Add to that the joint USGA/PGA TEE IT FOWARD campaign, which in essence asks golfers to swallow their egos and move up a tee box.That simply doesn't jibe with distance increases leading to "longer, tougher and more resource-intensive golf courses at all levels of the game." Data can be funny stuff."They're just really good at what they do," says Dean Snell.
The data measures distance on two holes per tournament where players are virtually certain to use driver.The USGA pays particular attention to the PGA and European Tour stats, since that’s where the true bombers reside, but the 2017 data is based on nearly 300,000 drives across all seven Tours.But still, we're talking about 2-and-a-half yards - or seven feet - on average for the very best golfers in the world.Justin, Dustin and Lexi are freakish athletes, and they're not alone.“To make any decision on golf ball performance based upon test results of ONLY top players would be a step to make the game more difficult for the average player.” As cited above, the USGA is concerned that distance increases may lead to "longer, tougher and more resource-intensive golf courses at all levels of the game," and may impact the costs those courses may have to incur, and - left unsaid - pass on to the golfer.
One source suggests there's simply no evidence to support that conclusion, nor is there any evidence to support it's actually harming the game on a recreational level, especially since the USGA's own statistics indicate very little change in driving distance for amateurs studied in the UK dating back to 1996.The report says that while distances have been creeping up slowly since 2003, this across the board spike “requires closer inspection and monitoring to fully understand the causes and effects.” “As the review of this issue progresses, the USGA and the R&A remain committed to the spirit of the 2002 Joint Statement of Principles, which recognizes that distance impacts many aspects of golf and that any further significant increases in hitting distances at the highest level are undesirable.” – USGA 2017 Distance Report While we may think this only applies to the Pro’s, another passage in the report may wind up impacting the rest of us: “Increases in distance can contribute to demands for longer, tougher and more resource-intensive golf courses at all levels of the game.These trends can impact the costs to operate golf courses and put additional pressures on golf courses in their local environmental landscape.” That seems to say distance may not only be a problem for the pros, golf’s governing bodies seem to be worried that you may be hitting it too far for your 6,000 yard muni.Despite a 30-yard disadvantage off the tee, Potter won by three strokes because he hit fairways and greens on a course that’s not all that long but does have the smallest greens on Tour.It’s a small sample, but it leads to one conclusion and one question: First is even if you do roll back the ball, Dustin Johnson is going to hit it a hell of a lot farther than Ted Potter, Jr.Driving distance was up 8.1 yards at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale and 7 yards at the PGA at Quail Hollow. Sources tell us the average drive was 20.4 yards longer at Erin Hills compared to Oakmont the year before, primarily due to the fact Oakmont was soaked with rain.