Model Local Rule MLR G-10
With this new “rule”…which is not actually a Rule of Golf, leaves the decision up to the tour or the event director to decide whether to limit driver length to 46″. The new Model Local Rule (MLR-G-10) goes into effect Jan. 1, 2022 and provides those running professional or elite amateur golf competitions the option of limiting the maximum length of a golf club (excluding putters) to 46 inches.
Does This Rule Matter To Us?
How does that effect long drive, you may ask? The length really doesn’t make that much difference to us. We are not worried, at this point, about limiting distance. Our biggest concern has to do with anything that disconnects long drive from the game of golf. We’re focused on growling our sport, and realize much of our growth will come from golfers But, we do (at this time) need the guidance of a governing body when it comes to club specs. Also going into effect on January 1, 2022, any event that is not “tee to green” will not fall under the guidelines of the USGA…relative to amateur status. Putting contest and long drive events are not tee to green, and therefore will not covered in the USGAs governance of amateur status. What? Yes, it’s confusing. The USGA is choosing to step away from involvement related to certain long drive concerns. So, why would we care what they do regarding club length? That’s the question we are attempting to answer for the 2022 season. We want to make the right decisions regarding equipment specifications and how this affects all our players. The USGA has been the standard for allowable club specifications for decades. All the club heads manufactured for long drive go though a USGA approval process. Having them in the loop helps keep that side of the business in check. Whether or not we choose to follow the USGA with regard to equipment specification in the coming years…. will be determined later.
Do Long Drivers Need 48″ Clubs?
The answer, in many cases, is no. We’ve actually seen some people walk away from the sport because they couldn’t hit the 48″ driver thinking mastering the 48 is required to be competitive. It is not. Many amateur hitters should not be using that much length anyway. But, those with the proper build, strength, and synchronization can generate more speed with the wider arc provided by the extra length. More speed will (generally) result in more distance. Some hitters can make more speed with a shorter arc. At event check-in we see many more shorter length drivers than 48s. So, hitting a 48″ driver is not a requirement for success in our sport…and is not used by the majority of our hitters.
Will ULD Adopt The 46″ Rule?
Some professional long drivers prefer the 48″ driver. We’ve spoken to some who say 46″ is definitely the way to go. Those with a sincere interest in growing our sport will want to keep the transition from golf to long drive as connected as possible. We’ve made some great strides in getting new people into our sport, and we continue to be 100% focused on growing the sport year over year. Our decision around this new local rule has to support the majority interest. Since our 2022 season actually began October 1, 2021, we will not make a rule change for 2022. Driver length up to 48″ will be allowed through the 2022 World Championship.