In Other Golf News

USGA, R&A advance distance discussion

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.”

Sign up to receive the Morning Read newsletter, along with Where To Golf Next and The Equipment Insider.


Related Stories
|