Jack Nicklaus Sounds Like He's On Board With Governing Body "Variable Distance" Option

The A Position's Steve Pike was present when Jack Nicklaus christened The Legend Course today at The Club at Ibis in West Palm Beach, Fla., and the Golden Bear spoke about the distance issue.

While this is hardly news, Mr. Nicklaus did seem to be echoing the USGA's concept of a variable distance ball.

“We ought to rate golf courses,’’ Nicklaus said. “Rather than going back and spending millions of dollars changing golf courses, golf courses should be 100 percent, 90 percent, 80 percent or 70 percent.’’

If golf’s ruling bodies (primarily the U.S. Golf Association) don’t want to roll back the golf ball, he said,  “they need to go to all the golf associations and say ‘This is our criteria to rate your golf courses.’’’

A golf ball would be rated to fit the corresponding course and could be a way to save some older, shorter courses.

“Take an old course that 5,800 yards. That doesn’t challenge anybody. But if you made that a 70 percent golf course and have a 70 percent ball for it, it would play just difficult as (The Legend) from the back tees. “If you want to play an 80 or 100 percent ball, go play it.  All you’re doing is making the course play shorter and faster.’’