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GOLF

What is golf ball roll back? Golf’s governing bodies agree that length does matter

The USGA and R&A have decided that it’s time to make golf courses shorter by restricting the distance that golf balls can travel. It’s been a long time coming, but not everyone’s happy.

Joseph McMahon
Joseph McMahon
jmcmahonztown
Update:
The USGA and R&A have decided that it’s time to make golf courses shorter by restricting the distance that golf balls can travel. It’s been a long time coming, but not everyone’s happy.
JONATHAN FERREYAFP

Professional golfers hit the ball a long way. They crush the ball over 300 yards consistently off the tee. Their distances have been increasing over the years as they get bigger and stronger while using the best clubs out there. The equipment they use is marketed as the same tools amateurs use, but they are equipped with top-of-the line clubs before they ever hit the market. The result? The ball goes far, very far and makes 400-yard par-4 holes a piece of cake for these guys.

So what’s the problem? The controversy explained

Golf courses are what they are, meaning, they can’t be stretched out when the pros come into town. Some courses can be slightly adapted and the tee boxes can be moved back a little, but there’s not a lot of margin when it comes to making golf courses longer. So, the solution is to make golf ball travel less far. How? Probably by using different material or possibly even changing the weight and size, but that’s not the issue here.

The problem is that golf ball manufacturers don’t want to make golf balls for pros and different ones for amateurs. The sector is referring to this as bifurcation as you can see below in Rory’s tweets. Rory, the governing bodies and the golf ball manufacturers don’t understand the frustration this will cause weekend golfers. Rory McIlroy and his weekend playing partners hit drives over 330 yards. Taking off 30 yards for them is no big deal. 15 or 30 yards less for an amateur is a big deal. We all want to hit it far and we’d rather use a 9-iron for our approach than a 7-iron, for instance.

Solution to this controversy is simple

Pro golfers hit the ball too far for the courses they play on so, yes, make them use balls that don’t go as far. Amateurs already struggle with most golf courses. Many older golfers hit driver then 3-wood on most par-4s and still don’t reach the green. Don’t penalize the weekend golfers! We’re still going to lose a lot of balls. Golf ball manufacturers don’t have to worry about that, they’re still going to sell lots of balls whether or not the pros use different ones.

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