Justin Thomas is one of the golf world’s biggest stars.
The 29-year-old is a two-time major champion and is currently ranked 10th in the Official World Golf Rankings.
So when Thomas speaks, people listen.
Thomas did a lot of speaking on Wednesday following the announcement that the USGA and R&A, golf’s two largest governing bodies, proposed some major rule changes.
The changes would see professional golfers limited in terms of the types of balls they could play in hopes of reducing driving distance.
Fans seems split on the rule. With some saying it makes for a more watchable product and others claiming that it attempts to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.
Thomas, it seems, falls firmly in the second category.
“You’re trying to create a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. To me, it’s just so bad for the game of golf,” Thomas told reporters Wednesday ahead of this week’s Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida.
“If you can swing 127 mph, power to you,” Thomas said. “People are running faster, so, what, are they just going to make the length of a mile longer so that the fastest mile time doesn’t change, or are they going to put the NBA hoop at 13 feet because people can jump higher now? Like, no. It’s evolution.” – via ESPN
Thomas’ point is clear. But it may miss the mark a little bit. Professional runners are limited in terms of what shoes they can wear. Swimmers can only wear certain suits in competition. The NBA has moved the 3-point line back and baseball only uses wooden bats at the professional level.
Sports leagues and governing bodies tweak rules all the time so that the best players on earth don’t break the game. That appears to be the goal with the new rules proposals.
But it Thomas has his way. And, in turn, his very valuable golf company sponsors, that won’t matter much.