Silloth on Solway Golf Club

Does the golf ball go too far?

Does the golf ball go too far?

The subject of how far the golf ball goes has risen its head again last week.  The R+A and the USGA released some information regarding the increase in distances the tour players hit their drivers.  There has been much said about this during the week by all corners of the golfing world.

The question is ‘does the golf ball go too far?’

Firstly we need to ask who this question relates to.  I don’t think the average club golfer hits the ball too far, the average male amateur hits his driver 208 yards and female amateurs average is 146 yards.  So, it seems this is aimed at the elite golfers.

Since 2003 the male tour players have increased their driver distance by 2.2% but in the same time period the female tour players have only increased by 0.75%.  Surely if technology was the only reason for the increases then both male and female tour players would have similar increases.

The main concern it seems is the old traditional golf courses are being left behind and are being made obsolete by tour pros hitting the ball too far.  I do agree that golf cannot afford to keep building and extending courses towards 8,000 yards just to satisfy the demands of the tours.

I would also say that although the tour pros are hitting their drivers further they don’t seem to be hitting their irons any further.  I don’t think the average 7 iron has increased in distance much at all over the same period.  The tour pros now are bigger, stronger and fitter than ever before, you would expect them to hit the ball a bit further.  To try to reduce how far the ball goes waters things down too much for me.

Courses can do many things to protect themselves from the driver distances.  Narrow the fairways in making it a premium to hit the fairway.  Split fairways where the players can’t really hit driver.  There are many great holes where the players aren’t able to hit driver off the tee.  Many tour events have very little rough, make it so if you miss the fairway you are punished.

There are some events that have some or all of these things in place and the events don’t become a bombers paradise.  Golf needs to address many things before it gets onto how far the ball goes in my opinion. 

Start with speeding the play up.  That a topic for another blog though!

Any thoughts or comments on this feel free to share them.

Happy golfing

Alan Oliver
Secretary – Silloth on Solway Golf Club.


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