E. Michael Johnson and Mike Stachura reveal a few new specifics about the Ohio Golf Association Champions Tournament ball, which will be used Aug. 22-23 at Windy Knoll.
According to Alan Fadel, a member of the OGA's board of governors, the ball was submitted for USGA approval earlier this year. "We were told it was on the [conforming] list in June," he said. "In fact, I believe it may have been used on [a pro tour] this year."This is funny...
Still, some of the ball's particulars -- including who makes it -- remain a mystery. The ball, which sports "OGA" as its logo and has "CHAMPIONS 08222306" (the tournament and its dates) as its sidestamp, is not listed as such, meaning it is on the conforming list under a manufacturer's brand name.
Fadel would not reveal the manufacturer, but said the ball is "a three-piece, very high-spin, very low-compression" model. And although the OGA has been consistent in saying it is a "uniform" ball as opposed to a "short" ball, Fadel confirmed the OGA ball is six to seven yards shorter off the driver, five yards shorter off the irons and some 20 yards shorter on drives into the wind for players with swing speeds in the 100-110 miles-per-hour range, where most of the event's participants fall.
The move to a uniform ball may raise eyebrows,
only if you are looking at a 207 drive at waterlogged Newport as a barometer for distance's impact on the game...
but that the OGA is taking this step isn't surprising. The association has a decided maverick streak, having declared a local rule in the early 1980s allowing players to tap down spike marks, leading to a falling out with the USGA. The OGA also was the first U.S. association to ban metal spikes.
"This is not the OGA trying to act contentiously," Wall said. "[But] if it becomes a discussion point for all of golf, then so be it."
As much as I'd like to know what kind of ball it is, the OGA has wisely decided to keep it secret.
They have nothing to gain by revealing the manufacturer and instead make it clear that they are more concerned with the results of their studies, instead of introducing a new ball to golf.
Still, it would be nice to know in case others wanted to, you know, try out the ball.
Reader Blue Blazer awakened from a long slumber to wonder if the balls pictured above came from an overseas company residing in a country where they have no room to keep lengthening courses. He also thought the dimple pattern resembled something from the old Slazenger or Maxfli lines.
Anyone recognize the dimples by looking at the photos?
Either way, we should know soon, since it's inevitable that a tournament contestant or media member will send off a sample to a manufacturer that can do a quick ID autopsy.