The golf ball that made golfers too good

Golf’s distance debate, explained.

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These days, pro golfers are hitting the ball far. Really far. And it’s creating a problem: because modern golfers can reach the hole with fewer shots than before, older courses — like Augusta National Golf Club, Oakmont Country Club, and others — are becoming obsolete. Now, professional organizations, like the United States Golf Association, are struggling to find a solution for big powerful golfers like Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, and Tiger Woods. While the jump in distance is due to lots of factors, conversation is centering on the controversial possibility of redesigning the golf ball to reduce distance. It’d be the latest turn in the ball’s long history: Golf balls have evolved from “featheries,” to gutties, to balata balls, and eventually dimpled modern balls. But the biggest, and most recent change? The almost-instantaneous switch from wound balls to solid core multilayer balls like the Titleist Pro V1.

A previous version of this video contained an audio glitch at 2:35. The error has been corrected. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what’s really driving the events in the headlines. Check out

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40 thoughts on “The golf ball that made golfers too good

  1. I think they should just leave most golf courses shouldn't change anything. If someone can hit a ball over obstacles, but no one else is skilled/strong enough, then why should the better player (at least in hitting in far) have to conform to them? Just leave it so better players can go over, and others still have to go around if they aren't as good.

  2. PGA: we need to get more viewers, nobody likes golf.

    Golfer: changes game, innovating and creating a more interesting and fast-paced experience for the viewer (the people who matter in pro leagues)

    PGA: no, not like that

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