GO­ING THE DIS­TANCE

Golf Australia - - AROUND THE TRAPS -

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

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