Nick Price has voiced his concerns over the game’s current distance trends and declared: Something should change.
Speaking in the latest edition of bunkered, the former world No.1 said he is worried about the future of the game and, in particular, some of the sport’s classic courses as modern equipment and hitting distances threaten to render them obsolete.
“It’s hard for me to see guys hitting 400-yard drives now and 8 and 9-irons into greens on par-5s,” said three-time major champion Price. “All of us who have played the game for so long really do feel that something should change. What it is, I have no idea, but we used to have a 470-yard par-4 and we’d be hitting driver, 3-wood.
“Now, players are hitting driver, wedge. Basically, I think what we’re all worried about is, are some of the great, traditional golf courses still going to be around in 20 years’ time? Or are we going to have to set courses up so ridiculously difficult that 30-under-par doesn’t win every week?”
Zimbabwean Price added: “There’s no such thing as a par-5 nowadays, not when these guys can hit their drives 350 yards and 3-woods 300 yards. That’s 650 yards with two hits. There aren’t many par-5s in the world that play that long.
“From an architectural point of view, how do you set up a course for these guys that’s a fair test where they’re using every club in their bag?
“This is not a criticism of these young guys. They’re exceptionally talented players who are using the tools that have been given to them. Had you given Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson or Sam Snead the equipment that these guys have today, they would hit the ball the exact same distance.”
• READ THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH NICK PRICE IN ISSUE 171 OF BUNKERED, ON-SALE NOW.