The R&A are testing a golf ball that doesn’t go very far

The R&A are testing golf balls that don’t go as far this week. For what purpose we wonder?

golf ball

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.

3 thoughts on “The R&A are testing a golf ball that doesn’t go very far

  • I’m not sure how successful this will be. Golf ball manufacturers will monitoring it very closely that’s for sure.

  • There goes Srixon’s entire marketing campaign.

    I am not so sure of its effect either. Whilst proffessionals can seemingly play (and play well) with any type of golf ball, it takes the choice and sponsorship conversation to a whole new level. Playing a Nike or a Titleist will no longer hold any bearing. And the question has to be asked, would this lead to more standardization of equipment? Clubs? Shoes?

    That being said, there is something that intrigues me about an entirely level playing field 🙂

  • Something needs to be done that’s for sure. It’s not possible to keep lengthening golf courses – and it’s a shame that some of the best golf courses are now almost obsolete for tournament play.

    I’m sure the sponsorship issue can be sorted in some fair way. The future of the game is more important and some hard decisions need to be made before we start to see 500m par 4s.


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