Distance and the Blue Jackets

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Post by Shotrock on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 6:55 pm

To what length will they go?

https://www.globalgolfpost.com/featured/usga-ra-publish-conclusions-of-distance-insights-project/

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 7:57 pm

It's clear that they have yet to consult DeChambeau on the subject . . . . . . .

But it does make one wonder whether a nouveau Golf League might focus on courses built to 8,000 yards or more . . . . . .
Because "chicks dig the long ball"?

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Post by pedro on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 9:46 pm

Shotrock wrote:To what length will they go?

https://www.globalgolfpost.com/featured/usga-ra-publish-conclusions-of-distance-insights-project/
Depends on the air density.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 9:48 pm

Who knows? However, tech is out of control IMHO. R&A/USGA asleep at wheel and horse has kind of bolted. Hollow, sprung-faced irons???
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Post by Shotrock on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 9:57 pm

Agree Navy. Mike Davis talks about swim times being down but he may not realize many a governing body in that sport has outlawed fast suits. Do something about the equipment if you want these courses to play closer to the architect's vision.

Sure, athletes get better, but Greg Norman says he now hits the ball further than when he was playing on tour. It's not because he's stronger or more flexible now.

Or, simply don't concern yourself with the score in relation to par.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 8:43 am

Shotrock wrote:Agree Navy. Mike Davis talks about swim times being down but he may not realize many a governing body in that sport has outlawed fast suits. Do something about the equipment if you want these courses to play closer to the architect's vision.

Sure, athletes get better, but Greg Norman says he now hits the ball further than when he was playing on tour. It's not because he's stronger or more flexible now.

Or, simply don't concern yourself with the score in relation to par.
Could work; par's just a number. However, personally, I find bomb, wedge, putt (repeat ad nauseam) to be utterly boring. Anyone can hit a wedge pretty good; 3i not so much.
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Post by JAS on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 10:11 am

I still think course design can mitigate a LOT of the presumption that distance is killing the game. No matter which way you cut it, it’s all about the balance between power/distance and finesse/accuracy.
You take raw power and demand accuracy with it and make over distance and inaccuracy more penal then you rebalance the equation somewhat. Yes adding length to courses helps but does it help as much as strategically placed hazards?

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Post by McLaren on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 12:36 pm

Jas

Just have huge cross bunkers 50 yards deep from 280 to 330 off the tee on every par 4. With knee high rough lining the all the fairway.


Navy/shotrock

I nice illustration of how tech has changed over the decades. Watch Wallace and Van Rooyen trying out clubs from 1980 to present.




I think they were trying to show just how much better the new callaway is but really they have highlighted why it maybe shouldn't even be legal or there is some editing of the previous gen clubs good shots. The difference probably isn't 212 carry vs 300 but the dispersion must also be considered.
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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 1:25 pm

Interesting vid, Mac. Suspect they were trying to hit modern balls w/ the persimmon - never going to work as they don't have the spin rates to stay airborne.

Shows just how much difference though between persimmon and today's tech. As you say, not just distance, but dispersion etc as well. Imagine the fit of the older clubs probably worse for those guys as well and they've learnt on the modern gear so swing probably fits current tech better.
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Post by Shotrock on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 2:41 pm

Thanks Mac, interesting and very telling video. I'm pretty sure that it was Stewart Cink who claims the reduced dispersion is more beneficial than the increased length. Regardless, I do think there will be bifurcation and I would not be surprised if it started with a tournament ball at Augusta.

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Post by super_realist on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 4:01 pm

It's pretty clear that probably the biggest advance in recent years has been better scientific understanding of optimising clubs and ball flight coupled with far higher swing speeds, rather than actual improvements in club technology.

It's been shown pretty conclusively on various videos that the gain from clubs and balls in the last twenty years has not been that great at all, something in the order of a yard a year, whereas an increase of 1 mph in swing speed equates to roughly 3 yards.

What would be more interesting would be to see the swing speed stat changes over the last 10,20,30 and 40 years.

You don't even need to grow rough to counter it, just stick in OB or lateral hazards with poles to designate it.

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Post by Shotrock on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 4:30 pm

You could well be correct Super. But I do wonder if swing speeds have increased primarily because top players know then can go close to 100%, whereas the pros of days gone by always had to adjust swing speed to the technology at hand.

