03.09.17 | Content Carl
The United State Golf Association has been busy recently releasing a massive overall of the rules of the game and then hosting the North American Golf Innovation Symposium up in the Great White North this past week. Among the headlines that came out this topic caught me by surprise.
Mark Davis suggested that one of the ways older golf courses could adapt to the modern game was to implement variable-distance ball. Davis sees this as way that players can use their modern equipment and still be able to hit into the zones that architects of old had planned. This would save courses from having to hire architects, plan expansion, build it out and then maintain it -- this is would be a huge plus for everyone involved with the game except for the architects. Davis uses a great historical example to support his argument such as the difference in distance the Shinnecock Hills will play at next summer when it hosts the 118th U.S. Open. At 7,500 yards it will play 2,000 yards longer then when hosted the 3rd U.S. Open and 500 yards longer then when hosted then when it hosted the U.S. Open in both 1995 and 2004. He compares the outrages increase in distance to moving out the walls at iconic stadiums such as the green monster at Fenway Park had baseball switched from wood to metal.
That last point though is where he exposes the major flaw in his argument that golf ball is the problem and not the high-tech titanium 460 cc driver that is almost every golfers bag. Golf was played for centuries with wooden woods as the name would suggest, but since the 1980s we have been using metal and have been seeing distance sky rocket. Yes, ball technology and manufacturing has improved but I would say the increase from a fist size driver to one similar to a newborns head has made the greatest difference and for the average player this new technology has not even taken a stoke of their game. The average handicap has remained the same for over 30 years now, but instead of buying a simple persimmon driver TaylorMade wants you to drop $500 every year on there latest and greatest driver for the hope you may get five more yards.
That is why Mark Davis is going after balls there cheap and everyone needs new ones no matter what there game is like. Davis would never cut into the profits of club makers. The game at least at the professional level needs to take a look at what they are putting in the bag, because Dustin Johnson and Ben Hogan right now did not even play the same sport. Let the average guy going out on the weekend play with whatever club or ball he wants to but something needs to be done on tour.