The Mike Davis Exit From The USGA Avoids The Distance Controversy | Dog Leg News

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Tom Edrington

Tom Edrington spent the first 10 years of his misguided youth as a sports writer for the Tampa Tribune. His career brought him face to face with many of sports greatest stars -- Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Muhammad Ali, Don Shula, countless Hall of Fame NFL stars, more PGA Tour players than he can count. In 1980 he was honored by the Golf Writers Association of America for writing the best news story that year, his coverage of Jack Nicklaus' U.S. Open victory at Baltusrol. Today, 36 years later, golf is still a great part of his life, thanks to competitive playing days and the wonderful people he has met on this fabulous journey.

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3 Comments

  1. 1

    jjgjr41

    I wonder if the author was just as concerned when tiger was hitting it further than anyone else.

    1. 1.1

      Tom Edrington

      Augusta National did react to Tiger, they “Tiger-proofed” the place; Truth be known, Bryson can hit it in places even the young Tiger Woods could not; The ball has been engineered so many times since those days, Tiger was using smaller-headed metal woods; As Davis indicated, they are going to address the distance issue — will be interesting to see what transpires in 2021.

  2. 2

    baxter cepeda

    Tom (sorry it’s long)

    Some are still scratching out golf course layouts to this day —maybe even colored — and have accumulated quite the collection.

    The biggest challenge imo to golf course design isn’t distance, it’s water and environmental issues.

    Gary Player once again preached last week about less water and more trees on courses.

    Imo Gary’s ideas are the solution to course design if nothing changes with technology. Trees help the environment while protecting courses from scoring By making players deal with challenging lies and trajectory needs. Zinger has discussed his opposition to cutting trees because they create more challenges.

    It will be interesting to see Davis’ design style regarding water, rough, trees and scoring.

    On one hand while at the usga, Davis maintained the status quo of 20 yard fairways and sodded rough as far as the eye can see; as well as having some involvement (seemingly) in chopping down trees like bandits in the night as occurred at Winged Foot, but especially at Oakmont, where they literally cut trees at nite to avoid drama from members. To Oakmosts defense no trees was the original design.

    On the other hand Davis has spearheaded golf with less water at chambers Bay (maybe too far) and Pinehurst 2.

    What they had done at No2, straying so far from Donald Ross’ design, seemingly for US Open
    Standards, was downright criminal. But it was Davis whom seemed involved in bringing Pinehurst 2 back to its original look by assuring ross’ gem Would be included in the US Open Rota despite wide, brown fairways, and natural areas instead of sodded rough.

    It’s funny purists dislike the old new No2 because this is the og pure, traditional way No2 was created by the great Donald Ross.

    Distance is an issue but at the end of the day if we can get past the score issue, the traditional shots issue like at Augustas 13th second shot; maybe if we can appreciate technology and man teaming up to increasingly bang a ball around in less and less shots, it’s actually a good thing. It helps pace of play if anything. These are rich mans problems anyways.

    The water issues are real life problems in golf and we know because even small par 3 courses close for water issues despite being immune to driver tech and needing land covering a small fraction of regular courses.

    The water issue is truly complicated. The tech/distance issue is simple if you don’t mind stepping on some toes.

    Golf will forever evolve rapidly if equipment is not standardized somehow. Golfs governing bodies have to choose between making equipment companies happy or creating more standardized equipment rules; rules which should imo prioritize athlete golf skills over having superior equipment.

    But standardizing equipment would do something more: not intimidate people out of the sport with its ever increasing technological changes and equipment prices. Keeping up with the Jones’ is the most intimidating part of golf imo. And not the good kind of intimidation, like a challenging shot. A distasteful intimidation, The kind that makes people do something else.

    Good golf equipment—stuff a young athlete can compete with at the highest level — should be very affordable by now. Drivers especially, are not.

    The thing is While the water issue is bigger, it doesn’t step on any VIP toes, maybe some but not as many as tech toes, which is probably why Davis has been able to get some things done on the water front while supposedly spending millions on the distance issue to tell us the most obvious thing we already know.

    What will be most interesting is what davis does to defend his courses and what he will think
    He could have done when the tracks get dominated beyond expectation.
    Davis could just ask his partner Fazio what it’s like.

    The good thing is these challenges continue to Inspire some Back to the drawing like a 5 year old.

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