Arnold Palmer recently reiterated his support of rolling back the distances on golf balls as a way to make classic older golf courses more relevant to today's power and long-distance hitters.  Palmer is not alone.  In fact, other greats of the game such as Jack Nicklaus and even Tiger Woods are in favor of reigning back the distance on today's balls.

It may come as a bit of a surprise that Tiger would be in favor of such a move considering courses like the one at the Atlantis Paradise Island casino are all built around the long game.  However, if you look at the issue a little closer, you may come to realize that the move would be ecologically sound for the game of golf.

How could pulling back on ball distance affect the game you ask?  Look at the fact that many newer golf courses that are currently being built and designed are on average 40 to 60 acres larger than they were just two decades ago.  That extra acreage comes at a cost not just to those building the course, but also to both the patrons of those courses and the environment that they are carved out of.

The USGA has been looking into the issue of rolling back ball distances for several years.  Back in 2005 they requested, received, and tested prototype balls from nine manufacturers as to how viable those balls would be.  In recent months, the organization has looked into reduced-distance balls as a way to reduce the game's environmental impact. 

Ultimately, it may take a decree from the USGA to make reduced-distance balls a reality on the tour and everyday golfing as many amateur players current scoff at the suggestion of rolling back distances on balls.  Since most average around 200 yards from the tee, they want to be able to shoot something that will make them drive longer, not hold them back.

However, if one takes a look at the overall environmental impact of longer courses then they may see that longer balls are not the answer. It does not make sense to continue to destroy valuable natural land resources just so someone can get an extra 30 to 40 yards off the tee. Rolling back ball distances can help golf to be able to reuse courses that are nearly obsolete and bring more history back into the game.

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