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Colour those balls!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Respected journalist for the Guardian and former Reuters reporter Tony Jimenez spoke to Tony about the potential to introduce a coloured coded balls for professionals and amateurs.

While amateur golf is much the same as it ever was, the professionals these days just seem to want to thump the ball out of sight. Cameron Champ's win at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi on Sunday was typical of the modern era.

Cameron is like a lot of the guys on tour at the moment, they just smash it a mile. Whether it's him, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy or Jon Rahm, they're all big hitters.

I believe we could adapt by going the way of squash and using different colour-coded golf balls for professionals and amateurs. Let's have one colour for the one that goes the furthest, then cut the distance 20 or 30 percent and use a different colour. You would get round quicker while courses would be shorter and less expensive to run. Everything points to it being a good idea.

Golf has become a bit ridiculous. The skill of the game, shaping shots, keeping the ball in the fairway, they were attributes that used to be very important. Nowadays you just need to be blessed with a big, strong body and a putting stroke.

The R&A and the USGA need to do something about the ball but they are frightened that the manufacturers will start gunning for them if they make the decisions that need to be made. For the last 15 to 20 years, all the advertising that comes from the manufacturers is based on how far the ball can travel. The whole story is about distance but it's a sad reflection of what the game has become.

There is so much money in the game now. They play for millions of dollars every week and maybe that makes the decision-making harder. The governing bodies don't want to rock the boat in case the money goes away.

I was gobsmacked, for example, to hear Phil Mickelson saying after the Ryder Cup that he'd never play another course like Le Golf National again because the fairways were far too narrow. From my point of view, and the point of view of most of the experts, it was a fantastic course.

It's a sad reflection on the game the likes of Peter Thomson, Bobby Locke and Ben Hogan used to play. When Jack Nicklaus, for example, won the 1966 Open he used a driving iron 90 percent of the time so he could keep it in the short grass.

On another subject, I was delighted to see my fellow Bradenton resident Nelly Korda winning on the LPGA Tour for the first time in Taiwan at the weekend.

It was a big breakthrough for her. Well done Nelly!

For those of you out there who are unaware, I co-wrote a fictional book earlier this year called 'Bad Lies' based on a court-room golf drama. It is available to buy on Hope you get around to reading it and come to the same conclusion as me, that it's a good read.