HOT TOPIC 3: Golf ball distance on Tour

Andy Roberts's picture
Tue, 6 Mar 2018

TOPIC 3: IS GOLF BALL DISTANCE REALLY AN ISSUE, ESPECIALLY ON TOUR?

AR: The golf ball is a problem for the Tour professionals, but definitely not for the rest of us. Just look at this stat that the USGA launched today. Single-handicap players certainly benefit from multi-layer, urethane-covered balls, but only if they’re fit correctly. The average hack can’t access those layers anyway and likely plays the wrong ball for him or her. The R&A and USGA yesterday released their annual survey on driving distances and with up to a seven-yard average gain recorded, concluded that the increase across the seven most prominent pro tours "in a single season is unusual and concerning." By all accounts, it sounds very much like the golf ball's "capacity to travel" will be reduced by up to 20% in the coming year. Don't get me wrong, I love to see these guys send it out there and reach par-4s in one blow. It adds to the spectacle and creates a buzz around the sport... "Did you see that guy DJ nearly ace the 420-yard par-4 the other day?" But the ball needs serious attention in my view. It's going crazy distances year after year. They'll all be reaching par-5s soon. The added distance is causing greater financial hits for golf courses on Tour to lengthen as a result, so it makes sense to roll it back slightly. 

Joe Miller's 3 Best Tips To CRUSH Longer Drives - Best Golf Driving Tips.mp4

MH: I don’t think distance is an issue to be honest. I think the bigger issue is that courses should be set up harder to combat this... more rough, tighter pin positions etc. I'm all for seeing these guys send it out there, but I also love seeing these guys struggle at the same time. It's always refreshing to see the guys take on PGA National at the Honda Classic, just like we saw a couple of weeks ago. Grow that rough, stick in more hazards, make courses more about strategy than a long driving competition.