Governing bodies deliver research topics and proposed equipment rules changes to manufacturers amid concerns about distance gains at elite levels
Announced: By the USGA and the R&A, that golf’s governing bodies have established research topics and proposed equipment rules changes. In a news release issued Tuesday, the USGA and R&A issued areas of interest to help mitigate continuing distance increases at the game’s elite levels. The move was delayed in 2020 because of the effect of COVID-19 on the golf industry. The notice of the areas of interest – the potential use of a local rule and conformance specifications for balls and clubs – was sent Monday to equipment manufacturers. The governing bodies asked for feedback and research on three proposed changes to equipment standards: club length, ball-testing methods and clubs’ spring-like effect. Mike Davis, the USGA’s outgoing CEO, told Golfweek’s David Dusek that the governing bodies have no intention of making significant changes for recreational golfers. The USGA and R&A intend to collect feedback in a comment period that ends Nov. 2. The goal is to give tournament organizers and course operators more flexibility. In February 2020, the USGA and R&A completed their Distance Insights report. “This is about long-term, for the whole of the game,” Davis said. “I think golfers need to understand that this every-generation-hits-the-ball-farther is affecting the game negatively. The cost of this is being borne by all golfers. We’re just trying to fit the game of golf back on golf courses.”
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