Tiger Woods On Distance: Governing Bodies Should Have Been Worried A Long Time Ago

The 15-time Major winner had his say on golf's distance debate

Tiger Woods On Distance
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The 15-time Major winner had his say on golf's distance debate

Tiger Woods On Distance: Governing Bodies Should Have Been Worried A Long Time Ago

When Tiger Woods burst onto the scene over two decades ago, the golfing world was not prepared for how he would change the game.

The American played golf never seen before and was hitting the ball monumental distances, leading to courses around the globe lengthening in what was coined as 'Tiger Proofing'.

Woods has played his career through huge technological changes and it is now where we are witnessing the next level on from where he set the benchmark.

Players like Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy, Matthew Wolff, Cameron Champ and Tony Finau to name a small amount are consistently carrying the ball over 320 yards in good weather, and the distance debate is rumbling as fast as ever.

Will the R&A and USGA make changes? Will bifurcation finally have to come in? Or will we just let them get on with it as golf evolves into this new modern era?

Tiger Woods himself says that the governing bodies should have been worried a long time ago but he can't see how technology can be rolled back.

"They should have been worried a long time ago, but the genie's out of the bag now," Woods said ahead of the Zozo Championship.

"It's about what do we do going forward and how soon can they [the governing bodies] do it.

Related: Governing bodies - Increased hitting distances detrimental to game's future

"You're not going to stop the guys who are there right now. Guys are figuring out how to carry the ball 320-plus yards, and it's not just a few of them. There's a lot of guys can do it. That's where the game's going.

"There's only going to be a small amount of property that we can do, we can alter golf courses. I just don't see how they can roll everything back.

"I would like to be able to see that, as far as our game, but then we go back down the road of what do you bifurcate, at what level?

"So that's a long discussion we've had for a number of years, for 20-plus years now, and I think it's only going to continue."

Related: Montgomerie on DeChambeau distances: Something has to happen

"Now that we have the tools, that being the launch monitor, the fitting of the golf clubs, the adjustability, I think all that plays into the fact that you're able to maximise the capabilities of a driver," Woods said on pro golfers chasing distance.

"There's no reason why you can't pick up more yardage, and guys have done that. They've changed shafts, they've changed lofts, they've changed weights on their heads and length of clubs.

"Driving is such a huge part of the game and it's so advantageous if you're able to get the ball out there. It just makes the game so much easier."

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Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. 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: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV