The R&A and USGA have proposed a Model Local Rule for 2026 where elite players would use different golf balls to recreational golfers in order to limit the distance they can hit the ball.
The plans for this bifurcation of the game of golf has come under criticism from all corners, with even some PGA Tour and LIV Golf players in agreement – showing that they can still agree on something.
Even less surprising was the push back from golf ball manufacturers, who claimed it was “a solution in search of a problem” when contacted by Golf Monthly for their opinions.
The game is very much split on this, with Golf Monthly readers divided on the debate when taking part in two polls through our digital and social channels.
While some are also backing the plan of limiting the golf ball, others have gone further and suggested a change in hardware – namely the drivers used by the big-hitting tour pros.
Two-time Major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jacklin has echoed a few suggestions that have called for Persimmon drivers to be reintroduced into the game.
While not everyone has mentioned Persimmon drivers in particular, many have said that reducing the size, and more importantly the sweet spots, of modern drivers would limit distances off the tee – or at least make it a tougher task to get maximum distance.
“Bring back persimmon for pros, end of story !!!” Jacklin tweeted when talking about the distance debate.
I’d just like to see top players having to hit medium irons into par 4’s. I’m guessing those days have gone!March 15, 2023
A final word from the Englishman came on what is often discussed within modern day golf, namely the lack of players needing to hit longer irons into greens on par fours, due to the length they can generate off the tee.
“I’d just like to see top players having to hit medium irons into par 4’s. I’m guessing those days have gone!”
Jacklin will not be the last to speak out on this great distance debate, which likely has a few more twists and turns before it’s settled one way or the other.