Thanks, Clay. That was the information I was looking for.
I am amazed that she can hit it with the men, that is crazy long for a lady. What is also wild is that they had a 600 yard par 5 set up for the women. That is even crazier. Plus, she reached it. That is hard to fathom.
The ball and the equipment today is just insane. It is too long. The R&A and the USGA are going to have to get off their cans and do something. We all love the long ball, but it is getting ridiculous for the ball to go those type of distances. The golf courses of today, as we know, are becoming obsolete.
Arnold Palmer, at 5-10 185 pounds and one of the longest and strongest players of his day, could drive the golf ball around 260-270 yards in the 1960’s. Dan Pohl, the longest driver on the PGA tour in 1974 average about 275 yards.
Today, a little guy like Justin Thomas at 5-10 and 150-155 pounds can hit it around 330 yards when he hits a good ball. He is 50-60 yards longer than Arnold Palmer. Palmer was a physical specimen in his time…strong and athletic.
Elvis has left the building, the horse is out of the barn, so to speak…so we know the ruling bodies don’t have the guts to roll back the ball, but they could stop letting distances increase from today forward. 600 yard par 5’s for women? Where does this stop? Part of this distance increase is due to players being bigger, stronger and more fit, but most of it comes from technology. You give a 25 year old bull like Arnold Palmer today’s equipment and you know he would put it out there with Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, and the boys.
Some people might say, so what if the ball goes further? This is a major change in the game…it is not the same game as it was. The longer courses require more land, more expense in maintenance and, of course, more time to play a round of golf. Existing great golf courses are not having majors played on them because they can’t be lengthened and are too short for players.
Look at major league baseball. What if an average fly ball flew 25% further or a pitcher could throw 25% faster. 125 mph fastballs and routine fly balls going 440 feet instead of 350 feet? It would be a game changer or maybe even make MLB a joke of a game.
Jack Nicklaus, a thoughtful man and one of the greatest golfers to ever play the game, says the simple solution is to roll back the ball, where, for example, today’s 330 yard drive would go 300. An average tour player who hits it 300 would be rolled back to around 270 yards. This would allow the great golf courses to be played and cost and time to come down. But we all know this isn’t going to happen.