Colin Montgomerie is lobbying to change the rules of golf to make errant drives more penal. Can’t say I disagree with this point. I’d like to see a premium put on driving accuracy. Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and others may not win as many tournaments if they can’t get home from the rough like they do now.
Jack Nicklaus wants to gear back the ball and says doing so would resurrect 17,000 golf courses which are “obsolete to professional golfers.” That’s great, but there are a couple of hundred PGA Tour memebers, Nationwide Tour members etc. So we’re going to gear back the ball for a few hundred “pros” when there are tens of millions of amateurs out there?
I must also point out that the average score of the amateur golfer hasn’t changed for decades despite all this new technology and distance. So do we need to change the equipment for amateurs and pros alike or simply have a set of specs for the pros? Or do we need to do anything at all?
After reading a number of articles on this subject, it would seem that there’s a simple solution – and one that, happily, doesn’t require all of us middle-class hackers to buy new irons or risk invalidating our handicap.
Just grow the rough higher for pro events. Regardless of the clubface grooves, you’re just not going to get tremendous spin rates hitting out of six-inch rough.
It worked at Winged Foot.
Not saying either way, but do the fans and the players want U.S. Open conditions every week?
What exactly are these changes trying to achieve? Parity at the professional level? Attracting more amateurs? Retaining more amateurs? Television ratings?
I don’t care about parity at the professional level and trying to “level the playing field” will result in unintended consequences (wasn’t lengthing courses called “Tiger-proofing” which has lead to him being more dominant).
I don’t think making the game look harder for professionals is going to attract anyone to golf. Retaining golfers, maybe if they see that pros are stinking it up more often.
TV ratings and sponsorships will likely have a big say.
They can always turn the par 72 courses into par 70s. That way the pros who end up in the rough with their great high-tech clubs and balls will have less shots to play with to save par.
I think the Pros and Amateurs should use the same equipment, just like in every other sport. Everyone can then appreciate how good the Pros really are at golf.
I also think there should be a premium on hitting fairways. The changes that are going to be made to achieve the importance of hitting fairways remains to be seen.