FRED FUNK: I'm glad somebody asked that because last night I was watching Golf Channel and Wally Uihlein from Titleist said something about the golf ball not being a big issue or something with the new distance. It's the athleticism and everything else. I don't have a problem with anybody being more athletic, being stronger, having a better golf swing, out working you to get the golf ball.
Then they keep saying -- back up a minute, and then they say, well, the ball has kind of leveled out the last three or four years. They're negating that year when it spiked when the new balls came out, the Hex and the X ball came out, and I've got proof in the stats. I was playing a Callaway at the time, now I'm back to Titleist, but that year it spiked almost eight yards, and it made an exponential gain -- I don't know what the threshold is, but to have X number of club head speed with the perfect launch angle and the right spin, these two balls would not come out of the sky. They just stayed up in the sky.
The harder you hit a golf ball and the higher you hit it, the further it went. Well, the longer guys got that exponential gain. You heard guys going, man, I just picked up 12 yards in the air, 18 yards in the air. I didn't pick up 12, 18 yards in the air. All I did was change balls. It wasn't even the drivers; it was the balls. It was so aerodynamically good, it just stayed in the air. If I don't have that amount of spin, I didn't get it up high and fast enough to benefit from that newest technology, and that's where we lost it, I think. That's where we lost the curve -- geez, I think that's where the USGA or somebody should have stepped in and said, wait a minute -- acceleration off the club head may be legal, but they're so aerodynamically good that it truly benefitted these bombers and they got ridiculously long.
Now you've got a guy that didn't change anything but the ball and because he's gifted with body build and club head speed, they got this exponential gain and they created this advantage. Now the shorter hitters are shorter than they ever were. Wally Uihlein were saying they should bring the ball back five yards or five percent or ten percent whatever, and we would lose -- the short hitters would lose a certain amount of yardage and the longer hitters would lose a certain amount of yardage and the gap would still be the same. Well, the gap was widened two or three years ago. I guess 2002 I think it was. That's where it was all screwed up.
I wish that that didn't happen because I actually -- the balls before that, those two balls came out and then all the balls were like that. I actually picked up just a little bit and the long guys picked up just a little bit, but the gap was pretty narrow, and I remember seeing in the stats, I think it was 2001 to 2002, there was three guys over 300 and 13 over 290. The next year there was 13 over 300 and 65 guys over 290, and I picked up two yards (laughter).
Now, this year we've been playing so much rain it appears I've lost 15 yards off my driver. It's just playing so wet this year that everybody has dropped down. You've got Scott Hend hitting it 310. We've been playing wet conditions and this guy can fly it a long way. I think the Top 10 guys are right at 300. I just saw it in the paper yesterday.
If you saw Tiger last week, he drove it 350 on 1, ridiculous on 2 one day, hit it down over the hill. It's unbelievable how far some of these guys are hitting it. They couldn't do it with the old ball. I just wish that -- it's too late, they're never going to go back. They're going to say, well, technology is here and we'll never step back technology. It wouldn't be fair to play one ball because that one ball is going to benefit a certain group of players a lot more than another group of players. I couldn't play Tiger's ball. Tiger could probably play my ball but I couldn't play Tiger's ball. It wouldn't be fair. We do a lot of testing to figure out what's the best ball for us due to our spin rate and how quick the ball stops, how it feels around the greens versus how it feels off the driver. You've got to try to match that to your game. The One Ball I don't think would work either. It's getting them all to come back. It's too late.
TODD BUDNICK: Thank you for your time today and good luck this week.
FRED FUNK: I'm glad you asked that. I don't know if it'll get written about, though.
End of FastScripts.