Do you think longer courses are counter productive even at tour pro level?

tgtt

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You know that distance listed was from what the pros will play and there will be more than one set of tees, right?
 

rollin

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You know that distance listed was from what the pros will play and there will be more than one set of tees, right?
yes of course. But this topic has been about just that. Its about a view on course lengths at the tour level.
 

PinHunter

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The news in the other thread about a course designed by Phil in Calgary made me think of this topic again. An 8,000 yrd course? Here we go again as this trend continues.

Unless the altitude is worth a thousand yards or 50/60 yards per hole (about 5 club lengths) here again its further playing favorite to the longer hitters and further adding to my logic that the whole thing works against the same issue they are trying to combat in the first place and again working towards creating a field of competition that is smaller or at least one sided. A tiny step in the process but none the less is indeed one more course adding to this trend that I see as something not good for golf.
And at 2700 feet above sea level the ball travels quite far so even though the card says 8000 yards it does not play that long.

at least if they build it to 8000 yards they have the option of stretching it out if they want. Better that then building it to 6700-7000 yards and then wishing they made it longer.
 

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Courses were lengthened because of Tiger aka-Tigerproofing.
Now with all these now younger,longer hitters the courses need to stay long. Look at Rory.
Do they need to get longer? I don't think so. Designers need to work with what they got for the majority not just a few guys who can bomb the crap out of it.
 

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Courses were lengthened because of Tiger aka-Tigerproofing.
Now with all these now younger,longer hitters the courses need to stay long. Look at Rory.
Do they need to get longer? I don't think so. Designers need to work with what they got for the majority not just a few guys who can bomb the crap out of it.
This has been part of my whole points all along. Its the longer hitters in general that the sport (in this trend) is gravitating towards making it become more about. If the trend keeps on going in one direction only then so will the field. One part of the game and more of one type of player will be what makes up most of the competitive field.
 

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Unfortunately, the cat is already out of the bag. The ball should have never been allowed to get so hot. The USGA should have stepped in with different standards for the ball long ago but now it is too late. It has become a bomb it and go find it game and I don't think we will ever go back. I hit the ball much farther at age 49, even with my set of 1980 irons, than I did when I was in college with a much higher club head speed. I don't think most of the pros find that the courses have gotten too long, but certainly too many amateurs tee it up from the tips because they want to play it all the way back. Regular rounds at home courses are often played from the correct set of tees but most resort courses I won't play on a weekend unless it's the first couple tee time of the day because all the average golfers want to play from 7000+ yards.
 

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This has been part of my whole points all along. Its the longer hitters in general that the sport (in this trend) is gravitating towards making it become more about. If the trend keeps on going in one direction only then so will the field. One part of the game and more of one type of player will be what makes up most of the competitive field.
How is that different than any sport?
Basketball players have gotten taller
Baseball players throw harder
Football players are bigger and taller and hit harder.

One of the biggest strengths a golfer can have is distance. Why should the best in the world not be able to showcase all of that. Jack Nicklaus outdrove everybody. Then Tiger Woods did. One could argue that distance is less an advantage now than it ever was based on the top 20 because equipment has gotten so good for everybody.

If your argument on this held weight, ZJ would not be winning.
 

Canadan

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Unfortunately, the cat is already out of the bag. The ball should have never been allowed to get so hot. The USGA should have stepped in with different standards for the ball long ago but now it is too late. It has become a bomb it and go find it game and I don't think we will ever go back. I hit the ball much farther at age 49, even with my set of 1980 irons, than I did when I was in college with a much higher club head speed. I don't think most of the pros find that the courses have gotten too long, but certainly too many amateurs tee it up from the tips because they want to play it all the way back. Regular rounds at home courses are often played from the correct set of tees but most resort courses I won't play on a weekend unless it's the first couple tee time of the day because all the average golfers want to play from 7000+ yards.
Can you elaborate on this post?

Why is the ball too hot?
What is wrong with golfers playing 7,000+ tees? If the ball is too hot, shouldn't they be able to handle it?
 

Tadashi70

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Unfortunately, the cat is already out of the bag. The ball should have never been allowed to get so hot. The USGA should have stepped in with different standards for the ball long ago but now it is too late. It has become a bomb it and go find it game and I don't think we will ever go back. I hit the ball much farther at age 49, even with my set of 1980 irons, than I did when I was in college with a much higher club head speed. I don't think most of the pros find that the courses have gotten too long, but certainly too many amateurs tee it up from the tips because they want to play it all the way back. Regular rounds at home courses are often played from the correct set of tees but most resort courses I won't play on a weekend unless it's the first couple tee time of the day because all the average golfers want to play from 7000+ yards.
I guess I would ask what you consider bomb. Because you say the ball is hot but most amateurs average under 250 off the tee. I don't see that as a bomb I also don't see average distance changing that much in the past 10 years. You may hit farther it you also carry a very rare scratch hdcp, so I imagine you hit it pretty solid. This is not true for the majority of golfers on the planet.
 

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I guess I would ask what you consider bomb. Because you say the ball is hot but most amateurs average under 250 off the tee. I don't see that as a bomb I also don't see average distance changing that much in the past 10 years. You may hit farther it you also carry a very rare scratch hdcp, so I imagine you hit it pretty solid. This is not true for the majority of golfers on the planet.

The club head speed required to start getting the big distance gains out of the modern ball is pretty high, it starts at about 105 mph, so most golfers will never see the distance gains that the average pro swinging at 113+ will. Obviously guys like Bubba and Rory can easily crank it up to 120+. Not only does the modern ball fly much farther if you have that 113+ driver club head speed, but it doesn't curve as easily, resulting in fewer shotmakers at the highest level. IMO, the guys on tour as a group are much more likely to be bombers, with less shotmaking ability, than 30 years ago. That doesn't bother me, the courses are longer and the average scoring hasn't changed much in 40 years even though the greens and course conditions are much better than they were when I was growing up. In many ways I think the shaft, club optimization, and fitness contribute as much as the ball does to the increases distances and advancements in technology will always be a part of this game. I do think the USGA should have been testing balls long ago at lets say 112 mph and 118 mph in addition to their current standard, but the courses have gotten longer so it really doesn't matter. I still enjoy watching the game as much as I did 30 years ago and for the average amateur, it's certainly easier to hit a modern driver or 3 wood than it was when they were 130-190 cc persimmons. It still about the short game and putting, the longest 30 guys on tour are certainly not all in the top 100 on the money list.
 

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The club head speed required to start getting the big distance gains out of the modern ball is pretty high, it starts at about 105 mph, so most golfers will never see the distance gains that the average pro swinging at 113+ will.
Do you have a link to this info? After speaking with many manufacturers and watching balls being made, I think you will find that it is completely not true. In fact so much so that a new line of golf balls with lower compressions while not deviating from the cover material have been a huge success and spawned even lower compressions in harder cover golf balls to help achieve golfers in a lower price point as well as a more durable golf ball.
 

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This thread popping back up makes me think if the last two courses I have played with Amsmith, both being shorter old school park type courses with narrow fairways, doglegs, tall trees and hazards that make you play around them and small tough greens.

Those two courses are nothing like the long mostly straight courses we see on TV weekly.

I will disagree with the new longer courses not requiring guys to make shots- watching the best out there work and control the ball off a 300yd drive is impressive because being 1* off in club path or face angle leads to bad results.
 

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And at 2700 feet above sea level the ball travels quite far so even though the card says 8000 yards it does not play that long.
Not sure this is entirely true. Here in Utah I play anywhere from 4300-5000 feet of elevation. In Hilton Head we played at sea level. My driver loses less than 10% and my irons lost almost nothing.

I understand the physics behind it all but in my experience, 8000 yards is LONG no matter what elevation. 6400 yards at sea level played pretty identical to 6400 yards where I live.
 

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Do you have a link to this info? After speaking with many manufacturers and watching balls being made, I think you will find that it is completely not true. In fact so much so that a new line of golf balls with lower compressions while not deviating from the cover material have been a huge success and spawned even lower compressions in harder cover golf balls to help achieve golfers in a lower price point as well as a more durable golf ball.
I stand corrected. I read that the golfers with the very fastest swings were getting larger gains in a magazine about 5 or more years ago and believed it, but after a couple google searches it is clear that the club head speed to distance ratio is nearly linear even up to 125mph swing speeds. Evidently aerodynamic drag causes issues at higher speeds so if anything the slope of the curve flattens out for the very longest hitters. An your point is right on - the manufactures can certainly make balls for all different club head speeds and hopefully find a way for amateurs to play a ball optimized for their speed.

I have always realized that nearly all the driving distance gains on tour took place right after the ProV1 came out in 2000. In the last decade, there has been a negligible increase in driving distance and it's remarkably consistent across all tours. Certainly the courses have gotten longer so I don't think it's an issue for the pros. As I said in my earlier post, I love watching the game as much today as I ever have, the only problem I have is the increasing time it takes to play a round on resort courses because amateurs are playing the wrong tees. I simply won't play a busy resort course unless I can get one the first couple tee times of the day. This graph would tells me, counter to what most golfers believe, that each model year when a new driver comes out it is not longer than the old one!!! I laugh at myself because this year several rounds I hit my old Ping G2 from 8 years ago that I sold to my neighbor and on every instance it was just as long as my current driver. I could have saved myself a lot of money not buying the 20 drivers since my that Ping G2!

