Controversial plans to 'roll back' the golf ball WILL go ahead

Plans to ‘roll back’ the golf ball in the professional and amateur game WILL go ahead with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in support of controversial move that will see golfers lose distance on their shot 

  • The proposals have been backed by golfers like Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods
  • However, former US PGA champion Keegan Bradley labelled the decision ‘stupid’
  • Jon Rahm’s LIV Golf move ‘could be announced soon’ in ‘gut punch to PGA Tour’

Controversial plans to ‘roll back’ the ball at all levels of golf have finally been ratified, giving rise to further divides within the fractured landscape of the game.

The sport’s rule makers confirmed on Wednesday that balls currently in use will be banned from 2028 for professional players and 2030 for recreational golfers as a means of shortening hitting distances and safeguarding courses.

It has been an enormously contentious subject at Tour level, with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy among those who favour this intervention by the R&A and United States Golf Association. 

However, the proposals were recently labelled as ‘stupid’ by Keegan Bradley, the former US PGA champion, and their ratification has been greeted by criticism from the PGA Tour and leading manufacturers Titleist and TaylorMade.

Under the new rules, balls will need to conform to certain testing conditions, meaning one struck with a clubhead speed of 125mph will not be allowed to travel beyond 320 yards.

Professional golfers are rumoured to be losing 15 yards of distance and amateurs five yards

Both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are supporting the controversial decision to roll ball back

The lawmakers believe this will rein in top pros by 15 yards and amateurs by less than five yards.

The fear at the R&A and USGA was that classic courses, such as the Old Course at St Andrews, were in danger of being rendered obsolete. 

While this measure has been deemed a step too far in the opposite direction, McIlroy has supported the change. He said: ‘Golf courses are getting longer, they’re needing more and more acreage and is that sustainable?

‘But also as a professional who plays the game, I think it’ll just bring back some skills into the pro game that have maybe been lost and I actually think it’ll be more entertaining to watch. It’s not just going to be this bomb and gouge that we see predominantly now.

‘And it’ll bring some of the great classic courses back into consideration (for staging majors). That’s the reason I’m a big proponent of just making the ball go a little shorter.’

The PGA Tour, which is fighting for its future amid the growing possibility of world No 3 Jon Rahm joining LIV, said the move is ‘disproportional’.

Source: Read Full Article