Tiger Woods on the Distance Debate

TCB2010

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First they came for my driver...………...
exact same thing i was thinking of, reminds me of guns.
thats why one of my comments was, at some point do people just say i dont want to play anymore..
 

KEV

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I'm with you here. There was some rumblings about distance being an issue prior to Bryson getting all beefcaked out, but the escalation of concern has definitely amplified over the last couple months. In every other sport, players are celebrated for putting that kind of insane effort into their craft.

In Golf? It seems to be problematic.
I think something else to look at is coaching. Look at what Gankas gets out of his students. He's helping find ways to maximize each person's distance potential by creating a swing that will do so.
 

JMB3

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Seems like Tiger was speaking more broadly. I’m not sure why the distance debate always gets turned into a conversation about Bryson. I’ve participated in that same debate on this forum before Bryson decided to add 40 pounds. If Bryson didn’t see distance as a major advantage in today’s game, would he have undergone this massive change? Of course not. And I applaud Bryson for working his butt off within the rules. No “beef” with hjm

I was discussing this issue this morning after looking at Tour driving averages. For 20 years, the average has slowly increased. Two big jumps in the early 2000s corresponding with the introduction of the ProV1 ball on tour and the second big jump when 460cc drivers. Since then, it seems like the increases each year have been pretty small, until a 4 yd jump in 2018. I’m not sure what may have caused that jump, but my brilliant buddy @radiman suggested perhaps SuperSpeed and other over speed training becoming popular.

I do not think distance has just recently been a problem. So I definitely don’t blame Bryson. I think the concern is the trajectory. Even minimal increases each year will eventually add up, just like the 20+ yards we’ve seen in the past 20 years. I have no clue what the answer is, but I sure hope we don’t lose venues in the next 20 years because they can’t contain the bombers on tour.
 

bogeydown

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Has Bryson really done it differently than other guys though when comes to getting more distance? Isn't he just swinging faster than he has before. Yes, he's bulked up but I'm not always certain bulk, on it's own, is what is going to generate more speed. Clearly he has put in a ton of work, which is normally celebrated. I know when Tiger was first on the scene they talked about him out working everyone else that was already there on the tour. It seems to me that Bryson is doing the same.
 

radiman

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Has Bryson really done it differently than other guys though when comes to getting more distance? Isn't he just swinging faster than he has before. Yes, he's bulked up but I'm not always certain bulk, on it's own, is what is going to generate more speed. Clearly he has put in a ton of work, which is normally celebrated. I know when Tiger was first on the scene they talked about him out working everyone else that was already there on the tour. It seems to me that Bryson is doing the same.
The bulk is there to support his body at the increased speeds. I am sure part of the increase is strength. But, it's only a small piece of the story. But, since it's the most visible change, it's often all they talk about on TV.
 

radiman

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I feel like Bryson winning the US Open has really kicked things up a notch in the distance debate. I question if Matthew Wolff won, would they be talking about how far he was hitting it? If I remember correctly, he was every bit as long as Bryson and was even outdriving him on Sunday a few times.
 

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i think the obvious answer is how good tiger was for the game monetarily. whereas the powers that be may not see bryson as having that same kind of impact on viewership and revenue (not saying whether that's right or wrong).

maybe this is unfair, but i also wonder whether race would play a roll. this is not a game that has a rich history of inclusivity. if a person of color comes along in tiger woods who beats all the white guys by 100 shots a week, it's not a good look to scramble to change the rules to stop that from happening.

and lastly, during the tiger proofing there was more land available and less of a focus on conservation. so courses were fine to knock down trees, move more dirt, and disrupt more habitats to make the course longer and less gettable.
I think you’re underestimating the response to Tiger’s length advantage. One of the four major stops on tour not only lengthened the course, but it removed and replaced trees designed to get in his way. It is no coincidence that within the first 12 years after Augusta National was “Tiger Proofed,” 6 of the winners were left handed. How many before then? 0.
 

