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« Tall Rough Holes at Winged Foot | Main | A Wie High? »
Thursday
Feb232006

Where's the Balance?

It's been a while since they posted a unbylined complaint over at Titleist.com, but it's good to know the theme never changes. Yes, that's right, we're back to the golf media's "anti-golf ball technology agenda":

But what is disturbing is when members of the golf media use their position to advance their anti-technology and anti-golf ball technology agenda to golfers without providing their readers the opportunity to learn from an opposing view.

That's right, you cannot pick up a golf magazine without reading that anti-ball technology propaganda. It's stifling, I tell you!

While free speech is a wonderful thing, and the golf media has every right to provide editorial opinions, it is disillusioning to know that the opposing facts are often conveniently overlooked. Where then do the 25 million golfers in the U.S. get exposed to a balanced perspective on the long-standing technology and tradition debate?

I nominate Titleist.com. No agenda there!

And if the PGA Tour is going to measure the perception of the public relative to distance to consider whether additional rule modifications are desirable, and media coverage is imbalanced, then one can hardly expect golfers/fans of the PGA Tour to have an open mind.

It really is all the media's fault. Well, and are they implying that the average golfer is not smart enough to weed through the bias and come to their own conclusions? 

Semantics are another powerful tool used to influence readers' reactions. When referring to the USGA, he uses derogatory terms like "apparently awakened from a Rip Van Winkle-length coma" and a "dawdling organization". He notes that Kenny Perry is feeling "increasingly obsolete" or "something's out of whack when Perry ranked 11th in the world, feels like a Lilliputian." The fact is Kenny Perry will turn 46 this August. In how many professional sports can a 46-year old still remain competitive let alone, be ranked 11th in the world in their chosen sport?

You might want to check out the story that has upset the writer so. Here's what Perry said that Steve Elling characterized as increasingly obsolete: "Skill? That's kind of where the tour has gone. You can hit it 50 yards off-line and hit a wedge out of the rough. They can still fire at the flagstick. That's the way golf has played out the last couple of years."

Those semantics! Not obsolete. He just feels really good about being left behind. 

What is even more alarming is digging behind the scenes to the actual press conference and reading the unequivocally biased "questions" asked of J.B. Holmes:

 Q. John, with the way that you have been piping it out there the last few years, now that you are out here with the big boys, and blowing it past all of them, there has been sort of a negative side to it to, people are saying he hits it too far, they need to rein that in. What's your response to all of that? You can become the poster boy for the USGA making rules changes.

Q. You don't think there has been a lessening of the skill factor because you only have to hit your 3-iron, 4-iron, 5-iron a couple of times per tournament? It's mostly a wedge, 9-iron. These are some of the points that have been raised. You are just overwhelming golf courses.

These aren't questions. They are "leading the witness" statements by a reporter with an agenda.

You know, another S word comes to mind to describe those new Cobra ads where David Feherty, CBS's on-course announcer and member of the Cobra staff, is drooling all over Cobra's J.B. Holmes during the FBR final round and conveniently, his final day raves appear in a new Cobra ad campaign.

Now that's synergy, baby! Of course, you can be the judge by checking the ad out over at Cobra's web site, a company owned by Fortune Brands, the same folks who own Titleist.

After a rant about no one celebrating Arron Oberholser's short driving and great putting en route to victory at Pebble Beach, we get to the heart of the matter:

The game has changed. But that is hardly new as this timeless deep-rooted debate about technological advancement is as old as the game itself. Where is the evidence to support that the game has been harmed?

Uh, how about this: Lousy ratings? Or flat rounds despite equipment that has never made the game easier.

No, I know, the NGF, Nielson, shoot, they're all biased!

The Titleist commentary left out a remark about the enormous financial gains that these anti-technology folks stand to gain from their agendas.

As opposed to the equipment companies, who are in this purely for the love of the game.

The piece also does not explain all these famous golfers like Palmer, Nicklaus, Norman and Woods who are saying something should be done about distance.

I guess they've been bamboozled by the media's anti-technology agenda, too?

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Reader Comments (47)

Same old garbage from you, Geoff. You not only put words in their mouths or misunderstand and misrepresent what was said (your first quote-and-comment gets right on that!), but you fail to recognize a few things.

First, there's no way you can tie distance to the numbers NGF and Nielsen kick out. You think there's a relationship, but you don't really know.

And second, did you ever believe that perhaps Tiger, Palmer, Nicklaus, and Norman have an agenda too? Palmer, Nicklaus, and Norman likely want to protect their legacies. Tiger likely thinks that a change will simply make him even more capable of defeating those pesky short drivers like Oberholser and Funk. Or maybe they have other agendas, but why is it that in your mind only Titleist has an agenda, while all others are on this quest "to save the game" when there's absolutely no agreement that the game needs to be saved from anything at this point?

You're quickly turning into "that uncle" of the golf world. The one people invite to parties just so they can make fun of him behind his back, and because there's never a dull moment when "Crazy Uncle Whoever" is in the house.
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrankpot
So Crackpot please tell us
which of the Fortune brands to you work for
Titleist, Cobra, Pinnacle?

Titleist opened up this anti-golf ball technology rant and it is a Geoff's responsibility as a journalist to inform, enlighten, and educate the public on all sides of issue. If you choose to not believe, that is your right.
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterAl
I don't work for any Fortune Brand company. I don't even work in the golf industry. I am an electrical engineer.

It's not about "believing" in anything. It's about fact. Geoff isn't a "journalist," and if he was, many of his posts seem to do the opposite of "inform, enlighten, and educate." If this post "informs and educates" then please send your children to me so that I can "inform" them that alphabetical order is actually QWERTYUIOP (etc.).

There's a difference between "spouting off" and "informing." The latter usually involves facts, and from what I can see, they aren't often on Geoff's side. He has an emotional viewpoint, not a factual one. The only "informing" he does is to inform us of his opinion.
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrankpot
Crankpot's absolutely right. The game is in fabulous condition. So we can't play majors at the "classic" golf courses in existence without tricking them up beyond all semblance of recognition. So the floggers can't hit a knock down 9-iron from 119 yards into a tightly cut pin location (as Mr. Woods did yesterday). Who wants to see guys who can play? After all, don't chicks dig the long ball? Are steroids next? There's a lot of $$ out there, giving some enterprising lads a huge incentive. . .
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterSmolmania
Well, at least Crankpot doesn't think I'm the crazy aunt in the basement.

I'm always fascinated by the argument that there is no evidence that the game is in bad shape, when it's so overwhelming. Of course ratings and flat rounds are not directly tied to the emergence of technology. The point is, the game has never seen better equipment, and yet it's not growing nor is the professional game's audience growing. Yet we are told by equipment companies that the only way the game will grow is to through more lax equipment rules.

So equipment has been given its chance to "grow the game," and I'm simply taking the view that it hasn't got much to show for it.

As for guys like Tiger and his "agenda," I think it's a stretch to say he's lying awake at night worrying about Fred Funk and Arron Oberholser. Actually, it's quite hilarious. Tiger has tiptoed around the subject for obvious reasons, but he has also indicated that he understands some of the issues that have arisen.

Isn't it possible that these guys who play the game on an entirely different level than we do, and who are involved in course design, have a different perspective that is not motivated by greed? I still do not see how they benefit except in seeing the game they love salvaged.
02.24.2006 | Registered CommenterGeoff
When was the last time there was "growth" in golf?
I would think it was back in 1997 and 1998 when Tiger really came on the scene. Did Tiger's popularity encourage people to invest and build new golf courses? Or was it something else?

