So the USGA and R&A Want a Golf Ball Rollback. Now What?
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So the USGA and R&A Want a Golf Ball Rollback. Now What?

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So the USGA and R&A Want a Golf Ball Rollback. Now What?

In case you missed it, the USGA and the R&A intend to roll your golf ball back.

This rollback has been discussed ad nauseam since Friday when word first leaked that the USGA/R&A would be informing ball manufacturers exactly what the “new” ball will be allowed to do. Opinions have ranged from rage to elation, depending on which side you are on.

Many of the arguments for and against the rollback in the cesspool that can be social media have ranged from rational/logical to nonsensical/ill-informed. Our goal today is to take a step back and look at something that’s in short supply in times like these.

Facts.

We’ll throw some observations into the mix because that’s how we roll. But it’s our hope you’ll be able to glean enough information to understand what’s actually happening.

And to realize this thing is most likely far from over.

Titleist Pro V1x

The Rollback: What Is It?

The USGA and R&A, as golf’s governing bodies (more on that later), told golf ball manufacturers yesterday. The new rules say that to be considered conforming, golf balls can travel 317 yards (+/- three yards) at 125 mph of clubhead speed with an 11-degree launch angle and no more than 2,220 rpm of spin.

That’s a slight change from the Model Local Rule the USGA floated last March which based the same distance, launch and spin on 127-mph clubhead speed.

The current guideline specifies the same distance, but at 120-mph clubhead speed, 10-degree launch angle and 2,520 rpm.

Essentially that means we’ll all be playing a shorter, higher-launching and lower-spinning golf ball.

All of us.

golf ball rollback.

Golf’s “governing bodies” made the rollback universal. You, me, the weekend hacker and the local stick will be playing the same rolled-back ball as the pros on the PGA TOUR, the LPGA Tour and every other tour,

While the actual distance decrease will likely be greater for faster swing speed players, the likes of you and me will also see a decrease. One OEM source told us it could be as much as 10 yards with driver and 10 yards with irons.

The new rules will go into effect for professional tours in 2028. The rest of the world will have to comply by 2030.

What kind of ball will we be playing by then? For reference, the only current Acushnet ball that might fit those specifications is the Pinnacle Soft.

sleeves of the 2023 Titleist Pro V1

The Rollback Rationale

While the what of the rollback is very clear, the why is debatable, if not murky.

In its 2022 Distance Report, the USGA and R&A presented an impressive array of facts and figures from decades of distance data. That data, it must be noted, was mined from seven major professional golf sources: The PGA TOUR, DP World, Korn Ferry, PGA TOUR Champions, the Japan Golf Tour, the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour.

Golf’s governing bodies found 2022 driving distance across all of those tours was up four percent over 2003. For example, if the average drive on the PGA TOUR in 2003 was 288 yards, by 2022 it would have stretched to 299 yards.

That’s an 11-yard increase – 33 feet – over 19 years.

USGA golf ball rollback.

Distance was measured over two holes at each tournament, going in opposite directions to minimize the impact of wind. The report also indicates the holes used were, for the most part, flat and distance was measured to where the ball landed, be it the fairway, rough or bunker. No mention was made of the relative firmness or dryness of the ground, length of rough or fairway grass or other conditions. Tour players used driver on nearly all the shots recorded on these holes.

Other facts presented in the report include average clubhead speed and launch conditions but that data only goes back to 2007. In 2022, the average clubhead speed was 114.6 mph and average ball speed was 171.9. The average launch angle was 10.3 degrees and average spin was 2,597 rpm.

In 2007, average clubhead speed was 112.4 mph and average ball speed was 165.4 mph. Average launch angle was a skosh higher at 10.8 degrees while average spin was higher at 2,814 rpm.

Callaway Chrome Soft USA TruTrack Golf Balls

More Data, More Questions

In 2002, the USGA and R&A issued a joint statement of principles on equipment regulation.

“The R&A and USGA are committed to remaining vigilant when considering the equipment rules to protect golf’s best traditions, to prevent an over-reliance on technological advances rather than skill, and to ensure that skill is the dominant element of success throughout the game.”

Distance gains from 1980 to 2002 can certainly explain the governing bodies’ concerns. In 1980, average Tour driving distance with persimmons and balatas was 256 yards, By 2003, with metal woods and solid-core balls, it jumped to 286 yards. Since then, driving distance gains have been much less substantial. As mentioned, 2022 driving distance was just under 300 yards.

