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While the golf ball gets all the attention in the distance debate, there are other factors that influence it. While it doesn’t get anywhere the same level of attention, it is just as important. Case in point, Jack Nicklaus, who clearly believes changing the golf ball is the way to go, acknowledged the modern driver has also been a game changer.


“When they first came out with the metal drivers, I remember the '86 Masters, I was playing that little one that Bridgestone came out, that was a Jumbo (Ozaki). It was a little tiny head metal driver. It was a good little driver. I tested it against my wooden driver and there was a yard difference,” said Nicklaus.


“So when I got to '86, I used the wood driver. Then they started enlarging the head a little bit and then it started making more sense, because I got a little bit more out of it. But then they got to the mid 90s, that's when they changed the golf ball from the wound to the composite ball, that's when you all of a sudden found out there was a big difference. Because the wood driver didn't hit it anywhere,” Nicklaus said.


“I remember going to open up a lot of golf courses and I would have a wood driver made and I would sign it and put the date on it and give to them, and I hit the opening tee shot. I said, okay, guys now I'm going to show you why we don't use this driver anymore and then I would hit the metal driver and hit it 80 yards past the other one.” 


So in an apples to apples test, using the same ball Nicklaus admitted the oversized metal driver significantly influenced the distance the ball travelled! And that is the golf ball’s fault?