 
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JB

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We dont make this stuff up here at THP. :D The goal is always to get people the correct info by bringing them closer to the industry and facts than ever before.

While one can point to the Pro V1 due to sponsorship dollars and the amount of players using it, the real change was the solid core and Titleist was actually a year or so later than others to the market with that. The wound ball did not travel as far as the solid core.
 

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I stand corrected. I read that the golfers with the very fastest swings were getting larger gains in a magazine about 5 or more years ago and believed it, but after a couple google searches it is clear that the club head speed to distance ratio is nearly linear even up to 125mph swing speeds. Evidently aerodynamic drag causes issues at higher speeds so if anything the slope of the curve flattens out for the very longest hitters. An your point is right on - the manufactures can certainly make balls for all different club head speeds and hopefully find a way for amateurs to play a ball optimized for their speed.

I have always realized that nearly all the driving distance gains on tour took place right after the ProV1 came out in 2000. In the last decade, there has been a negligible increase in driving distance and it's remarkably consistent across all tours. Certainly the courses have gotten longer so I don't think it's an issue for the pros. As I said in my earlier post, I love watching the game as much today as I ever have, the only problem I have is the increasing time it takes to play a round on resort courses because amateurs are playing the wrong tees. I simply won't play a busy resort course unless I can get one the first couple tee times of the day. This graph would tells me, counter to what most golfers believe, that each model year when a new driver comes out it is not longer than the old one!!! I laugh at myself because this year several rounds I hit my old Ping G2 from 8 years ago that I sold to my neighbor and on every instance it was just as long as my current driver. I could have saved myself a lot of money not buying the 20 drivers since my that Ping G2!

Are all those driving stat numbers derived from hitting a driver? Reason I ask is PGA uses two holes per round as measured long drive hole and not all players hit driver on those holes. Remember Bubba and his 3-iron at the PGA? Just curious.
 

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Are all those driving stat numbers derived from hitting a driver? Reason I ask is PGA uses two holes per round as measured long drive hole and not all players hit driver on those holes. Remember Bubba and his 3-iron at the PGA? Just curious.
The PGA tries to select holes longer par 4's or par 5's where driver is used and if there is wind, they try to select a down wind and an upwind hole. A few guys like Phil may not have a driver in their bag, but that is very rare. Bottom line is the average Tour player hit it 288 yards and is much, much, longer that your average single digit index amateur. I think the courses have gotten long enough and we've reached a point of diminishing returns with distance. I would be shocked to see the average PGA Tour driving distance ever reach 295 yards.
 

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How is that different than any sport?
Basketball players have gotten taller
Baseball players throw harder
Football players are bigger and taller and hit harder.

One of the biggest strengths a golfer can have is distance. Why should the best in the world not be able to showcase all of that. Jack Nicklaus outdrove everybody. Then Tiger Woods did. One could argue that distance is less an advantage now than it ever was based on the top 20 because equipment has gotten so good for everybody.

If your argument on this held weight, ZJ would not be winning.
This is not something so black and white easy to just say "well, look who's winning". Not all pro golf holes are long. Even less are super long. Not every course is real long either. Its just that the trend keeps on going in that direction more and more. `And I don't believe its something that is for the better of the sport. I think in the end it will hurt and is why I brought the topic up for thought.

Every pro has strengths and weaknesses among and vs their peers. Some excel at different parts of the game more than others. As we all know there are many parts to the golf game. Distance is certainly one of them. If the sport is allowed to continue to lengthen holes and courses then what it may create imo is a bit more of a one dimensional characteristic. It makes one area of expertise much more important than the others. Even though tour pro's have strengths and weaknesses among each other they still must be great at all parts in relation to and vs the average person. When everything is made longer it eventually imo will play to favor those who's area of excelled expertise is length. Eventually if it keeps going it could end up where only the longest survive. To me that diminishes the field. It would become less broad and eventually filled with only those who are long.

I go back to what I mention to start this off. The powers to be want to combat the length issue. Whether or not we, you, me or anyone feels its an issue or not is besides the point. Regardless, they lengthen holes and courses because they feel too many are driving too far. When they make things longer to combat what they feel is a problem, what they are doing imo is actually playing into it even more. The whole thing just further plays into the hands of those who excel at length. It does this by default where as it just makes it even harder and harder for those who strongest part of expertise is not length.

I stated earlier that those who are long should be allowed to utilize and showcase their greatness in their area of expertise. It wouldn't be fair or the right thing to not allow that. But having a few longer holes , the par5's and a long par3 or two is more than enough to allow them to excel and showcase and gain the reward for what they do best. But as we get closer and closer to more and more holes being lengthened it eventually imo becomes about nothing else but playing more favorite to those only. Eventually it weeds out those who's strongest area of expertise is not one of length. The field is then no longer as broad.

