In a new Golf World interview with Brian Wacker, Jason Day is asked about the prospects of a limited-distance ball at the Masters and the possible effect on the game.
First off, people would still play the Masters. But if they did that, then they better shorten the tees again. If we have limited-flight balls, we're going to have 4-irons into No. 7 and things like that.
Oh no a long iron! We can’t have that!
You see, the idea is to actually make long par-4s long again and par-5s risky again and maybe even get back to getting the fairways at Augusta National running instead of grainy and slow fairways. But go on…
But do I want the ball to go shorter? No. Why? Isn't it fun watching Dustin Johnson crush a drive over a lake 300 yards away? No one wants to see someone plod it down the right and not take it on. That's boring.
If you push trying to rein it in too far, then people will stop watching golf. People want to see risk.
Actually, when everyone can carry it 300 yards, the thrill of such risk taking is gone because it’s no longer risk. The reward for being genuinely long off the tee has been muted either because so many can do it, or because the courses have no chance of keeping up. That’s boring to watch.
The problem is the architects—some of them, anyway—decided that because the ball is going forever, they need to make courses longer to make them harder. No, you don't. Just be a better architect.
Psssssssst…most architects of the courses you play are….dead. They can’t be better architects.
Even after hearing these rationales for so many years, I’m still surprised at the level of misunderstanding about what is genuinely fun and satisfying to watch.