PGA Player E-Mails from 2006 about equipment

LCD will especially like this stuff below: Very much backs up even more what Lag, myself and LCDV talk about with regards to equipment and how the ‘playing of the game’ is far fetched and not for the betterment of our playing abilities

I will not name the player and I will not post all parts to this series of e-mails…but this guy pretty much hit the nail on the head…and he sent this group e-mail in early 2006 to EVERYONE involved with the PGA Tour-- Commissioner, Officials, Hierarchy, players for discussion. I kept the e-mails as I wanted to see in future when I read them if I was seeing the same things he mentioned.
Of course everyone laughed him off as being sour grapes at the time…I truly get where he was coming from although I didn’t take much notice of his beliefs at the time…It’s fascinating reading

There are a LOT of pages to the e-mail and thoughts…I won’t post all at once but go in segments to allow better review…here is only the first page and a half of about 12 pages…remember this was written in 2006 and of course a blind eye was turned and nothing ever done…

Monday February 6 2006


In the late 1990’s the Senior Tour was on NBC and ESPN. The ratings became so poor the Commissioner was forced to settle on a 4 year deal with CNBC on tape delayed cable channel.
Since the Schwab Cup’s inception in 2001 and the name change to The Champions Tour in 2003 how has that tour faired? Has the Schwab Cup points race created a lot of excitement…
(we can now add Fed Ex Cup into the same discussion)…I added this statement as there was no Fed Ex cup back in 2006
How has the excitement of the Schwab Cup translated into regaining the large audience the Champions Tour once had?.. The simple answer is…it hasn’t
There is a superstar who has played on the Champions Tour for some time now who shared a story with me back in 1998. He revealed that the commissioner was ruining the Senior Tour by reducing the competition every week. He went into great detail about how the courses used to be set up at approx 6400 to 6500 yards where he estimated that 25 players had a very realistic chance of winning each week. And then overnight the courses were stretched to 7200 yards and only 4 or 5 players had the realistic chance of winning. He told me that people would become tired of watching it on TV…was he right?
Everybody seems to be talking about Nascar these days. I really don’t know much about Nascar other than they always seem to be talking about car setup, size of gas tanks, restrictor plates whatever that means and so on. With all these car modifications and specifications and weight and height and so on. What are they doing? Is it not about who can build the fastest car, but instead who the best drivers are? Maybe that’s why there is so much excitement today with people watching Nascar because hell, anybody can build a rocket sled right?
When was the last time any of you looked for a back stop on a green to work a wedge back towards the hole?
When was the last time you teed it low for a drive into a British Open wind?
When was the last time you really worked a ball back against a cross wind to hold it up?
With today’s golf ball you don’t have to at all. Six years ago when the 1st generation ProV1 came out it was a better ball and created a new dimension. It was definitely unique in that it spun less off the driver but still had lots of spin with the irons especially in the wedges. The ball now is about in it’s 5th generation of ProV1. In relation to the first edition the new ProV1 has nothing to do with spin, but instead everything to do with launch angle. Head winds, cross winds…no problem just tee it high and don’t worry. There isn’t enough spin on it today for the wind to accentuate it. It has definitely helped out the 25 handicap level golfer in reducing those huge slices…but…What has it done for players of our level?
Golf has always been three dimensional…in that driving it long and in the fairway meant something.
Being a great iron player in being able to work shots both ways with the correct trajectory meant a good putt for birdie.
And of course good solid putting.
Besides these long par 3 holes we now play we could just toss the 4 wood, 3 iron and 4 iron in the trunk.
The high launching rock that we are playing golf with today is ruining the sport… Golf has become two dimensional…driving long and putting. This new ball has taken out all the imagination and shot shaping there once was. When the ball was going to spin too much under certain circumstances you had to learn how to hit shots that would reduce that spin. That took skill…Today, spin is not a factor as it’s all about launch angle. Today’s ball is never going to spin too much…all you have to do is get it in the air”