What perhaps concerned the powers-that-be more was the percentage of drives that were, well, monstrous. In 2003, nearly eight percent of all measured drives topped 320 yards. In 2022, that number reached nearly 20 percent. The most significant jump came in 2017, the year after NIKE left the equipment business.

Drives from 300 to 320 yards weren’t uncommon in 2003 with nearly 19 percent reaching that distance. But by 2022 that number was over 30 percent. The fat part of the bell curve in 2002 and again in 2022 was 280 to 300 yards. That remained steady at roughly 32 percent.

USGA golf ball rollback.

What About Us Regular Folks?

Remember that these numbers come from seven major global tours and the best golfers on the planet. The 2022 report also referenced a study on male and female amateur golfers in the UK, regular people with handicaps ranging from scratch to over 21. Men were studied from 1996 through 2019 while data for women was collected from 2013 to 2019.

The study found that 2019 average driver distance was 216 yards for men compared to only 200 yards in 1996. What’s more telling is that driver usage is up for higher handicaps. In ’96, higher handicaps (over 21) used driver only 54 percent of the time. By 2019, that jumped to 97 percent. Lower handicap golfers were using driver well over 90 percent of the time in 1996. By 2019, however, that percentage dropped to 84 percent.

We can infer two things from this data. The first is that drivers are getting more forgiving. And the second is that lower handicap golfers could get the distance they need even without using driver.

Earlier this year, the USGA proposed a Model Local Rule that introduced the reduced flight ball. That rule would have been optional for event organizers and would have left recreational golfers alone. The proposal was aimed exclusively at reducing distance for the highest level of players at the highest level of competition.

The PGA TOUR and other tours rejected the Model Local Rule out of hand. Golf ball manufacturers were also not in favor as it would have created a whole new R&D process for a ball that would have limited or non-existent retail appeal.

With bifurcation off the table, the governing bodies’ only other option to control distance at the highest levels was to control distance at all levels.

But What About Course Conditions?

It’s easy to say “just grow the grass” but will that have an impact? Well, the USGA has studied this and other course setup and condition options and, as it turns out, growing the grass can limit distance.

To a degree.

If you’ve ever watched a Tour event on TV and witnessed a ball rolling down the fairway as if it were paved, you’ll know that fairway firmness also impacts distance.

Again, to a degree.

Bridgestone TOUR B RXS golf balls

The USGA studied all this and came to some interesting conclusions. First off, growing the fairway grass could reduce distance by as much as two yards for every 10th of an inch above 0.4 inches of length. The USGA study says the overall distance impact would be as much as four yards given typical mowing heights and commonly used grass.

Additionally, softening the fairways could also impact distance anywhere from 4.5 to nearly 10 yards. However, water usage during tournament play would increase and the USGA has committed itself to promoting reduced water consumption for turf maintenance. So while softening up the fairways is effective, it’s also counter to the USGA’s conservation commitment.

And while both initiatives could potentially impact distance (up to 14 yards on average) with minimal cost, neither initiative can be mandated by the USGA or the R&A.

In its report, both bodies concluded that “we believe golf will best thrive over the next decades and beyond if this continuing cycle of ever-increasing hitting distances and golf course lengths is brought to an end.”

Is The Rollback a Forgone Conclusion?

Depending on where you stand, there are two ways to look at the rollback. One is that the USGA/R&A evidence is clear and distance needs to be curtailed to preserve a sustainable future.

The other is the powers that be have already decided distance is a problem and found evidence to support that conclusion.

Either way, unless something changes, we’re staring down the barrel at a rollback.

USGA golf ball rollback

When they first proposed the Model Local Rule solution, the USGA and R&A conceded that distance is only a problem at the elite levels. And the collected data shows that distance continues to rise. Part of it is equipment, no doubt, and part of it is the golfer. Speed training, overall fitness and athleticism may trump equipment as contributing factors.

But those can’t be regulated by the USGA. Balls and clubs can.