I think that interesting players such as Tiger have more impact on the popularity of golf than new equipment. Look at skiing (I know they are different sports but have some of the same issues), skiing has not grown even though there was a breakthrough in equipment with parabolic skis in the 1990s.

We need to look at what sports are seeing growth (I can't think of one) and then look to see what the national governing bodies are doing to help with that growth. Then we can make suggestions so that golf does not go the way of tennis.
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterScott
Mr. Shackelford, once again you fail to respond to the main part of a person's comments, instead erecting straw men.

Must an industry always be growing to be "in good shape?" Golf courses are crowded, so one could make the argument that growth in the number of players would be bad because it'd lead to even slower rounds and more frustration and crowding.

But more golfers = more desire for courses to avoid crowding, and thus we start to get at your agenda: golly gee, you're a course architect! Coincidence? Nah.

You've failed to establish that flat rounds played numbers is related to technology (or driving distance). Could it not be related to the lengthening of the average American's work week from 40 to nearly 50 or 60 hours and the corresponding decrease in free time? Could it not be related to a thousand other things? Why is "technology" or "distance" the only thing you feel has caused the game to be, in your opinion, in decline?

That we can't play majors on some classic old courses is another entirely different argument. How old is St. Andrews? Did it not host a major last year? Does Merion have the parking capabilities to host a major, or is it solely about the length of the course? I too regret that some courses have become obsolete, but athletes in every sport have always been faster, stronger, and more capable with every passing generation. That's just the way it goes.

And getting back to the original point, Geoff, you've nearly completely misrepresented the original article. You call on readers to sift through the bias, but you know darn well that's nearly impossible for most people. You yourself have gotten caught up in your own bias, and display it daily here. People use facts to get through bias, and that doesn't include "facts" like "flat numbers of rounds played = distance is bad" because you can't correlate the two regardless of how many times you might repeat it.

I not only agree that they have a different perspective, but I insist that they do. However, neither you nor me is any more capable of discerning what that motive truly is: greed, desire to see their own stature kept tall, or something else entirely. Obviously, Tiger is not worrying about Fred Funk at night, but it's foolish if you think that Tiger would support something that makes it easier for him to lose to someone LIKE a Fred or an Arron or whatever. If only Tiger can reach a par 5 in two with a "shorter" ball, he has an advantage. So, again, you probably know what I meant in saying Fred and Arron, but again erected straw men to distract and divert.
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrankpot
Perhaps tennis has failed because Americans realized it's just a ball going back and forth. Perhaps tennis failed because we don't have Billy Jean King challenging Bobby Riggs, an American Sweetheart named Chrissy, or a foul-mouthed angry guy named Jimmy. Perhaps the personalities in tennis are bland. I don't buy the "technology ruined tennis" argument any more than I buy it in golf for the same reasons: there's just no proof. The advance in technology may have corresponded to a decline in tennis, but so too did other things (like changes in society, a decline in the amount personality in tennis, etc.).

All I'm asking for is an actual, honest debate based on facts, not bias, agendas, or emotion. I don't visit this site often, but it's obvious that can't be found here.
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrankpot
Wait for it... the bowling metaphor is coming next, right, Crankpot?

As an amused bystander on this debate, and a frequent poster on this site, I am always entertained when folks like Crankpot post. They hurl invectives and use incendiary language, then get more riled up when Geoff responds politely.

Crankpot, you have failed to advance your point beyond tantrum level. Take a moment, re-read your posts and the responses. You throw out some fascinating ideas, honestly. To assume that Merion is obsolete as a major course due to parking is a riot.

Head to sandtrap.com, they're more your speed.

Pete the Luddite is outta here... Time for 18 at the home course this afternoon while the sun is shining in NC...
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterPete the Luddite
Crankpot,
There's a reason the site is under my name. These are my views and I'm putting my name on them. I'm always amazed that people complain about my opinions and take on things and yet keep coming back.

I'm not trying to subject anyone to this stuff, it's totally free, totally optional and well, an alternative site that hopefully lets people with similar concerns share their thoughts or read things "outside the bubble" of mainstream golf news.

As for the claim that architects have something to gain from a rollback, you have it backwards. Architects stand to gain if the ball keeps going longer because it means more phone calls to remedy safety and strategic situations that arise from changing equipment.
02.24.2006 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Pete, if you classify the language I use as incendiary, I suggest you avoid any and all future discussions of any topic as you'll likely find it disdainful at best. And I have no idea what bowling metaphor you're talking about.

Geoff, your site accomplishes that which you say above - a place to post your thoughts. Where it fails is when you attempt to convey certain things as "facts" when (pardon the pun) in fact they aren't.

The longer a golf course is, the more real estate it takes up. More real estate means it's more expensive for the builder. More room for the golf course means less room for planned communities and housing. All of that makes the whole idea less attractive to builders and that makes it less likely that they'll actually build the course. That in turn makes it less likely they'll need a course architect. And the money to "fix up" a course no doubt pales in comparison to thet money to design a new one.

I'm not an architect, nor do I pretend to know what you know about building a course, but a very reputable course architect related the above paragraph to me quite recently.

Why Does distance (or bashing Tim Finchem) always seem to be the topic here? How about how much our demands for pristine playing conditions adds to the cost of the average greens fee? Even if you can't find facts for this, it seems to be a little more up your alley (is that the bowling metaphor? ha ha).
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrankpot
Ok, boys. Let's not everyone start pointing fingers, and slinging accusations. Instead let's look at the "GAME" and it's "HISTORY".

Speaking from experience, golf on the PGA Tour, up to lately, has always been about strength, technique, strategy, and imagination. I have played Titleist golf balls my entire career. These new distance balls did not start with Titleist, but instead were introduced by Bridgestone. Bridgestone makes Nike's golf balls for Nike. In 2000, Tiger, along with other players playing Nike equipment, were the only players on the PGA Tour playing with the newest generation of distance enhancing, performance golf balls. The truth is players seeking distance always had the option of playing a pinnacle; only it wasn't conducive around the greens like the new Bridgestone Balls. Players on the PGA Tour, as a glorified pinnacle, dubbed this new Bridgstone Ball. It had the distance of a pinnacle, and up around the greens the disc brakes of a Ferrari. Did Tiger have an advantage in 2000 over the entire PGA Tour? No, there were other players on the Nike Staff at the time that had access to the same ball as Tiger. The rest of the players and ball manufacturers in 2000 didn't have a comparable ball to the (Bridgestone) Nike ball on the market until 2001. Ah...La the Pro V 1, along with Calloway and all the rest. The secret to the core of the golf ball was out, and out big. Everyone jumped on the bandwagon.

Players such as myself have watched these particular distance enhancing balls go through at least 5 generations of enhancements and performance changes. Each time the launch characteristics and spin ratios have changed. What does all of this mean?? It means that I have Drivers from 2001,2002,2003,2004,2005 that are obsolete. The heads moment of inertia (MOI) is not large enough in reducing torque. The CG's are not low enough and far enough back in the head for the latest version of high launching rocks today. Like Ben Hogan said in response to a question about how to play better golf shots many years ago, "if you want to learn how to play golf well, go buy a book on physics". Where has all of this lead?? It adds up to $400 to $600 annually for the average player to stay up to date with a Driver + Ball perfect marriage. And that’s only if you get it right the very first time. Probability is that you will get it right on about the fourth or fifth try. At least that has been my own personal experience.

