Sport's big issues in 2018, part three: Is it time to stop golfers being able to drive a ball so far?

Fred Couples' average drive has lengthened in the last 35 years  Credit:  Getty Images

Tiger Woods has spoken, adding his influential voice to those of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and the late Arnold Palmer, and now the focus is firmly on the governing bodies. Will this be the year when something is finally done to fix the ball and, thus, in the eyes of many experts, eradicate so many of golf’s ills?

With Titleist, the giant of the ball-makers, ready to pounce with its legal team, the fear had grown to almost resignation that this particular horse had bolted and long disappeared around the nearest eye-straining dogleg.

For years, the R & A and USGA had denied there was a problem and insisted driving distances had actually levelled off. But then in November, Mike Davis, the USGA executive director, admitted it was, indeed, an issue and confirmed the two bodies were researching how distance restrictions on balls would impact the sport.

“The reality is this is affecting all golfers...

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