07 Dec 2023 | Industry news |

Statement: Revision of golf ball testing conditions

by Golf Australia

Golf balls

The R&A and United States Golf Association have announced overnight the decision to revise golf ball testing conditions that determine conformity to the Rules of Golf, with the update to come into effect from January 1, 2028.

Aiming to reduce the impact increased hitting distances have on golf’s long-term sustainability, while minimising the impact on the recreational game, this decision falls under the Overall Distance Standard (ODS) and Golf Australia stands behind the decision of the game’s global governing bodies.

Our organisation supports this decision for all the detailed reasoning throughout the joint announcement, and especially for the stated goal to protect the integrity of golf courses and the required variety of skills needed to play them.

These two core elements of the game have been greatly impacted by increased hitting distances, with further, and more significant impacts likely, if not addressed now.

Primarily driven by the increases in hitting distances at the elite level, the revision of conforming golf ball testing will come into effect for club golfers at January 1, 2030, with the longest hitters in the professional game expected to see a reduction of as much as 12-14 meters in driving distance compared with 1-5 meters for most recreational golfers.

The full statement from The R&A can be found HERE

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