Ok, so help me workshop this take a bit. I want it to be a column, but I’m inclined to crowdsource it here first because you’re all smart and we’re all family. Consider it the first ever potential ESPN column written in The Nest.
It’s obvious golf needs to do something about how far the ball goes, primarily off the tee. As we saw at Medinah, long means almost nothing if it’s soft. Someone nuking a 340-yard drive isn’t even impressive anymore. It’s standard. And the problem with rolling back the ball or the club is equipment companies are going to sue the bejesus out of the USGA if they do it, claiming their intellectual property and the millions (billions?) they’ve spent on R&D is going to be stolen from them. We’ve all heard the rumors about how equipment company have strong-armed places like The Golf Channel and various golf mags into backing away from calls for a rollback. So I think I’ve figured out a way to thread the needle.
Limit the height of tees.
One of the main reasons the ball goes so far is guys figured out with Trackman that hitting up on it was the best way to optimize distance. Just tee it forward and hit up on it, it’s going to go 300 yards. Even marginally-talented guys can do it.
Well, if you limit the height of tees, it’s going to shave a ton of distance off those drives.
Who is going to object? The wooden tee lobby? It would be like lowering the pitching mound. It’s within the rights of the governing body to say: These are the tees you must use, go ahead and bitch if you like, use what clubs you want, but these are the tees you have to use.
Sure, it’s not going to affect the forgiveness of the club. You will still be able to kill it and it won’t spin. But it won’t go as far. And yes players will throw tantrums and clubmakers may whine because drivers are optimized to hit up on the ball. But they’ll be forced to adjust. You simply won’t be able to carry some bunkers if you can’t launch it and have to sweep it or hit down on it. There will be some instances where it’s preferable to hit 3-wood off the tee if you can’t nuke it. And ams don’t hit up on the call much anyway, so it’s hardly going to affect them much. Beside they don’t have to use pro length tees and can still use pro equipment. Everyone is happy.
I may have found a way to King Solomon the issue.
Tell me I’m wrong.
EDIT: To clarify for the latecomers here, we are only talking about professional golf. PGA, EURO, KF, etc.