Is Increasing Driving Distance Ruining the Pro Tours? (KEEP RESPONSES CIVIL)
Recently the USGA and the R&A, who make the rules for golf, released their third annual report on driving distances on the professional tours. While their first two reports found consistent but not significant growth, that all changed with the most recent report, which cited all-time highs in 2017 on all five of the men’s tours (PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions, Web.com Tour, European Tour and Japan Golf Tour). They also found an increase on the Ladies European Tour, although the LPGA Tour showed a small decline last year. The “unusual and concerning” record-setting distance numbers led the ruling bodies to call for more research on the issue. What do you think? Do you love to see booming drives and players trying to hit par fours in one and par fives with a drive and a wedge? Or has increased driving distance turned the pro tours into drive-and-putt games with none of the challenge of mid and long iron shots, let alone a fairway wood? And have longer drives made it harder to identify with the pros, who appear to be playing an entirely different game than most mere mortals, even while destroying the competitiveness of some of golf's most hallowed courses?