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Driver Length Reduced Per Model Local Rule


DaveP043
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The Ruling Bodies have said they'll issue a Model Local Rule which, when utilized, will limit the maximum club length to 46", as compared to the 48 inches allowed under the basic equipment rules.  

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The USGA and the R&A have announced it will be reducing the maximum length of clubs from 48 inches to 46 inches. Here's what that means

It sounds like the PGA Tour will use the MLR, as will the USGA for its major championships.  To me, this is a logical step in limiting future equipment-related distance increases, which is one of the goals to come out of the Distance Project.  Feel free to comment if you like.  I posted this in the Tour area rather than in the Rules section because this really will have little or no impact for anyone who's not at the very top levels of the game.

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I think for those who will react to say "like this is going to do anything," they're right: most guys on Tour are using < 46" drivers now, already, so it won't really change much.

But it's one step, and it's better than doing nothing. It's likely not the only thing they're going to do, so if anyone reacts like "oh, that's not nearly enough," then… duh, probably.

By making it a MLR instead of an equipment rule, it lets amateurs continue to use up to 48" drivers, as well as long drive guys.

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20 minutes ago, billchao said:

Does this not set a precedent for other forms of bifurcation?

Not really. The LR is available to all. As are the OB/Lost Ball and One Ball Type and all other LRs..

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48 minutes ago, billchao said:

Does this not set a precedent for other forms of bifurcation?

I haven't looked at the recent Distance Insight stuff, but they said they were going to explore some types of MLRs that were similar to bifurcation.  The length of clubs is an easy one, and doesn't take a whole lot of effort for the manufacturers to make compliant clubs.  Other things, like a "slower" ball MLR for top level competitions would be more problematic.  But as @Rulesman says, there are already some MLRs that are used almost entirely in the highest levels of competition.

 

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2 hours ago, billchao said:

Does this not set a precedent for other forms of bifurcation?

As others said, this one's not all that different than some things (some of which were formerly "conditions of competition").

It's not entirely different class/kind of equipment, it's more like the one ball rule and the groove rule, etc. (The groove rule required "different equipment" but it was still a wedge, not a ball that went 80% as far.)

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I'm thinking this will help those guys who don't have the length like Bryson an Co off the tee, its going to reduce the gap between the good Drivers to the super long drivers. So instead of being 150 metres behind their only 50, easier hitting 7/8 iron close than 4/5 iron but some guys hit long irons like some guys hit short irons... 

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7 hours ago, Colins69 said:

I'm thinking this will help those guys who don't have the length like Bryson an Co off the tee, its going to reduce the gap between the good Drivers to the super long drivers. So instead of being 150 metres behind their only 50, easier hitting 7/8 iron close than 4/5 iron but some guys hit long irons like some guys hit short irons... 

Bryson is not that far in front of other players. And he can do that with a 46” driver.

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Strokes Gained | Distance (All Drives) | Distance (Measured Drives) | Accuracy | Scoring | Other | Radar

 

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On 10/14/2021 at 10:13 AM, boogielicious said:

That was one drive. It was a great drive, but one drive.

Yeah it all starts somewhere, 400ish driver distance will be the norm faster than you think. Bryson is just the beginning...

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2 hours ago, Colins69 said:

Yeah it all starts somewhere, 400ish driver distance will be the norm faster than you think. Bryson is just the beginning...

I’ll take that bet. What do you think: $100k?

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9 hours ago, Colins69 said:

Yeah it all starts somewhere, 400ish driver distance will be the norm faster than you think. Bryson is just the beginning...

I get what you are saying but...

 

7 hours ago, iacas said:

I’ll take that bet. What do you think: $100k?

 

 

If they did nothing about limiting equipment, I think that in 5-10 years time we could see tour averages upwards of 320 yards. But they know about the "issue" and they will be putting things in place to curb it. I don't think we will see the tour average shift more than 5 yards in the next 5 years with whatever changes they bring. Here is a good chart of how driving distance has changed in the last 40 years. The biggest thing to note is that there was only one sharp increase in average driving distance, and it happened quite quickly, starting in 1995, and ending in 2002. Does that coincide with anything in golf history?😉

https://www.pga.com/archive/how-driving-distance-has-changed-over-past-40-years-pga-tour

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