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"Tournament Ball" experiment begins in Ohio


Rules Nerd
Supporting Member
Mar 9, 2005
And so it begins. I don't agree with it. I say just make the ball an 1/8" bigger. Nobody will notice it, but the wind drag, weight etc. will make it go "shorter". Remember the Top Flite Magna? Shortest ball, next to balata, that I've ever hit.

That way you still keep Acushnet and Callaway, and Nike in the ball business, without having to keep lengthening courses. Anyway, here's the article:

Ohio to try tournament ball
It won't be the Masters or PGA Tour that is first to introduce its own golf ball for competition.

That honor goes to the Ohio Golf Association, which will provide designated golf balls to all players who compete in this summer's Ohio Champions Tournament. The 36-hole event is scheduled Aug. 22-23 at Windy Knoll Golf Club in Springfield, and is open to all club champions, city champions and local association champions in Ohio.

Almost five years ago, the OGA established a golf ball committee to study the modern ball and, ultimately, to decide whether to throttle it back in some way.

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."

"We represent all the venues in our state and we don't want them to become antiquated by technology."

The OGA declined to reveal the manufacturer of its tournament ball. The only name on the ball will be that of the OGA. Players will receive balls free of charge about two weeks before the event.

The implications could be huge.

"There are lots of people a hell of a lot more important than the Ohio Golf Association who are watching this with great interest," Popa said.

A grass-roots campaign, if supported by other state or regional associations, might convince the U.S. Golf Association to adopt a "condition of competition" that would allow professional or amateur tournaments to authorize the use of a specified ball.

Following longstanding policy, the USGA will not comment on the affairs of the OGA or any other golf association.

The Ohio association, known for its independent streak, has a history of butting heads with the USGA. In the 1980s, the OGA declared a local rule that allowed competitors to tap down spike marks. The USGA strenuously objected.

"They told us, 'Don't call us for any ruling.' They excommunicated us," Popa said. "Finally, after about five years, we got back together." (The OGA eliminated its local rule and became the nation's first golf association to endorse the use of non-metal cleats).

"We have the right to speak out regardless of what anybody thinks," Fadel said of the ball experiment. "We are not doing this in conjunction with anybody. This is our thing. It is designed as a fact-finding endeavor as much as anything else. We are very anxious to see how the players react to the ball."

Popa said the USGA "was kind of cold" about the OGA's initiative. "They probably were thinking we didn't have enough horsepower to pull it off. Right now, we're asking our players to come and play, to be part of the experiment," he said.

"Convincing them to use a different ball could be a hard sell, but we're committed to this."


bring da lulz
Jun 4, 2005
I still say play any damn ball you please. Why take a step back. Should I give up my highly modded 99 m3 for a ford fiesta, hell no. its the same thing.


Well-Known Member
Mar 7, 2006
Hubby's gotta G35 Coupe...loves it....

oh, wait...there was something about a tournament somewhere?


Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Aug 26, 2004
oh, back to the ball.....

I do not see how a limited ball is going to do anything at all.
Many people use the NASCAR restrictor plate as a comparison which, in my mind is an entirely different matter. NASCAR restrictions are designed to keep people from turning into chunky salsa on the 250mph 2nd turn at Taledega....a limited ball is just a limited ball.


I love Hooters
Jul 25, 2005
Augusta, GA
United States United States
I'm all for it, for tournements.. I'd like to see courses to be able to roll back the yardages to something mere mortals can appreciate.

Let them hit Whiffle balls!


Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
Time and again, the statistics tell that it's not the longest hitters who win the most tournaments, but the short game masters.
And if a player's asset is distance, then let him have his ball.

So a uniform ball? Then golf is becoming a nice kommie game :)

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
United States United States
Why do I get the impression that none of the top 50 or so tour professional will be playing in this tournament. Maybe they will rethink their process when they find all off last 3 years Big Break Hopefulls playing in their tournament, and leading the pack. Maybe they can get Crosby, Stills, Nash and maybe even Young, or The Pretenders to go out and play their renditions of "OHIO" to entertain the fans. I remember the Olympics when they first had the Dream Team. It sounds to me like they will probably be taking kickbacks for the brand they choose, maybe this will offset the proceeds they lose by having no talent on the course.

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
United States United States
Ravenous Bugblatter Beast said:
I didn't want to kill them. I was just looking to return them to Canada.
I would be quite content with them just all going down to Georgia. What kind of stupid bird lives in the colder states anyways. Doc said earlier 1-2 where laughing at him, wait until he trips in goose crap and 600-700 laugh at him.

I can't think of a better use for Canadian Geese than to make golf balls, maybe it will soften the blow when I hit the ball into a pack of 300, only they would probably try to mate with my golf ball.


Fac ut gaudeam
Supporting Member
Sep 1, 2004
Hey, why not try it and see how it pans out? Only by trying it and getting feedback from the players, spectators etc. can we see how much impact it is going to have. Much beter to do it as a lesser tourney than to try it at The Masters cold.

The longer hitters will still be the longer hitters and the better putters will still be the better putters.

What we are talking about here is the players against the course. Over the last decade the course has taken a beating. Courses have been lengthened beyond the skill levels of us mere mortals. By bringing in a limitation factor we can then test players round shorter but equally as skill demanding tracks.

An example is Prestwick in Scotland. What a course! Fantastic layout, some awesome holes, requiring a high level of skill. About 15 years ago the course became deplete because it was too short! (6,500 ish)

I would love to see the tops guys having a go at this course, but only being able to hit 270-280 drives and 160 yard 6 irons. I think it would be fascinating without them feeling that they have been emasculated!!

I'm all for the advent of technology, but we have to be sensible where to draw the line, otherwise why does the game go? 8,000 yard slogging tracks?


Shark skin shoes
Staff member
Aug 30, 2004
Canada Canada
fredcouplesfan said:
I still say play any damn ball you please. Why take a step back. Should I give up my highly modded 99 m3 for a ford fiesta, hell no. its the same thing.

You're missing the point here.

They're not giving you a Fiesta. They're giving you a stock M3. You're just not getting your "mods". And for 90% of guys and gals out there, that's a helluva lot better than what they're driving.

It brings the high swing speeds to normal lengths. Good idea. But conversely, I believe that if they limit the ball, there should be no limit on equipment. That keeps competition uo with the brands and technology moving. If you make it stagnant, they will suffer.

I like this idea. Golf isn't about how far you can hit the ball, it's about how you play the game. It's not arm wrestling.


Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
United States United States
IrishGolfer said:
Hey, why not try it and see how it pans out?
I am actually facinated with the idea, and think it would be great to not only do it with the ball but equipment as well. Why not level the playing field. The reason I know it will not work is simply because of the Endorsements for Tour Players. As I mentioned with the Dream Team in the Olympics, they had to cover up the Reebok Logo with towels after hours of negotiating with companies. I just don't see a player with a Titleist, Nike, Callaway contract playing in a tournament if their ball is not used. I can't see Tiger, Phil, etc. wanting to jeopordize a $40+ Million dollar contract for the sake of playing in a tournament in Ohio. Now if the USGA backed it, it would be a different story, but I don't see that happening any time ever.

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