I like what Geoff Mangum posted today:
I like what Geoff Mangum posted today:
Personally I think that the USGA and R&A are kicking the cat out of the hen house but leaving the fox to guard it. Clearly there are way bigger problems in golf than the long putters and how these few guys are using them - as long as the manufacturers are in control then golf is on the way down. When will they figure out that golf could still be exciting without 375 yard drives and 200 yard 9 irons. Golf might even be more exciting - because Tiger probably would have broken Nicklaus’s record by now had everyone been playing blades.
It’s a start. I applaud them for that.
I am still puzzled by the general lack of understanding of the basics of the game that golf was intended to be through it’s rich history. From the players to the course designers and equipment manufacturers… and of course the very important issue of pace of play… and I should add the cost of play.
Enjoyment of the game is not about making it easier. It is not. IT IS NOT!! IT IS NOT ABOUT MAKING IT EASIER!!!
EASIER DOES NOT EQUAL ENJOYMENT!
I am only typing in bold letters hoping we might have a USGA lurker come by here once in a while. Who knows.
But if easier is the answer for enjoyment. The answer to make it easier for everyone is to make the hole bigger (basketball hoop size).
That would make it easier but more enjoyable?
For about 5 minutes until everyone re adjusts to the horror of missing 20 foot putts on occasion.
So back to understanding the game…
Ok … USGA officials and architects… let’s recap.
Typical Traditional Championship Course par 72. Four par 3’s. Four par 5’s. Ten par 4’s.
The object is to TEST the player’s ability because golf is a game of skill. Therefore the players should be tested with their instruments of implementation. All of them… at least 14 clubs. They should have to exhibit their proficiency with all of the clubs. The most difficult (acid test) is hitting long irons into par 4’s several times a round off the ground. SKILL!!
Ten par 4’s meaning… three long ones (2, 3, 4 iron approach) … four mid range length (5,6,7) and three short range (8, 9, PW)
So just like a mad dog that gets off it’s leash, you simply put the dog back on it’s leash. So with golf, you put the game back on it’s leash so there is no more threat of damage to game. Back on the leash.
Now, you are supposed to learn to drive the ball straight. So if you are off the fairway, you are penalized…because golf is a game… and games have penalties. You have a 30 yard wide fairway, and the farther you risk sending that ball down the fairway, the greater your risk of penalty, because you should not ever be thinking of missing the fairway as being OK. It’s a game and it is not OK. So like the long irons… you have another skill set of recovery. Rough, sand, trees etc. The player needs a high spin rate ball to curve the ball back into play. Not a hard plastic ball, but a ball they can curve in the event they find their ball and are not hampered by thick grass or sand. There is a chance for recovery using the curve the ball back into play skill set.
So let’s refresh. Golf is not about hitting a short iron into every par 4. Nor is it about missing half or more of your fairways and still having a short iron into every par 4 from the rough. This does not present the required skill set for recovery.
Ok golf course architects. Read carefully:
If you hit the green on one of the par 4’s holes that requires a long iron shot… you should REWARD the player…and keep those greens relative simple in design… and make sure the design of the green accounts for the trajectory of the shot that will be landing into it. This means the green should be deeper than a green requiring only a short iron approach. You don’t need four elephant humps on these greens. Save those for the short iron holes where the player can show their skill in keeping the ball positioned correctly on the green. Tom Watson once said that when he has a long iron in his hand, he is just trying to get the ball onto the green. (we remember Tom Watson right?)
So save your silly greens for the shorter holes with the shorter approaches or on the par 5 holes. Save your shallow in depth greens for the 5 pars… not the long 4 pars or long par 3’s. Think before you dig.
Also remember that greens need to be designed for the variety of weather conditions that may be presented throughout the year. Dry in summer, windy etc. A quality golf hole should never feel “impossible” unless very unusual conditions are presented… hurricane winds… etc.
The par 5’s should be 3 shot holes to reach the green… unless… the hole offers a significant RISK in hitting it in two.
This does NOT MEAN a player hits a driver and a 5 iron into a big green… WHY? because that means it is a par 4 and a medium one at that.
So if you have any questions… “call before you dig”
So now back to the USGA and R and A. Now that you have been reminded what a championship golf course looks like and how it should be presented to the player… it’s your job to put the leash back on the dog, and make sure that champion golfers playing championship courses are required to play all the clubs in their bags… from the fairways… particularly on the bulk of the golf course which are it’s par 4’s. So just shorten the leash for better control of the game… take those 450cc drivers and shorten the head size back to where it should be… and shorten the shaft length like you might shorten the dog’s leash… and you take that hard plastic golf ball out of it’s mouth so it won’t break its teeth and give it a nice soft chewy balata one.
