The R&A are testing golf balls that don’t go as far this week. For what purpose we wonder?
The R&A are testing out a couple of new golf balls in Sweden this week. They’ve manufactured some prototype golf balls that will be tested in tournament conditions and by all reports, they travel eight per cent less than regular golf balls.
Swedish Golf Online has the details where they mention that some of the testing has already been done in the UK, but the R&A are looking to broaden their testing ground. The idea, if we all read between the lines, is that they are testing the balls for potential use in golf tournaments. Professionals will be required to use only one type of standardised golf ball, developed in-house by the R&A.
This sort of modification has been discussed before as a way to curb the increasing distances that professional (and many amateur) golfers are hitting the golf ball. The effect has been drastic and left many championship golf courses unsuitable for professional golf tournaments.
A few years ago, the Old Course at St.Andrews was controversially changed in an attempt to adapt to modern golf by constructing a new ‘road hole’ 17th tee. The tee extended the hole by 35 yards but the club was forced to build the new tee on a portion of land outside the confines of the original golf course. The extension was deemed by many as akin to golfing sacrilege.
The rolling back of the golf ball always seemed the more logical, inexpensive option, and it seems the R&A have agreed all along. They’ve certainly be quite secretive about all this but its great news .
Imagine a major golf tournament being played with a specifically designed golf ball. It would not only generate an incredible amount of interest, but when released to the wider public for general use it would sell like hot cakes. No matter how far it goes.