The Forecaddie: Why should we believe R&A and USGA on hitting distance?

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The Forecaddie: Why should we believe R&A and USGA on hitting distance?

Forecaddie

The Forecaddie: Why should we believe R&A and USGA on hitting distance?

The Forecaddie is confused after going through some 2017 notes. Last February, the R&A and U.S. Golf Association produced a distance report which said: “Between 2003 and the end of the 2016 season, average driving distance on five of the seven tours has increased by approximately 1.2 percent, around 0.2 yards per year.”

Are these the same governing bodies who said in recent weeks that hitting distance is a problem in the modern game? Indeed they are.

“There has been a significant move up across all tours,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said last week. “We’re looking at the longest on record average driving distance. It’s caused us as well as our colleagues at the USGA serious concern. 

“We had talked for a number of years about slow creep. This is a little bit more than slow creep. It’s actually quite a big jump.”

Those comments echoed similar comments from USGA boss Mike Davis.

“We do not think that distance is necessarily good for the game,” he said. 

The Man Out Front calls time out. Last year there wasn’t a problem and this year there is. What on earth’s going on? 

Slumbers said last week that a line in the sand had been crossed. You have to wonder how fixed that line actually was/is given the contradicting evidence.

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