Uh, yeah… I remember when I first tried the ProV, I’d been off staff for about a yr & a half just playing part time & teaching part time. I was the last hold out of anybody I knew playing the HTs & Professionals. I messed around with solid balls for years & years, from the Tour Editions to the HP2s to the ones Faldo played, I don’t even remember what they were called & nothing ever had the all around performance of a top quality wound ball. By the time the ProV1 came out I figured it was just another fad that’d be gone in a year. EVERYBODY bought into it though, even guys like Faxon who I’m pretty sure was still using a Tour Balata went running for the hills because Tiger was bashing their skulls in & then rubbing their noses in it. The change in attitude was as fast & as drastic as flipping a light switch. I could not believe it that EVERY traditional player it seemed in the world was all of the sudden distance happy & throwing away everything that made them great players in the first place. Player after player leaving Mizuno & Hogan for Ping & Callaway. The first time I saw John Leavitt with a bag full of Big Bertha’s my jaw dropped.

I finally gave in & tried the ProV. It was getting harder & harder to find balatas so what the hell. I played Woodland Hills CC, Brookside #1 & Lakeside. After 3 rounds what I got out of it was that it didn’t fly all that much further off the driver but it was a flatter trajectory, hit the ground hotter and was damn near impossible to work (I think I was hitting a 975D with a ProForce 65). With the irons I thought it was one of the worst ‘performance’ balls I’d ever played. The shorter the club, the hotter it was. I was airmailing everything, from a 3 down to about an 8 it was a club longer but the flight was ok. By the time I got to the wedges everything went off in my hands like a shotgun. 95 yd SWs were going over 120 & I couldn’t keep them out of the sky. It was insane & unlike anything I’d ever even imagined. I hated them & gave the rest away after those rounds.

Fast forward a few months and I can’t even find any HTs anymore. Like they never existed, I must have called every golf course & shop in SoCal. The entire game had flipped to what it is right now, I said to hell with it, besides I had real life to deal with anyway. I played a couple of dinky events at the beginning of '03, shot 74 at Saticoy in the US Open local q, I think that was my first round over par there in way over 5 yrs; went home, put my clubs away in the garage & just

I just left them there, never even considered playing again until I found the ABS Site in 2009. Thank you again for the site & everything else.

Man do I like it here!!! :smiley:

Part 2 of the e-mail (of about 10-12 parts)

"Tiger Woods has often stated that if he ruled golf he’d make some changes…
‘I’d like to see more spin added to the golf ball so misses would be more pronounced and good shots more rewarded’ …he says in a golf digest article…‘Anytime you bring maneuverability back into the game of golf it’s going to favor the better players who understand how to control the golf ball’

If you raised the basketball rim a foot and made it 4 inches larger would it still be basketball? If you dropped the net in tennis 3 inches would it still be tennis? If you widened the net in hockey would it still truly be hockey? If you made a baseball a little smaller and raised the pitchers mound a foot would it still be baseball.? All of these sports would still exist but they would become an entirely different form of themselves. If these sports were to change in these ways would people still be interested in watching? When I was young and played little league baseball we played with aluminum bats. You can still use aluminum bats at college level today but why have aluminum bats never been allowed in Major League baseball? Is it because someone might be able to create a hot spot on the aluminum bat? With all the technological advances every 6 months in golf, why as an organization that is dependent on fans watching live and on largely on television do we not draw the line at these advances? We have gone beyond skill and imagination today. We need to go back to the days where there were shots that required you to know how to play them and reduce spin or increase spin and curvature for the correct shot that had to be played. Those were the days of skill and imagination.

