The distance debate in golf isn’t going away anytime soon, and another layer was added on Monday when the USGA and R&A released their annual distance report, which found a 3-yard average distance gain across the sport’s seven main tours from 2016 to 2017.
While PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan attributed the gains to fitness, height and age, among other things, the report led to PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua releasing a statement that said “it is difficult for us at the PGA of America to provide meaningful comments on its content at this time” based on the depth of the information. However, he added that based on previous discussions had by the PGA board of directors, the PGA is “highly skeptical that rolling back the golf ball in whole or part will be in the best interests of the sport and our collective efforts to grow the game.”
Bevacqua also said the PGA plans to poll its roughly 29,000 professionals this week to gain their perspective about a potential roll back.
You can read Bevacqua’s complete statement below:
“Having just received the full report last evening, it is difficult for us at the PGA of America to provide meaningful comments on its content at this time. However, given the recent industry discussions and media reports regarding a potential roll back of the golf ball for all players and/or a segment of elite players, our Board of Directors has discussed this topic at length. Based on the information we have seen, we are highly skeptical that rolling back the golf ball in whole or part will be in the best interests of the sport and our collective efforts to grow the game. Our nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals would be at the forefront of implementing this potential roll back, so we will be polling them this week to fully understand their perspective, especially on what it would mean for the vast majority of the golfers they serve. We look forward to offering our candid feedback to the USGA and R&A once we have collected that data and reviewed the full report.”