NVGOLFER80

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I just think that until this year. The record for average drive distance was maintained for like 15 years by Hank Kuehne at a smidge over 121 yards. He was just barely pipped this year. I think the biggest fear is not some much Bryson, although due to the rapid and extreme change has become the face. But that the tour average is increasing.. Or is it??

Tour average is 296 in the 2020 season. In 2010 it was 287.. So while there are a few more "bombers" are we really freaking out about what acounts to a 1 yard increase per year?? While I think a tour average increase has high potential. The longest average I think is very very close if not already at max...

My gut tells me that you will not see much more than 321 average distance for a single player. Maybe a couple more but that is it.. Even with Bryson talking 48 inch driver. I dont think you will see much more in actual results.. That is just me though..
 

tahoebum

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I guess I don't understand why we think it's ok to punish players for getting more physically fit and putting in a boatload of time working on their game? Has equipment advanced? Absolutely. But Bryson is putting in a crazy amount of work to be as successful as possible and I don't think someone should be punished for that.
I couldn't agree more and applaud what Bryson is doing. It's not easy to get longer and still hit it straight enough, many PGA Tour players have tried and failed.

By the same logic, the NFL and their fans should be upset about and figure out how to punish guys like Aaron Donald for working harder at his fitness than many of his peers. Maybe he should wear a scuba weight belt while playing to slow him down, lol.
 

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Can you explain that? Every club has to be conforming to the USGA specs.
Limits are not standards, and that's an important difference that may be subtle, but not semantics. The concept of prevention vs. detection also plays a role here.

For example, a speed limit does not prohibit me from driving faster than what's posted. Conversely, a governor on my motor could prevent me from exceeding a standard. A smoke detector doesn't prevent the fire, etc, etc.

I'm not suggesting all equipment be exactly the same, but can we get to a point where more preventative measures are in place to truly limit excessive equipment variance? Can we get to a place where the only variance is from the talent and skill of the player?
 

Bernoulli

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I feel like Bryson winning the US Open has really kicked things up a notch in the distance debate. I question if Matthew Wolff won, would they be talking about how far he was hitting it? If I remember correctly, he was every bit as long as Bryson and was even outdriving him on Sunday a few times.
I think that is a legitimate question to ask.
 

JMB3

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I just think that until this year. The record for average drive distance was maintained for like 15 years by Hank Kuehne at a smidge over 121 yards. He was just barely pipped this year. I think the biggest fear is not some much Bryson, although due to the rapid and extreme change has become the face. But that the tour average is increasing.. Or is it??

Tour average is 296 in the 2020 season. In 2010 it was 287.. So while there are a few more "bombers" are we really freaking out about what acounts to a 1 yard increase per year?? While I think a tour average increase has high potential. The longest average I think is very very close if not already at max...

My gut tells me that you will not see much more than 321 average distance for a single player. Maybe a couple more but that is it.. Even with Bryson talking 48 inch driver. I dont think you will see much more in actual results.. That is just me though..
You raise a good point. I was viewing the issue as perhaps a 1 yd increase indefinitely. But at some point, that should plateau, right? If so, I don’t really see the problem.
 

JB

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Limits are not standards, and that's an important difference that may be subtle, but not semantics. The concept of prevention vs. detection also plays a role here.

For example, a speed limit does not prohibit me from driving faster than what's posted. Conversely, a governor on my motor could prevent me from exceeding a standard. A smoke detector doesn't prevent the fire, etc, etc.

I'm not suggesting all equipment be exactly the same, but can we get to a point where more preventative measures are in place to truly limit excessive equipment variance? Can we get to a place where the only variance is from the talent and skill of the player?
It is in place, its the CT test.
And frankly, as you know, someone going marginally over in CT does not mean much.

But furthermore, every player has access to the same equipment. If they choose to cash in and play something they believe is not as good or we know is not as good, that is on them.

I guess I am not following. If we have a test in place and we have rules in place to keep things at that limit, what else is one asking for other than to have everybody playing the exact same model?
 

JMB3

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I feel like Bryson winning the US Open has really kicked things up a notch in the distance debate. I question if Matthew Wolff won, would they be talking about how far he was hitting it? If I remember correctly, he was every bit as long as Bryson and was even outdriving him on Sunday a few times.
Of course not, though it would have been an equally valid question then too. But Bryson has always been polarizing, and he is openly pushing distance to the limits, so he is any easy target for the people favoring some sort of “roll back.”
 

