GOING THE DISTANCE
NOTHING is being left to chance when it comes to the distance debate, with the R&A and USGA launching ‘The Distance Insights Project’ – which will effectively, “analyse distance in golf and gather perspectives from the worldwide golf community.”
The joint effort is being heralded “a multipronged approach,” meaning focus groups and discussion forums will join forces with those in charge at golf’s governing bodies to come to an agreement regarding the distance the modern golf ball travels.
Stakeholder groups invited to participate in the project range from players and worldwide professional golf tours to golf course architects and equipment manufacturers.
Both the R&A and USGA will be seeking distance-related opinions and data on pace of play, golf course construction and maintenance practices, the evolution of equipment, golf course design and player enjoyment and participation.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “Distance in golf is a complex issue which is widely debated at all levels of the sport. It is important that we collate all of the relevant data and hear the many different perspectives on this issue that exist in the international golf community.
“We intend to conduct this process openly, comprehensively and promptly and will work with all of the key stakeholders to ensure we have a fully rounded view of distance and its implications.”
Meanwhile, Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA, said: “The topic of increased distance and its effects on the game have been discussed for well over a century. We believe that now is the time to examine this topic through a very wide and long lens, knowing it is critical to the future of the game.”
The governing bodies will continue to meet with golf industry stakeholders throughout 2018, with the vision of delivering their findings during 2019. Anyone interested in the topic can provide feedback by visiting randa.org/distanceinsights or usga.org/distanceinsights or by emailing either organisation directly.
“WE BELIEVE THAT NOW IS THE TIME TO EXAMINE THIS TOPIC THROUGH A VERY WIDE AND LONG LENS, KNOWING IT IS CRITICAL TO THE FUTURE OF THE GAME.” – MIKE DAVIS, USGA