The new mantra this summer is “Play it forward.” By doing this golfers can speed up play and have more fun according to USGA and PGA. Hello, where have you guys been for the past five years? Unfortunately, the response to hitting the ball longer has been to lengthen courses and make them tougher with forced carries, more water hazards and narrow fairways. For some reason protecting par has become the be all and end all of course set ups. As if it is some sacred cow that if threatened would bring on world disaster. The term itself as used in golf did not come about until 1911. It simply described the score an expert player was expected to make on a hole at a given distance. The USGA actually once assigned hole yardage for par: up to 255 yards for a par 3; 225 to 425 for a par 4, and 426 to 600 for a par 5.
I say, we should not care about how low a number a golfer shoots. That’s the object of the game. If golf is supposed to be about fun, then stop worrying about protecting par. Think about the objective of the manufacturers when they design equipment to help a person hit it farther. It is to make the game easier for the average person. Instead of hitting a four iron into the green, maybe the golfer can hit a seven iron. If adding on length so the person still has to hit a four iron, what’s the point? Why bother improving equipment at all. Let’s not forget that less than one percent of all golfers can actually break par. Golf might be better served by returning to the 1911 standards.