Crazy Talk

You’ve no doubt been reading many wild and, most likely, erroneous takes on the issue from both sides. To say the rollback will mean iconic courses will once again play the way the architect intended is borderline ridiculous. A course designed and built in 1936 was designed to be played by equipment available in 1936. Unless you roll everything (equipment, course conditions, green speed) back to 1936 levels, that course will never be played the way the architect intended.

And to say distance means technology is more important than skill means you believe the arrow is, in fact, more important than the archer. The golfer still needs to get the ball in the damn hole, people. Is distance a weapon? Hell, yes. Ask Jack. He was so long that Bobby Jones himself said Jack played a game with which he was not familiar.

To insist that most golfers aren’t good enough to notice the difference is dismissive. On the other hand, moving up a tee box is a double-edged sword. If moving up 20 yards offsets 20 yards in total tee-to-green loss, then perhaps a golfer wouldn’t notice much difference. On the other hand, that’s a lot of energy, angst and lawsuit potential to expend for what amounts to a net-zero move. It’s fair to ask, “What’s the point?’

Conversely, to say the USGA/R&A are doing this just to protect old, rich country clubs that still want to host big events is cynical at best and conspiracy-minded at worst. And to think they are only looking out for the old-school private clubs is missing their greater mission.

In times like these, both sides tend to paint with a ridiculously wide brush.

A maxfli tour x golf ball for MyGolfSpy ball lab 2023

The Golf Ball Rollback: Where Do We Go From Here?

That’s literally the million-dollar, no, billion-dollar question. OEMs and professional tours rejected the Model Local Rule. It’s not out of the question to conclude the USGA and R&A took the rather Byzantine approach to get bifurcation back on the table by making the rollback universal. As negotiating ploys go, it’s not bad.

Lawsuits may be inevitable. OEMs suing the game’s governing bodies over an equipment ruling is not without precedent. Karsten Solheim famously sued the USGA and R&A (and, later, the PGA) over their decisions to ban the square grooves found in the PING Eye 2 irons. In that case, the USGA’s own research showed there was minimal impact from the grooves and the suit was settled when the two sides reached a compromise. PING would change how it made grooves while the USGA would grandfather all existing PING Eye 2 irons as conforming.

The R&A, strangely enough, never settled. Square-grooved Eye 2 irons are still considered non-conforming by the R&A.

USGA golf ball rollback

It’s also important to understand that the USGA and R&A only govern at the consent of the governed. They are golf’s ruling bodies because everyone associated with the game agrees that they’re the ruling bodies. There’s nothing to prevent the PGA TOUR, LIV, the DP World Tour or the NCAA from developing its own list of conforming clubs and balls.

But if you wanted to see what chaos in golf would look like, that would be your chance.

So whether you and I will be playing a rolled-back golf ball come 2030 comes down to how much of a stomach the governing bodies and the OEMs have for lawsuits and just how badly individual tours want to strike out on their own.

Read the USGA’s official release here.

What the OEMs are saying about the golf ball rollback

“While appreciative of the opportunity to have a seat at the table and a voice in the debate, we feel like the rollback is simply disconnected from what golfers believe is best for the game” – David Abeles, CEO, TaylorMade Golf

“While we would prefer that any new rules did not impact recreational players, we believe further commentary is no longer productive. At this point, we need to concentrate on creating conforming products that allow both professionals and amateurs to play their best golf.” – Dan Murphy, CEO, Bridgestone Golf

“Topgolf Callaway Brands respects the perspectives of the governing bodies and knows they are acting in what they believe is in the best interest of the game. However, when viewing the same data, we have consistently communicated that we would not have chosen to roll the ball back and we would have preferred bifurcation over a change across the board.

Having said that, we would like to thank and compliment the USGA and R&A for their approach and process in making this decision. Throughout this process, we believe they have been open and thorough in their analysis. They took the time to actively seek input from multiple stakeholders, including us, on multiple occasions and levels. They clearly listened and were thoughtful in their responses; and, when they deemed it appropriate, they modified their approach in ways that benefitted both the game and the industry that supports it.”- Chip Brewer, CEO, Topgolf Callaway

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John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John is an aging, yet avid golfer, writer, 6-point-something handicapper living back home in New England after a 22-year exile in Minnesota. He loves telling stories, writing about golf and golf travel, and enjoys classic golf equipment. “The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.” - BenHogan