Peter Dawson secretary of the R & A…“One of the thing I don’t like to see- and I know it is shared by many golf administrators- is this disconnection between driving accuracy and success”

Alas the R&A and the USGA are only confusing themselves about what is at stake here. Or they simply don’t care what happens at the professional level since the professional golfer makes up about 1% of the entire golfing public. How many scratch golfers or former professional tournament golfers work at either the R & A or the USGA? It’s easy to make rules for 15-25 handicappers when you’re a 15-25 handicapper yourself. These two organizations have no common sense simply because they have no personal experience at the highest levels… Look at the US Open at Bethpage in the USGA’s attempt at defending the 10th hole where many players couldn’t even reach the fairway with their tee shot. It has been well documented the past few years the staggering advances the ball is traveling. In fact last year (2005) there were thousands of drives over 350 yards recorded on the PGA statistics alone, yet nothing has been done.

Authorities on the topic at the professional level have voiced their concerns to the governing bodies.
Jack Nicklaus ‘It is evidenced by looking at the top 5 money earners on the PGA Tour. Not one of them is in the top 20 for driving accuracy. I am not saying they can’t play differently but they have chosen power over strategy because it is now more rewarding’
Tom Watson on Augusta National…’ It’s too long a golf course for me. I can’t even get a good punch in at Augusta and I agree with jack, that the ball oughta be pulled back. Courses are being made too long and look at the mess they have had to make with St.Andrews to keep up with this length’
Greg Norman…‘The distance the pros hit the ball now is affecting the long term vitality of the game. And lengthening and toughening golf courses is adding expense and required to play the game’

The governing bodies response to views such as Nicklaus, Watson and Norman…Let’s change the grooves on the wedges…It’s laughable

So golf isn’t about how you arrive anymore it’s if you can arrive
A driving accuracy of less than 50% used to mean maybe mid 50%-60% in greens in regulation based on this very average driving statistic …Not anymore. It’s easier to hit greens in regulation with a short iron from the rough compared to what used to be the norm… so iron play has essentially evaporated.

The joke is complete by the recent allocation of money towards a reconstruction of the TPC at Avenel and a complete overhaul at the TPC Sawgrass. 26 million for Avenel and 34 million for Sawgrass!!! So we are now going to spend 60 million on two facilities to accommodate this new form of golf. Why now?..especially when fewer people are watching and participating.
Is it just me, but can we not draw the line on technological advances in order to protect the integrity of out sport? And if we in fact the players voted to do such a thing, what could we really honestly do with 60 million dollars instead of spending it on reconfiguring two TPC facilities"

I’m glad I missed out on having to work through all the modern innovations. Had I been playing full time during that period, I would certainly have been the frog in the slowly boiling pot of water that never jumps out because the temperature rise happens to slowly to fire the “get me out of here” impulse nerve.

Hopefully what has happened to golf will be a lesson learned, and history will view this time as one of a failed experiment and the game will be put back into more traditional values. I don’t think golf was ever meant to be favoring one body type over another… or just hit it a mile and putt good. The beauty of the game was the equality is could present. That a short straight hitter could go against an long bomber, and even have an advantage. Accuracy was meant to be king. If you could also hit it far, then you could gain some advantage… some. Because courses were tighter, distance wasn’t as interesting because one mistake and it really would cost you.

There was a fine Canadian player Jerry Anderson and we were both playing Canada and Australia at the same time. Jerry won the Order of Merit in Canada, and also had good success in Australia. He even won the European Masters one year. Jerry was not in any way a long hitter. On the short side, but he could compete to win anywhere. When he got his US PGA Card, which he typically did not even try for annually and why I don’t say “finally” got his card… he struggled on the PGA Tour because the PGA Tour version of golf was not his thing. Pete Dye stadium courses were not playing into his strength of being a gamey accurate shotmaker.


63 66 66 66? Persimmon and blades? You got my respect. I learned so much from the times I played with Jerry… just DON’T MAKE MISTAKES!

