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Mark Gaughan's Power Take: Golf ruling bodies have heads in sand

Golf's governing bodies proved last week their heads still are stuck in the sand over the issue of the distance the golf ball flies. The U.S. Golf Association and the R&A, the groups that make golf's rules, released their annual report on driving distance.

It essentially said all is well, driving distance on the pro tours is relatively steady over the past 14 years. Ridiculous. They cherry-picked statistics. Golf’s longest-hitting pros prove it every week when they bring great courses to their knees.

Dustin Johnson had a 130-yard wedge into a 483-yard par-4 at Riviera last week. Why has Augusta National been forced to re-arrange bunkers and tee boxes on a nearly annual basis to defend the track against the longest hitters? Why did St. Andrews have to move its tee on the famed Road Hole back onto the practice range?

Golf needs a standardized ball for pro tours. The USGA and R&A don’t want to take on manufacturers and fear litigation if they try to enforce ball restrictions. So be it. But don’t expect us to believe “alternative facts.”

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