The Fourball team discuss whether they would use the same ball as the pros or carry on with getting as much help as is legally possible
Jack Nicklaus has been talking about reining the ball in for years. Now somewhere, most likely a long way down the line, bifurcation might kick in to the men’s game and the tour golfers will use a different ball to the rest of us.
So would we want to carry on with the ball that will give us the most yards or play with the same ball as Tiger and co? For reference Hannah is a scratch golfer who plays in a lot of elite amateur competitions while the rest offer a spread of handicaps with Alex (14), Steve (11) and Mark (8).
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Alex: Like most hackers I feel nothing but adrenalin when I let one loose out the middle of the big stick. It’s one of golf’s genuine thrills.
So why on earth would I want to use a different ball to the one I’ve been using my entire life, the ball that gives me so much unrivalled joy?
If it happens at the top of the game then so be it – it will never affect me in any way. Leave us alone with our balls that, if we catch a tasty one, might feel like they’re going 300 but actually go about 230. Nothing feels better.
If I wanted to smack something really hard and watch it go nowhere I’d play badminton.
Steve: No. I feel like, to an extent, we have a similar choice now anyway – go with a big premium ball or go for something a bit more in our price range. I’ve tended to take the latter option – premium balls are expensive when you’re losing them – and I reckon I’d feel a similar way if a tournament ball came into play.
I suppose there’s an element of wanting to play what the pros do but it wouldn’t be very practical. Given I can barely carry it onto the fairway as it is, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to sacrifice distance just to say I’m shipping the same ball as Tiger.
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Hannah: It depends on who has to use the tournament ball, would it also be brought in for elite amateur events? All I’m really interested in is playing the best golf I can in any tournaments so I would primarily play and practise with the ball I would be using in competition.
Maybe it would be good to practise with the pros’ ball to make the game seem easier with the amateur ball but I’m not really sure what the point would be if I’m never going to put it in play? If I hit it further maybe I would have a different opinion but I really wouldn’t enjoy slogging it around the English Amateur off the back tees with a ball that doesn’t travel as far as legally possible.
Mark: There might be a small part of me that is left wondering that I’m not playing the same game any more but there’s nothing else that I’m doing on the course that bears any comparison to the pros so that wouldn’t last long.
If I play a course at the right kind of length, so no longer than 6,400 yards, and the wind isn’t doing anything silly, then I’d hope to have a nice variety of shots in, reach all the par 4s and not get punished too much. My average drive would be around 240 yards so I’m not long or short and I like all the help that I can get from my clubs and balls.
If the authorities suddenly ban the Callaway Sure Out wedge then I’ve had it.