R&A Chief Slumbers poised to swoop on DeChambeau’s extra distance

Bernie McGuire

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R& (Photo by Richard Heathcote/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

R&A CEO Martin Slumbers has addressed the Bryson DeChambeau ‘extra distance’ phenomenon with concern indicating one half of golf’s ruling body will be ‘seriously addressing’ the issue.

DeChambeau’s remarkable distance off the tee since the return of the PGA Tour to competition has been the major talking point among not only his fellow competitors but the golfing public alike.

The now ‘Hulk Hogan’ look-alike sent one drive all of 427-yards during the Charles Schwab Challenge and then in capturing the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the 26-year old American lived-up to the sponsors name averaging ‘rocket’ drives over 350-yards during his four rounds in Detroit.


DeChambeau’s beefed-up appearance and his now ‘out of this world’ distance off the tee comes just months after both the R&A and the USGA issued their joint ‘Distance Insight Project’ that seeks to curb the distance the ball is being hit off the tee.

One thing is certain, a copy of the R&A and USGA’s findings was not sent to the DeChambeau residence

“It’s a topic I feel very strongly about,” Slumbers said in speaking with the Daily Mail.

“It’s our responsibility, as a governing body, to have a view on the broad implications of the subject. We published our report, along with the USGA in February, and it said we needed to put a line in the sand and come back—because we think it’s gone too far.

“My view is very much that golf is a game of skill. It’s important to have a balance of skill and technology.”

The R&A and USGA had been all set to release the second part of the Distance Insights Project this Spring, but it has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Slumbers indicated to the newspaper the release will still happen once the golf industry, and world, has a chance to stabilise.

“It’s all been put on hold because the world has a lot more to worry about. And we were conscious of the golf industry having the time to recover,” Slumbers added.

“But we will bring that topic back—because it does need to be discussed.

“Once we feel that the industry is stable again, which isn’t going to be tomorrow, because we don’t know what’s going to happen over autumn and winter, we will be coming back to that issue in great seriousness.”

And while Slumbers revealed he’s been fascinated by DeChambeau and his accomplishments, it will not stop Slumbers leading the drive to curb distance.

“I’m not sure I can remember another sportsman, in any sport, so fundamentally changing their physical shape,” said Slumbers.

“I can’t think of anyone. I’m thinking of some boxers because I love boxing.

“But what is extraordinary is that Bryson isn’t the first one to put on muscle in golf. How he’s able to control the ball, with that extra power, is extraordinary. All credit to him, he’s a true athlete.

“But I still come back to the belief that golf is a game of skill. And we believe we need to get this balance of skill and technology right.”

And DeChambeau returns to competition this week following a week off post his victory in Detroit and tee-up in the Memorial, an event he captured in 2018.

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6 responses to “R&A Chief Slumbers poised to swoop on DeChambeau’s extra distance”

  1. Dan avatar

    I get very exercised when people talk about power and distance in a negative way as if to imply you cant have distance and be skilfull at the same time
    Most pros now bash it over 300yds av. So what’s left.. approach shots/ chipping and putting. 3 to 1 in skill terms. And who’s to say driving isnt a skill? Does every long hitter hit the short grass? No. They’re often in the woods or long stuff. Another skill is extracting yourself from those positions.
    All this talk of adjusting the ball and or the equipment is absurd. People want to see big drives. Name a pro golfer in history of golf who didnt seek extra distance off the tee. None I suggest. Not one.
    Solution if you want one.. make golf courses for the pro more difficult not longer but more challenging. When you hit it 370yds off target then you’re in trouble. No wide open bail out areas. But if a pro wants to hit it 370 every time let him do it. Leave this great game alone for heaven’s sake. Theres only one winner per week per tour and they are not all 409yd bombers.
    Dan Carney

    1. John Gurr avatar
      John Gurr

      Excellent Dan you took the words out of my mouth! In total agreement with you!

  2. Brenner Pieszak avatar
    Brenner Pieszak

    So tired of hearing old bags who can’t hit it 200 yards tell me that distance is destroying the game. Get the fk out of here with that trash position, makes you look old, weak, jealous, and cringe. Go lift a fkn weight if you can’t handle people bombing it by you. The European ryder cup two years ago was the most boring and least watchable form of golf ever played, its clear this dork wants that for the rest of the tourneys. “Roll back” distance, and ill be done watching. Period. Its that simple.

  3. Brenner Pieszak avatar
    Brenner Pieszak

    No. Stop it. We get you’re jealous because you’re weak as fk and can’t hit it 200 yards. We don’t care. Roll back the distance and that will be the last tourney I watch. Period. The European ryder cup two years ago was the worst shit ever on trlevision.

  4. JohnK avatar

    Typical R&A killjoy attitude. They do more to kill the game than grow it. DeChambeau has made golf exciting and relevant for younger players and viewers – and we can’t have that now, can we?

  5. Fred W. Layman avatar

    It takes tremendous skill to keep a 350 yard or greater drive in play. It also has risk reward written all over it! Please don’t interfere with this great game. Let the pros decide how they want to play the game or the particular hole for that matter.

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