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New club rule: How golf wants to slow down the distance hunters


Ever faster, ever further: this trend should be stopped in golf. For this purpose, a new model rule for the club length has been decided. Superstar Phil Mickelson reacted downright indignant.

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Bryson DeChambeau will have to start with a smaller racket in the future

Photo: Patrick Smith / Getty Images

The US golf star Bryson DeChambeau literally made headlines last March.

On the PGA Tour in Orlando, DeChambeau tee off on a crescent-shaped course, the direct route to the hole blocked several hundred meters of water.

The competition had previously chosen the classic route along the fairway, but not the American muscleman: DeChambeau simply hit across the lake, 340 meters long.

DeChambeau had gained almost 20 kilograms of muscle mass during the corona break and hit a golf ball over the 400-yard mark (365 meters) for the first time in training - the average distance of all pros on the PGA Tour in 2020 was 272 meters.

The 28-year-old DeChambeau may be a case in itself, but basically the trend in golf can be observed that the widths are increasing.

But: The hunt for the greatest range could soon be over - at least when it comes to professional golf tournaments.

The golf organizations Royal and Ancient (R&A) and United States Golf Association (USGA) are introducing a new model rule at the turn of the year to limit the length of golf clubs.

With the exception of the putter, clubs cannot be longer than 46 inches (1.17 meters).

So far the limit is 48 inches (1.22 meters).

DeChambeau uses a 48-inch driver for his long shots.

The advantage of a longer golf club is the increased swing radius, which results in a higher speed - and in DeChambeau's case, a greater distance.

Conversely, shorter clubs can mean shorter distances.

Golf courses outdated?

The model rule goes back to a study in which a danger to existing golf courses is described.

Accordingly, many courses could become out of date due to increasing striking distances and the associated changes in the demands of the game.

The study had already provoked mixed reactions at the beginning of the year: The former world number one Rory McIlroy had criticized the plans as "a great waste of time and money".

Phil Mickelson was downright indignant to rumors in August.

"That's pathetic," tweeted the 50-year-old, referring to the increased risk of injury from a "shorter, harder swing."

"During our first golf boom in 40 years, our amateur association is trying again to reduce the fun of the game." Customs driver.

The feedback from the players, the most important professional tours and the equipment manufacturers were "carefully considered," said the CEO of R&A, Martin Slumbers.

"We believe that it is the right thing for the game at this point in time." The tournament organizers will be given the flexibility to make their own decisions within the framework of the rules.

The major professional tours have already announced that they want to implement the rule, including the PGA Tour.

Recreational golfers are not affected by the rule change.

hba / Reuters / AP

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2021-10-13

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