Limiting club length to 46 inches

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MarkT

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They've just released this for professional and elite amateur competitions... no reply from Phil Mickelson, who used a 47.5 inch driver to win the PGA this year, as yet

The USGA will implement it for all of their 14 championships starting next year


THE R&A AND USGA ANNOUNCE NEW MODEL LOCAL RULE OPTION FOR LIMITING CLUB LENGTH

12 October 2021, St Andrews, Scotland and Liberty Corner, NJ, USA: The R&A and the USGA have announced that a new Model Local Rule (MLR G-10) will be available beginning on 1 January 2022 to provide those running professional or elite amateur golf competitions with the option of limiting the maximum length of a golf club (excluding putters) to 46 inches.

The proposal was announced in February 2021, which opened a notice-and-comment period to allow the industry the opportunity to provide feedback as part of the equipment rulemaking procedures. The comments received from the golf industry, including players, professional tours and equipment manufacturers, were carefully considered before the decision to proceed with the new MLR was reached.

The R&A and the USGA issued an Area of Interest notice in 2014 indicating that research was being conducted into the impact of club lengths of more than 48 inches on hitting distance and whether that limit remained appropriate. A proposed change to the limit was subsequently put forward in 2016 but was put on hold in 2017 when the Distance Insights project got underway.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We have taken time to consult fully with the golf industry, including players, the main professional tours and equipment manufacturers, and have considered their feedback carefully. We believe this is the right thing for the game at this time and it will provide tournament organisers with the flexibility to choose for themselves within the framework of the Rules. We are working hard to maintain an open, collaborative and considered dialogue with these key stakeholders as we continue to evolve the Equipment Standards Rules to ensure they reflect the modern game.”

Mike Whan, Chief Executive Officer of the USGA, said, “We’ve worked closely with our industry partners to ensure the future for golf remains strong. Admittedly, this is not the ‘answer’ to the overall distance debate/issue but rather a simple option for competitive events. It’s important to note that it is not a ‘Rule of Golf,’ and as such, it is not mandated for the average, recreational golfer. Rather, this is an available tool for those running competitive events.”

The proposals submitted in February for changes to the testing method for golf balls and the testing tolerance for spring-like effect are still under consideration. The governing bodies plan to consider feedback on these proposals in line with the responses to the broader Area of Interest – Research Topics notification, which are due by 2 November.
 

Imurg

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I think this is a complete and utter waste of time and effort.
2 inches on the length of a driver shaft, to these guys, probably makes no more than 10 yards difference..on a good, centered strike..
Trying to look like they're doing "something"
 

fundy

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I think this is a complete and utter waste of time and effort.
2 inches on the length of a driver shaft, to these guys, probably makes no more than 10 yards difference..on a good, centered strike..
Trying to look like they're doing "something"

This!

Theyre testing the bifurcation waters with a pointless change imho, not prepared to actually leave alone or actually address the real problem (as they havent been for years and years). Kind of ironic theyve limited the driver length and not the putter one too
 
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MarkT

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Aside from anything else if you are particularly tall then this is ridiculous. Still nothing from Mickelson...
 

Jigger

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Aside from anything else if you are particularly tall then this is ridiculous. Still nothing from Mickelson...
This and they are not showing equity to the other skills in the game. They’ve allowed putting to be completely deskilled from different putter shafts to greens reading books.
 

cliveb

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When Bryson still hits 400 yards, are they going to make the limit 45? And then 44?
BDC currently uses a 45.5 inch driver, so this rule doesn't affect him at all.

I still think the obvious solution is to limit the stiffness of shafts. That'll make the pros think twice about massive swing speeds, but leave the rest of us unaffected.
 

Crow

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People worry about courses needing to be lengthened to keep up with the modern game, I think they should put a maximum of 7,000 yards on all courses and just go with it.

Scores might be ridiculous but so what.

The game isn't the same as it was so why worry about the scoring records from the past; 40 under par to win The Open, why not?

If people don't like the idea of 40 under par winning a major then extend the yardage boundaries for pars:
0 to 325 yards is a par 3
326 to 650 yards is a par 4
Par 5s are a concept from the past.
 

fundy

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Aside from anything else if you are particularly tall then this is ridiculous. Still nothing from Mickelson...
Phil Mickelson
@PhilMickelson
“Stupid is as stupid does.”Mrs Gump

Really though, are the amateurs trying their best to govern the professional game the stupid ones? Or the professionals for letting them?
 

Oddsocks

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I’d rather them standardise shaft lengths and lofts in irons. 44/44* pw’s are almost 8irons FFS!

“ I can hit my 9i length 8i loft PW 150 yards “ …. No S***!
 

harpo_72

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BDC currently uses a 45.5 inch driver, so this rule doesn't affect him at all.

I still think the obvious solution is to limit the stiffness of shafts. That'll make the pros think twice about massive swing speeds, but leave the rest of us unaffected.
Like that, but they are pretty good with the shaft tech so you have to be quite clever with the way you measure it and the points you measure.

I don’t think this really equates to much honestly speaking. Nor will making the heads smaller
 

Orikoru

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BDC currently uses a 45.5 inch driver, so this rule doesn't affect him at all.

I still think the obvious solution is to limit the stiffness of shafts. That'll make the pros think twice about massive swing speeds, but leave the rest of us unaffected.
Fair enough, he had talked about using a longer one though. If it's only Mickelson who used a longer driver there's even less point of changing the rule at all?? Baffling.
 

wjemather

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The change affects almost no-one. It's an absolute non-story. Elite golfers who want to hit fairways (i.e. pretty much all of them, bar Mickelson) are not using drivers over 46 inches in length. As such, it seems like the rule is being introduced to counter potential equipment developments rather than restricting the equipment in use already (Mickelson excepted).
 

Sats

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I have -1/2" taken off my shafts to accommodate my height or lack of, my friend on the other hand is a lofty 6' 8" tall and has to have a 1" added to his clubs. Surely custom fitting would then discriminates against the very tall in the elite amateur /pro circuits?
 

harpo_72

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I have -1/2" taken off my shafts to accommodate my height or lack of, my friend on the other hand is a lofty 6' 8" tall and has to have a 1" added to his clubs. Surely custom fitting would then discriminates against the very tall in the elite amateur /pro circuits?
In all sports there is a physical advantage.. I don’t know whether you can basically marginalise those who are tall vs the averages. You could argue that in golf the total lever length can only be affected by the players arm length and the angle by their height .. but the tall players back angles could be in poor position and lead to injury.
But they must have done a bio mechanical study to determine all of this. I cannot imagine they would leave themselves open to lawsuits on back injuries.
 

azazel

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Mickelson can't hit the fairway with a "normal" length driver anyway so you can see why he favours a longer shaft and more distance.
 
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