Nearly 13 months ago, the USGA sent letters to golf ball manufacturers, inviting them to send in prototype balls that travel 15 to 25 yards less, a 5% to 8% decrease in distance.
The prototypes haven't flooded the desk of senior technical director Dick Rugge.
"There have been five submissions," he said. "I expect we'll get some more soon, though."
The USGA's testing is part of an ongoing research project that began in 2002, so the organization would have the information it needed if a rule change was called for in the future.
Rugge said the submitted prototype balls are being tested at the USGA lab in Far Hills, N.J., and that testing by players probably would happen this summer.
As for when the entire project would be completed and a report made, Rugge said it's unclear.
"It'll be done when it's done, but we don't want to drag it on forever," he said.
A well-designed short course will often be more popular than many long, tiresome, unkempt courses which boast of championship length. ROBERT HUNTER