They don't need to change a 410 yard hole to 470 yrds to combat those who drive the ball 325. All that does is play to their strength by making it all that much harder for all the rest who cant drive that far and that eventually may result in the diminished field or at least a field that is more one dimensional. All they need to do is make it more penalizing and/or more risky to drive 325 on that hole or force a lay up and the issue is solved. You can and should still have a percentage of long holes to be fair to those who do excel in length and as stated above that's so easy to do with the par5's and a few long 4's etc. But if it all keeps going in this direction (I don't really know if its reached this place yet) but it will turn into (if it hasn't possibly began already) to a sport geared much more towards one type of player over others. I just feel something of great value will be lost with this.
 

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Question for those who are saying its because these guys drive it too far.

What if they simply just made the course play like it does for us? Less roll off the tee by softer fairways and not shaving the grass so tight?

This would limit everyone's driving distance especially those who are getting the most roll out.
 

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I guess I would ask what you consider bomb. Because you say the ball is hot but most amateurs average under 250 off the tee. I don't see that as a bomb I also don't see average distance changing that much in the past 10 years. You may hit farther it you also carry a very rare scratch hdcp, so I imagine you hit it pretty solid. This is not true for the majority of golfers on the planet.
I think what tahoebum alluded to was valid, but the effect is misssed by looking at change over just the past ten years. True PGA distances haven't changed in the LAST 10 years, BUT that's because the cat was out of the bag JUST BARELY before that 10 year period started. The effects of advancements in equipment are readily evident when you look at what happened on the PGA tour (and for ams too for that matter) from 1995 to 2000, and especially from 2000 to 2005. Massive gains in distance were made then, and things have leveled off since. I couldn't find averages so I looked at benchmarks; the #5 longest driver, #10, #25, #50 and #100 longest driver on the PGA in any given year.
From '95 to '05, the 5th best driver on the PGA added a whopping 30 yds off the tee (nearly 22 of those between '00 and '05). '05 to present the #5 diver actually lost 2 yds.
Same for the 10th best: more than 27 yds longer in '05 than '95 (18 yds of that between '00 and '05). '05 to present only saw a 0.6 yard gain to retain 10th.
More of the same for driver #25: Almost 28 yds gained between '95 and '05 (19 of those between '00 and '05). '05 to present saw a 0.1 yard drop at #25.
#50 = same-o: '95 to '05 required a 25.5 yard gain to hold 50th (almost 17 of those between '00 and '05). '05 to present shows a 0.7 yard gain.
#100 diver was similar: '95 to '05 showed almost 27 yds gained (15.5 of those just between '00 and '05). Since '05 distance to hold spot 100 dropped by 0.4 yards.
Something I found incredible in looking at the #100 driver was that in 2005 it required 288.7 yards to tie for the 100th spot. JUST FIVE YEARS EARLIER in 2000, Mickelson and DL3 averaged the EXACT SAME YARDAGE TO BE TIED FOR THIRD in driving distance.

The PGA site only had distances back to 1980 and in no other period listed were the gains remotely close to the 2000 to 2005 time frame or even the 1995 to 2000 block. Something major changed then and I'm guessing the ball and also other equipment advances played a major role.
As you correctly pointed out Tahoebum likely has a strong game contributing to him being longer now at 49, but I've witnessed exactly the same thing. I was essentially away from golf from 1996 until fall 2013. I come back in my late 50s, no where near the athlete I was in my 20s and 30s, and not playing as much golf nor practicing nearly as much either, yet somehow magically I am 25 yards longer. Say what?? Equipment changes (especially the ball IMO) have made distance markedly easier to achieve now compared to 20 or more years ago.
 
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Any 235 yard par three or 588 yard par 5 is a waste of my time and money, I will look for another course that is in my wheelhouse that I will enjoy to play.
 

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I resurfaced this because of a course I played the other day.

Just to refresh memory......I've said in this thread that one way for the powers that be to combat what they believe is a problem as for too many hitting too long is to change hole layouts instead of lengthening them. My theory has been that if they keep lengthening holes they are only playing into the hands of the longer hitters because by default it just further hurts the shorter hitters and works against its own cause. Not to mention how imo it eventually gradually will begin to diminish the top competitive field by becoming too one sided.

So the other day was on a course (first time played) and there were a few of the shorter holes that forced a layup tee shot. The fairway would end at "x" yardage and then pick up again much further up the hole's layout. So anyone very long would simply be in fescue. This is exactly one of things I have mentioned that is one way of combating their so called "hitters are too long" problem without the continued lengthening of holes which I believe will eventually hurt the game for reasons given in the thread. It was just funny to me I came across this on this course and it made me think of this thread.
 

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