There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about the golf ball. Everybody in golf has an opinion on how far is too far when it comes to Chrome Softs and ProV1s. But maybe nobody in the sport has as big or as important of a voice as Tiger Woods. He has been adamant about his position (roll the ball back), and he reiterated that last week at the Hero World Challenge.
"We've had to lengthen so many golf courses now, and eventually you're going to run out of property," Woods said. "Some of the older golf courses, we're going to lose them.
"I see no reason why we can't be like baseball and have a line of demarcation between college or amateur and the professional ranks, which would be the minor leagues all the way up to the bigs. My idea was to have it so that every professional would have to play a reduced-flight ball."
Dustin Johnson, who finished No. 2 in driving distance on the PGA Tour last year at 315 yards, agreed. Johnson even noted that golf is the lone sport where every player doesn't play the same ball. In football, baseball, basketball, tennis and pretty much every other sport everybody plays the same ball. D.J. even insinuated that rolling the ball back might help longer hitters.
"There should be some kind of advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that is needed," Johnson said. "Having a same ball that everyone plays ... you're going to have more of an advantage."
It does feel like there is some momentum toward bifurcation at the professional and amateur level, and I'm in favor of that. Woods pointed out that you could go the other way for amateurs and really get the ball cranking off the tee. How much fun would that be?
"Even if you played a pro-member you would have a reduced-flight ball for the pro, and have to play with that type of ball, where as the amateur, go ahead and make it fun, juice the golf balls up, juice the clubs up and let them go have a great time," Woods said. "But at a professional level I see no reason why we can't have it very similar to where baseball has it right now."