I bring up Jerry, because he was typical of that style of player… and I just couldn’t understand why the game should eliminate him from high level competition. I remember him playing in the final group on Sunday at The Australian Open at Royal Melbourne with Greg Norman while Greg was #1 in the world. Their style of play could not be more opposing… such the former beauty of golf. I resent that the powers that be are deciding Jerry shouldn’t be there. :smiling_imp:

I realized that the PGA Tour was just one version of golf. No better or worse, different… only better in the prize money, but not necessarily better in the bigger picture of golf. Gary Player won all over the world more than anyone, and I would make a legitimate argument for Gary being the greatest ever because he won EVERYWHERE.

Any of the pros around here that have played some of the faraway tours such as the pre 90’s Asian Tour know exactly what I mean.

How about putting on crabgrass greens? I am not kidding. I have putted on them in tournaments… and it takes a different technique to putt well on them. I personally like the idea of a player that can adapt to that… or anything else that nature throws at us. I don’t need every green surrounded by railroad ties to make golf legitimate.

This is where architecture comes into golf. A quality designer is thinking … how will this hole play when the wind is blowing from all the directions… and how will it play when the greens are soaked or windswept and dry as bone. How will this hole play when the fairway is running out… or balls plugging in the fairways after a rainstorm. A great golf course will always be playable… and does not rely upon it being a clear day with a light breeze under “perfect” conditions.

When you are on tour… you know about playing under a barrage of conditions. I played Q school one year in a light snowstorm in Indiana. They didn’t halt play until it started collecting on the ground and we couldn’t find our ball, white on white.

I am a firm believer that golf and especially pro golf should be offering up VARIETY! I would like to see some events where the players play on public courses with slow grainy greens. Some tight courses, some super tight courses AND some long monster courses too. This whole idea of trying to homogenize golf into “One Thing” is not interesting to me.

Now this is getting depressing because it’s almost verbatim the arguments I made on here over three yrs after the fact. God that sucks but at least im not alone. This is fantastic stuff btw maybe there are enough guys to make a Retro Tour happen, I still won’t enjoy getting my butt kicked but at least it’ll make sense again.

I disagree that anything should be called a retro tour… because golf is golf… it’s what is going on now that should be called
The ___________tour… I’ll let you all fill in the blanks… but a game DOESN"T HAVE TO CHANGE every five minutes to keep it interesting.

I believe that golf just needs restoration work… like a fine classic persimmon. Just put it back to specs or like a good tube stereo amp.

Restore the courses, the ball, the clubs, the players golf swings. No big deal. Easier than trying to go where some non golfers think golf should go.

I do believe it will happen.

I’m sold. I know the TRGA Rules debate & really really don’t want to reignite it BUT the things I would like to see before I invest time & money would be pretty simple

  1. Universal wound ball. Ideally if this is really gonna happen the organization has to provide the competitive balls on the first tee. PLAYER A will be playing no 1s & PLAYER B will be playing no 2s. Each player gets 6 balls for 18 holes & if they run out or destroy them they’re DQd. That’s an expense that will have to be built into the budget either through donations or sponsorship for manufacturing or purchase of tournament balls. If it catches on at retail sale of new wound private label balls could finance a lot of things.

  2. Ease up & simplify the club requirements: no metalwoods of any kind no woods with more than 20° loft or 44", all steel shafts on everything, no irons over 56° or 40", no putters over 37" or anchoring to the body. All clubs must be of a “traditional or straight shape”, no heel-toe weighting even on putters & no exotic materials. Have the starter ok the clubs on the tee and give him final verdict.

  3. No yardage books, no caddies. Pin sheets & scorecards only.

The rest of the stuff, drops & whatever I can figure out no problem, the only thing that matters is that it’s consistent throughout the field. But the caddy thing is big. This is supposed to be quasi-athletic & individual. You don’t need somebody to carry yo s#!t, be your babysitter or psychologist. The idea at this point is archaic & more than a little latently racist when you look at the history of the game. Dump it, the player walks and carries his bag, period. Plus it further levels the field.

