Prediction: Comeback POY 2010

Jose Maria Olazabal.

I haven’t heard anything about him in a long time, I hope he is in good health regardless of all else. If so he could have a big resurgence next year.

I’m surprised no one in this forum has brought this up yet, the impending U groove ban; because the way golf is played on the PGA Tour is about to change dramatically. It is my opinion that this is going to change the swings and equipment we see on TV, as well as the names on trophies and atop the money list more drastically than any one rule change in our lifetimes. WHY? and HOW?

The U groove ban is designed to bring flyers back to the tour, plain and simple, and believe me it will. Flyers occur when a shot from light to medium length rough does not compress as fully as the player intends and the ball shoots off the club with less spin and on a more parabolic flight than they desire because too much grass is caught between the clubface and the ball at impact. Thus the shot often flies 10-25 yards longer than anticipated and even if the player accounts for this the ball still lands so shallowly and hot, with little spin that it will bound past the target and more than likely into a spot that is very difficult to recover from. This will be a much bigger problem than it has ever been with the new V grooves and a solid core ball which by design already spins much less and travels more parabolically than the wound balls of old. Combine this with the light, perimeter weighted clubs and the upright swings, shallow angles of attack of modern tour players in search of distance at any cost and the result is gonna be a lot of guys looking for nine irons 10 rows up in the stands…

I’m pretty confident that if every tour player were polled on what their keys to scoring were, distance control on approach shots would be a close second behind only putting percentage inside 10 feet. Thus with the new grooves and the 2 1/2 inch rough that they are playing from about 6 or 7 times a day, this is now a big problem. All of the sudden the stat that no one has cared about for almost 10 years, fairway pct. is gonna mean something again. This should be music to Lag’s ears. This time next year, there are going to be a lot more steel shafted, heavier drivers in the bags and the swings are going to start to change too. Percentage wise, it is going to once again be better to be 170 in from the fairway than 135 from the rough. .The pins today are closer to the edges than they have ever been, and every player is playing percentages, until now the U grooves meant more birdies from closer even if in the rough. V grooves mean more birdies from further back but in the fairway. Way more bogeys from the rough, and those are obviously the killer. The entire approach to shotmaking has to adapt, and that will mean flatter, more controlled swings and equipment to match.

Which brings me back to Ollie. His swing is hurt more by Titanium than any I have ever seen. I hope he dusts off his old persimmon driver and has a great year, no matter what he uses he is still the best with the 5 iron down through the wedges I’ve ever seen with my naked eye. A few years ago I caddied for a friend who qualified for the Nissan in the Monday Class A qualifier and Tuesday afternoon JMO was next too us for about an hour and a half on the range. I was mesmerized. He started with the wedge hitting all baby fades, like 20 per club, one by one all the way through the 2 iron. At the end there were nine piles of 20 balls 12 yards one behind the othe straight down the range. Back to the wedge and now baby draws, same trajectory as the fades. Nine more piles all like 25 feet to the left. After he left I took a look at his divot pattern, and perfect is not a good enough term. To this day I’ve never seen a session as impressive. Until I saw the drivers, I really wanted to cry. Everywhere, no control of the fight or traj, I wanted to rip it out of his hand and throw it away. If there is anyone who would be helped by having to lay back for control it is Ollie. Go get 'em!

The only problem is companies have already changed the golf ball again to offset the grooves. Remember it effects more out of the rough and poor olazabal hits it off the planet with his driver but i hope yur right he’s a great player past champion and great guy. Only the majors is where the rough comes into play so the more accurate players will still prevail. The bob hope will still get to 35 under. Wants amazing USGA wants grooves changed on 25 degrees loft or more so u still can hit a 5 iron out of the rough with old irons and the way Tiger hits towering long irons he can stop it on a penny from 200yds out in a 6 ft box! According to PGA statistics Tigers best number is 150 yds to 175 yds leads the tour in closeness to pin.How many tornaments do these gous play where the rough is 2 to 4 inches? I wish they would play like Hogan did at Olympic where the rough was a foot long then we would see some promblems. Riviera can be tough but the fairways are big 5 or 7 is the only narrow fairways so course setup they must bring the fairways in. The masters even has a cushion after the fairway?