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      Greg Reid

      6 months ago

      OMG USGA & RA shoot themselves in the foot again. Hope LIV ignores new golf ball equipment revisions. Again the heirarchy of USGA/RA ignore the millions of amateur players. I wasnt canvassed were you. The biggest issue in recreational golf is pace of play. Lets be real the longer the stick the accuracy of average player goes down. With rollback of distance the game is going to take longer. This will be the largest detrimment to the game. What drives enthusiasm in the sport is watching the pros go long and far and us amateurs trying to mimic their distance. This rollback and change will be a disaster for the amateur game and courses in general as round times will increase meaning less revenue let alone drop in pro tournament viewing on TV. For gods sake USGA canvas amateur players worldwide next time or those that are left. Worst decision for golf ever made. Trust me this will inhibit the growth of golf. In 2 years time when you finish that 5 hr round you know who to thank.

      Reply

      Odie

      6 months ago

      A few observations the USGA is blind to:
      1. Distance is sexy. Distance sells viewership and products. No one cares who the straightest driver on Tour is. The NFL changed their rules to enhance scoring and make their product more exciting to watch. The NFL prints money while the PGA Tour goes bankrupt and has to cut deals with LIV.
      2. How many millions of recreational golfers out there do not play golf under “USGA rules”? If you play Sunday golf with your buddies, give putts in the leather, move the ball out of divots in the fairway, etc., you do not need the USGA telling you what ball you can or cannot play. Maybe it’s time for the USGA to go away or have another “governing body of golf” take its place more in tune with the 21st Century.

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      6 months ago

      re: Point 2 above,
      You don’t need ANY far flying balls to do any of those things, and if that’s how you play, then also play the forward tees, what difference does it make how far the ball goes, you also might use the illegal high-COR beyond the limits to hit it as far as you want, right? LMAO

      Reply

      Brian

      6 months ago

      So now all the OEM’s will be complaining about all the additional R&D costs impacting the price of their products. The ball makers will have that R&D. The club makers will all say you need new clubs optimized to the new ball. So everything gets more expensive and the marketing depts will say you have to get that new equipment now to minimize the loss in distance. Again average golf gets screwed.

      Reply

      Craig

      6 months ago

      “One OEM source told us it could be as much as 10 yards with driver and 10 yards with irons.”

      This contradicts what the USGA is saying, that is for ball speeds less than 130 there is basically no change. So for irons, no change (including for pros), and most amateurs, little change. Women and seniors, maybe 1-3 yards difference. Men, 3-6 yds on drives, irons no change.

      Reply

      Jim

      6 months ago

      I would refer to Dean Snell’s analysis of this situation that he put out there a year or so ago. Certainly all components of golf (ball, driver, course conditions, etc.) contributed to the increase in distance. But the increases were mostly felt in the pro ranks and not necessarily by weekend golfers. Reducing distance for weekend golfers will be felt more and potentially hurt the game. I do think that in the pro ranks the distance needs to be controlled but evidence I’ve read seems to indicate making the course ‘less perfect’ would have a much more significant impact than altering the ball. After all in most tournaments the fairways and rough are like greens (have you seen photos of the Masters from 50 years ago?). I’m glad at least they are not bifurcating as that would be impossible for most ball companies to accomplish (making a special ball for only a small amount of touring pros, etc.). We’ll see how it ends up but I’ll be stocking up on the ‘good’ balls.

      Reply

      Shannon

      6 months ago

      Interesting they want to do away with the very thing that made golf what it is today. It’s a show, it’s Bryson smoking one 400 yards, and it’s the spin, check, roll back 15 yards on the green. Personally, I hit 55 this year, just got fitted for i230’s and to make them work distance wise I had to go to a lighter shaft. My overall game is improving, but that is course management. Now, take 20 yards off my drives and 10 off my irons, it completely changes my game. I play with some older men, who I will say will struggle with this, they are already hitting 5 woods into a 150 yd par 3. I would say hey can make this work, they can have the Pro V1 in amateur and tourney styles. The name stays the same. They could do it, they just do not want to.

      Reply

      Don Cameron

      6 months ago

      “In 2007, average clubhead speed was 112.4 mph and average ball speed was 1655.4 mph” …. I think there’s a decimal place error …. I find it hard to believe that average ball speed was 1655 mph.
      All of that aside – the improvements in golf club faces and shafts are no doubt involved as well as the ball. AND – there there’s the whole fitness and training routines that must make a huge impact on the strength of players…..

