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Why should us hackers be punished for Rory’s monster drives?

Golf's governing bodies tell us we’re all hitting the ball too far – but that’s news to the Angry Club Golfer who, if anything, can't hit it far enough
 

I’ve spent 25 years trying to hit the ball out of my shadow and now, apparently, it’s going too far. Excuse me if I don’t go straight into the loft, root out my old persimmon heads and relive the years when I couldn’t reach our par-3 14th with a driver.

Whoever wrote this report should come down to my club on Saturday. I’ll hand over the keys to my car if they can find anyone overcome by the “vast” distances they’re sending it.

To find out I’d suddenly morphed into Brooks Koepka was a bit of a surprise.

Remind me why his problem is my problem?

Courses are becoming obsolete, apparently. For the pros maybe.

My course is 6,600 yards off the whites. Most weeks, playing a medal is water torture.

“Hitting it longer reduces variety and creativity of shots.” For the pros maybe. I’m lucky if I can get one shot in 10 to go where I intended.

My rounds are an exercise in the unexpected.

I’ve just forked out £500 for a new driver (yes, it was the promise of two extra yards that had me running to the till with an open wallet). Are you telling me that it might one day be declared illegal?

Or that I need to go through all the old balls I’ve got in my bag to make sure they’re “conforming”?

Vaguely round, without too many scuffs, and not covered in mud are the only metrics I care about.

And all of this just because Rory McIlroy and friends are driving par 4s? Give me a break.

As far as I’m concerned, golf’s still bloody hard. How do I know this? I look at the scorecard with the net 79 that has my signature on it. That’s not an aberration. It’s the norm.

What might all this do – make it even harder? Where’s that going to end? Will there be one set of clubs for me and different ones for you?

If I play with my 1-handicap pal (I say pal, he only ever speaks to me when he wants a partner with some shots in the annual fourball) in the club championship, is he going to have to use a dialled-down ball? The banter would be priceless. This might be the stupidest idea ever.

Because this is what will actually happen. The shop will offer the pro alongside the ‘dumbed down’ version of clubs and balls. My ego will drive me to distraction.

I’ll buy the slowed-down ball Rory’s forced to use and then moan like crazy when it flies like the things I’m already hitting on the driving range.

That’s if I can find that pinprick of a sweetspot on the clubhead that looks like it was made for James Braid.

Leave our game alone. I’ve waited decades to finally get it to go any distance off the tee. I’ll be damned if I’m letting you take that away now.

And it’s not just me – I’m speaking for the 99 per cent of golfers here who can’t blow it on to a 600-yard par 5 with a drive and an iron.

Are you with the Angry Club Golfer or do you think golf equipment should be rolled back? Let him know on Twitter.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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