There has been much discussion recently regarding how far the pros are hitting the golf ball and what affect it’s having on the game. Should we continue to make golf courses longer and longer, should we limit distance by changing the golf ball or equipment, or is it all just a lot of hand wringing for nothing.
Other important questions arise that are directly related to distance… what will happen to the classic golf courses of the world with no room to expand? Will we need 8,000 yard courses in the not to distant future? And why bother with all this when it only affects about 500 professional golfers in the world out of the millions that play our great game?
Golf is a game played by anyone and everyone. Man, woman, child… 4 year old or 104 year old… we all can play. So what if a very few hit it 100 yards further than anyone else. Should the game really be governed and changed by .000001 % of those that play? The PGA Tour, the European Tour, and all other professional tours account for such a small percentage of those who love and play the game, that, if distance is becoming such an issue, it may be time for the professional tours to have specific equipment and/or ball guidelines just for the pros.
The flip side of any discussion involving the limiting of distance is that distance is a hard-earned talent that should be rewarded. Just like a pitcher in Major League Baseball throwing 100 MPH, or a downhill skier that gambles and takes the tightest lines to the finish, effort and innate ability should be rewarded. Do other sports create limits for natural abilities? Do they create artificial limits to keep their athletes from getting better and better? We can’t think of any, so why should golf pull the string back on an advantage that some players naturally have or have worked hard to achieve.
This post doesn’t have answers to this complex issue, but it hopefully might spark thought and discussions amongst those on both sides of the argument. One thing is for certain, for fans of golf and golf history everywhere, losing our classic and historic golf courses from being center stage in major competitions would be significant and not in the best interest of golf moving forward. The historic Merion Golf Club comes immediately to mind. And could you imagine The Old Course being deemed to short for an Open Championship? With very little room to expand, what a shame if that became an issue, but it is an extreme example of what might come.
How many other classics will lose their ability to be a part of golf’s ongoing history because they run out of room to expand? And will they eventually be relegated to obscurity because they’ve dropped from the limelight? We at Epic Golf Travel pride ourselves on finding the classics and those “hidden gems”, from today and yesteryear. These great and historic courses may have faded from our memories, may not be long, will never host another major tournament, but are classics none the less. These are the courses you discover that make traveling and playing golf so much fun. You only have to look as far as Crail Balcomie Links just south of St Andrews… when the wind is blowing off of the North Sea, this classic links course is the hardest but most fun 6,100 yards you will ever play.
Should golf continue it’s current path of ever improving player and equipment? Should there be two sets of rules, one for the professionals and one for the rest of us? Should there be distance limits on balls and/or clubs?
Just some food for thought and a topic of debate for the 19th hole. Feel free to leave comments below, we will respond!
Till Next Time….
Your Friends at Epic Golf Travel