Now with regard too little pesky short drivers like Fred Funk. There has always been short drivers of the golf ball, but, players that have had a tremendous amount of imagination and skill in playing fairway woods, long irons, irons in general and the short game department. Going way back, Gene Sarazen was the inventor of the current sand wedge today. Without the sand wedge coming from Gene, where would today's big ball bashers be? Especially with players carrying 5 different wedges in their bags today. Bobby Jones comes to mind. Then there was Paul Runyon who defeated many big men in his day, which involved winning a Major over Sam Snead for a U.S. Open victory. Sam won every major except the U.S. Open. Gene Littler was an awesome iron player. Gary Player had a complete game, with an exceptional short game. Lee Trevino played a cut shot off every tee, that is the ultimate short drive. Come to think of it Hogan played a cut shot too. Hogan said the most important shot in golf was the tee shot. He said it was important to gain the right angle from which one could attack the pin. When I see guys shoe laces poping, and finishing on their tippy-toes it doesn't appear to me anyway that they are trying to gain an advantage of attacking the pin by being in the right part of the fairway. It's as Geoff has been describing it, it's Flogging. Hogan was just another short stature player with a complete game. Maybe Ben and Lee thought strategy was more important than distance? If my memory serves me, they both hated hooking the ball because there was no control over the ball when it landed. Trevino said you could talk to a cut shot but a hook wouldn’t listen. Chi Chi Rodriguez, hell, he practically re-invented the short game. What about the bull-dogg, Corey Pavin? Look what he did at Shinnecock in 1995. Wow!

Personally I don't watch golf on TV because it isn't golf anymore. It has become a Long Drive Contest Scramble. Greg Norman was the Tiger Woods of the late 80's and early 90's. Why didn't Greg win everything?? Because the course set up's then, and the golf ball created parity, week in and week out. If they had stretched out golf courses, and given Greg a rock that would stop, he would have moped up. He would be the first to tell anyone, that's not what golf is about.

It's about having a complete game. When you wished you could slip in one extra club to cover every shot required for that weeks event. Today players could drop their load to 12 clubs in the bag and still cover every shot facing them for the week. Strength, technique, strategy and imagination, all of this would hold true today if courses were set up at 8,300 yards and there was a 6-club limit. Only then would you begin to see parity again in the sport, now it’s all about strength. After stretching out the courses to 8,300 yards with a 6-club limit, my guess, the little pesky guys like Fred Funk would conquer the world again.

With all the nepotism going on between the PGA Tour, USGA, R&A, PGA of America, and Augusta National, I applaud you Geoff in enlightening many others to what Kenny Perry and many other professional golfers know all too well. The golf balls, at the professional level, are completely out of whack. No pun intended. Geoff, where you do the most service is in your statistics evaluations. Stats out of the rough don't lie. Grooves out of PGA Tour rough don't cut it either. It's the high launching rocks, with instant trajectory, cushioned by soft watered greens of today that have catered to this Long Drive Contest Scramble that is still called golf. The driving disparity between John Daly in 1991 and the shortest driver on the PGA Tour could not have been more than 30 yards difference. I'd be willing to bet, and Geoff you know where to find the statistics, that there is over a 60 yard disparity between the longest and shortest drivers on the PGA Tour today, and it all started in 2001, and has grown more and more disproportioned since.

As a professional golfer in my 18th year, thank you for your continued coverage on this topic. Players like Palmer, Watson, Nicklaus, Norman, and even Woods have expressed their views briefly on how the ball has and is changing the game at the professional level, and not in a positive way. Only these players have so much to lose personally on this topic with all of them being distinctly inserted in the selling of equipment. You and your statistics are a welcoming topic in the lockerooms today. Keep it up Geoff!!!
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterSean Murphy
Crankpot,
That's a new one to me about longer courses making developers less likely to build one. I would LOVE to hear about a developer that passed up doing a highly lucrative project because golf courses are just too long these days and it just cost too much to build, or take away too many lots from Phase II. That would make a great story. Somehow though, I have a hard time believing there is someone like that out there.

This site (if you read the description linked in the lefthand column), was started to follow up on my books, and in particular, The Future of Golf. That book looks at the distance issue and the state of professional golf. That would be why the subjects you don't like reading about are focused on.

Again, if you don't like it, I highly recommend the blogs sponsored by Titleist. I think they are more up your uh, alley.


02.24.2006 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Well said, Sean.
And well said Smolmania.


I am awaiting a tour player to come to Crackpot's...er...I mean Crankpot's aid.

02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterNed Ludd
A professional golfer who's not a mindless drone? Careful Sean, no more free ProVs in the locker for you if Wally gets wind of your thoughts.

And as for you, Mr. Crankpot, thanks for getting everything so riled up on a Friday (except for that rat Pete who's decided to hit the links. . . the sun's shining here in Chicago too my friend, but it's about 40 -- gonna be a cold day on the links tomorrow).

Do you really expect us to believe that the comments of the legends -- Messrs. Nicklaus, Palmer, and Player -- about the ball going to far are based upon their desire to "preserve their legacies?" Is that what you and Wally are going to try and sell? As one of the regular readers of our crazy Uncle Geoff (who's certainly not always right. . . see his recent stymie comments), I'll put my money on the arguments we see here.
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterSmolmania
Titleist is defending their turf. Their business is selling clubs and balls. If this year's clubs and balls don't exceed last year's clubs and balls, why would anyone buy them? They need to keep innovating or their sales go south and they lose money. And face it, that's not good for golf. They spend big bucks on TV advertising, at tournaments, at the college level and at the junior level. If that money dries up, it's a bad thing for the sport as a whole. So the question is, how can they keep making money while not innovating (read more distance) and still attract golfers to buy their stuff? The only answer is to set a distance standard and allow the manufacturers to compete in producing equipment that hits the ball higher, straighter and with more control. There's no other answer.

I believe the equipment manufacturers realize this. I also believe PGA Tour, the USGA and others are working behind the scenes with the manufacturers to make this happen. How else can you explain why Titleist has applied for a patent for a limited-flight golf ball?

My advice is to calm down, stop the rhetoric and finger-pointing. Golf is a gentleman's game. Things will work themselves out. Have some patience.
02.24.2006 | Unregistered CommenterThe Answer
The answer from The Answer is not the answer. The Tories probably made the same plea in 1775.

First, I for one will not calm down and leave the integrity of golf to the invisible hand of the market. As our friend the Electrical Engineer could probably tell us, change requires a catalyst. This site and the passionate participation of its sponsor and regulars is but a catalyst for change, and it appears to be working.

Second, the answer does not include the "nepotism" (again, well said Sean) of the Tour, usga, Augusta National et al. in giving the manufacturers a free hand to do whatever is necessary to improve their bottom line. If these groups are somehow "working behind the scenes" on the distance quagmire, they are going about it all wrong. This needs to be done above board, and not On Board some fancy NetJet on the way to Seminole.

When I first started playing this great game, there was a ball called the Nitro which was known by all to be banned by the usga, and anyone who used it was banned from the gangsome as well. Flash ahead 15 years and we have the same type of distance ball, only now with "Ferrari Brakes" which even the Pros use and are ubiquitous on the links. Only difference now is that the Nitro ball is labeled ProV 1* and is made by the titan of the industry, and whose CEO probably gets a jet ride or two on MacDonald One.

Sitting back and doing nothing is tantamount to letting those jerks who played the Nitro into our gangsome, and acting like it doesn't matter is even worse.
02.25.2006 | Unregistered CommenterNed Ludd
Ned Ludd -

I re-read my post to see if I was unclear in stating my position. While I don't believe I was, let me spell it out since you've obviously misunderstood me. Nowhere did I advocate leaving "the integrity of golf to the invisible hand of the market." I said everyone realizes there is a problem, including the manufacturers. I said I believed the parties involved are working behind the scenes on an agreement that will remedy the situation and that agreement will include a distance standard. I pointed to the limited-flight patent as evidence of this. Is it clear now?

And if that agreement occurs "On Board some fancy NetJet on the way to Seminole", why do you care? As long as the situation is resolved, who cares where it happens?

My advice was, and is, to have some patience. An agreement is coming. But if you want to remain hysterical, that's your privilege.
02.25.2006 | Unregistered CommenterThe Answer
The Answer,
You really think the manufacturers think there is a problem?

That's not the vibe I'm getting!
02.25.2006 | Registered CommenterGeoff
Geoff -

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I do. I really believe the manufacturers understand the problem and are willing to compromise. Distance is a problem. If the manufacturers don’t compromise, the PGA, USGA, R&A and the lords in Augusta will have no alternative but to act. And if they do, the manufacturers will respond with lawsuits for restraint of trade. That will result in complete chaos. No one wants a “scorched earth” solution, as everyone loses in that scenario.

Trust me, a compromise agreement will be reached, and it’s being negotiated as we speak.
02.25.2006 | Unregistered CommenterThe Answer
This sort of conversation I personally find fascinating.

" If this year's clubs and balls don't exceed last year's clubs and balls, why would anyone buy them? They need to keep innovating or their sales go south and they lose money. And face it, that's not good for golf. They spend big bucks on TV advertising, at tournaments, at the college level and at the junior level. If that money dries up, it's a bad thing for the sport as a whole."

The Answer would like everyone to believe that it is manufacturers that are keeping the "Sport" alive. At my level, it is the manufacturers that are killing the sport. Why is that?? Because the PGA Tour runs its events based on USGA rules. What if the PGA Tour decided to operate under its own rules?? And I can tell everyone right here on this web site firsthand, the players in the locker rooms on Tour have had it with these distance enhancing, performance golf balls. These balls are decimating the skill at our level. The Answer really believes that spectators show up to buy manufacturers equipment. Answer, I'm sorry, but they show up to watch professional athletes get a little ball in a cup. He also makes it sound like manufactures are in business to spread charity. Innovating, yes so we can spread some more charity across the board since we are a non-profit organization all of a sudden. Answer, these manufacturers are Capitalists in the worst ways. Example, in 1996 I wore one of these titans visors the entire year on the PGA Tour, which included the U.S. Open and British Open, and never got paid. I wrote a personal letter to that company's CEO and never got a response, over a measly $5,000. I wrote that letter on principle because I rendered my services, that non-response was the titans principles clearly stated. And so the Answer would like everyone to be patient while these manufacturers negotiate a settlement.

" So the question is, how can they keep making money while not innovating (read more distance) and still attract golfers to buy their stuff? The only answer is to set a distance standard and allow the manufacturers to compete in producing equipment that hits the ball higher, straighter and with more control. There's no other answer."

Here is the other answer. Players on the PGA Tour don't want a ball that goes farther, goes higher, goes straighter, and has more control. They want a ball that exudes skill. You see Answer these (Capitalists) manufacturers don't really understand a professional golfers point of view. The only point of view they see is $$$$$, and mainly for themselves. Sure Answer, there are pros on the PGA Tour that will denounce what I'm saying here. But those would be the handful of players that these (Capitalists) manufacturers have thrown large sums of cash at to endorse their point of view. The majority of players that aren't getting stroked have had it with innovation of the golf ball. At the PGA Tour level the innovation of the wheel has been reinvented too many times.

" How else can you explain why Titleist has applied for a patent for a limited-flight golf ball?"

Answer, the answer to this statement could be that the PGA Tour has gone to the USGA and has said we are contemplating not conducting our competitions under USGA rules anymore.

" And if they do, the manufacturers will respond with lawsuits for restraint of trade. That will result in complete chaos. No one wants a “scorched earth” solution, as everyone loses in that scenario."

Oh yesss, these charity-spreading titans would sue, for sure. It really isn't about the "integrity of the game" and golf is a "gentleman’s game". It is all about their point of view again, $$$$$. If the PGA Tour walks away from USGA rules then they’re out of the loop. No lawsuit there. The PGA Tour has every right to choose what rules and whose rules that they will conduct their own sanctioned events under. And that would leave the restraint of trade issue between the Capitalists and the USGA.

Like some Football, Basketball, or Baseball manufacturer could sue Major League Baseball, the NFL or NBA because these organizations decided not to use some specific manufacturers balls in their competitions. Preposterous, is the line of thinking by you Mr. Answer.

" And if that agreement occurs "On Board some fancy NetJet on the way to Seminole", why do you care? As long as the situation is resolved, who cares where it happens?"

Ned Ludd, I and many other professional golfers very much care where such an agreement might be reached. Our Commissioner is right at the Top of that Capitalistic thought process. In fact he is running our non-profit organization without asking the dues paying membership for any input on any pertinent matters. Also, he never reveals the entire generated revenue to the membership each year. But that’s another topic for a book some day. Having never played professional golf and seemingly knowing everything about everything, Commissioner Finchem probably thinks that he knows what's best when it comes to golf balls too. Ned, the who, why, where, what, and how much $$$$$, is why all of that behind the scenes negotiating should be done above board. The nepotism that I have been pointing a finger at is despicable. The Answer’s, Answer, certainly does not have the right Answer, with you Ned I agree. At the very least he doesn’t have an honest and honorable one.

Gentlemen, and I use that term loosely. Where PGA Tour players (the ones not being bought off) would like to see the golf ball returned to, is when it spun more than it does today. How much more? That's why there are supposedly negations going on currently behind closed doors. Players want more spin on the golf ball so that the ball has to be flighted correctly for many different given situations, wind being one of the biggest factors. You see these Monster Mashers of the golf ball today are not showing the grace of power and control like how it was to be displayed in the first place. This is one area where professional golf has gone a rye. How else can the Answer explain why pros are now winning, and hitting less than 50% of fairways for the entire week. Answer, it's because they are carrying 5 wedges in their bag today. These Capitalists have reduced the sport down to really having to be efficient in hitting six clubs in the bag. Driver, all 5 wedges, and a putter. Now that is innovation for sure.

Players want the ball returned to specific situations where they know a normal straight away shot is going to have too much spin on it. Examples, wedge to the number into the wind. Wedge to the number with a green sloping at you. Professionals want a drive into a stiff wind having to be teed lower to reduce spin. A steady crosswind where a professional has to work the ball both ways and always back into a cross wind to keep it on line is another example.

