USGA, R&A delay distance research timeline amid COVID-19 concerns

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The USGA and R&A have announced a decision to delay the research timeline tied to the recently-released Distance Insights Report amid COVID-19 concerns.

When the two governing bodies released the original report on Feb. 4, they pledged to offer “specific topics of further research” within 45 days. That timeline would have run through March 21, but with no golf being played for the foreseeable future a new release was sent Wednesday calling for an adjusted timeline.

USGA/R&A distance report: Ever-increasing length ‘detrimental to the game’

“At this time, the golf industry needs to focus on its response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement read. “Consequently, we have decided to delay this announcement until a more appropriate time. This will obviously extend the deadline for the research. We will share more information in due course.”

The report found that recent increases in distance are “detrimental to the game” and have had an effect of “seriously reducing the challenge of the game.” The findings were the result of a multi-year study that focused on research from industry experts, tour representatives and other key stakeholders.