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PGA Tour, Nicklaus react to USGA/R&A Distance Insights Project


The USGA and R&A released on Tuesday their long-awaited Distance Insights Project, which stated a desire to curb distance increases in the game. Here’s a look at how some notables in the game reacted.

PGA Tour: “Since 2003, we have been working closely with the USGA and the R&A to closely monitor distance, and this latest report is an expanded and thorough review of the topic, and others, which are all important to the game. The R&A and the USGA are our partners, and the PGA Tour will continue to collaborate with them, along with all of our other industry partners, on the next steps in this process. We believe the game is best served when all are working in a unified way, and we intend to continue to approach this issue in that manner. The PGA Tour is committed to ensuring any future solutions identified benefit the game as a whole without negatively impacting the Tour, its players or our fans’ enjoyment of our sport.”

The USGA and R&A stated in Tuesday’s Distance Insights Project that increased length has had an undesirable effect on the game.

LPGA: “The LPGA is appreciative of the work that has been done by the USGA and the R&A through their Distance and Insights Project, and we are interested to see what comes out of the next phase of research and feedback. Regarding the elite women’s professional game, we do not see distance as a hindrance towards the growth of the LPGA tour or to the courses on which we can compete. However, the data shows there are some aspects of increased distance which are making the game more expensive and more difficult for recreational players, and we see opportunity in exploring ways to remove some of the longtime barriers of the game such as cost, limited teeing ground options, length of courses, time to play, etc. It is important to us, our LPGA tour members, our LPGA professionals, our LPGA amateurs and the many girls who are being introduced to the game that there is a healthy future for golf and that the game can be more affordable and enjoyable for all who play it.”

American Society of Golf Course Architects: “We look forward to reviewing with all ASGCA members the complete report findings which appear to confirm what ASGCA members have seen from their work for some time: increased hitting distance can lead to golf course lengthening. This cycle may have a negative impact in a number of areas, including economic sustainability of facilities, their environmental footprint, the strategic challenge of playing the course as designed by the golf course architect and the pure fun that comes from playing the game from tees that match a player’s skill level.”