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Groovy

 
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Uisce Beatha
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Groovy
« on: June 15, 2007, 06:37:37 PM »

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Rich Lerner [ voice over ]: With an eye on equipment, Fay explained why the USGA is considering a proposal to change the grooves - citing concern that the premium on putting the ball in the fairway has been reduced. In gathering anecdotal and laboratory evidence from professional players of all ages, here's what the USGA found.

David Fay: All of them had the belief, that when we changed to square grooves we diminished, if you will, the skill required to play this game at the highest level.  That the grooves were just acting too much like radial tires and that it was too easy to control the ball from rough.  And that's really what's driving it.

1.  "Professional players of all ages" within the USGA sphere of influence totals, what, five figures tops if you count club professionals?  How many amateurs are there?  How many weekend golfers are there?  The rules of this game apply to everyone.  Are we seriously dictating equipment changes for 99.99% to reign in the 0.01%?

2.  "All of them had the belief...".  Yeah, right.  They all offered the opinion that the game is too easy and the USGA should do something to make it harder.  Roll Eyes

3.  "Too easy to control the ball from rough."  Come again?  I can't remember the last time I "controlled" the ball from deep rough.  I can't remember the last time I spun the ball from the rough and it was probably an accident anyway.  Irregardless of the state of my skills, I seriously doubt that square grooves provide an advantage to any but professionals and very top amateurs.  See #1.

The more I read, the more I play this game, the more I consider this sort of thing, the more I find the USGA to be an elitist body perched atop an ivory tower.  They're becoming irrelevant to the casual golfer and if they ban equipment that makes this game easier for the 25 'capper they'll seal the deal.

So much for "no rants" eh?   Wink
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Clive
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2007, 06:45:05 PM »

Instead of rebutting your points sequentially and with devastating effect, I'll just ask:

why does the game have to be easier for 25-handicappers?  Why easier than it was 20 years ago?  I grew up playing blades, real wood woods, using a blade putter, and playing golf balls that no one would touch today.  So did you, probably, as did most everybody here over the age of 40.

And we stayed with the game.
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Uisce Beatha
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2007, 07:02:07 PM »

Instead of rebutting your points sequentially and with devastating effect, I'll just ask:

why does the game have to be easier for 25-handicappers?  Why easier than it was 20 years ago?  I grew up playing blades, real wood woods, using a blade putter, and playing golf balls that no one would touch today.  So did you, probably, as did most everybody here over the age of 40.

And we stayed with the game.

I don't know this answer; it may backfire on me.  What's the average score over a round of golf in the USA?  What was it 20 years ago?

Are you a better player now than you were 20 years ago?  I think you've offered that answer previously.

Par is an arbitrary figure.  Why so sacred?  +10 or -20, everyone has to beat the field?  And very few percentage wise, even today, break 90.

You know me Clive.  The RoG are sacred to me - seriously.  Yet I lean further and further toward finding one of the governing bodies completely useless.  Why is that?  They're framing the game in such a technical way and with such a focus on the professional and/or top amateur.  Most American golfers already don't give a flier about the rules.  How are they going to react when the gear they bought last year at Golf Galaxy is illegal or even grandfathered legal.  They're going to say piss off.
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"If you're darker than a caramel, Reverend Al speaks for you." - Aasif Mandvi
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BFBoy
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2007, 07:08:02 PM »

Instead of rebutting your points sequentially and with devastating effect, I'll just ask:

why does the game have to be easier for 25-handicappers?  Why easier than it was 20 years ago?  I grew up playing blades, real wood woods, using a blade putter, and playing golf balls that no one would touch today.  So did you, probably, as did most everybody here over the age of 40.

And we stayed with the game.

Not to mention, the lofts were 1-1/2 to 2 clubs weaker. The fairway woods were about the size of today's hybrids and drivers the size if 5-woods. I started playing in 1969, and I didn't have a set of square groove irons until 1992. If you went back to the drivers of yesterday, I think you'd have to use the ball from then, too. I remmeber Jack said that after showing teh audience what it would be like using his old Macgregor persimmon driver with a new ball. Result was an ugly low hook.
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Seamus
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2007, 07:16:52 PM »

I'm not sure what this answer is going to get me or what side it supports, but...over the last even 30 years the average score for the average player has not improved significantly even with all these whiz bang titanium, infused metal, higher moi lower gravity yada, yada, yada, technological advancements.

