or clubs can potentially redress this.
"The truth about golf courses has a slightly different expression for every golfer. Which of them, one might ask, is without the most definitive convictions concerning the merits or deficiencies of the links he plays over? Freedom of criticism is one of the last privileges he is likely to forgo."

Sean_A

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Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2019, 05:31:52 AM »
Matthew


I know very little about equipment, but I have serious reservations that a meaningful rollback can be applied to Koepka like golfers without adversely effecting a significant percentage of rank and file golfers...which is mainly why I prefer bifurcation.  If such a solution as you suggest exists, say 20% roll back for Brooks and 3% for golfers like myself...well then very fine...that is a good trade-off. 


I am afraid given the reality of the golf demographic, asking most 50 somethings and above to give up anything more than a token percentage of distance so 1%ers don't bash the hell out of courses won't go down well.  It smacks a bit of stuffing an opinion  down the throats of what has been the back bone of the game for many years.


It would be interesting to know the capabilities of the average roll backer.  I suspect they tend to be good to excellent golfers who can make up for lost yardage with better play around greens etc.  Lets not forget, for the vast majority of male handicap golfers, it is becoming more and more apparent that 6200 yards (and I think this number can go much lower) and less is a more appropriate course length...for women I strongly suspect that number is maybe 5000ish yards. While the concerns of what is happening to the best courses on the planet are valid, it is hard to understand how that translates to average Joe.  To me, it makes far more sense to dip the toe in the water with bifurcation then take a view after 5 years.  In the meantime, clubs, owners and developers have the option to just say no to course alterations at the behest of the R&A, USGA, PGA.  That isn't to say that will stop alterations, because I don't think it will, but its a start, just as bifurcation is.


Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Matthew Mollica

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #20 on: August 04, 2019, 05:40:09 AM »

Sean,


If shorter hitters move forward a set of tees at the time the rollback, an onerously reduced ball doesn't have as marked an effect upon them. These golfers also play a shorter course, which is quicker to walk.

We already have several tees on every hole and competitive golfers / club members possess handicaps, so there are mechanisms in place to address problems encountered with initial days of implementing reduced flight balls.

And as Bobby Jones said - “we can move all our tees forward if we wish, without investing more money in costly land, but we cannot keep on moving them backwards.”
« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 05:41:46 AM by Matthew Mollica »
"The truth about golf courses has a slightly different expression for every golfer. Which of them, one might ask, is without the most definitive convictions concerning the merits or deficiencies of the links he plays over? Freedom of criticism is one of the last privileges he is likely to forgo."

Mike Sweeney

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #21 on: August 04, 2019, 06:22:49 AM »

Of course our problem in Australia is we have no influence - because the game is run by the seemingly impotent USGA and R&A  -whose role - whose purpose - in the equipment debate was to maintain the skill it took to play the game (something clearly diminished by the modern ball and the frying pan drivers) and to protect the great courses against exactly what has happened.



Mike Clayton,


I think "Oz" is the perfect location for this movement. In a different slice of life, I have studied big bureaucracies and they move very very slowly on purpose. I can't find it now, but I think the State of Indiana tried a "tournament ball" here in The States, but obviously it did not work. Or Google can't find it.


I agree with Rees that Augusta could fix this in one memo to participants, but until then, Oz is our best shot. Keep going!!
« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 06:25:29 AM by Mike Sweeney »
"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us."

Dr. Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Matthew Mollica

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #22 on: August 04, 2019, 06:29:49 AM »

Mike, you may recall the words of Sandy Tatum in a GCA feature interview -


 “A few years ago, Hootie Johnson had an impulse to create a ‘Masters Ball’ to deal with the distance factor that had intruded into the game … If he had carried it out it would have saved the game.”


 
"The truth about golf courses has a slightly different expression for every golfer. Which of them, one might ask, is without the most definitive convictions concerning the merits or deficiencies of the links he plays over? Freedom of criticism is one of the last privileges he is likely to forgo."

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2019, 07:01:42 AM »
I am confused as to why roll backers don't think equipment bifurcation is the better option to an across the board ball roll back. I say this for a few reasons

1. It is a form of compromise which will be more acceptable for most golfers.

2. The fear of having to alter courses, that is, mainly where tees will be placed and if so how far from greens, will be reduced.

3. Bifurcation may very well lead back to unification if and when golfers become convinced a roll back isn't the end of the world.

I understand a two ball spec may cause issues at the local club level, but with the world wide capping system coming online part of the issue isn't. Plus, part of a possible unification system down the road could by led by clubs having "elite" divisions in comps where non elite players choose to use a roll back ball. I can even imagine some clubs becoming elite, meaning if you join you do so knowing that comps use elite equipment regardless of handicap.

On the bigger picture, it's easy to make pro events and world amateur ranking events use elite rules roll back equipment.

Ciao


Good post


as an aside, it's shocking how many courses have gone to "irons only" on their range as a response to the few whose drivers have outgrown the range and done some damage, or they are worried about potential damage.


I don't fid it hypocritical to applaud discussion and seeking a solution/alternative, (rollback or bifurcation) while continuing to compete(barely) with modern equipment.
I would welcome an event where we used a shorter ball /equipment and played shorter tees, especially on classic courses that continually make a player walk backwards.(in theory the fairway would effectively be wider ;D )

As an aside, I'd bet the average length actually played at private courses has SHRUNK over the past 10 years due to the implementation of more forward men's tees that get used, than new back tees, that get used less.
Plus, the guys playing "one tee from the back" are often playing a SHORTER course than they once did, because perhaps not every hole has a new back pad, but a new set of back "tees" on a former, shorter pad.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2019, 07:06:25 AM by jeffwarne »
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Rollback alliance
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2019, 08:07:22 AM »

Mike, you may recall the words of Sandy Tatum in a GCA feature interview -


 “A few years ago, Hootie Johnson had an impulse to create a ‘Masters Ball’ to deal with the distance factor that had intruded into the game … If he had carried it out it would have saved the game.”


Matthew


I respect your intent to raise the topic in a respectful and informative fashion but I have to say that comment from Tatum is complete and utter bollocks. The world will keep turning and golf will go on if the pro's routinely shoot 59's. To suggest the game will be ruined just shows how short sighted he is.


Anyway why not just let the pro's shoot 59 ?


Niall
 

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