DJ sees no need to limit ball flight: ‘It doesn’t matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole’

January 17, 2018

The game’s best-known driver of the golf ball has no interest in hitting it any shorter.

Dustin Johnson, who ranked second only to Rory McIlroy in driving distance in 2017, doesn’t see the need for a reduced-flight golf ball.

“It’s not like we are dominating golf courses,” Johnson told BBC Sport on Wednesday. “When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don’t really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn’t matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole.”

As driving distances have continued to creep up, more courses have been overpowered by the game’s modern players. Long drivers of the ball rarely hit more than a short iron into a par 4 and tend to dominate the par 5s. Of late, the proponents of change have included the likes Tiger Woods and USGA director Mike Davis, who said increased distance is affecting the game “in a bad way.”

Johnson’s latest famous drive was at last week’s Tournament of Champions, when a booming tee ball from 433 yards ended up within inches of the hole, although Johnson cited wind, slope and luck. “I mean normally I can’t hit the ball that far,” he said.

Ultimately, the 33-year-old bomber remains unconcerned about a potential rules change.

“Whatever they decide to do it doesn’t really matter,” he said. “If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone. I’m still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player.

“But who knows? I don’t know how they would do it or what they would do or how long it would take them to be able to do it. It’s not really a debate for me.”

Johnson tees off at 10:40 p.m. (ET) Wednesday in Abu Dhabi for his opening round at the HSBC Golf Championship alongside Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood.