The United States Golf Association on Wednesday admitted it had faced fierce opposition to a proposal to use short-distance balls for professional players, but was interested in abandoning its ambitions to curb equipment in the next few years. He also suggested that there is no
The association and the UK-based governing body The R&A proposed in March a rule that estimated that a top golfer’s tee shot could be shortened by an average of about 15 yards. Framed as an effort to maintain the relevance of the sport and its many high-end courses, the proposal is for hard-driving professionals who routinely hit their tee shots at distances unimaginable just a few decades ago. provoked a backlash between Manufacturers who take pleasure in selling on weekends duffer the same balls that star players hit at events like this week’s US Open.
“Our intentions are pure. “We are not trying to harm anyone. I think about our responsibility to make sure our children are strong and healthy.”
The long-distance debate in golf has been raging for years, and executives are becoming increasingly frustrated with quick fixes such as redesigning holes to accommodate golf’s most powerful hitters. . Some of golf’s retired greats, including Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, have put pressure on golf’s rulebook writers to take frank and urgent action.
“Like Augusta, not everyone can go buy the golf course next door,” Nicklaus said in an interview with The New York Times at the Masters tournament in April. “You can’t just buy land and keep adding to it. There used to be thousands of golf courses in this country, probably tournament golf courses. Today he probably has 100.”
In the 2003 season, PGA Tour players recorded an average driving distance of about 286 yards, with nine golfers including Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh and John Daley typically hitting at least 300 yards off the tee. So far this season, the tour average driving distance has reached nearly 298 yards. About 91 players are averaging over 300 yards, up nearly 10 percent since the USGA and The R&A announced the proposal.
The plan would essentially ban balls longer than 317 yards when hit at 127 mph.
The USGA and The R&A are gathering feedback on the proposal, but the proposal won’t go into effect until at least 2026 and would be classified as a Model Local Rule, giving individual tours and events the power to adopt it. The USGA and R&A are all but certain to impose the rule at the events they administer, including the US Open and the British Open, two of the four men’s majors.
But other big golf brokers, including the PGA Tour, have not embraced the plan, and many of golf’s biggest stars have openly resisted the idea of intentionally shortening their shots.
Even those who have embraced the prospect that the ball will cease to look like a long-range missile tell golf leaders to make no distinction between top-level pros and have a consistent standard throughout the game. I am asking for
Matt Fitzpatrick, who won last year’s U.S. Open, said, “I don’t think we should have a professional ball that is used in some tournaments and may not be used in some tournaments. can buy another golf ball.” “I don’t think it will work.”
Tour players recently met behind closed doors in Ohio with USGA officials and manufacturers to discuss the proposal, but official World Golf Ranking No. 4 Patrick Cantlay said this week that “the tension was high” at the meeting. said.
“Golf seems to be in good shape, but it would be foolish to do something that could be potentially harmful,” Cantley said.
USGA Chief Executive Mike Wang said Wednesday that he was sensitive to concerns raised by players and suggested the governing body could adjust the proposal in the coming months. But he stressed that the USGA is also concerned about millions of non-professional golfers, and neither he nor Parpole offered plans for a full handover.
“If you’re going to make an important governance decision because you think it will help make the game stronger 20 years from now, 40 years from now, you can’t expect everyone to like that decision. That’s part of governance.” said Wang. “Knowing that maybe 20%, 30%, 50% like the game and others don’t, you have to decide if you can stand by what you think the game is long term. But we believe the feedback process is important and it makes us better, even if we don’t like the feedback we receive, it makes us better.”
With one of golf’s most influential figures, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan, absent from the US Open, Wang and Parpole’s tenacious defense unfolded. The Tour revealed late Tuesday that he is “recovering from a medical condition” and that two other executives, Ron Price and Tyler Dennis, will assume day-to-day oversight of circuit operations indefinitely.
Monaghan’s resignation announcement comes after seven days of turmoil in professional golf. Last Tuesday, the tour plans to partner with Saudi sovereign wealth funds, the forces behind the LIV golf league that turned the sport upside down after months of portraying Saudi money as tainted. announced. Monaghan, who helped negotiate, was criticized as a money-hungry hypocrite, but retained at least some key allies within the tour.
“Jay is human,” 2012 US Open champion and tour director Webb Simpson said in an interview Wednesday. “Golf is a game, but a lot of the time we make golf so much bigger than it really is that we dehumanize people.” Perhaps Tuesday’s announcement was “to give people a little perspective.” ‘, he said.
But Simpson said he knew nothing about Monaghan’s situation beyond the tour’s initial statement. The tour declined to elaborate on that or give a timeline for Monaghan’s planned return.
In a statement, Price and Dennis said their priority is to “support our players and continue our ongoing efforts to further lead the PGA Tour and the future of golf.”
In its own statement on Wednesday, the Wealth Fund said, “We have invested in the PGA to advance a previously announced transaction that will make significant investments in the growth of golf for the benefit of players, fans and the expansion of the world of golf. We are committed to working closely with our leaders and the board.” world. “