Golf's biggest hitters are likely to see the distance they can propel tee shots shortened by around 15 yards after the R&A and United States Golf Association announced changes to rules surrounding ball specifications.
All players will be affected, but officials estimate that recreational golfers, incapable of generating the rapid swing speeds of pros, will suffer a reduction of fewer than five yards to their longest shots.
There has been opposition from golf manufacturers and leading tours during a protracted period of consultation before this announcement. One manufacturer described previous proposals as "a solution seeking a problem."
But the rules makers insist the game has to act to limit hitting distances.
"This is a trend we need to take very seriously," R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers told BBC Sport.
"Golf courses are growing ever longer and we need to have a responsibility about protecting the integrity of golf courses, protecting the balance of skills and technology, and how the game is played.
"But also the sport has to take its responsibility and be cognisant of our environmental and sustainability impacts. Making golf courses ever longer, we start to run out of property and it is not environmentally responsible."
Modern premium golf balls (which cost around £6 each) when struck with the latest large-headed drivers have never flown as far as they do today.
The PGA Tour's biggest hitter, Rory McIlroy, is among several players whose drives average more than 320 yards, with 98 pros beating the circuit's average of 299.9 yards last season.