Tiger says golf balls go too far but it never bothered him when he was young

I see that Tiger Woods is calling for a rollback on the distance the golf ball goes, suggesting that it won’t be long before courses will have to be 8,000+ yards to accommodate modern pros. As he aptly puts it, the land cost and maintenance cost for that kind of added length would be prohibitive.

Woods is only echoing what Jack Nicklaus has been saying for decades but the two major rules bodies (R&A, USGA) pretend not to have heard him or any of the other industry heavyweights that have concurred. Well, as the saying goes, this horse left the barn a long time ago and trying to close the door now would only dredge up years of litigation with the ball manufacturers and a sea of red ink for the associations.

And for what purpose?

Recreational golfers aren’t benefiting from huge increases in driving distance or imperiling classic courses. They have no stake in this issue. Besides they like seeing DJ, Brooks and Rory bomb the ball a mile. And for the most part, they like seeing the pros make lots of birdies too.

If the pro tours want to do anything themselves they could ask for a limited flight ball for some tournaments, although that too could lead to litigation. A better way to limit driving distance would be to grow the grass in the fairways a half inch longer and stop turning them into rock hard runways.

Some suggest Augusta National could lead the charge on the introduction of a limited flight ball for the Masters. Maybe. But that would require them to admit they have a problem, which isn’t something Augusta National does easily.

No, Tiger just better get used to the fact that he’s not the Big Dog anymore and learn how to hit his hybrids.


Peter Mumford
Peter Mumford is the Editor of Fairways Magazine. He's played over 500 different courses in 21 countries and met some fascinating people along the way. He's also a long-suffering Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

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