I was flipping through some books last night reading quotes about the distance debate and one in particular actually made me laugh at its ridiculousness. (More on that below).
Not coincidentally, the quote came from the subject of Jack Nicklaus' frustration.
From Randall Mell at GolfChannel.com, offering even more from Nicklaus's distance comments and suggestion of pending USGA/R&A action.
“Titleist controls the game,” Nicklaus said. “And I don't understand why Titleist would be against it. I know they are, but I don't understand why you would be against it. They make probably the best product. If they make the best product, whether it's 20 percent shorter ... What difference would it make? Their market share isn't going to change a bit. They are still going to dominate the game."
Titleist representatives could not be immediately reached by Golf Channel.
Huh, they're hovering around media center all the time even though they're not media and in general, despise the media!
“It's not about [Titleist]. It's about the people watching the game and the people that are paying the tab. The people paying the tab are the people that are buying that television time and buying all the things that happen out there. Those are the people that you've got to start to look out for.
“And the growth of the game of golf, it's not going to grow with the young kids. Young kids don't have five hours to play golf. Young kids want instant gratification.”
Forget the kids, the rest of us don't want five hours either!
As for the laughs, here was the quote mentioned above, reprinted in The Future of Golf, from now-retired Acushnet CEO Wally Uihlein in full conspiracy mode, way back in July 2003, Sports Illustrated:
"The print and electronic media have promoted a technophobic agenda since the start of the season, featuring such tabloid-ready headlines as 'The Weapons Race,' 'Ban this Ball or Els,' Going the Distance With Souped Up Golf Balls, and 'Cooling Hot Drivers.' The 24-hour Golf Channel contributes to the hysteria by allowing selected talent to spew one-sided antitechnology commentary and conduct 'leading the witness' interviews."
Here is the video from GolfChannel.com with Alex Miceli asking questions: