OPINION / It’s getting ridiculous, roll back the golf ball

A couple of Australia’s best golf writers have made a desperate call out to roll back the golf ball.

Some of the great golf courses around the world are no longer capable of hosting a professional golf tournament because they aren’t long enough.

While distance doesn’t always correlate with difficulty, professional golfers are overpowering golf courses with a combination of improved athleticism and advanced technology, and in order to remain relevant, clubs are being forced to lengthen their golf courses.

And one of them can be reined up by golf’s ruling bodies.

Specifically there has been a call for many years, from many golfers (including the world’s best) that there should be some restrictions placed on the golf ball so that golf courses aren’t fighting for space and building new back tees.

And two of Australia’s finest golf writers have written a couple of great articles on the topic that are well worth a read.

Golf Australia’s Mark Hayes wrote a great article in the hope that golf’s ruling bodies will do something about the prestigious distances professional golfers are now hitting the golf ball. After the good scoring at last week’s US Open – on a course that measured 7168m and featured some remarkable shots including Brooks Koepka’s 379 yard 3-wood down the last – golf commentator Brandel Chamblee suggested golf courses need to be longer.

And Hayes nearly choked:

Of the flaws in Chamblee’s argument, I’d say the most significant is that if we made courses ever longer, we’re actually diminishing the chances of all bar the power hitters in the field.

On the 72nd tee of this US Open, soon-to-be champion Brooks Koepka was on the threshold of his maiden major, so opted for a 3-wood, presumably for “safety”. He promptly dispatched it a lazy 379 yards. No, that’s not a mis-print.

And then iseekgolf.com’s Rod Morri followed up with an open letter to golf ball manufacturers that also a great read.

It would help rein in the absurd length of many golf courses and the added associated costs that go with the extra yardage.

And it would bring back some of the elements of the game that used to make it much more interesting to watch and play, like shaping the ball and seeing pros hit long irons into par-4s.

But most importantly, a ball roll back would give you credibility and respect among golfers, an asset the value of which cannot be calculated.

Check out both articles:
COMMENT: It’s ball o’clock, surely – Mark Hayes
For the Good of Golf, Roll Back the Ball – Rod Morri


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