Webb Simpson has raised concerns regarding the USGA and R&A’s intentions to enforce new modifications to golf equipment in order to curb further distance.
The two organisations on Tuesday announced that they sent proposed changes to equipment manufacturers with the hope of lowering long-distance hitting.
The topic has been in the spotlight for almost a year now with 2020 US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau at the forefront of discussion.
DeChambeau is planning to deploy a 48-inch driver shaft at the April Masters but, in one of the three changes, manufactures are now limited to a length of 46 inches.
Further changes to drivers and golf balls will also be tested but Simpson reckons the implementation of such rules could be more difficult than initially thought.
‘My first problem I have with the driver length is if a 6-foot-10 really good golfer comes out, are we really going to tell him he can’t use anything longer than 46 [inches]?’ he said ahead of his title defence at this week’s Phoenix Open.
According to him, the main focus should rather be on golf-course designs in order to test golfers’ ability and skill more.
‘I just think the issue comes down to golf-course architecture. We need more doglegs. We need tighter fairways. We need longer rough. We need smaller greens. We need more firm greens. All those things I just named save money, save water, save land that you have to build a golf course. We know that 8,000-yard golf courses are not the answer. Brooks Koepka shot 16 under at Erin Hills.’
One suggestion Simpson has in this debate is to use trees to alter the distance players are gunning for.
‘At Augusta on 13, we don’t need that tee 40 yards back. What they need is a mid-sized tree 20 yards in front of the tee box and five feet left of the tee box because the issue right now is guys can tee it up on the right and they can even cut it, some of these guys, over the trees. Well, if you put a tree there, guys can’t do that. It’s just like the fourth hole this year at Winged Foot. It’s a dogleg-left par four but there’s a tree there with branches, so the bombers can’t hit their cut over that bunker, so a lot of the bombers just hit 3-wood,’ he added.