So now that we all had our fun for this little 15 year hiatus from the traditions of the game… that you so loyally have protected for the last 120 years… it’s time to get back to reality and have golf played properly again… so it can be enjoyed in a more rewarding way, and watching the game will once again be interesting and make sense again as it always did in the past.
Amen to that!
I believe the R&A should set rules as to the minimum & maximum loft per club… non of this 7 iron thats actually a 5 iron pollarva.
Why where hybrids invented? because no-one can hit their long irons anymore. i remember i used to have one of those wilson john daly zero irons. not exactly traditional but god i could place that thing anywhere off the tee. hand that to your average hybrid dependant hacker.
people are becoming dependant on their clubs to save them. not dependent on their skill. wheres the fun in that?
Agree, it’s a start. Ban the frying pans, no plastic or exotic metals allowed in clubs and balls. And get those backhoes off St. Andrews–NOW!
I’m going to post your response on the USGA facebook page… and see if we can get some discussion going there…
Good luck. . .
I can’t imagine that the USGA and R & A don’t realize what they’re doing is out of line with the traditional game of golf. Their objectives are just different. If your ultimate goal is “growing the game”, or something to that effect, you wouldn’t see an issue with making the game easier. You’d want to make it more popular on television, so you’d encourage the Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson personas. You’d want to make it more attractive to new potential weekend players, so you’d make it easier to get the ball airborne and hit it far. The anchoring ban and the groove rule from a couple years ago were more to appease those who realize there is something wrong with the state of the game but they aren’t aware of the magnitude of the problem. The groove rule has done basically nothing, other than force everyone that competes to buy new irons and wedges. In that sense, it was a success from their perspective, because it stimulated the golf economy.
The USGA slogan “for the good of the game”, when viewed in the context of what they’ve done, seems to mean “for the good of the manufacturer” or “for the good of the golf economy”. The masses believe they need the equipment help, and buy into the marketing hype that comes out every couple months when the latest and greatest “innovations” come out. Once they’re hooked on their “game improvement” equipment, there would be a major backlash if the USGA decided to right the ship. Even over a minor change like the anchoring ban, you have people talking about how the ruling bodies continue to make the game too hard for the average player. Can you imagine the outcry if driver head cc’s were capped at 250 instead of 460? Or if the golf ball was scaled back a bit?
I don’t expect much from the USGA or R and A. At least not with the crowd running it these days. They have their reasons for doing things the way they do… which is fine.
However, I still believe there is a big opportunity for a new organization to rise up and embrace the rich history of the game that preceded what is believed to be “the only way” to play the game today.
The grand stadiums are still here. No need to build new courses. Not that hard to make a lower compression ball and there are plenty of persimmons and sets of blade irons still around. Anyone could buy 300 persimmons on ebay today for pennies if they wanted.
Golf needs to follow the auto racing model. Different cars for different tracks. Different gear for different courses. Then everyone can be happy.
The tighter the fairways, and smaller the greens, the more difficult the golf course… in my opinion. So a good persimmon player will beat the modern players all day long on these kind of tracks because you can work the ball better, and you have to have a better golf swing.
There needs to be a pro circuit to re set the values. This creates both credibility and sets an example for the amateurs to follow. No exempt tour, and you should be able to play your way onto it at any time. In a field of 144, you don’t need 142 exemptions. 60 is fine… and anyone else that made the cut the week before. So you have about 30 open spots on Monday to get in… so if you are just playing solid golf… you are in the field. You shouldn’t have to shoot 64 on Monday to get into the field. This keeps the Monday “rabbit” culture alive… and keeps the dream alive for younger players, and older players.
The players should not be financing the purse. Entry fees should cover basic course and admin expenses and the prize money needs to come from the sponsor side… media contacts etc. The way it was always done. Purses don’t need to be 3 or 4 million a week.
Professional means you are able to make a living playing golf. Period. If you can’t do that… you are not really a pro. Let the player’s skill set the bar for pro or not. When you sit down at a card table in Vegas, do they check amateur status? In the World Series of Poker, do players turn down the money because they want to stay amateur and play just for the love of the game? It’s absurd. The pros should be playing for love of the game also. They love making a living at what they love… playing a game. How many people get to do that?
I think it’s more interesting and exciting to see a guy grinding to win an event with a 20K first prize so he can get out of the campground. I have seen it happen for real. That’s more pressure than watching guys play more money that means nothing other than a bank transfer Monday morning into their Swaab account.
When I was playing… you had to make money to keep going. I remember plenty of conversations with fellow pros who HAD TO finish the last couple events well if they were going to play the fall tour… or be able to go down to South Africa, or play in Asia or where ever.
Your average guy can relate to that more. Who couldn’t use 20K right now? … and if one can really sense that these guys need it… and are playing golf for a real love of the game… and embracing the deep tradition of the game… it’s a very positive prospect.