Latest Driving Distance Report Widely Ridiculed

By: Golfshake Editor | Thu 16 Feb 2017

The R&A and USGA have jointly released their second annual report into driving distance on the major tours, and to the surprise of just about everyone, found that yardage gained by the game's best players had increased by a lowly 0.2 yards per year since 2003. 

Believing the data to be deliberately misleading and using convenient methods, golfers, commentators and journalists vented their bemusement on Twitter, pointing out the perceived falsehoods from the two governing bodies that are tasked with protecting the historic game. 

Former European Tour player and regular analyst on Sky Sports, Tony Johnstone was quick to speak his mind on the figures unveiled by the major organisations.

He continued, raising the inarguable point that there has been an increase in the use of fairway woods and irons off the tee in recent years, which has likely skewed the numbers that have been reported.

American golf writer, Ron Green Jr was also correct to underline the flaws of the statistics used by the two bodies.

Leading journalist, John Huggan, long vocal on this subject, was suitably dismissive of the latest report.

As pointed out, if distance wasn't increasing, why then would the game's most historic courses, especially the legendary Old Course at St. Andrews, be continually lengthened beyond their limits.

Golfshake's very own Kieran Clark had his say on the topic, with a scathing assessment of the R&A and USGA.

Will Gray of the Golf Channel perhaps expressed it best, using an amusing GIF from the 1980s comedy The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad.

Unfortunately, there is a lot to see when it comes to distances and the damaging affects it has had on the game at the top level. Though it will become even harder to see in future as golf balls disappear higher and farther into the sky.

Tags: R&A Driving Distance

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