Answer, the Monster Mashers of the current (high launching low spinning rock) golf balls today, who are showing absolutely no technique or control (skill) in whacking this current golf ball is going to get someone maimed or worse killed at one of our events. Some of these out of control Mashers are carrying it 320 yards on the fly and hitting less than 50% of their fairways. Hello?? Do you think Commissioner Finchem has a clue as to how much greater the ball speed off the clubface has increased in the last 5 years?? LoL’s. I can see it in print already. "We had no idea that could ever happen, and people enter these events at their own risks". Responsibility, integrity, honesty, and don't leave out $$$$$$$. Which one of these are manufacturers really focused on?? Professional golfers are not dependent on manufacturers for the sports survival. It is quite the contrary. Answer if you want a close up on the nepotism I have pointed out, just visit www.pgatour.com and look at who the website sponsors are. Ned that’s why those negotiations are going on behind closed doors, it’s called nepotism. And yes it will get all worked $$$$$ out.

Lastly, if the USGA needs some of the earlier golf balls for comparison, I have every ball ever made. Including that first generation of enhanced distance, high performance balls that came in the all white packaging with no writing on the box, sleeve, or ball itself. This first generation of Bridgestone, Nike, Pro V 1, balls were fine in that there were still instances where you had to purposely play a shot with less spin required to play the correct shot. Example, clubbing down from a wedge to a 9 iron or 8 iron and hitting a ¾ chip through the wind to reduce spin, in assuring yourself that the ball didn’t hit the green and spin right off the dance floor. The second, third, fourth, and fifth generation of distance enhancing, performance golf balls has created a Long Drive Contest Scramble out on the PGA Tour. Professional golfers use to throw a Cesna 170 up there in the air. Then professionals moved into a Cesna 180. Then my generation saw the ball move into a twin engine Cesna 210. Wind each time becoming less and less of a factor in great ball striking ability. Now professional golfers are throwing up a Citation IV, where wind is no factor at all. With the entire innovating thing going on, soon we will be throwing up a Gulf Stream V. Then maybe when we have hit the wall with the ball and driver we can begin to build golf courses indoors. Now that would be some real innovation.
02.26.2006 | Unregistered CommenterSean Murphy
Sean Murphy -

As I said to Ned Ludd, behaving hysterically is your privilege. A 1700-word post in which you put words in my mouth simply to attack me and make up facts to support your case is behaving hysterically IMHO.

While I'm not going to waste my time addressing each one, I will address a couple:

"Hello?? Do you think Commissioner Finchem has a clue as to how much greater the ball speed off the clubface has increased in the last 5 years??"

Yes he does. The answer is zero. That's right, there's been no increase. There is an inital velocity standard of 170 MPH that has been in place since at least December 1999. And there are conforming club and ball lists that ban equipment that don't meet that standard.

"I have every ball ever made."

Do you really? There are 760 different balls on the conforming ball list. And that list is updated each month, with about 10-15 balls moving on and another 10-15 moving off. So how do you buy all of these balls, one at a time, by the sleeve, by the dozen?
02.27.2006 | Unregistered CommenterThe Answer
Answer,

You shouldn't take things so personal, especially when you’re not even using your real name. It isn't an attack on you, just my contradictory opinion to your stated positions. Which, IMMHO are ridiculous.

It is starting to all make sense to me now. You’re probably with the usga and are a part of this whole nepotism inner circle thing that’s going on. That's the only way you could know so little about balls. By the way, nice rule on building a stance, but you guys forgot to look at building a grip. (See putter grip anchored to chest and gouged into belly) Or was it, that everyone in New Jersey has the yipps and so you guys let that one slide?? I'm currently working on a crotch putter. It is anchored right between the........... well you get the idea. This strategic positioning of the anchor never allows one to yank a putt. If you do, you'll know it in a hurry. It creates the perfect stroke. I'll be submitting it soon.

"Answer, the Monster Mashers of the current (high launching low spinning rock) golf balls today, who are showing absolutely no technique or control (skill) in whacking this current golf ball is going to get someone maimed or worse killed at one of our events. Some of these out of control Mashers are carrying it 320 yards on the fly and hitting less than 50% of their fairways. Hello??"

There you go that's how you should have read into it.

Now forget about all of those balls for a second, and lets look at the faces on today’s drivers. The faces give, just like those old non-conforming Browning Reflex irons of the 70's. Thanks in large part to Arnie, and all of the innovation going on. (no nepotism here)

At what speed Answer, did you guys test driver faces?? Was it at 100mph and the ball couldn't rebound faster than 0.830, (more than 83% transfer of energy). My grandmother swings it 100mph. How much did the face on a MacGregor 693T driver head rebound??


http://golf.about.com/od/faqs/f/cor.htm

An example of a COR of 0.000 would be one piece of very sticky chewing gum colliding with another similar piece. In such a collision, the two pieces of gum would stick together and not move forward, thus indicating that all of the energy of the impact was absorbed and lost. The closest example in the sports world to a COR of 1.000 would be in pool or billiards, when the cue ball collides squarely with a target ball of the same size and weight (mass).

We couldn't have a golf ball and driver face doing that.


When the cue ball hits the target ball, the cue ball stops dead and the target ball takes off at almost the same, exact speed that the cue ball had when it made contact with the target ball. This indicates that virtually all of the energy of the cue ball was transferred to the target ball to propel it onward.
It is impossible for the collision of the golf club and golf ball to produce a perfectly elastic collision (COR of 1.000) in which all energy is transferred, for two reasons:

1. The clubface and the ball are made from completely different materials;
2. The clubhead and the ball are of two totally different weights, or masses.

The current USGA rule limiting the coefficient of restitution of a clubhead states that the COR cannot be higher than a measurement of 0.830. This means that when the clubhead impacts the ball, there cannot be more than an 83-percent transfer of the energy of the head to the ball.

To give a frame of reference for performance, 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.

Instead of penalizing skill lets penalize strength, (or lack of strength) LoL’s. Let’s give the Bigg Ball Bashers who already have an advantage with strength, and let’s exponential it further. LoL’s

Now we know why Drivers are HOTT, and why irons go further. It equates to a double whammy with the driver and just playing a high launching pinnacle (rock) that runs right up the clubface. That’s why its so easy to play short irons from the rough Geoff, because with the core to hard to compress with an iron the ball can only run up the face (instead of mushing against the club face like it use to) and launching straight up into the air. It isn’t about grooves; it’s about the ball running up high on the clubface and launching high out of the rough, to then stop on a PGA Tour green. Perfect. Mission (innovation) accomplished.

Here we go right here! Thank you Tom Wishon for the physics behind clubhead speed. Maybe you guys at the usga should hire Tom as a consultant. Basically, what Tom is pointing out is that this would all equate to MASS X SPEED = FORCE (distance) for a better word.

So then what did you guys at the usga do?? You came up with another test all together. This new static CT test is complete BS in my opinion. Why?? Because it does exactly what you guys had hoped for. It no longer ties driver face to golf ball. That reminds me of that song; "We got to keep them seperated".

Instead of the old days where the face never gave way, and we could completely focus on what the golf balls velocity, launch angle, and spin ratio's were, now we have to figure on two things giving at once. Well hell that's easy. The core of the golf ball is giving to some degree, and the driver face is giving to some degree. That's why this new CT test is all BS.

