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Justin Thomas – Ball plan fights ‘problem that doesn’t exist’

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Proposed rule changes to limit the distance players can drive the ball in elite golf tournaments would be detrimental for the sport, which is a two-time major winner Justin Thomas said.

“You’re trying solve a problem that doesn’t really exist. It’s so bad for golf,” Thomas stated Wednesday to reporters, ahead of the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor.

Average driving distances on the PGA Tour are approximately 300 yards. However, many players hit well over that and some courses are at risk of becoming obsolete.

The Royal and Ancient and United States Golf Association proposed that competition organizers could require players to use only balls that are within the maximum distance limit. The proposal, which would take effect in 2026, would require that balls not exceed 320 yards and have a clubhead speed of 127mph.

Thomas stated, “If you can swing at 127 mph then power to you.” “People are running faster so, what, is it going to make the distance of a mile longer to ensure the fastest mile time, or will they put the NBA hoop on 13 feet because people can leap higher now? Like, no. It’s evolution.”

Past U.S. Open champion Bryson deChambeauOne of the longest hitters in golf said that it would be “the most atrocious things you could do to the game.”

“It’s not about rolling the golf balls back. It’s about making the golf courses more difficult,” DeChambeau stated Tuesday, ahead of a LIV Golf event taking place in Tucson, Arizona. “I think it’s one of the most unimaginative, uninspiring and game-cutting things you could do. Everyone wants to see people go further.

Manufacturers and others are invited to provide feedback on the proposed changes by the governing bodies until August 14.

“In the discussions and the arguments which will certainly ensue over these next days and week that we all be a part, I think we will constantly find ourselves in this discussion about someone saying, ‘Why would this today, The game is fine today’,” USGA CEO Mike Whan stated. “… This is not about today. It’s about understanding the historical trends of the past 10, 20, 40 years, and being able predict those trends for the next 20-40 years. This will allow you to question whether the game can sustain the kind of increases that are so easy to predict.

“If we do nothing, we pass it on to the next generation and all the golf courses venues around the globe for them to just figure out.”

Thomas stated that he was disappointed, but not surprised by Thomas’s proposal.

“I believe the USGA has over the years — in my eyes it’s harsh — made some pretty selfish choices,” he stated. “They have done a lot of things that aren’t for the betterment and enjoyment of the game. They claim it.

This report was based upon information provided by Mark Schlabach from ESPN and Reuters.