The most interesting idea of Open Championship Week. Bigger ball.
Before it is lost in the coronation of Darren Clarke, the comeback-of-the-century by Phil Mickelson or Dustin Johnson's first major, those of us on the Grow the Game Committee want to make sure you caught one very interesting comment by David Feherty on Golf Channel
this week. It relates directly to the history of the Open Championship, but it's an idea we've never heard, certainly not in the context of the current concern and discussion about getting people into our game. Feherty, on the 19th Hole program, suggested that one of the simplest things we could do to make the game easier for amateurs and more challenging for tour professionals was change the ball--not "roll back" the ball but make it larger, literally.
"We made the ball larger before," said Feherty. "We went from 1.62 [the British ball] to 1.68. Why can't we take it to 1.71?" Feherty was referring to the agreement in 1990 that both sides of the Atlantic would play a ball of 1.680 inches.
A ball of 1.71 inches, says Feherty, would sit up better for amateurs, making it easier to hit, and be harder to control for pros.
Interesting idea we've not only not heard since Spalding built its 1.715-inch Magna ball back in 1990. And we heard no subsequent discussion of Feherty's idea this week.
Might be worth having that discussion.