As golf course architects, we have an important role in the future success of golf and have been closely monitoring progress of the Distance Insights project and its implications for the future of golf course design. The European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGCA) and the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects (SAGCA) support the introduction of limits on golf ball distance announced by The R&A and USGA. EIGCA and SAGCA commend the proactive steps taken in safeguarding the future of the sport.

Caspar Grauballe, EIGCA President, says: “As golf course architects, we believe the reduction of hitting distances is vital to protect the game and reduce the environmental impact of courses. We are therefore very positive regarding the announcement made by The R&A and USGA on further limiting the distance of the golf ball.

“From a design perspective, the proposed changes are unlikely to cause golf course architects to change how courses are designed. However, it will protect the intended design strategies of older golf courses and ensure that historic courses will stay relevant and allow for the design of courses to be focused on a range of skills rather than simply focusing on distance. Hopefully these new limitations will reduce the need for lengthening courses and thereby reduce the future environmental and economic impact of golf courses.

These are positive steps in safeguarding the future of golf and we sincerely hope that these new limits will have a positive impact for all golfers.”

Paul Mogford, SAGCA President, says: “We welcome the announcement to introduce a Model Local Rule (MLR) for elite and recreational golfers and support the additional plans to advance enhanced testing of ‘driver creep.’ Furthermore, we commend the commitment to undertaking further research into driver forgiveness, particularly for Professional golfers.

“By addressing concerns related to technological advancements in golf equipment, these measures aim to strike a balance between innovation and preserving the essential skills that define the game. We commend the R&A and the USGA on their without bias approach to protecting the future of golf.

“The Society of Australian Golf Course Architects, representing professionals dedicated to the design and enhancement of golf courses, applauds the collaborative efforts of the R&A and USGA in ensuring the ongoing sustainability and growth of golf. We look forward to continued cooperation with these organisations to promote the best interests of the sport, community, and environment.”

Read previous statements from EIGCA on the Distance Insights Report

14th August 2023 – Global golf course architects support the proposed MLR on golf balls

20th March 2023 – EIGCA welcomes proposal for an MLR on golf balls

9th September 2020 – EIGCA members support measures to reduce hitting distance in golf

4th March 2020 – EIGCA response to the Distance Insights Report by The R&A and USGA