So how does a professional golfer go about matching a driver to a golf ball?? Find a ball whose core will give based on his or her's clubhead speed, right Tom Wishon?? Then we find a driver face that will have just the right amount of give to maximize potential. (based again on one's specific clubhead speed) Now here is the catch for you viewers (readers) that are actually trying to learn something from all of this. Players such as Tiger and Phil do not want a Driver face that gives to the max. Why?? Because with their high clubhead speeds the face will crack, and if it doesn't crack there will be too much give, like those two pieces of chewing gum sticking together that Tom Wishon was talking about earlier, and these manufacturers don't want that. Tiger and Phil want their driver faces with less rebounding effect because the ball manufacturers are making their golf balls with a really hard core. So at their high (around 125 to 135 mph) clubhead speeds that harder core (inside the golf ball) will actually make that thicker less rebounding face give more under greater force. Technically, give just right. Wah…Lah! Remember, MASS X SPEED = FORCE (distance). The other thing giving at the same time is the golf balls core to a certain degree. When Tiger and Phil match the face give to core give at a specific clubhead speed, then they throw in the right flexed shaft, and they, along with the Bubba Watson's and J.B. Holmes's have got themselves armed with one hell of a slingshot driver in their hands. "FORE!"

For those who want to know all about CT here you go. To me it's a waste of time and a surreptitious way of going about Driver face testing.

What is Characteristic Time, or CT?
Characteristic Time (CT) is a measure of impact efficiency, sometimes called the “spring-like effect” in drivers. CT has recently replaced what used to be measured as Coefficient of Restitution, or COR. CT is a measure of the responses of a driver face to an object impacting it – in short a measure of the efficiency of impact. Higher CT impact efficiency equals more efficient energy transfer from clubface to ball, and that means more potential distance.
How Does CT Testing Work?
CT driver testing conducted by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and the United States Golf Association consists of a steel weight suspended from a pendulum, which is then released from varying heights to strike the clubface. The amount of time that the weight and clubface are in contact determines a driver’s CT; the limit has been set at 239 microseconds, plus a test tolerance of 18 microseconds, for a maximum of 257 microseconds. This testing was jointly developed and approved by the R&A and the USGA.


Yes, they are testing how much a pendulum weight will rebound, which tells most people absolutely nothing. Great idea! But the high tech lingo probably fools most, and so it's a great test in and of itself.

The average swing speed on the PGA Tour is around 112 mph, make sure the core is giving at 112. And there is your max speed on core rebound inside the golf ball. If the core doesn’t give at 112mph then the ball should be deemed illegal. And those with a greater clubhead speed will be like that chewing gum all over again, but at least everyone will be created equal, just like the good ole days when that MacGregor 693T didn’t have any give and everyone was created equal. Most players were hitting 100 compression golf balls and compressing them to the best of their ability. Tigers driver was tested last year after Doral, and Phil’s driver was just tested recently here on the west coast this year. The Driver face on their clubs is nowhere close to being illegal. It’s the optimization of face give along with core give at 125 to 135mph, or what ever their clubhead speed actually is.

I am an honest person, and man enough to admit when I'm wrong. I don't actually own all of those balls that I purported to have owned earlier, your correct Answer. I just own all of the BALLS that really count. That's why you read my name clearly at the end of every one of my posts. And instead of counting all of the words in each one of my posts, why don't you start counting the things that really matter, like the give in the core of the golf ball plus the give in the driver face at X speed squared. Make sure it’s fair and attainable by a majority of professionals. Guys like me are tired of all the cheating going on. One last thing Answer, are you guys at the usga allowed to own stock in publicly traded golf equipment companies?? Being that you’re a non-profit organization, and that you guys are looking out for the integrity of the game I wouldn’t think that would be ethical, I was just wondering.
02.27.2006 | Unregistered CommenterSean Murphy
Sean, it seems like you've seen the length and bredth of the changes on Tour over the past decade (sorry, your player profile is available on Yahoo). Have any of the manufacturers at any point expressed concern with the state of the game, to your knowledge?

I'm not totally convinced that everyone at every company is obsessed with the bottom line. If that were true, I can think of one clubmaker who would have been liquidated by its parent company ages ago. Even so, not too many seem to be vocal about wanting to do anything but what is being percieved popularly as the "correct way to do things" (ie, more length, less spin, etc.).

A company can't survive with myopic vision. Just looking at next year and saying a longer ball is a must is no way to run a business. Surely some of them have looked ten years down the road at something else.

Any ideas or rumors?
02.28.2006 | Unregistered CommenterScott S
Pool balls have a coefficient of restitution of 0.9 to 0.95. Some speed is lost due to sound, among other things. They're not as inelastic as you might think.

Furthermore, CoR is measured by using a steel ball against the face of a driver. "Club-ball" will obviously never even come close to approaching inelastic because the golf ball is elastic. So technically, a CoR of 1.000 between ball/clubface (or even 0.90 as we see between pool balls) would SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the distance the ball travels.

But even all of this is off-topic. Titleist's article was largely correct: there is a bias in the media. That's all it really said. It asked "Where is the Balance?," and believe me, you're not going to find it here. Not in the land of "I'm going to take two unrelated stats and tie them up in some weird equation that suits my opinion regardless of how silly the final formula 'technology + flat rounds played = golf in ruins'" really is."

Better to just up the crazy uncle's morphine drip or let him wander about in the field by himself.
02.28.2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrankpot
Lesse.. Tiger's driver, tested last year at Doral, was at .350, I think. I'm relying on memory from the article on it. He was quoted as saying he wouldn't be able to control anything with a COR above the legal limit, anyway.

I believe the bias Geoff presents here is clear at the front door. As for the media in general (who are these guys, anyway?), how many do write long articles in major golf publications or daily newspapers attacking the big, mean manufacturers? When one does, it seems like big news. "Goodness me, a dissenter!" By and large, the coverage is pretty dry. "Titleist says yadda yadda, former US Open champ says whatsit." Opinion pieces are pretty varied, too. Anything from "Bad USGA, BAD!" to "Gee, I don't see anything wrong, do you?" The "bias" only seems to come out in the opinion peices, but that is what they are for, no?

Sicen the topic is media bias, let's get some examples up. Media bias, as it appears in reports on the issue, not editorials, not opinion pieces, and not any commentaries found on this board or in any of Geoff's books. Let's have it out.
02.28.2006 | Unregistered CommenterScott S
The Titleist article provides examples of media bias, Scott, and I don't believe you recall correctly: 0.350? No. That would be like hitting a golf ball with mud.
02.28.2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrankpot
Crankpot,
You are either very naive or not aware that most golf mags have a bias on this subject: the bias is that they will not write about technology to protect their advertisers.

Is that kind of bias worse than the ones mentioned in the Titleist commentary? And how come the author did not sign their name to it?
02.28.2006 | Unregistered CommenterLOL
Scott S,

I personally have not heard any of the manufacturers expressing any concerns for the state of the game. However, there is concern over innovation, this is evidenced by newer, better, Drivers and Golf Balls coming out every 6 months. It has the appearance to me anyway, of being an all out arms race, kind of like the cold war. Some manufacturers are trying to create an attrition factor with regard to competitors. This appears to be the real motivation. Somebody's got to be King of the Hill.

No, there are some equipment companies that are not overly infatuated with their bottom line. In my un-biased opinion, Cleveland Golf, whose equipment I've used since 1993, started out as a modest club builder. I have personally watched this company grow into a real player in the market place today. Greg Hopkins, it's CEO, stops in the Tour department and visits with every player. Greg's only bias is that he's happy when any players chooses to play Cleveland equipment. Another example of Clevelands principles is my own case. I have had some health problems for the past 5 years and have been continued to be supported by Cleveland. That is pure generosity on their part. Most other companies would have kicked me to the curb a long time ago.

Scott, where the real science (innovation) is being conducted is by the many companies that are in the CLUB and BALL business. These companies have high tech security procedures in place just to be able to visit the testing center. Homeland security could learn a few things from some of these equipment companies. This is where the real optimization is taking place. Albert Einstein would be impressed. As I described earlier, it is flat out cheating, and I'm sticking with that opinion. The USGA (usually something goofy again) needs to send their technicians through some kind of a physics course, required annual update. You know, like having to be re-certified periodically, so that a technician knows whats going on.

Rumors, yes there are all kinds of rumors. The best one is that the PGA Tour is going to enter into the BALL Business. Why not! There dabbling into everything from home lighting to wine now. Why not Golf Balls. I wish I could be in that labortory devising the newest PGA Tour golf ball. Think of all the royalities coming back to Professional Golfers. Now you want to talk about innovation, that Scott, would be the ultimate innovation. Talk about a Capitalistic, free marketplace, world!!! When it's time for a new commissioner on the PGA Tour I want to put my name in the hat.
02.28.2006 | Unregistered CommenterSean Murphy
Crankpot: you are probably right about the COR on Tiger's driver. I just remember the figure being extremely low, which suprised me. Thought it had stuck in memory, but...

As for the Titleist article, how would you have written it so it wasn't biased? That's what I'm trying to figure out. I think most journalists, whether they are aware of it or not, tend to like to write "fight the power" pieces, and appear to be sticking up for the little guy. That said, it is highly unlikely that any of them have enough info on the situation to be able to take much of a stance beyond that. The bias being suggested by Acushnet is akin to conspiracy, which I'm afraid I just don't see.

Unless... no, no. You wouldn't be meaning to suggest that high school science students not be taught the controversy over the evolution of the golf ball, and alternate theories conerning their origins?!!?

Sorry. Couldn't help myself.

Sean: it is nice to see that Cleveland sticks by their staffers. You may be correct that the main ones trying to fight the battle are those making both balls and clubs, which would explain the silence coming from those only making clubs. It will be interesting to see how Taylormade approaches things, now that they are getting into the ball business.
02.28.2006 | Unregistered CommenterScott S
They signed their name to the article. It's on "titleist.com." It's the company's viewpoint and for all intents and purposes, "the company" is the author. I would guess that the article was written and edited by several people.

TaylorMade and Maxfli have long been involved, and since Dean Snell designed the Pro V1 for Titleist before moving to Maxfli and designing the BlackMAX, it's likely they share a very similar viewpoint.

Did golfers 10 years ago swing 125 MPH?
02.28.2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrankpot
Are we still talking about the Biased illegal Golf Balls and Drivers of today?? Wow! I haven't had this much fun since I can't remember.

Crankpot,

Ten years ago players where just coming off 43 inch, steel shafted, woodenheaded drivers. These Drivers weighed 13. to 13.50 ounces. Hogan's Driver back in the day was 14 ounces. So was anyone swinging it 125mph ten years ago?? That would be a definite, NO!

In 1995 BIG BERTHA was taking over the PGA Tour like a Hurricane. It was an 11.25 ounce golf club, with a 45inch shaft weighing in at 65grams, which increased the ARC of the swing, and club head speed increased as a result of bigger Arc and lighter overall club weight. Crankpot, as much as you have been talking about physics, I'm surprised by your question. In college, swinging 13.50 ounces, and 43 inches, I was clocking in at 110mph. Today with an 11 once, 45inch flyswatter, I clock in at 118. I'm 20 years older now and 8mph faster. There's that innovation again. Or is it great athletic prowess???

Crankpot, we use to have two things giving back in the day, shaft and golf ball core, using a 43inch, 13.50-ounce driver. Today we have three trampoline effects giving all at once. That would be the shaft, ball core, and clubface, with all three of these effects, at 45 to 48inches (Vijay and Phil). (with vijay and phil increasing their force yet again, look for a harder core golf ball coming to your local golf store soon) Crankpot, you seem to know all about physics. With a 45-48inch driver weighing in at 11ounces, do you think you would be able to swing one of these lighter clubs faster than the HEAVY SHORTER drivers of 10 years ago?? With that greater swing speed generated with a lighter club weight, moving on a bigger arc, do you think the ball speed would increase coming off the clubface today?? (there’s the correct answer, “Answer”) With there now being three trampoline effects taking place simultaneously, do you think today's golf ball will fly farther than 10 years ago?? With the optimization of face give + golf ball core give being matched perfectly to Tiger and Phil’s club head speed, and then Golf Balls being specifically tailored to them exclusively, while other players are left to make due with those balls, do you think that’s ethical?? Because I don’t, I think it’s cheating.

Athletes might be a bit stronger today than 10 years ago, thanks to Gary Player, but none today are as strong as John Daly was 10 years ago, he was a freak of nature. So Crankpot, all we have to do is go back 10 years ago and look at John's average driving distance. He led the Tour for years with a 283yrd average. But, hey, I suppose John and myself are just dedicated athletes for having taken such great care of our bodies these last 10 years, because we both have gotten even stronger and are swinging it faster than ever, and hitting it further than ever. Crankpot, it has to be the athleticism in John and I, and no way it could be the balls of today and driver faces of today. Ooooppsssss, John really hasn't been taking care of his body come to think of it. Oh well he's hitting it farther today even though he doesn't sleep on some nights before a round. Maybe it’s all that late night cool-aid keeping him limber before those early morning rounds.
02.28.2006 | Unregistered CommenterSean Murphy
Crankpot: I'm confused. Was the biased article you refered to originally the one on Titleist.com, or the one that sparked it? Naturally, we cannot expect Titleist, who holds a position in this, to deliver a completely unbiased opinion. What of the other? Or any other article, for that matter? Please demonstrate the bias, or is the writing up of dissenting opinions bias in itself? As it is, there appears to be only two groups out there: people complaining about the ball, and people who have said nothing. I certainly haven't heard anyone say they want things to keep getting longer.
02.28.2006 | Unregistered CommenterScott S
Gary Player didn't spark the fitness trend. Tiger Woods did.

And the fact that players are using longer drivers that weigh less gets at one of my points: why is everyone so focused on the golf ball? How much ball speed are players picking up by using longer, lighter drivers with larger faces that allow them to miss it a little and still get good results?

Scott S, the bias exists from Titleist - obviously they don't want to endure the cost of throwing away years of R&D because someone somewhere doesn't like how far Tiger Woods hits the ball. But bias also exists, as was pointed out in that article, in journalists. They may say "Hey, I just report what people are talking about" but they don't include themselves in that list of people, despite being the ones responsible for asking the questions (which determines what players say), writing up the stories, taking certain angles, etc.

And John Daly was not the freak ten years ago you think he was. A few guys on Tour now could beat the Daly of 10 years ago.

Incidentally, it seems odd to me that Titleist is almost always at the center of the debate, given that they're one of the most traditional companies out there - their drivers don't have movable weights or composite crowns, their irons are largely of the "player" variety. Their ball, however, has 85% or whatever of the market share and they're outspoken.

I simply do not agree that "technology" needs to be curbed (I think the rules we have in place now - OSD, MOI and Size on drivers, etc.). I would favor a length limit on clubs (perhaps excluding the putter so the pansies can keep chin-putting).

