USGA updates its position on hitting distance in golf

The USGA and The R&A has released updated areas of interest and research topics on hitting distance in golf.

DELRAY BEACH, Florida – The USGA and R&A version of “Trading Places’’’ crop report was released this week and it’s loaded with authentic golf governing bodies gibberish.

The “Distance in Golf’’ update report cites the USGA and R&A continuation to focus on distance and work to assess “potential future changes that address the long-term cycle of consistent increases in hitting distances.’’

Changes to the Equipment Rules, according to the governing bodies, “could provide’’ the potential for enhanced innovation for recreational golfers. That’s a way of potentially allowing bi-furcation without having to say the “B’’ word.

According to the report, he governing bodies believe that the changes being considered could:

* Address hitting distances for the longest hitters, whose impact on the game and golf courses has been the most significant

* Minimize the impact on shorter hitters with slower swing speeds at the recreational level

* Allow for continued innovation of balls and clubs for players at all levels.

Here’s a link to the full report:

Read the report with this in mind: The USGA and R&A execs actually are trying to clean up a mess the bodies created more than 20 years ago, specifically with urethane-covered golf balls. Now the USGA and R&A want to rewrite history.

Their actions (and words) seem to indicate that they didn’t get it right the first time – but somehow they will this time.

I’m not so sure.

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career includes covering Major League Baseball, the NFL and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the web site for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California. He lives in Delray Beach, Fla, and can be reached at

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