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Former chief calls for equipment restrictions

Former US Tour czar Deane Beman has called on golf's regulators to take drastic action over modern hi-tech equipment or see the sport plunge into decline.

Beman, a two-time US amateur title holder and a British amateur champion, voiced his fears in a letter sent to the United States Golf Association (USGA), who along with the R&A regulate what equipment is or is not legal.

The 67-year-old Beman, who during his 20-year-reign as US Tour commissioner turned the American tour into a billion dollar business, complained that the modern golf ball and the distance it travels, was going to make courses obsolete within 15 years.

"In the next 15 years a new generation of Tour players routinely will be able to drive the ball 330-360 yards rendering all courses obsolete," said Beman.

"All of us in golf revere and honor the shot-making skills of Ben Hogan. He must be turning in his grave knowing that we have allowed the golf ball that is so forgiving and goes so straight that size and power have completely eclipsed his total ball-striking skills we once all sought to emulate.

"Of course the ball is not the sole culprit; but it is the prime facilitator. All other technology - large headed drivers, perimeter weighting etc, - would be marginalised with a golf ball that curves."

Beman insists the modern-day low scores in tournaments supports his argument.


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