Nick Price is regarded as one of golf’s great gentleman but bring up the subject of golf equipment and what advances in technology have done to the game and the former world No. 1, three-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Famer doesn’t hold back.
“Equipment is making all of our great courses redundant,” Price told Golfweek last week at the PNC Championship in Orlando, where he teamed with son Greg. “You ask any of the old guys – but they’ll say you old guys always complain and this is a new generation and they work a lot harder than you, well, I can name five guys that are fatter than I am and still hit it 340 yards. So, don’t give me that yarn just because everyone is working out. A lot of guys are working out, which is great, and they work on the right things and whatever, but the sweet spot on the driver is the size of a peach now. When I was playing it was the size of a pea. I’m not saying we need to go back to (persimmon woods) but these poor golf courses, you’ve got 620-yard par 5s and they’re reaching them in driver-4-iron. Something needs to be done.”
A native of Zimbabwe, Price won 18 times on the PGA Tour, earned two PGA Tour Player of the Year Awards (1993, 1994), and spent 43 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world.
The 66-year-old isn’t just another “old guy” voicing his opinion. He’s been intimately involved in the process as a member of the U.S. Golf Association Executive Committee for the past five years and served on the Championship and Equipment Standards committees.
“I was quite vocal about it, it was the ball, it was the driver, it was the grooves,” he said.
Earlier this month, the USGA and R&A announced that the rules governing how golf balls are tested will change starting on Jan. 1, 2028. It’s how the governing bodies intend to stop the trends of golfers hitting the ball farther and golf courses getting longer.
The announcement came after years of debate, study and communications between the USGA and R&A with stakeholders like golf equipment manufacturers, the PGA Tour, the PGA of America and other prominent groups in the golf world.
Of the governing bodies electing to roll back the ball in 2028 for pros and 2030 for recreaional golfers, Price was tepid on the move.
“It’s a step,” he said. “A lot of people don’t want to do anything about…