The golf ball roll back is set to rock and roll. So, roll on 2030. That will be the year when big Davy will discover if the booming drives he brags about in the Falkirk Tryst clubhouse will be five yards shorter than usual.

In 2028, meanwhile, the global powerhouses at the top level will be mulling over a reduction in hitting distances too.

As anticipated, the R&A and the USGA confirmed yesterday that an across the board roll back will be brought in as the game’s custodians take measures to limit hitting distances in a bid to, “achieve a sustainable future for golf, protect the integrity of the game and meet our environmental responsibilities.”

So, how will they do it? Well, the specifics involve the test for the Overall Distance Standard. The governing bodies are increasing the swing speed at which golf balls are tested from the current standard of 120 mph to 125 mph – the top end achieved by pros - without changing the distance limit of 317 yards (plus a three-yard tolerance) with a launch angle of 11 degrees and 2,200 rpm of spin.

To a casual observer, that may all make as much sense as a rambling Boris Johnson at the Covid inquiry. Put simply, then, the effect of this new test would lead to a reduction in distance of 13 to 15 yards for the longest hitters with the fastest swing speeds, some nine to 11 yards for an average tour player, five to seven yards for an average Ladies European Tour or LPGA Tour campaigner and five yards or less for the aforementioned big Davy and the rest of us humdrum enthusiasts.

As mentioned earlier, the new measures will not come into force until January 2028 for the elite game, with a phased introduction for recreational golfers in 2030. There will be plenty of time to get your balls conforming.

In addition to issues surrounding that little dimpled orb, the R&A and USGA also unveiled plans to expand testing on drivers while exploring the forgiveness of said club with off-centre hits.

But back to the ba'. With data, findings, statistics and evidence coming from the prolonged and comprehensive Distance Insights Report, an in-depth project which for golf aficionados is as titillating a read as Lady Chatterley’s Lover, the game’s power brokers and stakeholders have been embroiled in wide-ranging consultation over the last few years.

After much humming and hawing, the R&A and USGA announced proposals for a Model Local Rule (MLR) back in March which would give tournament organisers the option to use balls that would be reduced in distance.

That option, according to the R&A chief executive, Martin Slumbers, garnered very little support, particularly from the PGA Tour, the PGA of America, the equipment manufacturers and a number of top-ranking players.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, on the other hand, were very much for the MLR but against the tsunami of opposition to bifurcation – different equipment rules for elite and recreational players - the game’s high heid yins have opted for a universal roll back.

In a statement to all and sundry in the industry, the R&A and USGA said that they had, “incorporated feedback from a broad range of stakeholders/players who stressed the importance of unification in the game of golf, mainly the importance of maintaining a single set of playing rules and a single set of equipment standards. This feedback clearly indicated that an across-the-game solution with deferred implementation is the preferred solution.”

There will, of course, be plenty of fist-shaking harrumphing.  "Governance is not the easiest thing in the world to do, especially in golf," admitted Slumbers of this damned if you do, damned if don’t position.

At the weekend, former major champion, Keegan Bradley, declared that, “for the amateur world, to hit it shorter is monstrous.” Heated opinions will roar on because change ain’t easy. ‘Twas ever thus.

Back in days of yore, when St Andrews professional Allan Robertson was at the head of a booming featherie ball empire, the emergence of the gutta percha rendered his manufacturing business obsolete. “It’s nae gowff,” he grumbled.

For years, meanwhile, there was the bigger American ball and the smaller British ball. The bigger one was eventually standardised and those who were used to hitting the wee one could lose up to 20 yards. The game didn’t collapse in a heap, though.

Come 2028, and 2030, I’m sure everybody will adapt to a slightly different ball game.