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Monday, 27 March 2017

What About the Good Old Days?

We were witness to some extraordinary golf at the WGC Match Play. Consider the final between DJ and Jon Rahm, where the two literally overpowered the golf course with drives approaching, if not exceeding, 400 yards--hitting wedges on their second shots into par fives of 580 yards.

It's amazing to watch. But one wonders where it will end. How much longer will we allow distance technology in the golf game continue until enough is enough? Jack Nicklaus has long advocated for a ball that has a limit on how far it can travel. And it seems to me, for these top professionals at least, that has to be done, before the game becomes nothing more than "bomb and gouge," players hitting mammoth drives and flick wedges to every hole. 

It may be exciting for some to watch, but it almost isn't golf any more. Remember the iconic photo of Hogan hitting that one iron to the final green at the US Open at Merion? Today it would probably be a seven iron, or less. Call me old fashioned, but I miss the days when the great players had to play the game with woods that were made of wood, forged blades for irons, and balata balls. Those were the days when a four hundred yard par four was considered reasonably long. This week they were driving to the fringes on greens over 400 yards.

Oh well, old farts like me are always inclined to remember the good old days. A wise man once wrote: "Don't ask why things were so much better in the old days. It is not an intelligent question."