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Golf's "No Dunk" Rule - The folly of rolling back the golf ball

Do you remember when basketball had a "no dunking" rule?

A cursory glance at any basketball highlight reel on the news today belies that fact, but my generation is old enough to remember another time when dunking a basketball in a game was against the rules. But the game moved on, players got taller and more athletic and the "no dunk" rule is now consigned to the dustbin of history. Basketball is better for it.

Golf has taken quite a different tack. 

The USGA and R&A are obsessed about preserving the game as it was once played. I understand the concern about obsoleting the great heritage golf courses but I think things have gone a bit too far. 

I was alright with things when the ruling bodies imposed a COR limit on driver heads to slow down the trampoline effect. I was even okay with the groove rule that dictates the specifications for the sharpness of the grooves on irons and wedges. But I draw the line at rolling the golf ball back for everyone that plays the game.

I mean, what's next? A rule that golfers can't work out and become more athletic? That's how arcane all of this seems to me. 

The long drive is golf's equivalent to the dunk in basketball. Outside of hitting a hole in one, there is no better feeling than smashing your drive 300-yards into the distance. The USGA and R&A now want to take that away from us. It's not like we can all hit the golf ball that far. Most would be content to just carry the hazard in front of us off the tee and find the fairway.

This is after golf courses have been built to massive lengths that are unplayable to the average golfer. I mean, the blue tees of most courses today are what the championship tees used to be. Even with today's technology, golfers are being asked to tee it forward to aid pace of play. In that light, the rollback of the ball seems asinine and works to undo the whole pace of play campaign. 

But this is golf in the 21st century. 

The obvious solution would have been bifurcation of the sport, mandating that elite amateurs and professionals play a ball that doesn't fly as far. I know that's a dirty word as far as the ruling bodies are concerned, but that's the reality of evolution. Conventional wisdom says that bifurcation will destroy the aspirational nature of the sport. 

You'll forgive me if I disagree. 

All a ball that flies shorter will do is increase the level of frustration in what is already a very frustrating game for the average golfer. This is the solution to a problem that affect 1% of the golfers worldwide. 

If you roll the ball back, will you also make the courses shorter and more manageable? How will this affect the skyrocketing popularity that the game currently enjoys? Why spoil the game for the rest of us?

Statistics show that the average handicap has not changed in the last forty years. The average driving distance for low handicap amateurs is 230-yards. The average drive for the ladies is a massive 180-yards. You look at these stats and you can understand my consternation with this issue.

Lengthening golf courses to accommodate the longest hitters has just played into the hands of the players that can hit the ball miles. Rolling back the ball will have the same effect. The longest players will have an even bigger advantage now. 

I could go on, but that will probably have an adverse effect on my blood pressure and well-being. Suffice it to say, that I disagree vehemently with any further attempts to spoil the game for 99% of the golfing population to govern the 1%. This is moot and academic now, as the wheels have been set in motion and the rollback will be enforced whether we want it or not.

This is math that doesn't add up. It's a solution to a problem that only the USGA and R&A see. I only hope that it doesn't dampen the enthusiasm of the rest of us and become detrimental to the health of the game as a whole.

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