Global Edition

‘Distance Insights Project’ Survey of EIGCA members

3.32pm 16th September 2020 - Opinion

Link to GolfEnvironment.org

Supplement to our publication of the EIGCA’s announcement that its Members support measures to reduce hitting distance in golf. Headline data from the 19 questions put to members of the European Institute of Golf Course Architects under 9 headings (survey dated July 2020) followed by some quotations from individual architects.

Comments made by EIGCA members

Ross McMurray, Member EIGCA and Past President

1        Does ever-increasing length in golf threaten the integrity / essence of how the game is played?

Brian Noble, Associate Member EIGCA

2        Does ever-increasing length in golf threaten the integrity / essence of the historic /and highly rated) courses on which it is developed?

3        From a golf architectural point of view, to what extent do the following factors (all highlighted in The R&A’s Distance Insights Report) threaten the integrity of golf with regards to … hitting distance:

  1. Bifurcation (splitting of professional and amateur rules)
  2. Diminishing skill of the game
  3. Safety
  4. Simplification of golf course strategy

4        From a golf architectural point of view, to what extent do the following factors (all highlighted in The R&A’s Distance Insights Report) threaten the integrity of golf with regards to … sustainable design / development (1 = least threat to 5 = highest threat)

  1. Demand for water
  2. Demand for resources
  3. Land grab
  4. Habitat reduction

5        Have you been asked to design a course that, in your professional opinion, is unnecessarily long?

No quotes for this question

6        Have you been tasked specifically to lengthen a golf course(s) by the owner / club?

7        Have you re-designed course(s) or part of course(s) due to the increase in hitting distance?

Tom Mackenzie, Member EIGCA and past President

8        Have you encountered existing courses with increased safety issues due to the increase in hitting distance?

9        Have you increased your safety margins due to the increase in hitting distance?

10      Over the course of your career, has your view on, or implementation of, design strategy changed due to the increase in hitting distance?

Gary Johnston, Member EIGCA

11.     Do you believe that the increase in hitting distance has had an influence on gender equality in the game?

12.     Do you believe that continued increases in hitting distances would have an impact on golf?

13.     Do you believe that continued increases in hitting distances would have an impact on golf course design?

Robin Hiseman, Member EIGCA

14.     Do you think the “increase in hitting distance” and “improvement in consistency of strike” has made golf more fun for amateurs?

15.     In assessing the importance of “distance” and “consistency of strike” for amateur golfers, what balance would you assign each in the enjoyment of the game?

16.     What do you see as most important to the growth of the game?

17.     Should the governing bodies in golf, the R&A and USGA, take action to reduce the hitting distance?

18.     Considering an average shot length of 310 y / 282 m by the 20 longest hitters on the PGA Tour and the European Tour in 2019 – by what percentage would you like to see the hitting distance reduced?

19.     Should amateur golf be spared from regulatory effects to reduce hitting distance?

R&A Distance Insights https://www.randa.org/TheRandA/Distance-Insights

EIGCA www.eigca.org

Link to GolfEnvironment.org
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