In the hands of the professionals, different story.  And they haven't improved their scoring very much (something 1 or 2 strokes per round?).
« Last Edit: June 15, 2007, 07:24:26 PM by Seamus McDuff » Logged Return to Top
Uisce Beatha
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2007, 07:18:41 PM »

Al Geiberger (1977)
Chip Beck (1991)
David Duval (1999)

You know what that's all about.  We have 30 years ago, 16 years ago and 8 years ago.  Tiger Woods is possibly the best player ever playing with modern equipment, square grooves and all, and he's not done it.  Jack didn't do it. 

Ben Hogan went something like 270 out of 272 fairways hit during one stretch.  Can't remember the numbers but it was ridiculous.  One assumes dated equipment.

This game needs to be reigned in.   Huh?  Just don't see it that way.  Don't let the ball get any hotter, fine.  That's about all we need.
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Seamus
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2007, 07:21:13 PM »

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Don't let the ball get any hotter, fine.  That's about all we need.
This has been the biggest difference in the past few decades, the ball is out of control, it's making great courses obsolete.
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Clive
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2007, 08:22:41 PM »

It's difficult to talk in terms of scores (or even fairways hit, for that matter) because we invariably fail to consider the differences in the courses themselves.  You toss out the three Messrs. 59.  Can we say the courses were equal in terms of length, effective fairway width, height of fairway grass, green stimp speed, ... ?  Of course not, which makes comparing Geiberger's 59 to Duval's an imperfect endeavor.

The problem with guys like us talking about it is it's extremely unlikely that the courses we played 25 years ago have been preserved in their 1982 state.  It's not like we can go back there and see how we shoot with today's equipment.  (And hey, it's not like we've been preserved, either.)
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Uisce Beatha
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2007, 08:33:51 PM »

Clive, I agree with you.  Comparing eras is fairly futile.  Bobby vs. Ben vs. Jack vs. Tiger just doesn't work.  However, we have nothing else to go by.  The USGA specifically says the game is becoming diminished by technology.  They suggest vague anecdotal evidence and imply scientific analysis proves their point but don't offer it other than in summary.  In challenging that we might throw out the stuff I've mentioned here tonight.  At the end of the day it comes down to opinion with perhaps no way for either side to prove their point.  Certainly there's no overwhelming evidence one way or another.

That being the case, why the fuss? 
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"If you're darker than a caramel, Reverend Al speaks for you." - Aasif Mandvi
"Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I'm a woman's man: no time to talk." - stroh
Clive
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2007, 08:49:22 PM »

My thought is that average scores have stayed more or less constant despite the courses being lengthened (a HUGE challenge to the higher handicapper), fairway grass getting shorter (which effectively narrows them, another significant challenge), and greens getting faster (harder to hold and to putt).  That tells me either people like me are getting fitter than they were a quarter-century ago (doubt it) or the equipment is helping them by making the game slightly less challenging, all other things being equal.

You can only do that stuff so much before it starts getting costly, you run out of room,  and/or you reach the point of tricking up the course to counter theequipment.

So in that respect, I don't revere the USGA, but I can understand their position.
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TFT
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2007, 12:42:43 PM »

Irregardless

For all intense purposes I agree, supposably.

 Wink
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Uisce Beatha
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2007, 08:45:56 PM »

Irregardless

For all intense purposes I agree, supposably.

 Wink

Pfffttt.  That tired old thing. 
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"If you're darker than a caramel, Reverend Al speaks for you." - Aasif Mandvi
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GolfHo9
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Re: Groovy
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2007, 09:04:30 PM »

I thought Fay's comments were fairly ludicrous, given that they were made at the U.S. Open where I doubt that a single iron shot was  "easy to control from the rough".
And the analogy to radial tires is lost on me. Radial tires are too easy to control? Too groovy? Good in the rough?
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