These are turbulent times for golf and the waters could potentially become even more choppy as the game’s governing bodies reveal measures are needed to limit the length balls travel off the tee.
After signalling intent to put brakes on the distance players can smash their drives, the R&A and United States Golf Association (USGA), who set the sport’s rules, now need more of the game’s key stakeholders to buy into the project.
With club and ball manufacturers, as well as leading professional tours, having expressed long-standing reluctance to embrace such moves, rules-makers can expect significant challenges in order to win them over.
This comes at a time when organisations such as the PGA and European Tours are flexing their muscles to fight off the proposed Premier Golf League, with talk of a £183m prize fund in order to lure 48 of the world’s best players.
There are currently battlegrounds throughout the sport as it seeks to identify the best way forward. But the main preoccupation of the R&A and USGA is halting the ongoing growth in driving distances.
“This will only be achieved if the whole industry comes together to make sure the game is thriving 50 years from now,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers told BBC Sport.
There can be no doubting the two years’ worth of diligence with which the governing bodies have approached an issue that has implications for golf at every level.
Today’s publication of the Distance Insights Project Report suggests potentially significant changes are under consideration.
They may lead to alterations to club and ball specifications in order to limit their future effectiveness as well as local rules potentially being introduced for certain courses and competitions.
For years distance has been one of golf’s most controversial topics. Many argue the character of the game has been destroyed by saucepan-headed drivers propelling hi-tech modern balls vast distances.