WHAT IT SAID, WHAT IT MEANS ...AND WHERE IT GOES NEXT
Golf’s new Distance Report is a hefty, complicated read. We cut through it to find the essential details you need to understand.
Since 2016, the R&A and USGA have issued an annual report on driving distances. The 2016 and 2017 reports made little impact due to the fact that their findings found consistent but unexceptional growth in the distances professional golfers hit the ball. Last month, however, the 2018 report announced significant changes.
The USGA’s Executive Director Mike Davis set the ball rolling in early February, when he stood up at his organisation’s annual meeting and stated: “We do not think increased distance is good for the game.” R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers made similar noises. “We are looking at the longest on record average driving distance,” he stated. “It has caused us serious concern.”
The report left the media salivating and manufacturers perspiring. While we expected news of another “slow creep”, the report made clear that distance is a concern.
Sadly, the report offered no solutions, just the promise of a full investigation. But to shed some light on where we’re at and where the issue goes next, we’ve extracted the following seven key findings from the report.