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Post by super_realist on Wed 05 Feb 2020, 5:05 pm

Shotrock wrote:You could well be correct Super. But I do wonder if swing speeds have increased primarily because top players know then can go close to 100%, whereas the pros of days gone by always had to adjust swing speed to the technology at hand.

Back in the old days and even in the early days of Botox Woods there was very little understanding of building a swing to cope with speed. Its far better established now and there's even a small number of players who could genuinely be considered athletic due to some of the speeds. I remember long drive champ ridiculing Botox Woods training because it wasn't suitable for protecting the body, it was just a half arsed afterthought to becoming stronger, but incorrect application.
You basically can't compete these days if your swing isn't  over 112mph ish.

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Post by beninho on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 7:33 am

There seems to be lots of excuses made about the distance, being down to faster swing, more understanding of data and better physical conditioning.

The only way to confirm that is get them to play the ball and club from the early 90s and see how far they hit it. That would put it all to bed

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Post by super_realist on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 9:49 am

beninho wrote:There seems to be lots of excuses made about the distance, being down to faster swing, more understanding of data and better physical conditioning.

The only way to confirm that is get them to play the ball and club from the early 90s and see how far they hit it. That would put it all to bed

Rick Shiels has done this and the difference is pretty minimal.

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Post by beninho on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 2:47 pm

No idea who he is, so did a quick search. Saw a video of a 98 and 2018 driver. Which was on average 19 yards further with faster ball speed and better dispersion (?). Though slower club head speed. He mentions doing one with a 98 ball to go with the old driver, but I couldn't find that.

If, a vlogger is getting 20yards, I'd expect the top pros to get more.

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Post by super_realist on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 7:51 am

beninho wrote:No idea who he is, so did a quick search. Saw a video of a 98 and 2018 driver. Which was on average 19 yards further with faster ball speed and better dispersion (?). Though slower club head speed. He mentions doing one with a 98 ball to go with the old driver, but I couldn't find that.

If, a vlogger is getting 20yards, I'd expect the top pros to get more.

You've never heard of Rick Shiels? He's a golf professional, not a professional golfer, and he has a swing speed equal to the PGA average, so I wouldn't really expect a tour pro to get much more out of it,  therefore 20 yards in 20 years is not really a big deal is it and sort of defuses the preposterous claim we need a tour ball to be curtailed.

Vis a vi it's more down to development of the players swing and physicality and fitting to optimum trajectory that it is to the technology of the ball or club.

Crossfield also does an interesting test when he sticks all sorts of objects to the top of a club to see if it affects swing speed/clubhead speed and it has practically no effect, so all the claims of "increased aerodynamics" are pretty much lies if you can stick a toy soldier to the top of a club and see no real difference.

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Post by beninho on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 8:14 am

That was just a driver. It was also with a current ball, I am not sure if he did one with an old ball, as he said he would. As it's the ball, that has also made a difference it would be interesting what difference the old compared to new ball makes on top of the 20 yards from the driver.

But as I mentioned,from the video, the dispersion is better with the new club, and while the club speed is less ball speed is more. That's nothing to do with the development of the players it's all down to club development.

New clubs are better, easier to hit and go further. As proved in the aforementioned video.even the vlogger was surprised at the difference on a driver alone.

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Post by super_realist on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 8:43 am

He's done it with an old ball before too. Titleist 90 Balata if I recall.

On the driver, 20 yards in 20 years is really nothing. 1 yard per year.

What you haven't considered is that an old club hasn't been fitted to the tester, it's just an old club. So why would you expect dispersion to be similar on one club that's fitted, and one that isn't? It's not really a fair comparison if you look at it myopically like that.

What Shiels has proven is that technology is nowhere near the big factor that people make it out to be.

I don't doubt that modern clubs are better than older clubs, all I'm saying is that the difference isn't that great so as to be making such a big difference.
Nicklaus still drove the 18th at TOC with a persimmon driver. If we are to believe the current nonsense about current technology, then Nicklaus would be struggling to get over the road.

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Post by beninho on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 8:49 am

He literally says he was surprised of the difference, and he wasn't expecting it to be that much. And that technology is getting better and 3each year.

