‘Right by the Entire Game’: USGA Official Breaks Myth About Their Latest Drastic Move

Published 03/14/2023, 2:26 PM EDT

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via Reuters

Golf at the highest level has witnessed vast changes in the last few years. One of them has been the rapid increase in driving distance, which reached nearly 300 yards last season. To counter this situation, the USGA and the R&A, hosts of two of the four major championships, have come together to present a solution.

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Rolling the ball back

Reportedly, the proposal for this ruling will set back the driving distance by 20 yards or more. Called the “model local rule,” it is a guideline that has been set for elite competitions, which will undoubtedly target men’s designated events.

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What does the rule change in accordance with the current system? The primary function of the new regulation would be to test golf balls for conformance. In simple words, the current balls would be re-shaped to provide less yardage to golfers.

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But how would such a task be performed? If the early reports are to be believed, tampering with the conformance of the ball could prove crucial. In theory, an increasing speed of the ball would work against the distance covered.

For a mechanical robot, increasing the swing speed by merely 7 miles per hour (from 127 miles per hour to 120 miles per hour) will result in a loss of 20 yards or more. With the visionary project expected to be launched in the years to come, what has the organization’s heads made of it?

The chatter around “model local rule”

While the full details are still awaited, there has been some degree of responses on the matter. Due to its nature, golf equipment manufacturers were kept informed, with the statement reading, “The USGA and The R&A were not considering changes that would result in substantial reductions in hitting distances at all levels of the game.”

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But there were many words spoken during the presentation on Tuesday, where USGA CEO Mike Whan highlighted the importance of their works. “We are taking the next steps in this process, guided first and foremost by doing what’s right by the entire game,” he said.

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Do you think the rules will set forth a new regime in driving distance? Will it spell the end of 300-yard drives in the future> Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Sharan Nair

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Sharan is an Engineering student with a desire to carve out a career in sports journalism. He is an ardent Tiger Woods fan and his 2019 Masters victory is what further cemented his love for the golfer. A die hard football fan, Sharan can be seen cheering for Real Madrid, and playing FIFA every chance he gets.
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Edited by:

Manaal Siddiqui

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