Nicklaus’ Stance on Today’s Golf Equipment

Jack Nicklaus’ Strong Stance on Today’s Golf Equipment

If Jack Nicklaus has said it once, he’s said it a thousand times: he believes the golf ball goes too far.

Golf’s distance dilemma has been debated for years. Nicklaus has been arguing for golf’s governing bodies to roll back the distance of the golf ball since the 1970s. “I said, guys, look at this now because this is going to be a problem,” Nicklaus said.

He turned out to be right. The subject reached a head when the U.S. Golf Association and R&A released its 2017 distance report and officially declared it is concerned about driving distance and announced in a joint statement that they have launched a project to analyze distance in golf and gather perspectives from the worldwide golf community.

“We believe that now is the time to examine this topic through a very wide and long lens, knowing it is critical to the future of the game,” said then USGA CEO Mike Davis.

The first phase of the combined Distance Insights Project in February of 2020 determined that distance is playing an excessive role in the game and causing the sport to go in an unsustainable direction. But then a pandemic hit and the governing bodies put things on the back burner.

“I really don’t know what they’re doing,” Nicklaus said.

The latest? In August, they announced that any further release of information in their study wouldn’t be released until March of 2021. (The comment period is scheduled to end in May.)

“They’re slow about reacting about this issue,” Nicklaus said to Gary Williams recently on his 5 Clubs podcast. “They say they put a line in the sand but that line in the sand keeps getting wider. They keep crossing it.”

As he nears his 82nd birthday on Friday, Nicklaus remains one of the most influential voices in golf but on the subject of golf equipment, he’s often gone unheard. “They didn’t pay much attention to a 30-year-old and they’re certainly not paying much attention to an 80-year-old,” he said.

“For all concerned, for the golf ball to come back to bring back a lot of things back into perspective is very important for the game of golf,” Nicklaus added. “I think something will get done, it’s just how long will it take for them to research the problem?”

Hopefully the wait won’t extend past March.

Wrapping up the discussion on if the golf ball goes too far with Nicklaus, Williams asked of Muirfield Village, home of The Memorial, “Is your golf course going to be 8,000 yards in 10 years?”

“I hope not,” Nicklaus said. “I’d have to buy all the houses around me.”

This article originally appeared on Golfweek.

6 thoughts on “Jack Nicklaus’ Strong Stance on Today’s Golf Equipment”

  1. I agree with Jack. The bomb and gouge approach has taken the excitement and the need for accuracy out of the game. Distance is impressive at first BUT you should need more than a driver and a wedge in your bag. Bring back the need to hit cuts and draws to navigate the courses. Require talent over brut strength.

    1. When Bryson tees it up the attendence skyrockets. The bomb is truely exciting. People love to see it. If the course needs to challenge the bomb and gougers then make the rough more of a penalty. 15 yard wide fairways and rough, where the bombers hit 10 inches need. There is so much that can be done to tame the beasts on the traditional courses.
      Why is equipment always the reason. The USGA sets up these courses so they shoot 10, 20, 30 under par. That should never happen. The courses are not tough enough thats the problem.

  2. How far can I hit the ball seems to rule my thinking. Admittedly a long straight drive is one of the ultimate pleasures of life even though it may at best be an occasional event. Jack is right … we need to re think the game before aerodynamically golf balls completely take over our sport.

  3. I’m 67 and getting shorter off the tee every year. I don’t want to go backwards with a ball that won’t go as far. I’d probably give up the game. Please leave things well enough as it is. Bryson is far from dominating. If what Jack says is true guys like Kyle Berkshire would rule the PGA. Kyle couldn’t even qualify for the U.S. Open. Shortening the ball would take a lot of fun from the game. There are limits on drivers now and on the balls already. Keep it the same as is and let new and improved players have at it.
    What’s next making everyone go back to Persimmon Woods and Balata Balls? Jack is the greatest player in my opinion who ever played (20 majors 19 second place finishes) but the most fun in golf is seeing the ball go far. Golf is good the way it is now! Pandora’s box has already been open.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *