Distance Insights: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Distance Insights Project?
 
The Distance Insights Project was initiated in May of 2018 by the USGA and The R&A to provide the most comprehensive review of hitting distance in golf. The project sought to review three things:  the contributors to increased hitting distance in golf, the impacts of increased hitting distance on the game, and the perspectives of golf’s stakeholders on hitting distance.
 

Why did the USGA and The R&A initiate the project?

As stewards of the game, the USGA and The R&A continue to review issues of importance to the game of golf.  In 2002, we issued a  Joint Statement of Principles to the game to share our belief that further significant increases in hitting distances at the highest level are undesirable, and will have an impact on the future of the game.  In May 2018, we announced our plan to initiate the most comprehensive review of distance in the game of golf, to look at the contributors to, and impacts of, distance on the game to ensure the game will continue to thrive in the future.

How did the USGA and The R&A conduct the work of the Distance Insights Project?

The USGA issued a call to anyone in golf to submit any relevant research and data on the topic of hitting distance. This third-party research, spanning 100 years of golf history, formed the basis of the research.  Primary research was also conducted and was divided into six main working groups jointly conducted by the USGA and The R&A, including historical research, playing research, equipment, golf courses/sustainability, stakeholder engagement and the playing rules. The report shows findings on the contributors to increased distance over time, as well as impacts of increased distance during this same time period. 

Who has been part of the study?

Stakeholders from across the game of golf have been involved in the Distance Insights project, including recreational and elite players, golf course architects, golf course superintendents, golf course owners, equipment manufacturers, national associations, golf federations, and others.

What happens next, since the report has been delivered?

The USGA and The R&A will be seeking possible solutions to end the cycle of hitting distance and course lengthening.  We will identify research topics to equipment manufacturers and key stakeholders in golf within 45 days of the report release.  We anticipate it will take nine to 12 months to issue findings from this research.

Where can I go to find more information?

You can send any questions to distanceinsights@usga.org at any time, and keep usga.org/distanceinsights bookmarked for the latest updates.