The technophobic press is really warming to this idea of addressing distance gains at the pro level and I just enjoy copying and pasting this so much!
The SI/Golf.com gang this week responded to the USGA's Mike Davis calling the leaps horrible for golf courses. The chat included Michael Bamberger, John Wood (Kuchar caddie), Josh Sens, Jeff Ritter, Joe Passov and Alan Shipnuck.
Bamberger: I couldn't judge the hurt-the-economics-of-golf question. The modern ball has made Tour golf, for me, less interesting and more of a slog. At my level (92-shooter!) the longer ball with space-age equipment has made the game more enjoyable but at the expense of beauty. I'm in favor of a ball for them and a ball for us. I think a softer ball that curves more is a better test of golfing skill at the highest level.
Ritter: Totally agree. I've never hit the ball farther than I do today, and that's certainly a blast. But the pros are decimating classic courses. The ball isn't the lone culprit, but it's certainly a factor. I see no harm in a ball for the Tour pros, and one for the rest of us.
Wood: I'm 100 percent agree with Michael. There's no reason to change the ball for the everyday player. (By the way, if you're a 10 handicap or more, you'll shoot the same score with a decent range ball that you would with one from a $60 per-dozen price tag, speaking of economics.) I can only comment on the competitive aspect of the balls. Shrink the allowable head size of a driver and roll back the ball a bit for the best of the best, and I think the game at that level gets more interesting as well as preserves classic courses for major championships
Any day now we are going to have a reduced-driver head distance study released, I just know it. Because no matter how you feel about the impact of distance, wouldn't it just be fun to know how much today's larger driver heads allow players to gain distance. Or not?