Masters Chairman Ridley Doesn’t Want 8,000 Yards

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Pro News

Masters Chairman Fred Ridley said today reiterated Augusta National Golf Club’s support of the USGA and R&A’s decision to roll back the golf ball beginning in 2028. ANGC’s support, however, appears to be a bit self-serving, as Ridley said he hopes the Masters will not be played at 8,000 yards.

That’s at least an extrapolated possibility if equipment “experts’’ are correct in their beliefs (and math) that today’s – and tomorrow’s – equipment will potentially render some golf courses obsolete, a prospect that could significantly alter the game.

This week’s Masters begins tomorrow at the Augusta National, playing at 7,550 yards—approximately 600 yards longer than in 1997, when Tiger Woods won his first of five Green Jackets.

“We may well play one of the tournament rounds this year at more than 7,600 yards,’’ Ridley said. “I’ve said in the past that I hope we will not play the Masters at 8,000 yards, but that is likely to happen in the not-too-distant future under current standards. Accordingly, we support the decisions that the R&A and the USGA have made as they have addressed the impact of distance at all levels of the game.”

Unlike most equipment/rules decisions made by the USGA and R&A, the decision to roll back the ball isn’t universally supported. The PGA Tour, for example, along with Tiltiest parent Acushet Co, have each raised valid questions and concerns about the decision, highlighting the diversity of opinions within the golf industry.

Ridley said that if the decision to rollback the ball was not adopted by the Tour and other golf industry powerbrokers, “it would cause a great deal of stress in the game, which it doesn’t need it right now.’’


About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Steve Pike</a>

Steve Pike

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career covers Major League Baseball, the NFL, and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World, and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the website for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa, and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California.