Oh yeah No Clothing Endorsements!! It’s cheap, it’s disgusting and I am not a billboard. Put signs up on the course, fine but not on me. I’ll never do it again, it made me feel like a whore and it has no place in the game.

All good ideas…

Except for not allowing caddies. On the other hand I guess one could do some thigh crunches to prepare for the season, or maybe if all the tracks are real flat terrain that wouldn’t be so bad.

Or some human growth hormone that affects only the thighs should be allowed, and then tell the caddies to take a hike. :laughing:

part 3 of e-mail burst series from one player back in early 2006

"When was the last time that distance and accuracy combined really meant something?..It was when the golf ball wasn’t so hot.

In 1989 Greg Norman was 15th in driving distance and 27th in driving accuracy…In 1990 he was 4th in distance and 51st in accuracy. In 1993 Norman was again high in both categories with 9th in distance and 33rd in accuracy with Nick price right behind him 11th in distance and 35th in accuracy. Up until the year 2000 we would see the highest finishes on the money list where also golfers who could hit a large percentage of fairways with reasonable distance . There was correlation. The total driving category in 2000 and beyond started to change in that the highest money winners started to drop considerable down the total driving category statistics.
In 2005 on the PGA Tour the top 3 players- Tiger Woods, VJ Singh & Phil Mickelson- finished 188th, 147th and 161st respectively in driving accuracy. To them apparently only power matters.

When you are missing 50% of the fairways and playing out of PGA tour rough is it really just about the grooves? or maybe it’s because you have short irons in all day long.

This is the USGA and R&A’s reaction when something is so blatantly obvious. Craig Stadler can’t kneel on a towel to keep tree sap off his slacks without being disqualified for building a stance yet players are allowed to anchor the putter grip to their chest or gouge themselves in the belly in order to build a grip. It’s the 15-25 handicappers making up the rules for our sport. These guys have been spending too much times at the 19th hole. Is the PGA Tour really stuck on abiding with these ludicrous decisions?

There is a reason why people are getting tired of watching golf being played…is it the golfers? PGA golfers are still great. Is it the golf ball? Is it because no one watching at home can hit a drive 350 yards? Is it the stretching out of courses where realistically only half a dozen guys have a real shot at winning? Is it all the decisions being made exclusively without our player consent by those at PGA headquarters?

When you get beat out on the Nielson rankings for a weekend by a pro rodeo bull riding event, it’s time to start really asking some hard questions. It needs input from all PGA players and have their voice heard instead of finding out decisions after the fact. When you are cut deep and badly hurt sometimes it requires medical attention instead of just slapping a band aid on and hoping it somehow all just works out "

It makes a few of us not feel so alone!

Interesting posts… appreciate you putting these up for us to ponder.

Part 4 of email blast by pga player in 2006

"…I have to ask when are we going to right this ship? In every other sport that involves a ball there is a standardization for that ball. That’s what gives these other sports their integrity. The reason for this is ‘to maintain the credibility and integrity of the sport and ensure that scoring is based on individual skills and effort as opposed to artificial means’.
Some ‘Executive Players’ on the PGA tour today are being fitted exclusively for ‘Face Give’ + "Golf Ball Core Give’ all based on a ‘certain individual’s specific’ clubhead speed. After these ‘executive players’ have been fitted, manufacturers are manufacturing ‘their balls’ for them and then doling out the same ball to other ‘professional players’ and leaving many players to make due with these specific tailored balls that really don’t fit them as ‘other professional golfers’. If only every player could have a golf ball manufactured for them individually!!
Does anyone remember the illegal Browning Reflex irons in the 1970’s? The face on these irons had give and thus the USGA banned them. Thanks in large part to the ‘King’s’ endorsement of clubs like them a number of years back, the original founded position was overturned. Face give, according to the ‘King’ was going to make the game more enjoyable for the average golfer. Little did he know that what was going to make golf more enjoyable for the ‘average golfer’ was also going to ruin the integrity of the sport at the professional level. The USGA reversed their decision because of his endorsement and this alone has led to a tremendous amount of innovation…(what will they think of next?)…
These are my beliefs based on my professional experiences and I should be entitled to that opinion. What we are witnessing today on the PGA Tour, which is really sad by the way, is a group of select individuals that are now armed with a ‘man made slingshot’. This slingshot has cost a hell of a lot in expenditures to many golf courses across America (world) and many of these expenditures are a direct result of these decisions and some of the greatest championship golf courses are right now ‘obsolete’
How many times in the past 6 years have they redone Doral ‘The Blue Monster’??..Augusta National…how many times have they had to change that course??

