After the USGA and R&A released their Distance Insights Project, distance, equipment and the overall length of golf courses have been major talking points over the past couple of weeks or so. It has started a rather heated discussion and with so many moving parts it doesn’t seem like those discussions are going to slow down anytime soon; most center around whether or not golfers are simply hitting the ball too far.
You’ll find arguments supporting or denying the notion from all angles on social media and on TV. Rory McIlroy, who’s recently reclaimed the title of world No. 1, was asked his opinion about it and he’s all for finding some sort of solution.
“A lot of the stuff about the ball going too far and technology, it really pertains to 0.1 percent of golfers out there,” McIlroy said during a press conference on Wednesday. “So, if they wanna try to contain what we do, as touring professionals, I’m all for that. Selfishly I think that’s only a good thing for the better players.”
McIlroy’s point here is a strong one. As he explained, 99.999% of golfers out there including you, me and everyone in your weekend group don’t hit the ball ‘too far.’
One way to combat the game’s best from overpowering golf courses is lengthening the courses themselves. Even places like Augusta National are pushing tee boxes back to make holes just a bit tougher for some of these players.
While adding yardage where courses can makes sense, McIlroy voiced his concern about the impact it has on the environment.
“With this grand ambition of maybe having a Tour event one day, (architects are) building these golf courses on these massive pieces of land, having to use so much water, so much fertilizer, pesticides, all this stuff that we really shouldn’t be doing,” McIlroy explained.
“Nowadays, especially in the climate that we live in and everything that’s happening to our world. You look at what’s happening in Australia, you look at what happens in this state (California) every August, September, October time, with fires and global warming. I think golf has a responsibility to minimize its footprint as much as it possibly can.”
Leave it to McIlroy, one of the best athletes out there when talking with the media, to lay out his honest opinion about the game of golf going through a bit of a weird spell.
[H/T The Score]