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There are plenty of people in golf advocating for an equipment rollback. Justin Thomas is categorically not one of them.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Northern Trust, the first of the FedEx Cup Playoff events, the world No.2 dismissed the suggestion that tighter restrictions need to be imposed on golf equipment in order to both maintain a level playing field and protect older courses. 

“I think the fact that three guys have won multiple times this year being outside the top hundred in distance just proves yet again that you don’t need distance,” said Thomas. 

“Yeah, it’s helpful, but it makes me cringe and it really bothers me when whoever says that, you know, the golf ball or everything needs to be rolled back because there’s plenty of people that are still performing well that don’t hit it as far.”

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Thomas used the example of Brendon Todd – one of three players to have won multiple times on the tour this season despite ranking outside of the top-100 in driving distance – to support his claim. 

Todd, 35, has won twice on the PGA Tour this season and enters the FedEx Cup Playoffs in ninth place on the standings despite being ranked 205th out of 211 players in Driving Distance this year. 


“He has his game so well managed and knows exactly what to do,” said Thomas. “I mean, I have more ball speed maybe with a 5-wood than he does a driver, and that’s extremely impressive, and that’s why he’s on the tour and one of best players in the world and this year. 

“That’s why it is what it is. Length is an advantage.”

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Thomas added that he has, in any case, dialled back his own driving.

“I carry it probably eight yards shorter than I did one or two years ago, but I have a little bit more spin so I can control my ball flight a little bit more and I’m just trying to play from the fairway more because I feel with my iron game, if I get in the fairway, I can win more tournaments. 

“Length is not the answer. It’s just helpful. You’ve still got to get the ball in the hole.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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