R&A / USGA Joint statement expected to announce further measures to curb the golf ball

Bernie McGuire

(Photo by Matthew Lewis/R&A)

Golf’s two ruling bodies, the R&A and the USGA, are expected to announce Tuesday 2pm (Irish time) their newest measures to curb the distance the golf ball travels.
The St. Andrews-based R&A and the New Jersey located USGA are expected to advise the world’s golfing media via a video hook-up of their joint announcement and believed, according the The Telegraph, centering around “a discussion document” about reining back the ball and essentially introducing restrictions that will ultimately decrease the distance it will travel, even under optimal conditions.
It is an announcement, if correctly reported, coming after a six-year joint study that looked into the ever-increasing length pros are hitting the golf ball and the detrimental effect to the ancient club-and-ball game.
Golf fans are really no longer in awe watching players hit the golf ball at ever-increasing distances and bringing golf courses, such as the Old Course at St. Andrews, to their knees.  No longer does it surprise that players are regularly hitting the ball 350-yards, including Ireland’s own Rory McIlroy and one of the longest hitters in golf.
It was around this time last year, the R&A and USGA released an update that essentially alerted equipment manufacturers to the fact that they were investigating the potential impacts on hitting distance from increasing the ball-test speeds to reflect the clubhead speeds achieved by today’s big-hitters, with another “key area of focus” being the specifications driver itself.
As well, January 1st, 2022 saw the decision by the two ruling bodies ruling the maximum length of the driver shaft was being reduced by two inches to 46 inches, a rule that many saw as a reaction to Bryson DeChambeau’s massive distance gains, including a 400-yard effort during the 2018 Ryder Cup in Versailles.
There were also ‘never before seen’ drives by DeChambeau, of 370 and 377-yards and all-water carries, during the third and fourth round of 2021 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Whatever the news, you can be assured golf ball and golf equipment manufacturers are likely not going to be pleased.

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3 responses to “R&A / USGA Joint statement expected to announce further measures to curb the golf ball”

  1. Patrick Desmond avatar
    Patrick Desmond

    The R&A and USGA will lose the legal battle as they did in the laughable attempts to limit the driver head and then the groves in wedges. The golf business has too much to lose and the ball makers will react strongly to protect their sales. After much ado about little the game will still be controlled by the money makers.
    The simplest cure to ball distance is the TEE, now at FOUR inches. Just reduce the height of the TEE peg to ONE inch. The tee manufacturers won’t complain……… pd TI

  2. Noel Gallagher avatar
    Noel Gallagher

    Quite simple. A different ball for professional golfers, or amateurs playing in professional events. the alternative is obsolescence of great golf courses.

  3. John Kelly avatar
    John Kelly

    Such an easy fix. Restricted Tournament balls for Tour professionals and Elite amateurs, other balls for everyone else. Tournament balls do not have to go on general sale – and no-one would want them anyway!

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