Ernie Els On Distance Debate: "We Need A Serious Premium On Accuracy"

The Big Easy says that distance is here to stay so it's time to make fairways tighter and the rough longer

Ernie Els On Distance Debate
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Big Easy says that distance is here to stay so it's time to make fairways tighter and the rough longer

Ernie Els On Distance Debate: "We Need A Serious Premium On Accuracy"

Golf's distance debate has been ramped up a few notches over the past weeks and months after Bryson DeChambeau's body transformation.

The American hit a drive 423 yards at the Memorial Tournament last week to leave himself just 45 yards into a 470 yard par-4.

Martin Slumbers, the Chief Executive of the R&A, recently said that there will discussions of "great seriousness" about distance in the game of golf.

The answer to the supposed problem could be via equipment changes and bifurcation, where touring professionals use different equipment to amateur players.

However, four-time Major winner Ernie Els is against that and says that equipment improvements and distance are here to stay, so it's time to focus more on accuracy.

"Our game is in a good place," the Big Easy wrote on social media.

"Equipment improvements and distance are here to stay. Full stop.

"We need a ‘serious’ premium on accuracy.

"Golf courses don’t need to be longer. Make the Tour rough knee high, fairways fast and firm which is fair for all players."

Related: Montgomerie clarifies comments on DeChambeau - "Something has to happen" 

Two of the game's greatest players, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, are both on the side of bifurcation.

Nicklaus said at the weekend that "the golf ball is a very, very simple thing to fix and I’ve been preaching about it for 43 years."

Gary Player told Golf Monthly last year that he would like to see the ball rolled back.

“Cut the ball back 50 yards, only for the pros,” he said.

“Not for members, let the members play with anything, let them keep the long putter against their chest, don’t stop them playing, they are two different games.

“They don’t want to acknowledge that but they are.

“Just go and watch Koepka if you think you are playing the same game.”

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, 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 covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x