If you think the take is that he is showing that it's not making much difference, you're on the opposite side of his own video. Just seen one with a 98 titleist compared to 18 titleist. 12 yards difference with a 2018 driver.

Really interesting to see what a 98 driver and 98 ball would do. If you have a link, that would be great.

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Post by beninho on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 9:08 am

Found it, 41 yards. A 98 club and ball against the 18 club and ball.

Quite a lot over 20 years, and only likely to increase.

https://youtu.be/N4iDuQGxirk

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Post by I'm never wrong on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 10:07 am

This is the text of a Tweet by Arron Oberholser.
Ok I’ll play the distance debate....again.
2003, 28 years old, no surgeries. I swung it 111-113mph averaged 285 on tour.
2020, 45, hardly practice full swing, don’t train for golf, 4 left hand surgeries and a right hip surgery, swing it 105/106 mph, avg 285.


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Post by navyblueshorts on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 10:36 am

beninho wrote:Found it, 41 yards. A 98 club and ball against the 18 club and ball.

Quite a lot over 20 years, and only likely to increase.

https://youtu.be/N4iDuQGxirk
Quite. S_R has a point re. fitness/fitting etc (it's one contributory factor), but to ignore the role of tech in both increased distance and decreased dispersion is a bit too narrow a focus I think.
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Post by beninho on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 11:23 am

I'm not arguing that there are a number of factors, including fitness training and a better understanding of golf in general for the players. But a 40 yard gain from a driver and ball cannot be ignored. And is probably the biggest impact on the increase distance.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 12:53 pm

Super

It must all be down to shaft and club fitting because the fatties on tour now hit it just as far as the buff guys. Rahm, Shane, Matsuyama, Westwood, Fat bob etc are all well out of shape but are hitting it as far as those players who are well conditioned.

You dismiss the role of the ball, the clubhead, I have just shown conditioning of the players makes no difference, so the club fitters are doing an exceptional job.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 1:39 pm

McLaren wrote:Super

It must all be down to shaft and club fitting because the fatties on tour now hit it just as far as the buff guys. Rahm, Shane, Matsuyama, Westwood, Fat bob etc are all well out of shape but are hitting it as far as those players who are well conditioned.

You dismiss the role of the ball, the clubhead, I have just shown conditioning of the players makes no difference, so the club fitters are doing an exceptional job.


Mac,
How many golfers do you think hit it further than Nicklaus (GOAT) when he was a fatty at the start of his career?

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Post by McLaren on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 1:48 pm

Kwini

I think that's my point, player conditioning has limited impact on length.

But to answer your question I assume he was pretty long for his time.


One aspect not really discussed has been the coming of age of launch monitors and the like. Players can now have much more useful coaching.
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Post by super_realist on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 7:47 am

McLaren wrote:Super

It must all be down to shaft and club fitting because the fatties on tour now hit it just as far as the buff guys. Rahm, Shane, Matsuyama, Westwood, Fat bob etc are all well out of shape but are hitting it as far as those players who are well conditioned.

You dismiss the role of the ball, the clubhead, I have just shown conditioning of the players makes no difference, so the club fitters are doing an exceptional job.

I didn't dismiss the role of the ball or club, I said it wasn't all the distance, and doesn't make up as much as what people say.
Swing speed doesn't mean you are fit or in good shape. Angel Cabrera and Els get it out there.

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Post by super_realist on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 7:49 am

beninho wrote:Found it, 41 yards. A 98 club and ball against the 18 club and ball.

Quite a lot over 20 years, and only likely to increase.

https://youtu.be/N4iDuQGxirk

How is it likely to increase? Driver technology is at the absolute limit. Clubs are initially designed to exceed legal limits, but are brought back to within range.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 8:18 am

super_realist wrote:
beninho wrote:Found it, 41 yards. A 98 club and ball against the 18 club and ball.

Quite a lot over 20 years, and only likely to increase.

https://youtu.be/N4iDuQGxirk

How is it likely to increase? Driver technology is at the absolute limit. Clubs are initially designed to exceed legal limits, but are brought back to within range.
It might not go any further for drivers, which is why we're seeing sprung-faced irons. It's gone too far and the rule makers don't give a scheisse until too late and then they start wringing their hands. Useless.
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Post by Shotrock on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 1:55 pm

Driver distance was a topic on a golf show I saw for a bit last night. One of the commentators was making the point that there was a 40 yard +/- difference between the top 10% and the bottom 10% 25 years ago, and now it's still the same. So, why the fuss he asked? Everyone gets the same equipment advantage.