NVGOLFER80

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Honestly numbers are a lot of fun.. Going back to 2000. The average tour distance was 272... So it appears to have in 20 years jumped up a ton right? Now, lets look at just who was in the top ten in distance in 2000.

1. John Daly..
2. Tiger Woods
3. Davis Love III
T3. Phil Mickelson

Nothing to unexpected there.. Here is where to me it gets fun..

5. Scott McCarron
6. Casey Martin
7. Harrsion Frazar
8. Stuart Appleby
9. mathew Goggin
10. Robert Allenby..

None of these guys even stand out as really even being that athletic and if you asked me to name the top drivers would have even come close to my radar..
 

Smiter

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I think it’s ********. Say they do something to dial it back 10%. That means drives now go 270. Hell I can do that occasionally. I want to see them do things I can’t, or at least seldom do. I don’t care what the winning score is. +10 or -10 makes no difference to me, everyone plays the same course.
 

JMB3

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Honestly numbers are a lot of fun.. Going back to 2000. The average tour distance was 272... So it appears to have in 20 years jumped up a ton right? Now, lets look at just who was in the top ten in distance in 2000.

1. John Daly..
2. Tiger Woods
3. Davis Love III
T3. Phil Mickelson

Nothing to unexpected there.. Here is where to me it gets fun..

5. Scott McCarron
6. Casey Martin
7. Harrsion Frazar
8. Stuart Appleby
9. mathew Goggin
10. Robert Allenby..

None of these guys even stand out as really even being that athletic and if you asked me to name the top drivers would have even come close to my radar..
And half of that jump from 272 came in two years.
 

NVGOLFER80

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NVGOLFER80

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And half of that jump from 272 came in two years.
Prov1 baby... Released to the public Oct 9, 2000. By 2001/2002 every tour player was playing a solid core ball.
 

golfunfiltered

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It is in place, its the CT test.
And frankly, as you know, someone going marginally over in CT does not mean much.

But furthermore, every player has access to the same equipment. If they choose to cash in and play something they believe is not as good or we know is not as good, that is on them.

I guess I am not following. If we have a test in place and we have rules in place to keep things at that limit, what else is one asking for other than to have everybody playing the exact same model?
That's my point though: a limit is not the same as a standard. If equipment was kept to a standard, it would eliminate any question as to what players are using, and golf courses would know what's coming at them. Plus, it would allow stronger players to keep getting stronger, thus outperforming their peers anyway.
 

NVGOLFER80

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golfunfiltered

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Frankly, much of this conversation is around the golf ball and drivers. I bet if nothing else changed, but something was done to "cap" driver-tech-performance, the distance debate would go away.
 

JB

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That's my point though: a limit is not the same as a standard. If equipment was kept to a standard, it would eliminate any question as to what players are using, and golf courses would know what's coming at them. Plus, it would allow stronger players to keep getting stronger, thus outperforming their peers anyway.
It is kept to a standard.
That is why they have a CT test and use it frequently.
 

NVGOLFER80

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Frankly, much of this conversation is around the golf ball and drivers. I bet if nothing else changed, but something was done to "cap" driver-tech-performance, the distance debate would go away.
The problem is dumb people (relative term) are dealing with really smart people. The rocket scientist designing these clubs will find work arounds to every limit. They love that kind of thing. The more constraints you give, the better the club they will design.

For example. Wedges.. Tell me todays wedges do not spin as much if not more than the box groove wedges from yesteryear?? Because they do.. They just figured out another way to do it. And its better because they do not chew balls like the old wedges did.
 

golfunfiltered

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It is kept to a standard.
That is why they have a CT test and use it frequently.
"The limit of time placed on golf clubs is 239 milliseconds with a tolerance of 18 milliseconds. Therefore, any golf club that measures higher than 257 milliseconds on the CT test is deemed illegal. "

That's not a standard, that's a limit.
 

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