Take USGA Survey: Do You Believe That Distance is a Problem in Golf?

Six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus can't shut-up when it comes to the topic of driving distance on the PGA Tour and he believes today's golf ball travels to far and should be changed. The USGA and R&A are asking golfers to take a survey (link below) to provide feedback before a deadline of October 31.

BOSTON, Mass – Being around the game as long as I have I’ve noticed there is something common among all golfers – we love to complain.

Let’s start with a few mainstream complaints for why we did not hit more fairways and greens and make more putts in the journey to break 80 or 90.

“The pins were tucked” or “the wind was blowing” or “bad lies” or “the rough was too thick” or you fill in the blank.

One complaint I have never heard, except from Jack Nicklaus, is that the golf ball travels too far.

I don’t care how many majors Jack Nicklaus has I have one reply to his assessment – STFU.

Seems the gullible, adoring golf media can’t stop writing about anything Jack Nicklaus says, as ridiculous as his statements are about distance being a problem in golf. And, and the last thing the golf media will ever do is criticize The Golden Bear.

Read my lips: The golf ball is not traveling too far and there is not problem with distance.


Whether you agree with me or not the USGA and The R&A have drafted a detailed global online questionnaire asking golfer what they think about the golf ball traveling too far.

I took the survey and gladly gave my opinion. You should too!

Please find attached the link to the questionnaire and take about 15 minutes to give the USGA and R&A your feedback.

The detailed questionnaire is open to all interested participants in golf until Oct. 31, 2018 and is available in 10 languages. Administered independently by Sports Marketing Surveys Inc., it can be accessed at:

usga.org/distanceinsights and atranda.org/distanceinsights.

Each person who takes the survey will be asked a series of universal questions about distance in golf (defined by how far shots travel), such as:
• What do you think makes golf most interesting to watch?
• Do you think recreational golfers are hitting shots farther than they did five years ago?
• Do you think elite / professional golfers are hitting shots farther than they did five years ago?
• What do you think should be most important to success in the game of golf?
Participants who indicate interest while taking the survey may be invited to take part in follow-up telephone interviews or online group conversations to gather deeper perspectives on the topic. While individual responses will be confidential, anonymized global survey results will be published in the final Distance Insights project report, to be delivered in 2019.

The USGA and The R&A embarked on the Distance Insights project in May 2018 to initiate the most comprehensive global study of distance in golf to date. Through primary and third-party research, a detailed research and data review and the collection of views from throughout the golf industry, the aim is to achieve better understanding of the contributors to and impacts of distance on golf.

“We’re inviting perspectives and opinions from the global golf community because we recognize the topic of distance is one that potentially impacts us all in some capacity,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA. “This is the best opportunity for people to share their thoughts and data with us. We know a final Distance Insights report that reflects a breadth of perspectives will be critical to deepening an understanding of the complex nature, and far-reaching implications, of this subject matter.”

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We want to hear the views of those involved in golf throughout the world about distance and what it means for the sport. This is an important stage of the Distance Insights project and we would encourage people with an interest in golf to share their perspectives with us. There are many different points of view and considerations on distance and we want to make sure we have as full a picture as possible.”

Information on the Distance Insights project, including frequently asked questions, historical data and general terms and conditions for submitting data, can be found atusga.org/distanceinsights or randa.org/distanceinsights.

Tom Gorman, a Boston-based golf writer, is a longtime member of the Golf Writer's Association of America. Tom is a member at Fiddlesticks CC (Ft. Myers, FL) and the New England Series and Amateur Golf Tour of New England. Email can be sent to teetalk@aol.com.

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