If Jack Nicklaus said it once, he’s said it a thousand times: he thinks the golf ball goes too far.
The distance dilemma of golf has been debated for years. Nicklaus has been advocating for golf’s governing bodies to reduce golf ball distance since the 1970s. “I said, guys, watch this now because it’s going to be a problem,” Nicklaus said.
It turned out he was right. The topic came to a head when the US Golf Association and R&A released their 2017 distance report and officially stated that they were concerned about driving distance and announced in a joint statement that they had launched a project to analyze distance in golf and gather insights from the world of golf. community.
“We believe the time is right to look at this subject through a very broad and long lens, knowing that it is critical to the future of the game,” said then-USGA CEO Mike Davis.
The first phase of the combined Distance Insights project in February 2020 determined that distance is playing an excessive role in the game and pushing the sport in an unsustainable direction. But then a pandemic hit and the governing bodies put things on the back burner.
“I really don’t know what they’re doing,” Nicklaus said.
The last? In August, they announced that any further release of information in their study would not be released until March 2021. (The comment period is expected to end in May.)
“They are slow to respond to this issue,” Nicklaus recently told Gary Williams on his Podcast of the 5 Clubs. “They say they put a line in the sand, but that line in the sand keeps getting wider. They continue to cross it.
As he approaches his 82nd birthday on Friday, Nicklaus remains one of the most influential voices in golf, but when it comes to golf equipment, he has often gone unnoticed. “They didn’t pay much attention to a 30-year-old man and they certainly don’t pay much attention to an 80-year-old man,” he said.
Now that they have clear results from a century of data collection and its impact at every level – from golf played at the highest level to recreational golf – I look forward to supporting the collaborative effort. industry to find solutions that are in the best interest of the future of the game.
— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) February 4, 2020
“For everyone involved, having the golf ball come back to put a lot of things in perspective is very important to the game of golf,” Nicklaus added. “I think something will be done, it’s just how long will it take them to find the problem?”
Hopefully the wait won’t last beyond March.
Concluding the discussion on whether the golf ball is going too far with Nicklaus, Williams asked Muirfield Village, home of the Memorial, “Will your golf course be 8,000 yards in 10 years?”
“I hope not,” Nicklaus said. “I should buy all the houses around me.”