Jack Nicklaus has once again called on the the game's rulemakers, the R&A and USGA, to crack down on driving distance, telling them: Stop burying your heads in the sand!
Nicklaus, the winner of a record 18 major championships, was speaking to Sir Nick Faldo on CBS Sports during first round coverage of this week’s Memorial Tournament, which the ‘Golden Bear’ hosts.
Asked by Faldo for his thoughts on driving distance – a topic which has been thrust back into the spotlight recently by the big-hitting exploits of Bryson DeChambeau – Nicklaus said that it’s time for the game’s governing bodies to take action.
“The USGA and the R&A have got to wake up sooner or later,” said Nicklaus, 80. “They can’t just keep burying their heads on this. They see it, they watch television, they see where these guys hit the golf ball. It isn’t about how far they hit it. You just can’t keep making golf courses longer. You just don’t have enough land, you don’t have enough money to do it.”
Nicklaus is also under no illusions as to how the issue can be fixed.
“The golf ball is a very, very simple thing to fix and I’ve been preaching about it for 43 years,” he said. “That’s when I first went to the USGA [about it]. That’s a long time to be saying, ‘Oh, we’re studying it.’
“Guys, stop studying it. Do something will you please?”
Martin Slumbers, the chief executive of the R&A, warned earlier this week that he will rein-in technology should Bryson & Co. continue to overpower courses.
Despite his misgivings about players overpowering golf courses, Nicklaus says he has no plans to "Bryson-proof" Memorial host venue Muirfield Village when the course undergoes a renovation after this week’s tournament.
“I’m not going to do anything to stop him,” he added. “He’s going to have to stop himself. I mean, good grief, more power to a guy who can hit the ball like that, put in the fairway and play and score well, which is what he’s been doing. I’ve just got to sit and applaud. I’m not worried about stopping him.”