Being one of the “shorter” hitter on the PGA Tour, one would think Luke Donald might in favor of golf’s ruling bodies – the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club – rolling back the distance today’s high-tech golf balls travel. Officials from the R&A, in fact, are expected to be in Sweden this weekend observing reduced-flight ball tests.
But Donald, the world’s No. 1 ranked player, thinks today’s golf balls (he plays a Titleist Pro V1x) are just fine.
“I think I’m a good proponent to say that you don’t have to hit it that far to be successful,” said Donald, who regained the No. 1 spot after his victory at the BMW PGA Championship this past weekend. “I think there is still an art to this game (could be his Mizuno irons), and I think I’ve kind of proven that a little bit over the last year that you. The guy who chips and putts the best most weeks is going to come out on top, no matter what kind of golf course.”
On the flip side, Steve Stricker said he can see scaling the ball back a bit.
“I am sure there was a time where (distance) just jumped up astronomically,” said Stricker, another Titleist Pro V1x player at this week’s Memorial Tournament. “I don’t know when that time period is, but there are some courses that have become very short. Even the course at home that I play on a daily basis, I can remember when I first started playing there when I first turned pro, where I was compared to where I am now, and I’m 25 years older.
“But everything has gotten better – not only the clubs but the course condition. It’s tighter, it’s faster. They’re trying to dry it out most times, and there have been years where we play courses that are wet all the time or softer. So there are a lot of variables there, too, not only in the golf ball but clubs. I could see scaling back on clubs, too… the drivers.”
Good luck with that one.