That’s a courageous call lecoeure and I hope you’re right–that it does cause big changes.

Some interesting stats on the average driving accuracy of the top 10:

48.3 between 1980 and 1989;

77.5 between 1990 and 2002;

120.4 between 2003 and 2006

In other words, nothing we didn’t already know.

Both Tiger Woods and Stephan Ames having been playing with the V-grooves and the new ball since mid-2009 without much change in scoring.

Numbers above are the averages of the top 10’s ranking positions in driving accuracy btw.

MIckelson playing with new irons also.

my prediction is that it will make zero difference.
The marketing of the PGA Tour is geared toward long driving on wider courses. Isn’t the slogan “These Guys are Good!”
We’ll, they want everyone to believe that… so all they have to do is drop the mowers a half an inch or an inch on the already
trampled down rough… and that takes care of that… and then they can keep saying… “look, these guys are so good it makes no

As a spectator you will know I am speaking the truth when you still see balls holding the greens from the rough.

I don’t see the textured milled faces being addressed… so that is another option for them to skip around the pony.

When Twomasters and I were playing on tour in the 80’s, it was very rare that you could hold the green from the rough… so you either chipped to get up and down from the back rough, or you played a run up shot if you could, or you simply played to the side of the green that would leave you the most space for your chip or pitch… and you made your par with an up an down. Nowadays, guys are going at tucked pins from the rough? What’s the point of having rough then? Where’s the strategy in the game? Where are the David and Goliath battles? Pavin against Norman on the final nine? Call me crazy, but I think that made the game much more interesting, and gave a lot of hope to the average golfer who only drove the ball Pavin’s 230.

Holy Bitter Batman!!

I’m having this weird hallucination about this Korean guy nobody even took seriously ranked like 120 beating the dominant player of this generation head to head at the PGA and right before that a British Open where a 59 year old beloved 5 time champion put together 4 magical days and lost in a tear jerking playoff… I guess I need to check my meds again. Oh yeah, and wasn’t Corey Pavin a 2 time All-American on a UCLA team that was regarded as the best ever; then multiple times led the money list and was ranked top ten for more than a decade? Nice underdog…

And if Tim Finchem wants every event to win at 30 under, then why is he changing the rule? Why has the tour pushed the tees back off the property and put the pins 8 feet on? He is as tired of this mess as the rest of us. The Tour isn’t the problem, the manufacturers have been all along. They’ve been bullying and buying the USGA and R&A like tabacco lobbyists for decades and no one has ever stood up to them and put their money where their mouth is. Hell even the tour players hate the status quo. Tiger, Norman, DL III, Leonard, Couples, Crenshaw, Els, TA III to name a few have all gone on record saying they wish the tour would crank the distance back on the ball or go back to wound balls and put real regulations on performance enhancing equipment.

I really think this ban on U grooves is going to have a big effect. It’s also the first time the PGA Tour has put a stricter regulation on anyhting than the USGA. Hopefully it’s a test case to be followed by other stricter rules to get back to a truer test at the highest level. It is possible John that your thoughts on the new equipment are shared by a lot more people than you think. I’m sure you’ve played Merion, where the Open is going to be in three and a half years, where Hogan hit ‘The One Iron’… Who really wants to see guys with bad swings hitting 3 wood L wedge into the same hole and turning the rest of maybe the second most historic championship venue in the country into an executive course? And it’s not like this is the first time so called technology has threatened to ruin the game of Golf. It just so happens that the techno stuff works a lot better than most of the previous generations. In the middle of your beloved Persimmon Age, do you remember the old Golfcraft Glass Shafts? You could hood a nine iron and hit it higher than the Chrysler building and 180 yards, until it shattered and killed somebody. And the wound ball not that long ago was going to make every course obsolete. No thank you, I will keep my trusty gutta percha, or better yet keep making my own featheries in the garage. Where’d that goose go, anyway?

