USGA Investigates Shorter Range Golf Balls

Golf Digest is reporting that the USGA has requested that ball manufacturers submit prototypes of balls that fly 15 to 25 yards shorter than current limits.

The goal presumably is to find ways to protect courses against the assault of the 300 yard drive (or in the case of Mr. Woods, the 290 yard 3-wood).

But not everyone thinks that limiting the ball will do the trick. TaylorMade-Maxfli’s Dean Snell says that ball speeds have increased

as much as 30 miles per hour in the last 15 years, despite the ball’s performance on the initial velocity test not changing. Tour level balls now spin off the driver just like two-piece distance balls do. That’s the primary change, not some new enhanced ball speed characteristic, he says.

Snell suggests that instead of limiting the ball, courses should be set up to challenge the long ball hitter.

I’ve said as much in previous posts.

1 thought on “USGA Investigates Shorter Range Golf Balls”

  1. I favor a tour ball, but I think it would be nuts for the USGA to create an across-the-board distance drop in golf balls. Recreational golfers live for the long ball. Cutting 25 yards off Joe Duffer’s drives – when he has so much trouble hitting them a long way to being with – would be a big mistake.


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