Titleist trying to manipulate the public opinion about whether or not the ball is (partially) responsible for the distance increase amongst golfers in the past 10-15 years: titleist.com/technologyandtradition/
I wonder why Titleist feels the need to get the public to think that there is no reason for a rollback on the ball?
Their fear is the standardized ball I would strongly suggest.
But it’s all not about scoring. Bring in forgiving equipment, the underlying standard drops and scores will pretty much stay the same.
It’s about golf becoming shallow. Drive, pitch, putt, putt.
So what if Corey Pavin will be more affected by a rollback than Bubba Watson. He used to find a way to win, and it made golf exciting. Why can I remember majors from 15 years ago more than I can from recent years? Now everybody is the same. Let’s reward the long driver for his skill, the long iron player for his skill, the scrambler for his skill and the putter for his skill. Now long drivers have had their skill pretty much nullified, so have ballstrikers, so have scramblers–it’s all putting.
The beauty of the old way was that the small persimmon driver heads would reward a flush drive on the screws, so a short hitter who nailed the screws would average out quit well over someone longer but missing the sweetspot often. The super long hitters really had a hard time controlling the golf ball because the head was so small… power and precision usually didn’t go hand in hand except for a very few like Greg Norman.
The short hitter could keep the ball in play all day and wait for the long hitter to make mistakes… and that would happen because golf courses used to punish errant tee shots. That is clearly not the case in today’s “fore right” Tiger era.
When the tour players are hitting the drives 320 plus, it puts a higher lofted iron in their hands nullifying both rough, and often trees, because “over the trees” is much more of an option if trees are even around. Most of the stadium golf courses are void of tree density. In the old days, trees meant punch out with a long iron, and bend something up the fairway near the green and then try to wedge it up and in to save par. How many times have we seen Tiger hit it 40 yards right, then pull a short iron, hit it up and over a tree out of the rough, and stop it on the green and often roll in a 20 footer for birdie and do this 4 times a round.
Ironically, the way the old balatas cut, good players would go through a ball every 3 to 5 holes. Hackers used surlyn balls that would not cut and they often did fly farther like the old Topflites and Pinnacles. I always though even back when I was playing on tour that advancements could be make in the balls cover to make them more durable, yet still keep the ability to work the ball around the course. I always felt if I was playing well, I should be able to use the same ball for a whole round maybe more and not be able to knock it out of round after just a few holes.
Nicklaus was promoting his Cayman (1970’s) ball that went about half as far years ago, to allow developers to make golf courses shorter, so that rounds could take much less time to play, and the courses easier to maintain in the age of skyrocketing land prices. I think if anything, golf should have gone that direction not the direction it has, and is still trending.
Bottom line, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the way it was.