I’ve speculated that The Masters would be the first tournament to go to a standardized ball, but it seems that the Ohio Golf Association will beat them to the punch.
GolfWeek is reporting that the Ohio Golf Association will use a standardized ball in the Ohio Champions Tournament this August. Golfweek reports that
Although OGA executive director Jim Popa is quick to point out that the tournament ball “is not a short ball, but rather a uniform ball,” it doesn’t take much imagination to understand what the OGA is doing.
Alan Fadel, a former PGA Tour player who has been a reinstated amateur for almost 20 years, is chairman of the OGA ball committee.
“We haven’t chosen the exact ball yet,” Fadel said, “but we are leaning to one that optimizes (distance efficiency off the tee) between 100 and 105 miles per hour (driver swing speed). The ball is not going to benefit somebody at 120 (mph) the way the current ball does. We are trying to achieve a little more equality, that’s all. The guy who swings 120 will still hit it farther than most of the other players, but not quite so far.
I have to say that I’m conflicted over this standardized ball thing. On the one hand, it does seem that the ability to fine tune the ball has given an oversized advantage to the big hitters. But on the other, I wonder if they should be penalized just because they’re good enough to take advantage of that technology.
It still seems to me that the thing to do is to narrow the fairways or let the rough grow deeper. I’ve read that four inch rough will just about force every player to try to get the ball in the fairway. The lie, otherwise, is too risky.
But this thing with the ball bears watching.