On the comeback to tournament golf, Tiger Woods says his knee is trashed and the 14-time major champion has added his voice to the debate about the golf ball going too far.
Tiger Woods has sparked the controversial debate about the modern golf ball going too far by saying he thinks it’s going too far and should be rolled back for the state of professional golf and golf courses.
Woods spoke candidly on American basketball coach Gene Auriemma’s podcast about a whole range of issues from the state of his swing, golf course design and the golf ball. Click link or hear YouTube audio of the full podcast below.
Woods offered up a few tidbits on the state of his swing and in particular the state of his body.
“I’ve had four operations on my knee,” Woods said.
“Forget when my back was bad; pre-surgery and pre-back problems, people were saying the same thing: ‘Why don’t you go back to 2000?’ I can’t. My knee’s trashed from playing that way, I can’t do that anymore. I have to look for a different way.”
But it was his comments about the modern-day golf ball that sparked the biggest debate.
“We need to do something about the golf ball. I just think it is going too far. With the game progressing as it is, I think the 8,000-yard golf course is not too far away,” Woods said.
“That’s pretty scary. We don’t have enough property to start designing these types of golf courses, and it just makes it so much more complicated.”
“The USGA’s already looking at it. They’re doing some research on what would the world look like if you rolled [the ball] back 10%, 15% and 20%.”
Rod Morri at iseekgolf.com wrote a great opinion piece that expands on Tiger’s comments and questions whether in fact there is any need for concern. Morri begins, by addressing the issue of lengthening tournament golf courses to accommodate the increasing distances the professionals are hitting the golf ball.
“The added financial and environmental costs of bigger golf courses aside, it simply defies logic to combat a problem caused by equipment by changing the playing field to accommodate. No other sport does it but in golf it seems accepted.”
Morri also adds that any rolling back of the golf ball would still keep the pecking order in terms of who hits it further and hints at the main stumbling block in making any changes to the golf ball.
“…the only people who benefit from the distance arms race are equipment manufacturers.”
Geoff Shackelford pointed out that this isn’t just Woods complaining about the distance the ball goes now that he is about to embark on another comeback and if one of the old guys. In fact, Woods spoke about this problem in golf for well over a decade now.
“While that’s a reasonable kneejerk reaction, Wood has been on the record for over a decade that the ball doesn’t spin as much and that classic courses are in danger. While he generally tip-toed around the topic, it was fairly clear how he felt: the pro game is less interesting with less spin.”
“I often felt he shied away from the topic in fear of sounding like someone who saw some of his skill advantage stripped away from the modern ball–though he would have been correct.”