In golf, 18 holes are composed of par-3s, par-4s and par-5s, and that core value is being demeaned. That's why some of us have emotion about this. This isn't codgerville; it's us appreciating the game for what it really is.
The challenges facing the game are it takes too long to play and it's too expensive. Stretching courses is a contributor to those costs—more land, more water, more fertilizer, more lost balls. Every trend we cite as holding back the game's growth is exacerbated by increased distance.
It's not just the ball. Players are better, and there are more of them; instruction is better; athletes in general are better than they were 20 years ago. Just look at the NFL. The real issue is that there are so many more good players now than there ever were.
In the big picture golf is losing participants. The fewer people who play golf, the fewer people who watch golf. The fewer who watch, the fewer sponsors willing to support professional golf. This has lose-lose implications for all of us.
I love new equipment and new gadgets, but in golf the hardware should never be more important than the software. And by software, I mean golfers. When that gets out of balance, there's trouble.