Justin Thomas slams proposals to introduce distance-reducing golf balls

Justin Thomas slams proposals to introduce distance-reducing golf balls

Two-time major champion, Justin Thomas, has launched a scathing attack on golf officials who are planning to introduce distance-reducing golf balls to certain events. These balls will help prevent certain golf courses from becoming easier than intended but Thomas isn’t having it.

It comes after R&A, a leading body within golf, announced that they hoped to introduce the balls in time for the 2026 British Open championship. These new balls won’t fly as far as the balls that professionals use today and will, on average, knock 15 yards off tee shots.

The plans, which are also backed by the USGA, are perhaps unsurprising after a number of iconic golf courses have come under fire in recent years for no longer testing the world’s biggest hitters such as Rory Mcilroy and Bryson DeChambeau in terms of distance. Famously, DeChambeau said in 2020 that Augusta National, home of the masters, was now only a par 67 for him due to how far he can fit the ball.

For this year’s event, the famous par five 13th hole at Augusta has been extended by 35 yards as eagles had become far too common. In a statement, R&A said:

“We strongly feel we have crossed the rubicon on distance and that we had to do something. Doing nothing is not an option and would be completely irresponsible of us.”

A “selfish” move

Talking about the new golf balls, Justin Thomas said:

“My reaction was disappointed and also not surprised, to be honest. I think the USGA over the years has made some pretty selfish decisions. They definitely have done a lot of things that aren’t for the betterment of the game, although they claim it.

You’re trying to create a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. To me, it’s just so bad for the game of golf. For an everyday amateur golfer, it’s very unique that you are able to play with the exact same equipment as professionals. You can go to the pro shop and buy the same golf ball that I play or Scottie Scheffler plays but the USGA wants to bring it to a point where that’s not the case.

Like, if you can swing 127 miles an hour, power to you. I mean, people are running faster, so what, are they just going to make the length of a mile longer so that the fastest mile time doesn’t change? Or are they going to put the NBA hoop at 13 feet because people can jump higher now? Like, no. It’s evolution. We’re athletes and we’re training to hit the ball further and faster.”

The future of distance-reducing balls

Fortunately for Thomas, for these balls to become commonplace in golf the PGA Tour and DP World Tour would have to sanction them which doesn’t look likely at this stage. The only events that R & A would be able to force players to play with these balls would be the British Open, one of golf’s four majors.

The British Open regularly sees the lowest scores out of all the major tournaments on the calendar so a revamp is perhaps necessary. However, instead of changing the balls perhaps R & A should instead look at their golf courses and how they can make them more challenging.

Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!