To give a frame of reference for performance…with a driver the difference in carry distance between a head of COR 0.820 and another head with a COR of 0.830 would be 4.2 yards for a swing speed of 100 mph. It is true that as swing speed increases the distance is greater. And likewise as swing speed decreases the distance difference for each increment of the COR measurement is less. This is one reason why the USGA rule which limits the COR of a clubhead has the effect of penalizing the slower swing speed golfer much more than the high swing speed player.
Instead of penalizing a lack of skill…let’s penalize a lack of strength!!! Let’s give the ‘big ball bashers’ who already have an advantage with strength and let’s ‘exponential’ it and 'further…let’s bring back the 'gimme and mark some players putters at 18 inches and others at 24 inches…let’s disqualify a player for ‘building a stance’ by putting a towel down to keep tree sap off his pants and outlaw a bulge and waist paddle putter grip,… but let’s go ahead and allow people to ‘chin putt it’ and ‘belly gouge’ it in order to build the perfect grip… I’m laughing so hard I’m crying or am I crying so hard that I’m laughing? Which way is the bar?..I’ve had it with all the ‘innovation’. You fellows at the USGA are welcome to join me…the double dry martinis with a twist are on me!!"

If the golf courses are tight enough, and the rough is long enough, then it doesn’t really matter much about how far guys hit it.
If every time they drive the ball 40 yards off line they are reloading and making double bogey like they should, then they might think twice about swinging for the fences.

A higher spin rate ball would also be sending the 40 yard off line shot even farther off line… maybe 60?

As much a shame as it has been for golf… I do see tremendous opportunity for offering up a more traditional version of golf.
I really see the solution as being separate versions of the game… like other sports have done. It’s the only thing that makes sense, or at least to keep everyone happy.

Can we find out more about this? Who are the players the email is alluding to, and how prevalent is the practice in today’s game other than maybe Tiger. Now that is outright wrong!! I would be bitching too. :slight_smile:

No offense, but where the hell have you been? Furyk, Mickelson, Kim, Els, DL3, Appleby, Ochoa, every damn one of them for years. Get on the USGA site & look at the list of approved balls for competition, especially the Srixons, there’s gotta be a hundred variations, what do you think, the guys in the lab are bored?!? Blow it up, burn the whole thing down at this point the entire concept of the Tour is a total loss.

The guys who are really getting screwed by it are the great young players like Gipper Finau. When I put my persimmon in his hands it was unreal. Ben Hogan & Sam Snead would have stopped in their tracks. 310 on a string, baby lean fade, perfect trajectory on a rope ALL DAY with a 12 yr old Tour Balata. The weight got him like Johnny Miller deep in the slot and took his lines from CHIII to compressed square and stone cold PERFECT; and he has shots & a putter, but when I talked to him about controlling trajectory and eliminating the left side he blew me off like I was Grampy Jones, tell me he just shot 64 and to chill out. This is the single most talented player I’ve ever seen in my life he’s even got a real support system & a good head on his shoulders but he’s never gonna come even close to fulfilling his potential because the game is totally and utterly broken. That’s the real crime here and it should sadden & enrage all of us.

Any revolution starts with a few angry men! :smiling_imp:
Welcome to the angry club! :imp:

We got some irons in the fire… change is a coming!