USGA, R&A will further study distance in the game in new Distance Insights project
The USGA and R&A announced a joint effort to analyze distance in golf, seeking feedback from the “worldwide golf community.”
Dubbed the Distance Insights project, the initiative looks to “examine distance through a multi-pronged approach that includes global stakeholder engagement, third-party data review and primary research.” Focus groups, forums, and discussion groups will all be part of the effort.
If you’re wondering what this will look like in practice, the USGA has already set up a feedback form, .
“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,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “We look forward to delving deeply into this topic and learning more, led by doing right by golf, first and foremost.”
The USGA is looking for feedback from all stakeholder groups, including amateur golfers, professional golfers, professional golf tours, golf course owners and operators, golf equipment manufacturers, golf course architects, and golf course superintendents.
In a shift from merely looking at driving distances on professional tours, the governing bodies are looking for distance-related data as it pertains to course construction and maintenance, pace of play, player enjoyment, participation, and equipment.
The governing bodies are keen to point out that, well, as Rand Jerris, USGA senior managing director of public services, told Golf Digest: “This is not about a ball rollback.
He said further, “We are looking at distance in a very holistic way. The golf ball is not the focus of this project. I think we see this research resulting in multiple insights, multiple recommendations and multiple solutions…We need to broaden the discussion, get a variety of perspectives and reset the conversation about distance.”
The USGA and The R&A plan to deliver a report based on the data in 2019.
We’re excited to launch the Distance Insights project with the . Throughout 2018, we’ll be engaging people across the game on this important topic. Share your thoughts with us at .
— USGA (@USGA)