Latest On OGA Champions Event

Don Delco in This Week News looks at the Ohio Golf Association's "unified-ball" tournament and has this quote from the USGA's Marty Parkes:

"Fact is we haven't been consulted and don't know much about the competition with one ball other than what we've seen in the press," said Marty Parkes, senior director of communications at the USGA. "We just don't know much of what's going on."
Isn't this the same organization that is studying rolled back balls and trying to gather as much information as it can?

You would think they'd take more interest in an event worthy of study than just not knowing "much of what's going on."


For the Champions Tournament, the OGA has designated a current, modern golf ball for play. While they would not say the brand, Alan Fadel, chairman of the golf ball committee, explained its makeup.

"It's a three-piece ball with a very soft outer cover and low compression that has a very soft feel," Fadel said. "It has the highest spin rate we could find. It's also an approved ball. What has happened is spin has been taken out of the golf ball, and we want to see what high spin does versus what is out there now. It gives us another benchmark, so to speak."

The OGA also is getting scientific. They have hired a company named ISG, inventors of the Trackman system, a sophisticated Dopler radar system that tracks information regarding the flight of a golf ball.

Trackman was used at the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst and will be used in the British Open, July 20-23 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

"We will also survey players and ask them what results they've seen," Fadel said. "We will take that info and compare it to the scientific information and we might be able to share things with the USGA and the industry. If nothing else, it lest people know we're concerned and we'd like to try and protect the integrity of the old courses and game."

According to the OGA, integrity of the game is at stake.

"We want to draw attention that the fact the golf ball has given an unfair advantage in length to higher swing speeds," Popa said. "This makes older courses obsolete. In the old days, someone with 20 miles per hour extra on their swing speeds only gained 10 yards, today it's 30 to 40 yards. Add another 20 miles per hour, and instead of 15 yards it's 50-60 and sometimes 100 yards farther."