Yo, Tiger! Balls Will Be Balls
Everyone's got a right to an opinion, but whoa!
Look who's talking.
Tiger Woods made his name driving golf balls into the next area code.
Dude even bashed one from continent to continent:
The point, though, is this: Woods' reputation and success was built on bombing par-4s and par-5s into submission to the extent that Tiger-proofing became a description for refurbishing championship courses.
That included lengthening Bobby Jones's hallowed Augusta National. However, the alteration gave back too much:
Bottom line: Woods isn't exactly the ideal poster dude for saying golf balls need to be hobbled so they don't travel so far.
With the game progressing as it is, I think the 8000-yard golf course is not too far away.
That’s pretty scary. We don’t have enough property to start designing these types of golf courses, and it just makes it so much more complicated.
However, he's not the first legendary linkster to take this stand. When Jack Nicklaus talks, it's noteworthy.
|I think we need to develop a golf ball to suit the golf course, rather than build courses to suit a golf ball. Whether it’s a ball that goes 50%, 75%,or 100% you play a ball that fits the course and your game.|
Woods brought dynamic training to pro golf and put swing coach Butch Harmon's techniques to good use in his early pro years, from 1996 to 2003:
- He won 8 majors in 24 starts,
- He never missed a major, and
- He won 34 titles overall in 127 starts.
One of his major weapons, of course was a barrage of booster-rocket drives, like this blast at Pebble Beach in 2000:
Others studied the template, did the work, and joined in the onslaught.
Here's Rory McElroy at the 2014 Scottish Open driving the green at Royal Aberdeen's 13th hole, 436 yards away:
Louis Oosthuizen's 500-yarder at the Ballantine's Championship in South Korea doesn't count, but it's fun to watch, anyway.
It's clearly the world's slowest long shot:
Powerful drives are one of the PGA Tour's attractions. As with any sport, spectators are attracted to following the best, doing amazing things at games they themselves can play.
Hobbling the ball doesn't seem to be an appealing option in that respect.
Ask any duffer intending to attend a tour round what advice the club pros give. Find a pro who resembles your physique and follow him. This must be why Craig 'The Walrus' Stadler had such big galleries.
And who's ever seen anyone record scorching scores on the links courses in the British Open rotation?
Squeeze the fairways, make the roughs rough, dig the traps deep, and let the bitchers bitch.
How tough is that to build?
The bombers need to calculate serious risk, which oughta add to the drama. Not to mention duffers identifying even more with the action.
There's nothing wrong with the balls or the training and technology that launches them. Just give the pros a palette where they earn their scores.