The R&A and USGA have announced the Distance Insights project will be delayed until further notice because of the coronavirus outbreak

It was billed as one of the most important debates in golf’s future – but the world has changed and the R&A and USGA’s much-vaunted Distance Insights project has been shelved for the time being.

Golf’s governing bodies have, quite naturally following the events of the coronavirus crisis, delayed releasing the research topics related to the next phase of the project.

A joint initiative to study the past, present and future impacts of distance in the sport, the R&A and USGA last month released their initial findings in their Distance Insights report.

The main highlight was their conclusion that increased hitting distances were taking the game “in the wrong direction”.

More information was to have been released by the governing bodies 45 days after the original report but Covid-19 has put paid to that.

An R&A/USGA statement said: “On February 4, The R&A and the USGA committed to releasing research topics related to the next phase of our Distance Insights work within 45 days.

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

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