Adam Scott wades in on controversial golf rule debate: "Address that first..."

PGA Tour pro Adam Scott has offered his solution to the controversial plans to limit how far the golf ball will travel in elite competition from 2026.

Ben Smith's picture
Sun, 26 Nov 2023
Adam Scott wades in on controversial golf rule debate: "Address that first..."

Adam Scott has suggested golf's governing bodies should address the size of the driver head first before bifurcating the rules. 

Scott is now 43 years old and since turning pro in 2000 he has seen first hand how technology has dramatically changed how the game is played. 

John Daly led the PGA Tour in driving distance 2000 with what was considered at the time a mind-boggling 301 yards.

Rory McIlroy is now the Tour's biggest hitter, averaging 326.1 yards off the tee. The trend is only going one way. 

As far as Scott is concerned, the driver always used to be the hardest club to hit in the bag. Now it's the easiest. 

He told reporters at the Australian PGA Championship: "The biggest fundamental change in the game since I've been a pro, is traditionally the driver has been the hardest club to hit in the bag, and now it's the most forgiving.

"And that's the biggest evolutionary change in the golf bag to me out of the equipment.

"The ball is the ball, but the driver went from the hardest club to hit to now the most forgiving and the go-to club for guys if they are nervous.

"The penalty for missing a driver just isn't high enough anymore, in my opinion, at the top level.

"I'd like to address that first and see what knock on effects that has. If guys wanna swing at it 130 with a tiny driver head then good luck."

Scott's comments come as R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers told Golf Digest a decision is imminent on how the governing bodies will address the much-debated plans to limit how far the ball will travel in elite competition from 2026. 

Slumbers told the publication the decision would be revealed by the end of the year. 

The R&A and USGA proposed a Model Local Rule in March and have allowed stakeholders time to comment on the plans. 

Unsurprisingly equipment manufacturers and many elite golfers were not pleased. 

Perhaps the aforementioned McIlroy was the only top golfer who was for limiting how far the golf ball can travel

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan also confirmed the circuit wouldn't adopt the MLR. 

Slumbers told the publication: "The game was not happy with the Model Local Rule.

"There was a view that it would create a bifurcated game at the elite level. It was a very strong pushback against that. The PGA Tour was very public about it. So was the PGA of America. A number of players spoke out. And our job is to listen.

"But our responsibility is to the long-term future of the game. Along with the USGA, the R&A is a custodian of the game. We're responsible for our period of time, something that has gone on for hundreds of years and will go on for hundreds more.

"So, we are listening. And we have made a decision about what we are going to do. We’re working that through at the moment and will make it public before the end of the year."

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