The game will survive and thrive as it always has. Rule makers and the tours are starting to reign in the manufacturers and the best players will eventually figure out that the game requires precision, a lot more than they are currently exhibiting. This U groove ban is big, I really believe it is the start of something.

Unfortunately the grooves will not do a thing like Lag says these guys will and always have been able to get up and down from garbage cans. They tried to make courses longer sorry didnt work they tried to tigerize Augusta didnt work they put pins in tough spots didnt work. The tournament scores keep getting broken every yr plus the fans love it. Manufactures run the golf world remember when they invented cars thatcould run on air Goodyear put a stop to that immediately when theres billion of dollars and thousands of jobs at stakes manufactures win no matter how much we complain or cry its how the world is run. Yes u had odd guys winning Corey won at Milwaukee a tight short course and yrs ago was a star but the game passed him up and quickly Daly proved u can hit 350 yds and over trouble 2 fairways over and win the bomb and gouge era. Its the same players at the top evvery yr Tiger set the bar yong and strong 200 yd 6 irons sure your going to have crazy winners shotmaking has left the game was fortunat to play with Kevin Stadler at course i use to work i told him 3 wood sligth draw 250 yds and you’ll have a 9 iron what did he do driver straight up and over towering trees and left with 40yd sw. You cant regulate golf balls once again chaos amongst manufacuters so there goes 1 ball rule clubs are u kidding me i’m hitting further today then when i was 19 and i’m 48 to me no such thing as a long course when i can hit 3 hybrid 235 yds and towering and stop it. Grooves will only affect amatuers who don’t hit it properly and they don’t have to change till 2024!

I’m sorry but whatever language the previous post was written in I don’t recognize it. Can someone translate that into English please?

From the little I can decipher the prev just reiterates my position. The PGA Tour is at the crossroads and it does have precedent to break stride from the USGA as it has previously done with the PGA of America. I will not dignify the part about ‘cars that run on air’ with a response, but I cringe nonetheless.

Ollie had some good rounds towards the end of the year in Portugal and Spain but POY? I very much doubt it. Don’t get me wrong though, I’d be delighted if he did make it.

2010 will be all about Rory. :sunglasses:

I suppose the game has just got too big… because the first priority is the logistics of 30,000 spectators… so tight tree lined courses don’t work… or other tough off the fairway terrain… so the tour plays wide open courses now… so ball placement off the tee is just not that critical… and the greens are so good, and with guys carrying 5 wedges… if a player does get in trouble, it’s a pitch out to a flat lie and a wedge to 8 feet, and tap it in… so it is what it is… and if people like to watch 350 yard drives on par 68 courses… then good for them…

It bores me to death… but I was exposed to a much more interesting game… it would be like a chess player having to play checkers now… kind of going backwards… technology has pushed the game backwards…

How about these new cars that park themselves? Great… but that doesn’t do much for the drivers skills…

The course super at Kingston Heath was asked the other day if he’s been growing the rough purposely for the JBWere Masters. He acknowledged, but said (as Lag) it’s pointless as it’s all going to be trampled down anyway. But it’s killing the local members he continued!

So you can see the vicious circle. The gap between amateur golf and pro golf gets larger, technology jumps at the opportunity to make up for amateur’s apparent lack of ability, marketing dictates pros use the same equipment, pros get even further ahead…

It’s like when they experimented with a larger hole to put less emphasis on putting. Bad putters still missed, great putters sunk everything. Fail.

Peter Thompson said a beauty: “The ball has got to be adjusted to the arena, instead of the arena adjusting to the ball that goes longer and longer…”.

Then: “…in cricket if the ball was made of rubber or something and every shot went over the fence, they’d say well we’ve got to have a bigger arena. They [instead] wisely adjust the ball, or have done, or made sure the ball didn’t advance with technology.”

