Player still calling for slowing down ball for Tour players

Gary Player doesn't like where golf is headed

There are times when I get the idea that Gary Player likes to hear himself talk and then are times when I like to hear him talk, as was the case on April 5 when the Black Knight took the podium at Augusta National Golf Club. Player, by the way, won the Masters 50 years ago, a feat that’s been somewhat forgotten in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Jack Nicklaus’ victory.

Player, like Nicklaus, is a staunch proponent of slowing down the golf ball. In other words, create a rule that limits ball technology.

“You cannot put the tees back in the streets anymore,’’ Player said. “They have got to their limit now so the next thing is you have to slow the ball down because the golf courses are going to be completely outdated which is happening now.’’

This is the part where the PGA of America and its “grow the game’’ partners should cringe.

“Golf is suffering terribly. You see golf courses, just weeds, now closing down,’’ Player said. “You can buy golf courses for a dollar now because it’s the maintenance of the golf course. Because they have seen what is happening: These pros hitting a driver and 6-iron to a par 5 so from Timbuktu to Tokyo to China to here, everyone is lengthening golf courses. And the members hate it; and greens are undulating and the members hate it; and the fees are going up and oil is getting more expensive and we are running out of water and so the whole damn game, people are saying ‘let me out of here.’’’

Player evidently hasn’t heard of the success of Play Golf America. Well, maybe he has and like anybody else with any sense, doesn’t believe it.

One Response to “Player still calling for slowing down ball for Tour players”

  1. Bob

    Nicklaus and Player have it right! The tour players need a scaled back player’s ball and let the rest of us play with the hot stuff – the game is still challenging enough. Shrink the acreage need to play the game; don’t expand it. The game despite all the well-intentioned efforts of the many PR and Growing the Game initiatives is in a slow death spiral – not in my lifetime, but it is not a sustainable game for America and sadly the culture with its instant gratification fixation is not going to provide enough players to maintain the industry. The PGA TOUR dictating the state of the game is the tail wagging the dog. Why does that group dictate the design of golf courses? At this point, however, any fix may too little too late.


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