After writing about how the modern golf ball is all things wonderful--and no one can argue with its amazing design and construction--Jim Achenbach's gets to the heart of the matter:
Touring pros, aided primarily by technology and greater athletic ability, have become longer because they have learned how to outmaneuver golf ball testing standards. The U.S. Golf Association's Overall Distance Standard now reflects a maximum combined carry and roll distance (under normal test conditions) of 320 yards.
Some players have been known to carry the ball farther than that.Now, you'd think this notion would outrage the USGA and R&A, right?
So when is enough enough for the bombers of the PGA Tour? It may be sooner rather than later.
If the USGA rolls back the golf ball – in a drastic alteration to the rules – it should reimburse golf ball manufacturers for the expense of adapting to the new distance standard.
You laugh, but I can't think of a more appropriate headache for all sides in this caper!
The USGA handing out millions of dollars to ballmakers? Absolutely. It is the only fair thing to do.
With a shorter golf ball, golf courses will move the tees up. Golfers can play shorter courses. Older layouts can regain some of the muscle they lost in the era of golf ball expansion.
Well, no one is going to move tees up. But if they stop wanting to move them back, that would be a nice, nice start.