I’ll use the small ball vs big ball argument this time.
Up until 1990, only 28 years ago, the world used 2 different sized golf balls. The USGA and R&A had two different minimum golf ball diameter requirements: 1.68 inches for the USGA and 1.62 inches for the R&A.
In 1974, the R&A said you must use the small ball to compete in The Open. No if, and, or buts. When Arnie or Jack flew over there and won, they used the small ball already because it had less resistance in the wind.
For 16 years, The Open had what was essentially a required tournament ball; however, it is more complicated than this. Because the R&A had one ball diameter requirement, everyone outside of North America played with the small ball.
When 1990 came around and the new Rules of Golf said, “The requirement for all golf balls in the world is to have a minimum diameter of 1.68 inches,” (the big ball) everyone outside of North America stopped using the small ball.
No more bifurcation.
Nobody using the small ball out of spite.
No compensation for all the golf ball manufacturers’ small ball making machines.
No more tournament ball at The Open.
It just happened, and people adapted.
How long did it take to adapt? The consensus was 2 WEEKS. The big ball that “will lose 25 yards” and “be ridiculous to play in a strong breeze” took 2 weeks to adapt. Yes, the ball didn’t go as far the small ball, but the change ended up not affecting the average player as much.
Sound familiar? History likes to repeat itself. This issue doesn’t need to be so complicated, but it will be. The moment someone tries to change how Americans play, it turns into an all-out-war.
The USGA and R&A could put a new rule in stating a new requirement for the golf ball in the big update to the rules next year. They could; they make the rules. We would make the change. Maybe they just need to rip the band-aid off.