March 21, 2023
PGA's Thomas and Burns say new ball limits are "very bad" and "silly"

PGA’s Thomas and Burns say new ball limits are “very bad” and “silly”

A move by the R&A and the US Golf Association to change balls to limit driving distances was greeted with scorn Wednesday by players at the US PGA Valspar Championship.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Justin Thomas, who defends his PGA Championship title in May at Oak Hill, called him “very bad for the game” while fellow American Sam Burns called him “dumb”. .

Golf governing bodies targeted the change to elite players to cut driving distances by 14-15 yards, reducing concerns about length-increasing technology and the ability to render some courses.

The rule, if adopted, would start in 2026.

“I’m clearly against it,” Thomas said.

For players who have seen the sport grow enormously in the past two decades, the move struck a sour note.

“My reaction was disappointment and not surprise either,” Thomas said. “I think the USGA over the years, in my opinion, is tough, but it has made some pretty selfish decisions.

“Definitely, in my opinion, they have done a lot of things that are not to improve the game, even though they claim to be.

“I don’t understand how the game is growing. For them to say in the same sentence that golf is in the best place it’s ever been, it’s all great, but… And I’m like, ‘Well, there shouldn’t be ‘Don’t be a but. You’re trying to create a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.”

Thomas said it will hurt that casual players can no longer use the same equipment as the best players in the big leagues.

“To me, it’s so bad for the game of golf,” Thomas said.

“You can go to the pro shop and buy the same golf ball that I play or Scottie Scheffler or whatever.

“But the USGA wants to get it to a point where that’s not the case… I don’t understand how that’s better for the game of golf. The amount of time and money these manufacturers have spent trying to create the best possible product and now you’re going to tell them and us that we have to start over.”

Burns said reducing the length of the big rounds will lessen the entertainment for golf fans.

“Personally, I think it’s pretty silly,” Burns said. “We’re an entertainment sport and I don’t think people necessarily want to come here and see guys hit shorter.

“They enjoy watching guys go out and hit for 350 yards. I don’t see what the problem is with that. I think it’s a skill and I really don’t agree with trying to take that away.”

Thomas even threatened that elite golfers could create their own rules and snub the USGA and R&A over the matter.

“It’s like, you know what, then okay, if you want to change something based on your data that we think is pretty biased and wrong and self-centered about what you believe, then maybe we’ll create our own or do our own thing,” Thomas said. .

– Bryson hates the idea –

LIV Golf’s Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open champion known for his long drives, tore up the changes on the Saudi-backed league’s website.

“If you could say I’m the complete opposite multiplied by 1,000, that’s what it would be,” DeChambeau said of the distance-limiting ball.

The American has worked on his body and swing to maximize clubhead speed and drive distance, hitting long shots with fewer concerns about placement.

“It’s a big handicap for us guys who have worked so hard to learn how to hit further,” he said. “If they do it in a way where it only hits the top end, I see why. But I think it’s the most egregious thing you could do to the game of golf.”

“I think it’s the most unimaginative, uninspiring, revolutionary thing you could do. Everybody wants to see people go further.”


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