Bild von ige

USGA and R&A decide on sustainability with ball limit

In deciding to limit the flight lengths of balls for top players starting in 2026, the United States Golf Association and the R&A also made a decision to increase environmental awareness in golf. On March 14, both organizations announced in a joint press conference that they want to put a stop to the trend of longer stroke lengths among top players, which has been going on for decades, and to put an end to the dominance of the length factor through technological limits in the ball.

Longer places need more resources

“Looking at the CO₂ footprint, as well as looking at fertilizer, resources and all the other sustainability issues, we need to start addressing the issue,” said Martin Slumbers, CEO of the R&A , explaining the need for new regulations for the ball from a sustainability perspective. Mike Whan, as CEO of the United States Golf Association, added that with rising prices, staffing shortages and dwindling resources such as water, there is also the question of how some golf courses could even be viable in the long run if ball flight lengths continue to increase.

The need for longer and longer golf courses, resulting from the increasingly extreme flight lengths of professionals and top amateurs in order to still generate playable demands for them, leads to a significantly higher consumption of resources. On the one hand, land consumption is increasing, but at the same time more water, more fertilizer and more greenkeepers are needed. This increases the costs at the same time. In addition, there is a risk that golf courses will be pilloried in the public eye for their high resource consumption.