Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mark Harman

August 2010 Editorial

Recommended Posts

In the past month, we've seen Paul Goydos and Stuart Appleby each shoot 59. In addition, you had a couple of 60s and assorted low-60s scores thrown in.

 

Some pundits are saying this is proof that the equipment has gotten out of hand, that it is making the pro game too easy. Or, they say that the courses are too "short." These same pundits need to look at history.

 

Sam Snead shot a 59 in 1959 at the Greenbrier, although the course played 6,475 yards back then. Still a great score. Al Geiberger shot his 59 at Colonial Country Club in Memphis, and it played over 7,200 yards that day. Mike Souchak held the record 72-hole score on the PGA Tour for the longest time, a 257 in 1955.

 

Interestingly, there were seven 60s shot on tour in the 1950s. Maybe they were saying back then that equipment made the game too easy for pros, but since I wasn't around then, I can only speculate.

 

The point is that top-flight professional golfers throughout history have shot incredibly low scores. Granted, the courses are longer today, but they have to be to keep up with the equipment. Plenty of pros routinely hit par-5s in two shots back in the day. It's just that those par-5s were all 500 yards or less for the most part.

 

Golf is not easy, even though some pros recently make it seem so. The last thing the sport needs is for some misguided effort to toughen up the game - the USGA already knows how to do that at the US Open. Pebble Beach barely played 7,000 yards and I don't recall anyone saying that course was too short. No, toughening the game will simply drive away players who are already frustrated enough with the difficulty of golf.

 

Let's enjoy the great skill these top pros possess, and leave the equipment rules as they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jack Nicklaus has had the best answer -- for years now -- and it's regulating the ball they use. Certainly, the ball manufacturers have the technology to tweak the flight distance, and each pro could still use his preferred brand. That way, a number of classic old courses could be returned to competition -- simply adjust the ball to the course. Everybody's distance control numbers would be affected -- but, they are pros and all are affected, so let them adjust. It wouldn't be too hard to make balls for tour pros that work at, say, 6400-6600 yards, 6600-6800 yards, 6800-7000 yards, and so on.

I have always felt that the pros should use a hole that is smaller than what typical amateurs use, or amateurs get a bigger hole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's face it. No one is going to stop the research that makes the equipment better or the balls longer. What I would do is regulate the golf course design and limit the maximun length for a course like they do with baseball parks. Just adding length makes the game less interesting, more expensive to operate and rounds that are to long. If I were in charge, I would limit a course to 6,600 yards max. So what if a guy shoots 53. If the strategy is to try and drive a par 4, so be it. Par is becoming an obsolete concept also. Everyone on tour wins in double digit under par now. I would change the meaning. All courses would be par of 72. Then regardless of the hole length I would classify a 4 as par, 3 as birdie, 5 as bogey. Lets get the game back to 3 to 4 hour rounds.

 

I'd banish golf carts also except for handicapped, but that's another topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Let's face it. No one is going to stop the research that makes the equipment better or the balls longer. What I would do is regulate the golf course design and limit the maximun length for a course like they do with baseball parks. Just adding length makes the game less interesting, more expensive to operate and rounds that are to long. If I were in charge, I would limit a course to 6,600 yards max. So what if a guy shoots 53. If the strategy is to try and drive a par 4, so be it. Par is becoming an obsolete concept also. Everyone on tour wins in double digit under par now. I would change the meaning. All courses would be par of 72. Then regardless of the hole length I would classify a 4 as par, 3 as birdie, 5 as bogey. Lets get the game back to 3 to 4 hour rounds.

 

I'd banish golf carts also except for handicapped, but that's another topic.

 

And instead of two 9 hole sides, i would like to see three 6 hole courses. So people who are short on time could get in a quick 6 and I could refill my beer cooler more often...just sayng.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ahhh Billy - You are always thinking! Limiting distance by creating balls for Tour Pros would seem to be the most logical. Some of the great older courses could be used again instead of having to create monsterous courses for tour events only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ahhh Billy - You are always thinking! Limiting distance by creating balls for Tour Pros would seem to be the most logical. Some of the great older courses could be used again instead of having to create monsterous courses for tour events only.

You know guys - bowling has also enjoyed(?) amazing high scores with the advent of softer balls and better treated alleys; however, I don't see any cry to lengthen the alleys or make the balls lighter. Forget all this and lets just play golf.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×