The Distance Debate

The “Distance Debate”

At the center of the golfing world is a hot topic of conversation and it has been for quite some time: “the distance debate”.  Players are hitting it farther than ever before and every golf writer, commentator, instructor and historian seem to have an opinion.  But to try to find a solution to this “problem” we must first understand the influences of distance beyond the new equipment.  There are some external factors that heavily influence the longer driving stats on tour, like the average age on tour has significantly decreased over the past two decades.  Also, the mowers have improved significantly allowing them to cut the grass in the fairway much tighter over the same two decades.  Thousands of trees have been removed from courses all over the US and players can now send it over doglegs with ease.  More players are swinging faster on tour as the average club head speed on tour has been on a steady rise over the same time span.  All of these factors play a small role in the big picture, coupled with the improvement in equipment and we have a hot topic for conversation.  Maybe the answer is not restrictions on equipment but some very well placed large trees to force players to work the ball, well placed patches of pine trees forcing lower trajectory on approach shots, creating a true risk reward scenario, or something of that nature.