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Golf: A Dead Horse Issue In a Dying Game?

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Contributor:
Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“This topic is the definition of dead horse,” writes Sin Palabras commenting at Geoff Shackelford’s blog, ‘Rory Ready For Quail Hollow? Averages 328.7 At Firestone’.

The dead horse issue
The dead horse issue is all about discussing the driving distances the professionals are achieving and I agree it’s been done to death over the last few years.
That the length they are now achieving has most definitely changed the professional game.

Commenting on the same blog discussion davidy48 writes, ‘I tried to watch some of Firestone last night, but got bored watching all the wedges. Wouldn't it be great to send them all out just for fun with equipment from 20 years ago, 200cc drivers and pre Prov1 balls, and see what clubs they use and how they score ? When Olazabal set the first course record he was hitting 3 woods for a lot of his second shots !’
Please note, for the record a later and very knowledgeable commentator advises us that there were not as many 3-wood second shots as suggested, however the second shots were on average much longer.

Many of Geoff’s commentators were critical of  the absence of comment on IK Kim's British Women’s Open win however I must add that in the context of davidy48’s ‘got bored watching all the wedges,’ I got bored and quite surprised when watching women’s golf on TV for the first time in many years. No wonder there’s all these low scores, likewise way too many wedges and short irons for second shots.

A dying game?
Not really a dying game in spite of what the player participation statistics suggest however as far as the professional arena is concerned there’s a problem with the driving distances.

Chico who is one of the more astute commentators (Forget his grammar, syntax and spelling) on Geoff Shackelford’s blogs writes, ‘There will be tees on pontoons in the sea for the Open soon if they dont do something cos theyve definately run out of land. Ball, driver, hybrids and wedges al need looking at on tour. Chico the bifurcator doesnt sound too snappy but thats my hope for the future.

Bifurcation
Better forget bifurcation but nevertheless as a topic, alas there’s still some life in this one. Given the speed with which decisions are made by the R&A and the USGA you better believe that bifurcation will never happen. However in one way it’s already happening.
There are still people eager to try this very difficult game and they are choosing to play with almost-legal but easier to use golf clubs.

Link to Geoff Shackelford

Quote of the Day
“Norman and for sure Seve were shotmakers. Yes, they could knock it out there. But you don't see much of that today when they hit par 5's in two with a driver and 8 iron. It’s not today's great players, which they are, it's the equipment that allows them to rip it. But if you prefer to watch driver/ wedge all day long be my guest.” – Easingwold at Geoff Shackelford’s blog

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