It's both heartening and amazing that the game has reached a point we are seeing the governing bodies taken to task in mainstream publications over their push for green speeds to mask the distance explosion.
Ewan Murray of The Guardian files an excellent must read on the various green speed fiascos we've seen of late, capped off by the Oakmont rules mess that was undoubtedly a product of the speed push.
Golf’s ruling bodies also opted to ban the anchored putting stroke, and were right to do so, but their sleeping at the wheel for a far more serious equipment issue is a glaring contradiction. It does nothing to douse the argument that manufacturers have too much power. This resonates in junior golf; emerging players do not shape shots – and can’t anyway, given the way balls are constructed – because they have no need to. Blasting it high and long generally, not quite exclusively, is the answer. At members clubs everywhere, sadly, discussions over how to make modifications aimed at offsetting how far the ball now goes are commonplace.
Golfweek's Bradley Klein says "we're facing a crisis in green speeds" and explains how it's not surprising to see a ball like Dustin Johnson's move given the low cutting heights. Noting that the Oakmont crew, which had the course in perfect condition, was merely following orders, Klein writes:
At those speeds, we have approached an end point in what is humanly controllable.
At most courses, players who demand faster green speeds are not playing by the Rules of Golf. Most golfers cannot handle speeds of 11 or more.
What the USGA confronted cannot be understood simply as a rules violation. It’s an asymptotic moment in the evolution of green speeds. We have reached the end of the green-speeds arms race.