The 10 Biggest Equipment Stories of 2011

From the sale of an iconic company to the debut of white clubs, equipment was very much part of the conversation this year.

December 21, 2011

Distance surge

Distance cracks 290 yards on PGA Tour

When average driving distance on the PGA Tour saw a 3.6-yard increase at the end of 2011, it marked the largest single year gain since 2003 and set an all-time high for players averaging more than 300 yards (21). It also broke the 290-yard barrier for the first time. Perhaps most tellingly, it reflected an 11.4-yard gain since 2002, the year golf's ruling bodies issued the Joint Statement of Principles, a line-in-the-sand document that included the phrase "any further significant increases in hitting distances at the highest level are undesirable." However, the USGA's senior technical director Dick Rugge made it clear no distance-related rule changes are imminent. That said, if 2012 continues with more of the same, expect golf's ruling bodies to take a hard look at what the practical meanings are of words like "significant," "meaningful" and "immediately necessary."
Illustration by Eddie Guy

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