USGA Releases Ball Standard Proposal

By Golf Channel NewsroomJuly 4, 2003, 4:00 pm
USGAFAR HILLS, N.J. -- The United States Golf Association, which tests golf balls to determine whether or not they conform to the Rules of Golf, on Thursday issued the second phase of its proposal to update its golf ball test methods. Phase I, implemented late last year, brought all ball testing indoors. Phase II of the proposal addresses current swing speeds and equipment to improve the speed and accuracy of the testing process.
 
The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has made a similar proposal in its jurisdiction outside of the United States and Mexico. All golf balls that currently appear on the USGAs List of Conforming Golf Balls will continue to comply with the Rules under the Phase II proposal.
 
According to a press release issued by the USGA Thursday, a notice outlining details of the Phase II proposal were sent to manufacturers for comment. The proposal is subject to change after completion of a notice-and-comment period, which runs until December 20, 2003.
 
According to the USGA, the changes to the test under Phase II are as follows:
 
  • Swing speed will be increased to 120 miles per hour from 109 miles per hour
  • A non-branded titanium club head with a Coefficient of Restitution (COR) of .820 will replace the laminated wooden head now in use
  • A modern, non-branded set-up ball will replace the current set-up ball that has been in use
  • The new ball test will maintain the current ball launch angle of 10 degrees, the current back spin at 42 revolutions per second, and a steel shaft in the test club.
     
    The USGA added that increasing the swing speed under Phase II by 11 miles per hour adds approximately 22 yards to golf ball distance. The shift to a titanium club head with a .820 COR spring-like effect boosts distance by approximately another eight yards. But instead of increasing the current ODS limit of 296.8 yards by a full 30 (22 + 8) yards, the USGA has proposed to set the limit using the new ball test procedure at 320 yards, or seven fewer overall yards.
     
    'Its not accurate to compare the new limit to the old one and assume weve allowed more yards,' Rugge explained in the USGA release. 'The same balls simply go farther when hit at higher speeds with modern equipment. By updating the test and modernizing procedures, its inevitable that the ODS limit would need to rise to reflect the changes in test methods.
     
    'For example, if you modernized the test procedures but left the limit where it now stands, nearly every ball that now conforms would fail under the new procedure. Thus, weve proposed to set the limit at a place that provides meaningful restrictions on distance, tightens the ODS standard by seven yards, maintains the continuity of the current conforming list, and provides a framework through which we can monitor our test procedures and modify them as player swing speeds and other conditions change. We feel that Phase II accomplishes all these important goals.'
     
    After all comments are received, the USGA will announce a final decision in the spring of 2004. Under the proposal, the prospective implementation date for Phase II would be June, 2004.
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.