Norman joins chorus in wanting to wind back the clock

It might be too late, and you can’t blame the Great White Shark for trying but holding back golf technology could have been a good thing for golf, says Greg Norman.

He doesn’t mean for the millions of amateurs who continue to strive to hit it 20-30m further but still three putt six times a round and continue to love the game just for what it is.

Greg Norman Greg Norman (Credit: Asian Tour)

No, Norman has again suggested it was the professionals who needed to have their games reined in a little.

And The Shark says it could have so easily been started at the major championship that everyone so looks forward to every year…the US Masters at Augusta, Georgia.

“Augusta National was the only institution that could have stopped this change,” he said.

“By saying, ‘If you want to come play Augusta National, we’re not going to change our golf course. Go to your golf ball manufacturer and say that this is the specification golf ball you will use to play in our Masters,’ and nothing would have happened.

“Everybody would have played with that specification golf ball and the course could have stayed around 7,200 yards.”

Sounds simple enough but Augusta, too, has taken the same tack as the rest of the world and tried to make their course longer and harder than ever to combat the prodigious distances that the pros are now hitting the golf ball.

Of course, it’s not just the ball…the titanium and graphite-shafted drivers have played their part as well.

When quizzed about it at the recent US PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, Norman pointed out that he had made that observation quite some time back.

“With all due respect to Tiger [Woods], some of us have been saying that since 1996,” said the two-time British Open winner.

Yet he agreed recreational players need not be punished by rules that might be implemented to stifle the pros, suggesting splitting the game into two ‘branches’ – to keep everybody happy.