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USGA, R&A release update on hitting distance project

By |  April 1, 2022 0 Comments

The United States Golf Association (USGA) and the R&A released the Distance Insights Reports for 2020. The Distance Insights Project started in 2018 to provide a review of hitting distance in golf.

The report showed that longer courses have adverse consequences that affect golfers of all levels. These include increasing the cost of time to play, reducing the challenge of courses and limiting the advancement of sustainability efforts, especially water usage.

One of the key findings found that lengthening or toughening courses would be costly or impossible and would have a negative effect on environmental and ecological issues.

According to the USGA and the R&A, key stakeholders in golf are being utilized to address these issues and to ensure that skill continues to be primary determinant of success in golf. Key stakeholders include recreational and elite players, golf course architects, golf course superintendents, golf course owners, equipment manufacturers, national associations, golf federations, and more.

“We have been working through this process carefully and collaboratively with the golf industry and greatly appreciate the constructive feedback we have received,” said Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A. “We will continue to work quickly but carefully as we look to resolve this complex and challenging issue for the sport as a whole.”

The governing bodies have also researched how course-related factors such as setup, conditioning and maintenance could be used to impact the way a course plays.

“We’re moving forward on this important work because we want golf to remain just as strong 50 years from now as it is today,” Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA, said. “It energizes all of us to do what is in the best interests of the game and keep it thriving into the future.”

The USGA and R&A confirmed the key areas of focus of the governing bodies but did not give a proposal or decision on any aspects at this stage.

The full report can be found here.

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