THE CASE FOR ROLLING BACK 1

Golf World (UK) - - THE SPIN -

The case against was on show at the WGCCadil­lac Cham­pi­onship in 2016 when, on the 341-yard par-4 16th, 60 of the 65 play­ers in the field at­tempted to reach the green off the tee. And not all of them pulled a driver. It was also on show at the North­ern Trust last year, when Dustin John­son over­pow­ered Glen Oaks’ 467-yard par-4 18th hole by crush­ing his tee shot over a lake to within a lob wedge of the hole, which might as well have been wav­ing a white flag for all the re­sis­tance it could muster. But these are not iso­lated ex­am­ples. A per­fect storm of more cut­ting edge ball and driver tech­nol­ogy, im­proved agron­omy, stronger ath­letes and ad­vanced coach­ing prac­tices have cre­ated an en­vi­ron­ment where even less gifted play­ers can pro­pel the ball longer and straighter than ever be­fore and where craft­man­ship is no longer a pre­req­ui­site to suc­cess. Some­what lost in the noise of Tiger’s com­ments was the view of Geoff Ogilvy (above), a man paid by Titleist to play their Pro V1 ball. “In my ca­reer, it’s gone from 300 yards was a mas­sive hit to you’re a shorter hit­ter on tour now. It’s changed the way we play great cour­ses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400. It’s the fact the ball go­ing 400 doesn’t make Au­gusta work prop­erly.” In the week the USGA’s Mike Davis de­scribed it as “hor­ri­ble” how dis­tance had re­duced the test of many older cour­ses, Ogilvy asked. “Do you re­build ev­ery [course] in the world? That’s ex­pen­sive. Or make the ball go shorter? “It seems rel­a­tively sim­ple from that per­spec­tive.’’

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