Acushnet Responds To Proposed Equipment Changes

Titleist's parent company says that the proposed changes introduce a wide range of complexities

Acushnet Responds To Proposed Equipment Changes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Titleist's parent company says that the proposed equipment changes introduce a wide range of complexities

Acushnet Responds To Proposed Equipment Changes

Acushnet, parent company of Titleist and FootJoy, says that equipment innovation is a "great contributor" to enjoyment of golf at all levels.

The company's CEO, David Maher, has responded to the R&A and USGA's proposed equipment changes, which relate to driver shaft length and the testing of golf balls and club faces.

The initial proposals have not gone down well with the world's best players, with Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Webb Simpson all coming down on the governing bodies.

McIlroy called the Distance Insights Project "a huge waste of time and money," whilst Thomas said the R&A and USGA have been "extremely selfish."

2012 US Open winner Webb Simpson said that course design was more to blame.

Acushnet, the company behind the Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, says its initial response to the new proposals is focused on the change to the golf ball testing process, which "introduces a wide range of complexities."

Acushnet Company CEO David Maher's statement:

Acushnet’s position is rooted in the belief that equipment innovation, while conforming to the rules of golf, has been a powerful force in the game and great contributor to its evolution and enjoyment at all levels of play.  Equipment evolution, along with the increased athleticism of today’s competitive player, has helped to advance the game’s timeless and aspirational appeal.  This was a cornerstone of our response to the governing bodies’ request for stakeholder participation prior to their issuing the Distance Insights Report in 2018.

Our initial response is focused on the proposed change to golf ball testing methodology which would represent a meaningful departure from the current Overall Distance Standard (ODS) which is fixed around a specific set of speed, launch and spin conditions mirroring the launch characteristics of the game’s elite player.  Established by the USGA in 1976, the ODS has stood the test of time and has evolved over the years to take advantage of improved testing technologies and reflect updated player launch conditions.

The proposed consideration of a bandwidth approach, with launch angle between 7.5 and 15 degrees and spin ranging from 2200 to 3000 rpm disconnects the process from the elite player and introduces a wide range of complexities as it relates to golf ball design, manufacturing and conformance which we need to further research.

Acushnet looks forward to participating in this process and contributing our perspective which is informed by more than 80 years of experience designing and manufacturing conforming equipment and our daily interaction with thousands of golfers across the globe and wherever the game is played.

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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