Fansplaining: The Distance Debate


Geoff Shackeldord made a great point on Bacon’s podcast: the most elite players should have that chance to separate themselves from the field. He talks about not de-Shilling the game.

I see his point and I doubt everyone will find their way back but I do think elite guys will. Plus, if it happens, use of trackman will then be a skill not an aide. I do think technology will always find a way to catch up and innovate and make bigger and better. We see it in every aspect of life. But is it worth trying to curtail even for a bit?


Why is it so hard for people to understand that curtailing how far the ball flies will not prevent elite players like DJ and Rory from separating themselves? If every player is using the same ball now and they are elite in distance, when everyone moves to the same rolled back ball they will still be elite in distance. Their advantage will be 100% intact. The only thing different is that the total distance the balls are going is shorter. I don’t understand why this isn’t obvious.


Agree. But these guys won’t outgrow the venues


I don’t think that is what anybody is arguing. It isn’t a debate about equalling the field, hell, there’s already enough people that COULD win on any given week.


Because the hazards and nuances of the course become irrelevant if the course plays differently than it was designed to. Courses recognised as architecturally sound which players would have to cleverly plot their way around lose their worth. Celebrated course designs that provide a thoughtful test will become mundane run of the mill courses. It’s widely recognised that the golden generation of golf course architecture was in eras gone by, why not protect these courses?


Merion kinda ejected the entire field in '13. Was it too tricked up? maybe, but hey thats golf it’s gonna happen


Irrelevant to PGA tour players? WHO CARES. Quit wringing your hands over the top 0.01% of golfers, they’ll be just fine. All this “original intent” bs is the same as people whining about the constitution and “original intent” of founding fathers. Just stop.


Yes, ‘Championship Courses’ are designed to test THE best (i.e tour players). They are more than ‘just fine’, they’re not being tested in the ways that they should be, i.e the way the course was originally designed. This would be most interesting to watch. It’s pretty boring to watch bomb and gouge all day, no?

I’m English, not American, i’ll leave constitution discussion to your compatriots.


I’m fine with it. If courses become irrelevant to the PGA tour, so be it. I don’t need to see Pebble on TV for the 100th time.


How is this sustainable? Who is paying to build new courses at 8K yards after the current tour stops are rendered irrelevant?


Courses don’t need to be 8000 yards. There’s really no such thing as irrelevant on the PGA tour. People are so concerned with “par” that they think “20 under” actually means something. If a par 4 is really more like a 3.2? Who cares. They all play the same course. Call it a par 68 for all I care.


No one in this thread has referenced par here apart from you. I’m uninterested in par. What myself and @sundaybag were commenting on, if i’m not mistaken, was the test that is offered by the architectural design of the course.


Then you should watch women’s golf. It’s pretty good.


I truly believe this is the worst series of consecutive takes I’ve ever seen. On any topic.


Can we stop pretending, that even if the ball was rolled back, that pros aren’t going to still shit all over the pure “architectural design” because of how well the they strike the ball.

Left side of fairway or right side of fairway don’t mean that much when guys these days have absurd distance control. Tucked pin over a bunker? Doesn’t matter. They can launch an iron right at it and stop it on a dime.

Tiger turned the golf world on its head 20 years ago. This was before the ball started going a mile. Sure, he hit it far enough, but his best attribute was his approach shots. In today’s game, there are a ton of guys who are as good or nearly as good with an iron as Tiger was in his hey day.


I think that would depend upon the scope and effect of the restriction.

Someone made the point a while back that “I support rollback without understanding any of the science/technology around it.” I’m kind of the same - I have no real idea about what specific ability the manufacturers have to manipulate flight.


Oh, I do. Perhaps you’d prefer watching Long Drive Contests, I’ve heard some of those chaps can hit it REALLY far!


Well lets say the ball could get reduced to early 2000 levels - where the average guy on tour hit it 280 off the tee instead of 300 - less than a 7% reduction. Assuming that the tees were then moved back up 20-30 yards, the guys are going to have the same distance into the hole as they used to. With the balled rolled back, that’s roughly a 1-1.5 club difference in your hand with your long irons, maybe 1 club with short irons, and a few yards difference with a wedge. I think the pros would be able to figure it out.

I still maintain that architectural design doesn’t mean much to how good these guys are. If you really want to slow them down, ban trackman.


We should roll the long drive balls back. I’m not sure the founders of the long drive intended for the competitors to hit it so far.


Long time advocate of the width, angles, bifurcation, strategy, F par debate. After watching Trinity Forest, taking a long look in the mirror, and trying to wrap my head around making the game harder for pro’s while allowing the course to be playable to the average guy, I have come to the conclusion that it is an impossible circumstance.

These guys are so damn good on the professional tour that the only way to make the game harder for them is to create challenges that are borderline unfair.