I wish they would simply reverse the green speeds back to 7 or 8 on the stimp… something akin to 1965 golf. Can we quit giving these guys the most perfect surface in the world to putt on and make them hit it closer if they want to make birdie? I know it might be more “TV friendly” to cover putting on TV than full shots cause you get to see the ball from start to finish, but please please please make these guys putt on slower not faster greens!!! They’ve figured the fast ones out, the slow ones have too many variables these dudes can’t control.

No one can convince me that making a 20 to 40 foot putt is easier on a slow green (and I mean S-L-O-W) than these carpets they putt on now. For that matter, you won’t convince me that making a 4 footer on my local muni that runs 8 or 9 is not more difficult than the same putt running true on a green that runs 11 or 12.


Good putters are always going to make more putts… but I like bad greens because the good putters are not going to make as many… and it takes them out of their rhythm…

I think bad greens make it more of a ball strikers game… it tips it more in that direction at least.

Anyone notice at their course how the higher handicappers always win net events when the greens have just been cored?

I like the direction this thread has turned regarding putting.

I said previously on ISG that bad greens ALWAYS works against good putters.

A good putter starts his ball on his intended line and it bounces off line on an uneven surface and he misses unless it bounces back online.

For a bad putter the reverse is true. He starts his putt offline and it bounces online.

I hate putting on temporary greens (which I have had to do all year at Balmoral!). Now we have 18 USGA spec greens that will be fully in play from the middle of next year I am looking forward to rolling the rock in from DOWNTOWN!!!

I’m gonna pick Adam Scott for Comeback POY 2010. For whatever reason I never really bought into how good he was meant to be, even though there’s all sorts of proof. I couldn’t see Him in his game, just his swing. If he was swinging it well he would play well, if he wasn’t he seemed to shoot numbers! And there was something that bugged me about the shot he hit into the water when he won The Players- it was so clearly A Swing! If he was actually involved in that shot there’s no way on earth it goes left. Granted he showed some serious guts to get it up and down to win, a great sign, but still. I think it has a lot to do with an over reliance on Butch or some outside aid instead of finding out what he had by himself- ‘am I me or am I my swing’ syndrome. It’s understandable because he’s so young, something that’s easy to forget. This year when he looked like he was totally lost and he eased back(or finished?) with Butch, I reckon will be the making of him. Struggle is so underrated in our world today, there’s a pill for every pain. But it’s an invaluable tool for clearing out the crap and asking yourself what you actually have. I think next year we’ll get to see what he’s got, and my feeling is that he’s gonna be really good!

Adam (along with Charles Howell) is a perfect example of what is wrong with modern instruction (and why Tiger wins everything in sight). These kids buy into swing instructors who teach bad mechanics and they never learn how to play the game and get target oriented in pressure situations. Bad, no make that awful lines in their swings that get worse and worse the shorter the club gets and the more important the shot becomes. The only person who ever made the BButch Harmon Swing work with any success was Tiger in '95-98 and even then he was terrible with the short irons. Remember all the nine irons he used to nuke over the world? It was positively amazing with the driver, there was a graph of every tour player in '97 at impact with the driver in an old issue of SI where they put clubhead speed on the x axis and spin rate on the y. Tiger was off the grid. 8 mph faster and like 3000 rpm less than anyone else, it looked impossible, like a misprint. And that was the point of what Butch teaches, The problem is that every club in the bag takes off the same way and short irons explode with anything less than perfect contact. The other problem is when timing is off everything goes left to left, a tour player’s worst nightmare. So it becomes impossible to ever truly trust the swing and commit to the shot, always hanging on for dear life. I wouldn’t know how to play either if my good miss was high right and my bad miss was low left. Any effective course management require both go in the same direction.

Leadbetter’s swing is even worse. I can’t even look at it long enough to try to figure out what the hell it is supposed to be.