The USGA continues to say that equipment and ball improvements have had little effect on how the game is played. Are you kidding me? If that were the case, then why is it they are adding 500 yards to the Merion Golf Club for next year’s US Open? The original layout of the East Course measured just less than 6,500 yards. For the Open next year, it will be stretched to a whisker under 7,000 yards. I’m sure they would have made it longer if there was room. Merion is situated on a mere 128 acres. As it is, one tee is being moved almost off the golf course for added length.
The fact of the matter is modern equipment and balls have significantly altered how the game is played. If not, then why the need to redesign or lengthen all the courses that national championships are played on? The PGA Championship played at 7,676 yards. This year’s Open included par-four holes of more than 500 yards. The average golf course length in the 1960s was 6,400 yards. It is rare these days to see tournaments played at under 7,000 yards. The advances in technology are the reason. Let’s just be honest about it. I’m not passing judgment, good or bad, but to try to convince people that nothing has changed is ridiculous.