R&A, USGA set to take action over distance issue
R&A chief Martin Slumbers has confirmed that golf's governing bodies are set to address the game's ongoing distance issue.
Last week, USGA chief executive officer Mike Davis hinted action could soon be taken over the incredible distance the top players are able to hit the ball, and his opposite number at the R&A has now confirmed that “serious discussions” will soon take place.
The two bodies are set to publish a joint report in the coming month, outlining their concerns and sharing data they believe makes the argument for taking action.
“There has been significant move up across all tours,” Slumbers said. “We’re also looking at the longest on record average driving distance and both of those have caused us, as well as our colleagues at the USGA, serious concern.
“We had talked for a number of years about slow creep, and this is a little bit more than slow creep. It’s actually quite a big jump. Our 2002 joint statement of principles put a line in the sand, or purported to put a line in the sand.
“I think our view is when you start to look at this data now that we have probably crossed that line in the sand and that a serious discussion is now needed on where we go.”
The likes of Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player have all expressed their support for limiting the distance a ball can travel.
“We’ll be publishing the distance report within the next month and there is a statement in there from the USGA and the R&A on the data that’s contained within it,” Slumbers added.
“I think there are many, many options available. There’s a lot of work still to be done with a lot of people, and engaging with not just the game but the equipment manufacturers and all sorts of things, but that work we now feel needs to be done.
“I’m hoping that we have a constructive conversation with all stakeholders for the good of the game. What do we want to do? We want the game to expand. We want more people to play. We want to see it as a skillful game. I think we will all work and talk around this whole distance issue.”
Collin Morikawa throws away big lead as Viktor Hovland wins Hero World Challenge
Hovland began the day six shots off the pace but carded a closing 66 at Albany to secure his third title of the season.
Rory McIlroy: Players want to know where they stand amid golf’s power struggle
The Northern Irishman was speaking ahead of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.
Tiger Woods says he is ‘lucky to be alive’ after crash but has ‘long way to go’
The 45-year-old 15-time major winner was in pain throughout as he addressed his first press conference since February’s crash.
Tiger Woods rules out full-time return to golf after serious car crash
The 45-year-old required surgery on open fractures to his lower right leg after the single-vehicle accident in February.
Lee Elder, the first black player to compete in the Masters, dies aged 87
Elder joined Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as an honorary starter at Augusta National just over seven months ago.
Suzann Pettersen lands ‘dream’ job as Solheim Cup captain
The Norwegian will be going for a hat-trick of Europe wins after taking over from Catriona Matthew.
Lee Westwood rules himself out of contention for 2023 Ryder Cup captaincy
Westwood says he cannot commit fully to the role while he is still competitive as a player.
Collin Morikawa wins Race to Dubai as Rory McIlroy’s frustrations boil over
The Northern Irishman appeared to rip his shirt open in the recording area behind the 18th green.
Tiger Woods shares footage of him hitting balls as rehab continues
Woods was injured in a car accident in February.