Obviously, he totally ignores what this has done to any strategic design for classic courses. I suspect we'll continue to see the powers that be amp up the green speed to keep scores higher. This, as we know, can lead to some very long rounds of play.

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Post by super_realist on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 8:06 am

navyblueshorts wrote:
super_realist wrote:
beninho wrote:Found it, 41 yards. A 98 club and ball against the 18 club and ball.

Quite a lot over 20 years, and only likely to increase.

https://youtu.be/N4iDuQGxirk

How is it likely to increase? Driver technology is at the absolute limit. Clubs are initially designed to exceed legal limits, but are brought back to within range.
It might not go any further for drivers, which is why we're seeing sprung-faced irons. It's gone too far and the rule makers don't give a scheisse until too late and then they start wringing their hands. Useless.

That's the point though, the whole distance argument rests entirely on the equipment, and no mention is ever made of the increase in swing speed and the use of trackman etc to optimise the clubs to the swing of the person as well as swing specific training and coaching being far more entrenched.

Of course the equipment is better, more forgiving and goes slightly further, but it's not the be all and end all of the argument.

It's also worth nothing that what was a 7 iron 20-30 years ago now has the loft of a 5 iron and this has been the snake oil salesman tactic for distance for at least 5 years. Almost all of the big companies except Mizuno and some of the Titleist range have really delofted everything in their entire club availability.  You aren't hitting a comparable club when there is so much dynamic difference in the set up.
Sprung faced irons are also not a new thing. Clubs have been hollow with varying degrees of thickness and "trampoline effect" for years.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 11:48 am

super_realist wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
super_realist wrote:
beninho wrote:Found it, 41 yards. A 98 club and ball against the 18 club and ball.

Quite a lot over 20 years, and only likely to increase.

https://youtu.be/N4iDuQGxirk

How is it likely to increase? Driver technology is at the absolute limit. Clubs are initially designed to exceed legal limits, but are brought back to within range.
It might not go any further for drivers, which is why we're seeing sprung-faced irons. It's gone too far and the rule makers don't give a scheisse until too late and then they start wringing their hands. Useless.

That's the point though, the whole distance argument rests entirely on the equipment, and no mention is ever made of the increase in swing speed and the use of trackman etc to optimise the clubs to the swing of the person as well as swing specific training and coaching being far more entrenched.

Of course the equipment is better, more forgiving and goes slightly further, but it's not the be all and end all of the argument.

It's also worth nothing that what was a 7 iron 20-30 years ago now has the loft of a 5 iron and this has been the snake oil salesman tactic for distance  for at least 5 years. Almost all of the big companies except Mizuno and some of the Titleist range have really delofted everything in their entire club availability.  You aren't hitting a comparable club when there is so much dynamic difference in the set up.
Sprung faced irons are also not a new thing. Clubs have been hollow with varying degrees of thickness and "trampoline effect" for years.
Sorry, don't agree. It's a given that athleticism, fitting etc make a difference, but how do you legislate against that effect? You can't tell someone they aren't allowed to work out in order to swing it faster. You can row back kit though.
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Post by super_realist on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 12:00 pm

I'm not asking anyone to legislate against swing speed. My point is that all improvements in distance are not related to equipment, which seems to be the general view. All I'm saying is there is a lot more to it than that.
You don't need to wind back anything. You could simply introduce OOB on course using stakes. Problem solved.

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Post by puligny on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 12:48 pm

Isn’t scoring more important than distance. I recall reading a while ago that since 60s average score on PGA Tour has improved by 4 strokes, over 72 hole tournaments ie 1 stroke per round.
Reasons given, from memory were:
Technology
Course conditioning
Overall standard of players improved ( evidence was more first time winners, and wider spread of winners)

Seems to make sense to me. Just achieving something with different tools - or should we put laces back in footballs and reintroduce dubbin and apply more sand to the centre strip of football pitches to soak up the puddles!

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