USGA's new COR limits...what it means for you
by Associated Press
You may have already read some of the headlines about the fact that the USGA and the R&A this week unexpectedly modified their stance on acceptable "limits" on spring-like effect in drivers. Earlier (back in May) the two governing bodies released statements that over time they would be "raising" the limits on spring-like effect over 5 years.
That statement was met with a flurry of applause by golf manufacturers as well as players around the world (the perception is that drivers with more spring-like effect are easier to hit and help the average golfer hit longer shots). Companies almost instantly released some of the "hottest" technology to provide you with clubs that met these new standards. Callaway relaunced their ERCII with a advertising campaign that talked about how the ERCII went from "banned" to "blessed." TaylorMade launched their R500 Series which featured a "hot" face and an incredibly high COR rating. Now, those clubs apparently will not meet the new, stricter, standards that the USGA has decided to "revert" to.
While TaylorMade executives would not immediately comment on the "change in direction" Callaway Golf's CEO, Ron Drapeau, had this to say:
"The deception is particularly disturbing. It just blows my mind."
Drapeau's company, like TaylorMade, has spent countless hours working on launching new clubs that would have met the new COR standards...not to mention large amounts of dollars on advertising and promotion for their existing clubs that did have spring-like effect faces.
So, what does this mean for you?
Well, that's the question everyone is asking. How will you, the average golfer, react to this ruling?
See, the question or the issue is that clubs which feature a higher COR make it easier for golfers like you and me to hit long, straight shots off the tee. Simply put, they make it easier to play the game. The USGA's concern is that perhaps they make it too easy.
In my opinion...the USGA is way off base. Golf has always beena very frustrating game. The majority of golfers, if they count every stroke, shoot in the 90's if not 100's. The majority of golfers are not "avid." Just look at the stats...
There are 26 million golfers in the U.S. But, only 2-3 million of them are considered "avid." So, who are the other 23 million? They are recreation golfers. They are the players that may play 3 - 5 rounds per year. And, that gets at the heart of the issue.
Over the past few years we have all watched as "Tiger Mania" has taken center stage. As Tiger has dominated the headlines people have been saying "WOW, golf must be a booming sport." Well, the fact is, its not. Rounds played have actually stayed the same over the past few years. What has happened is that the fan base of golf has been growing. The number of players have not.
So, is that a good thing? No. The only way the game of golf can get better is to grow. The manufacturers need it to grow, the courses need it to grow and we as players should want its popularity to grow. And, growing the game is the USGA's job.
So, how does the USGA "grow the game?" Well, what they should be doing is making it easier for the average golfer to play. I'm not talking about pro golfers like Tiger Woods. I am talking about the average person like me that likes to go out, play 18 holes (when I can find 4 hours) and enjoy the sport. Instead, the USGA is doing just the opposite. They are writing rules for the "best" players out there and making all the rest of us suffer as a result. Why not create 2 sets of rules...those for the pros and those for the rest of us?