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Standing up for the 99.95 percenters

For 99.95 percent of us who own this game (not the USGA, R&A or any of the tours) and pay it forward at munis, resorts and semi-private courses around the world, the ball doesn't go too far, long putters are not cheating tools and box grooves didn't allow us to spin the ball back 50 feet.

The ball does go far on tour, but it is a complicated blend of bigger and better athletes playing at a high level, better and more consistent clubheads, incredible golf shafts, advances in biomechanics, and technology that allows today's superior players to find the right formula to match all of those elements to their games.

Now, the real reason that the ball goes far: agronomy.

Today's touring pros are a pampered group, as are top players in college and the highest level of USGA competition. If you have been fortunate to have been an honorary observer at a top event, you would see how pristine the course conditions are, how consistent bunkers, greens and even the roughs are. Even more shocking is the firmness and speed of the fairways.

The easiest and least-damaging way to knock the distances back is to change the way the competitions prepare their courses. Instead of cutting back or not watering fairways from Sunday to the start of play, why not water normally all through the week, cut the fairways one-quarter to three-eighths of an inch higher progressively, and maybe even change it by day to give the players something to deal with.

Tournament officials won't do that because they are afraid the players will get mad if they have to deal with conditions that exist for the 99.95 percent of us who love this game and pay their salaries.

We the people should rise up and slay the jackasses (metaphorically speaking) who want to screw up our game even more.

I don't care what Tiger Woods thinks, as he doesn't play with me on Saturday mornings in my conditions. I don't care what Jack Nicklaus thinks, as he sounds more like a whiny old man. And I don't give a tinker's damn what the USGA’s Mike Davis thinks, as he is the same guy who picked Erin Hills for the 2017 U.S. Open, set up 50-yard-wide fairways, manicured them to run at 9.5 to 10 on the Stimpmeter, and then got pissed because the ball went too far.

Holy crap. Pass the Tylenol.

Dave Sanguinetti
Livermore, Calif.


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