I also fail to see how "technology = drop in ratings and participation." That one simply doesn't make sense. Not in the presence of so many other contributing factors. Golf is cheaper to play in terms of equipment now than 50 years ago (not necessarily with top-tier products), but actually playing - greens fees - are quite a bit higher. Perhaps one of the biggest problems golf faces are the demands we have for pristine playing conditions. How much does that add to the cost to play a round? Perhaps it's too expensive for people to play not because of "technology" but because we golfers expect to play on courses conditioned like Augusta everywhere we go.
03.1.2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrankpot
Crankpot,

1990 was my rookie year on the PGA Tour. I was headed for the showers in Milwaukee, when I passed Greg Norman coming out of the showers, he looked like fricking Hercules. That would have made Tiger all of 15 years old.

Crankpot, how long is your crow bar to your vehicles jack?? And if we shortened your crow bar down to say 6inches do you think you could operate that jack in raising your vehicle off the ground?? I'd like to see that! Crankpot, the longer the lever, the greater the leverage. The longer the lever and the harder the core of the golf ball equates to technology decimating golf at the professional level. You know those high speed cameras that showed us golf balls being squished upon contact with the old wooden driver heads? Just think what one of those balls of 7 years ago would look like upon contact with one of these light 48 inch driver faces. LoL's, hell it might even explode! And if it didn't, it would be like that chewing gum that Tom Wishon explained to everyone here earlier. Which would mean that their would be a tremdous amount of energy absorbed upon contact, thus a shorter drive would be the example.

Crankpot, I am willing to wager a "SIGNIFICANT" amount of money based on these physics, you electrical engineer physics major you, that there is not a player today on the PGA Tour that can do what John Daly did in 1993 using today what John used then. You can pick any 10 guys you want, and we give them the same exact club and ball (physics again) that John Daly used to reach 17 at Baltusrol in 2. Nobody, Nobody, Nobody had ever done that before, and I witnessed it. I'm putting all of my money on the freak of nature against any 10 you want to pick, using the same equipment John used. It's going to take all of your sodering money plus your House Mortgage to come up through this wager. Oh and Crankpot, two things, don't worry about the equipment, I know just where to go to find it, and we can compresion test these balls to make sure there at 100 compression. Secondly, your 10 picks only get one ball and one chance just like John got. But hey, your really getting 10 chances aren't you. Sorry, your probably a mathmatical genius as well.

03.1.2006 | Unregistered CommenterSean Murphy
Sean, I'm not sure why you would waste so much energy arguing something that neither of us can prove. Great, you'd willingly take John Daly. I wouldn't. I can a gree to disagree there.

If you're going to bring up rudimentary physics, please get them right. A longer lever does you no good if you put the fulcrum an inch from the side on which you're going to be pushing down. :-P

Besides, in golf, it's not about the lever but angular velocity, and in that case, "longer" applies to the radius. At the same angular velocity, a clubhead on a longer shaft will be travelling (linearly) faster than one on a shorter shaft.
03.1.2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrankpot
Sean Murphy,

In your response to my first post, you put words in my mouth in order to attack me. Now, you set me up as a USGA straw man and rail against me as some surrogate for your professional frustrations. Why is anyone with a different point of view some sort of boogeyman? In your world, there is no room for people who have examined the facts and come up with a different opinion. And there’s certainly no room for any sort of intelligent discussion.

I originally came to this site because I am interested in all points of view pertaining to equipment. Instead of finding people interested in discussing the issue in an intelligent way, I’ve found a bunch of mean-spirited, close-minded zealots. People with opposing viewpoints are attacked, while you (and others) simultaneously congratulate each other for extolling your narrow-minded agenda. It’s a mass circle-jerk, done solely for your mutual gratification.

I won’t be posting here again. But I would like to ask you a few questions about your post.

“The average swing speed on the PGA Tour is around 112 mph.”

“My grandmother swings it 100mph.”

Oh, really. Another one of your “facts” or another “I have every ball every made” claim that you throw out there until someone calls you on it? Keep making stupid statements like this and the already limited credibility you have will dry up completely.
03.1.2006 | Unregistered CommenterThe Answer
Crankpot, Answer

I have an abundance of Credibility, that's why People read My Name at the end of each one of My Posts as I said earlier. You two Yahoos have no Credibility what so ever because you are both STRAW MEN. To coin a phrase. LoL's.

You guys have your Agenda, which is Pure Propaganda, while I have my Agenda.

My Agenda is to come onto this blog site and lend a hand in Geoff's accurate (statistics) attempts to educate the Golfing World as to the Decimation of Skill Level that is being evidenced at each PGA Tour Tournament Today. Why are players carrying 5 wedges in the bag today??? The innovation (PROPOGANDA) that you guys keep referring to is equivalent of making a spring, spring harder. Nice innovation, but it’s gone toooooooooooooooo………Faaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. There is a reason why you count 3 different fairway bunkers on the 18th hole at the TPC of Scottsdale. And that reason wasn’t “DESIGNED” that way with the intention of having guys “SPRINGING” their Drives over all three of them from 320 yards away. LOFL’s………Give it up STRAW MEN, you've “RUINED” the “GAME” at the Professional level! People watching at home that could once relate to what they were seeing, and felt like they could emulate it, are now flicking the clicker to watch something else. Like watching Pro Bull Riding events, or flicking over to NASCAR and watching cars go round and round and round and round and round. They can no longer relate to Tighter Springs, “SPRINGING” the ball over 20 foot high “BUILDINGS” at the end of the Doral Driving Range from 300 yards away. You two STRAW MEN must like going to CIRCUS acts!!! You both actually remind be of a couple of Clowns. These lost “FANS” sitting at home on weekends can't relate, and so STRAW MEN they don’t relate. Last November’s Chrysler Championship Nielson rating 1.1 opposite Pro Bull Riding Event Nielson rating 2.2. Reported on by Thomas Bonk of the L.A. Times. Why don’t you two Clowns Cry on that one for a while?? Where were the 112 Million Fans that Commissioner Finchem keeps referring to on that given weekend?? They must have been watching that PRO BULL RIDING EVENT! Yeeeeeeeeee………..Haaaaaawwwwwwww!!! And again, my Agenda is to provide a Credible Voice for "Players" and obviously "Fans" that have had it with the whole “Optimization” thang that is going on behind closed testing facilities for a handful of individuals. To me it’s plain and simple; it’s “CHEATING”!!! Does every player on the PGA Tour get to have a CUSTOMIZED Golf Ball manufactured for him “EXCLUSIVELY”????? No, it’s done just for “CHEATERS”. It has nothing to do with “it’s a gentleman’s game” and golf is a “sport of integrity” because with you two STRAW BOOGEY MEN worrying constantly about your own bottom line, we can then begin to see the real “BIAS” that is taking place. Nice Propaganda.

There is too much Wiggle room with the Club Face give and Golf Ball Core give Today, to then be able to DIAL IN A “SPECIFIC” PLAYER “PERFECTLY” so that the SPRING will SPRING it, like no other SPRING could SPRING it, or has ever SPRUNG it, like this SPRING is SPRINGING it today!!! Do you catch my “SPRING” on this “TOPIC”???

Quit being STRAW BOOGEY MEN and start posting you Real Names at the end of your BIASED, Propaganda, Posts. You guys don't have an ounce of “CREDIBILITY”. And I’m basing that on my own personal opinion.
03.1.2006 | Unregistered CommenterSean Murphy
Splendidly informative ... plus, I award game, set and match ... to Sean.
03.1.2006 | Unregistered CommenterJ Michael Kenyon
Sean, sir, you've done yourself a tremendous disservice. No further response is necessary, as you've done plenty of damage yourself.
03.1.2006 | Unregistered CommenterCrankpot

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