Tiger Woods Proposes Golf Ball Change To Reduce Hitting Distances

The 15-time Major winner has an idea to reduce hitting distances at the top level of the game

Tiger Woods speaks into a microphone
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tiger Woods has always been outspoken on golf's distance debate, and the 15-time Major winner proposed an idea to reign in the world's top players - by increasing spin in modern day golf balls.

Woods was speaking on TV during the Genesis Invitational, where he said it would be "advantageous for the game of golf" if the driver face was dialled back and also said adding spin would shorten hitting distances.

“I think it would be advantageous for the game of golf if we did that,” Woods said after Nick Faldo asked him about tuning down driver faces. “I personally don’t want to see the amateurs lose the excitement of going out there and playing long and have the forgiveness. But also just add spin to the golf ball. That’s a way to shorten it up as well.” 

Woods revealed he can still "hit it out there" but admitted he can't keep up the younger generation like Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy who "understand how to use the ground" and hit it 300+ yards through the air.

“You saw it at the Father and Son. I can still hit it out there,” the 15-time Major winner said of his distance off the tee. “Not like some of these guys. You know, when they step on it, they’ve got that gear for 340 in the air. When I first came out on Tour, you get to 300, you’re great. Then it’s 320 and now the new number with Bryson doing the things he’s doing, he can step on it and carry 340. I think kids that are at these guys’ age or younger understand how to use the ground, how to explode and how to time it up just right. 

“And you all have all the technology and the clubheads and the ball and the shafts and you can marry that up and optimize your driving ability and really take advantage of driving. Because I think at the end of the day, people that drive the ball far is kind of where it’s going. You have to be able to get it out there.” 

Woods is set to make a comeback to the PGA Tour, and possibly the Majors, this year after sustaining serious leg, ankle and foot injuries in his February 2021 car crash in LA.

Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x