'If We Don't Do Something, It'll Go 500 Yards' - Gary Player Urges Action On Ball

The 86-year-old has warned that a lack of action will lead to obscene hitting distances

'If We Don't Do Something, It'll Go 500 Yards' - Gary Player Urges Action On Ball
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Gary Player has made some big predictions for the future of golf after featuring in his usual slot as an Honorary starter at The Masters.

Player, the first international golfer to capture the green jacket, was joined on the first tee by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson - who was making his first appearance as an Honorary starter - as the trio got the 2022 tournament underway.

In the aftermath, the South African tipped Tiger Woods to add to his tally of 15 Majors despite the horrific injuries suffered 14 months ago, and also warned that hitting distances will continue to rise beyond control if the governing bodies don't intervene.

"Tom hit a great second shot at Turnberry [but] golf can be cruel. You couldn't hit a better shot. Historically that would have been the most remarkable thing ever achieved. [It] was really the most unlucky thing I've ever seen in golf.

"But in regards to Tiger, he obviously thinks about that, and I told Peter Alliss on BBC that somebody will win a Major at 50 and somebody will be hitting the ball 400 yards, and he told me I was talking rubbish. One day there will be a man of 60 winning a Major championship, and if we don't do something about the ball, it'll go 500 yards.

"In regards to Tiger, here was a man who was not good [but] phenomenal. Ben Hogan came back after an accident which probably was more serious. Tiger's was very serious, but Hogan had a crushed pelvis and other bones that were ruined and came back and won Majors. So there's no reason why Tiger shouldn't come back and win Majors, as long as he does something which is absolutely imperative, and that's to believe that he can do it.

"Have you seen physically how he is? He's a workaholic with his body, and he could come back. Wouldn't surprise me if Tiger came back and won a Major."

Woods defying the odds is nothing new, of course. However, it's safe to say that was he to add to his five green jackets this week, it would surpass even his greatest achievement having nearly lost his right leg in last February's car crash

He's out alongside Joaquin Niemann and Louis Oosthuizen for the first and second rounds of this year's tournament. 

Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.


Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.


As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.


What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1