Golf distance debate: Nick Faldo has an idea – and you’ll either love it or hate it

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Sir Nick Faldo wants to get rid of one tiny piece of golf equipment when the game’s governing bodies reopen their Distance Insights project

Opinions are like weaknesses in our game – we’ve all got one. And whether you miss left or struggle over two-footers, you have almost certainly had your say on the golf distance debate.

The R&A and USGA announced in February that the lengthening of golf in all aspects is taking the game “in the wrong direction”. And while the project has been put on the back burner until the coronavirus pandemic passes, the discussion is very much alive and kicking.

Next up to the plate, Sir Nick Faldo.

Speaking on the Shack Show podcast, the six-time major champion explained: “Back in persimmon days and balata ball, there were only a handful of really great drivers.

“Greg [Norman] was great, and Jack [Nicklaus], [Lee] Trevino, [Tom] Watson, Seve [Ballesteros]. I know it went sideways at times, but you can name them. It was only a dozen max.

“Now there are only a dozen poor drivers. There’s only a few. I hate to think of the percentage who can hit it 300 through the air.”

Faldo’s solution is two-fold, starting with the driver.

“If we brought the size of the face down so there were some serious mishits – so the sweet spot for the pro is a real sweet spot, not a sweet face,” he added. “That’s what it is now, it’s the whole thing!

“The other, simpler way is if we ban tee pegs.

“If they went and played a tournament with no tee pegs, [they] would have to alter their driver.

“[They] would be allowed to place it on the grass [so] now they won’t be using [drivers that are] six degrees. “

“They’d say, ‘OK, I need nine, I need 10, I need one that’s going to get it airborne and get a bit of give in the face.’ That would seriously change it.

“Sure, they could hit a 3-wood – that actually would be your optimum. I’ve just seen Rory [McIlroy]’s numbers, still 285 yards through the air [with a 3-wood]. But it’d be a real tough hit to get a driver off the deck.”

Is Faldo onto something here? Is this a legitimate way of cutting down driver distances without the need to affect golf club manufacturing? Let us know in the comments below or follow NCG on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for free online golf instruction, the latest equipment reviews, and much, much more.

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