As golf’s various stakeholders – the PGA Tour, European Tour and LPGA Tour, Augusta National, the PGA of America, the USGA and the R&A – cancel and postpone their own events and explore potential alternative dates, all are working with the assumption that the Olympics would go on as scheduled.
If you’re looking for definitive conclusions in the massive reports that contributed to the USGA and R&A’s recently released Distance Insights Project, they are quite nearly at every turn and occur so often they can occasionally contradict themselves.
With the USGA and R&A having released the preliminary results of their Distance Insights Project – and concluding that something needs to be done to keep the cycle of distance increases from continuing – it seemed a worthwhile exercise to ask the players responsible for much of the handwringing what it is, exactly, they think needs to be done.
At No.72 in the World Ranking, Phil Mickelson currently has not qualified to play in this year’s US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club, site of one of his record six second-place finishes in the championship.
Since 2003 – the year after the USGA and R&A released the Joint Statement of Principles as a notice that they would be monitoring more closely the effects of advancing equipment technology on the game – distance on the PGA Tour has jumped 7.6 yards.
While golf’s ruling bodies are unclear as to what should happen next, the nearly two-year study of how far the golf ball is flying – known as the Distance Insights Project – is resoundingly clear on one specific conclusion: Distance must be stopped.