Welcome to another edition of the Fully Equipped Mailbag, sponsored by Cleveland/Srixon Golf, an interactive GOLF.com collection by which we subject your hard-hitting gear questions.
Is the ball really what needs to be rolled back? There’s gotta be another way. – Thomas W., Oregon
No kidding, Thomas. In case you haven’t heard the information in regards to the latest in potential golf ball rules bifurcation, you’ll find a way to examine it right here, here, and here. You can even listen and study extra about it right here. Phew, it’s lots to soak up and, like you, we can’t help however wonder why the USGA determined to select on the ball as a means to quell the gap increase and to preserve the integrity of average-to-shorter length programs.
We get the explanations for it, and we also want to see golfers have to strategize — versus merely overpowering courses. But is the ball really the problem? Is there anything that could be accomplished to reduce yardages?
We’ve come up with 5 options which will or is most likely not higher avenues to take to make sure prime golf competitions are still performed on basic layouts without any must build new tee packing containers and stretch golf-course real property beyond the bounds of reasonability.
1. Lower the CT limit
Remember when a driver’s coefficient of restitution (COR) was all gear geeks like us may talk about? In case you forgot, COR is the measurement of power transfer when two objects collide, and for a long time, the utmost allowable transfer of power (assuming 1.00 is a perfect power transfer) was 0.830. It was examined by launching a ball out of a cannon and measuring the vitality (or speed) of the ball because it rebounded off the face. The USGA and gear companies have since moved on to what’s called a characteristic time (CT) take a look at, which makes use of a steel ball on a pendulum to document how long the ball and face stay in touch with each other. The longer the face sticks to a ball, the extra springy it is, and proper now, the maximum CT for any club is 257 microseconds. A simple fix to scale back bombs with the driver is to require an even shorter CT time to reduce springiness, which would cut back general distance.
2. Scale back the 460cc restrict and deep/low CG locations
Most modern-day drivers are 440-460cc in dimension, making them simpler to wield and swing at full pace. If we scaled the utmost allowable size to something like 360cc, that 100cc distinction would drive players to make slower and extra managed swings to ensure strong contact (maybe!). The same might be mentioned of CG areas. The further ahead and better the CG, the much less forgiving the driver will be, probably forcing players to dial back their swing speeds to maintain the ball in play.
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3. Reduce the allowable shaft length
Here’s a easy one that the USGA has already tried: Reduce the maximum allowable length from 48-inch drivers to one thing like 44- and even 42-inch. Granted, in 2022, the USGA created a Model Local Rule that allowed tournament organizers to cap lengths at 46 inches, however clearly, that did little to alter how far the longest players can smash it.
Simply slicing down one’s shaft length to something more draconian like 42 inches will lessen a player’s tee shot by a minimum of 20 yards or more. Problem solved.
4. Cut fairways in half and develop extra rough
Escaping from the rough makes approaching a inexperienced much more difficult
While narrowing fairways may make the sport more challenging, it’s no enjoyable to watch Tour players miss the short stuff and be compelled to pitch out of deep rough. Instead of narrowing fairways, perhaps shortening them might be a better answer to scale back the motivation for hitting longer tee pictures. For example, ending fairways at 300 yards and strategically inserting extra bunkers, hazards and deep tough in areas the place long hitters land the ball may make hitting long and straight drives more penalizing. After all, who said fairways have to stretch from tee to green? Breaking them up with rough or hazards/bunkers would make the sport more interesting and strategic, without compromising the integrity of some of the world’s most cherished courses that have no more room to stretch out.
5. Ditch the tees (no, really!)
Teeing the ball up permits for a fantastic upward strike
Our own Dylan Dethier floated this idea, and although it may appear silly at first, the more you think about it, the more it might work. Eliminating tees would immediately curtail distance off the tee and stop golfers from reaching that high-launching, low-spinning, long-flying ball flight that every long hitter has. Ditching tees would also significantly increase spin, making it a lot tougher to hit the long ball.
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