In Other Golf News

Acushnet’s boss challenges ‘Distance Insights’ report

Conclusions of the USGA and R&A project ‘undervalue the skill and athleticism of the game’s very best players and focus far too much on the top of the men’s professional game,’ David Maher writes

Disputed: By Acushnet Co. president and chief executive David Maher, the findings of the recently released “Distance Insights” project by the U.S. Golf Association and the R&A. In a statement released this week, Maher, who heads the parent company of Titleist and FootJoy, went on the record as the first head of a major equipment manufacturer to challenge the report’s findings. The report questions the benefits for golf of increased hitting distances, which have created a need for longer golf courses and higher associated costs with maintaining more ground. The USGA and R&A did not offer specific solutions but granted interested parties up to a year to offer input. Maher, in a news release posted to Titleist’s website, said the report’s conclusions “undervalue the skill and athleticism of the game’s very best players and focus far too much on the top of the men’s professional game and project this on golf and golfers as a whole.” Maher added that “existing equipment regulations effectively govern the prospects of any significant increases in hitting distance by the game’s longest hitters.”

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