      Reply

      Jim

      6 months ago

      USGA says they want want to preserve the skill; however when the golfers got the skill they are punishing them!They invented a problem that didn’t need fixing. If they think the scores are too low reduce par for the pros it is done everyday where forward tees get an extra stroke. Why not increase the loft of drivers for the pros. Back when I started more than 55 years ago the lowest lofted driver you could find was 9º now it’s much lower I believe as low as 4º or 5º. Many better solutions to their perceived problem. It just shows out of touch they really are with the golfing public when they won’t give relief if your ball lands in someone else’s divot in the fairway but want to take distance from us! Just my $.02

      Reply

      BH

      6 months ago

      I’m glad the “powers at be” want to do as much as the possibly can to make the game more difficult for we mere mortals. Just like any government, if you let ’em tell you what to do, they will. This reminds me of the old Titleist NXT commercials with John Cleese when I was a kid.

      Reply

      Putmedownforasix

      6 months ago

      Obvious to me — golf ball manufacturers will be hyper focused on consistency. They will compete on quality (ball performs exactly the same when hit the same). Titleist should embrace…they seem to be the most invested in the science & marketing of delivering balls with precision & quality. Others will have to play catch-up.

      Reply

      Ned

      6 months ago

      Tiger and Rory both are actually for the roll back. For me the roll back might move me forward a tee. Do I care no I’m 80 and the Lord willing will play this great game into my 90’s. I will move forward and may reach a time when I have to move down the fairway and drop the ball. Does not matter to me as long as i can enjoy the game. To each his own but I would like to see the pro game return to some par 4’s taking a Driver and 2-3 iron to reach the green not Driver 8 iron or wedge.

      Reply

      KJC

      6 months ago

      I’ll be dead, so you need to deal with it. Or go to your safe space and cry.

      Reply

      BH

      6 months ago

      Well….I’m sorry about the mortality thing, but this comment is hilarious. God bless.

      Reply

      Physics Teacher

      6 months ago

      “In 2022, the average clubhead speed was 114.6 mph and average ball speed was 171.9”

      So you are saying the “average” smash, across thousands of drives, is a perfect 1.5….In other news, Kim Jong Un once said he played 18 holes and shot 18. If a high school physics teacher can scientifically prove your data wrong, you might want to fire either your lead analyst or your PR guy, because at least one of them is incompetent or lying. My apologies if I am not the first one to bring this up.

      Reply

      k

      6 months ago

      Welcome to the wonderful world of driver technology and the difference between CT and COR. Over 1.5 smash happens quite regularly and with most current drivers when striped. A better test would make several drivers nonconforming…

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      6 months ago

      It’s not possible to have smash above 1.5. If it showed that to you, then it’s a misread. Go look at what Martin Borgmeier said on his video on Youtube

      Tom

      6 months ago

      Gonna need some advice on the proper storage of large quantities of balls

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      6 months ago

      I would like the USGA to remove golf carts/buggies entirely, except for those with a disability card.
      That’s the most important thing, more than any other equipment.

      Reply

      Mike

      6 months ago

      Huh? I walk every round but 80% of golf courses would close tomorrow if this rule were enacted because most people can’t or don’t want to walk 18.

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      6 months ago

      Then play 9! LMAO

      I miss, I miss, I make

      6 months ago

      The modern pros will still be better than the old guys.

      Reply

      Adam Burton

      6 months ago

      It will be interesting to see how this impacts how driver’s are made. This could result in more 440cc drivers becoming more regular, as they’ll help reduce spin and put that COG further forward. It will have an impact though on forgiveness for the professionals. Although they don’t miss the center all that often!

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      6 months ago

      Won’t change anything. The drivers are all maxed out. All they can do is move weights around.
      However, it’ll change their swing to emulate long drive guys more, and more of what Bryson’s doing with that Krank.

      Reply

      I miss, I miss, I make

      6 months ago

      I’ve been playing over 60 years and started with equipment that was just old cut down clubs and balls that I found. Guess what? I had fun and when I was in my 20’s I was a scratch player. Now in my middle 70’s thanks to the luck of good health and modern equipment I can still get it out there 220+ (in the summer). If I lose only 5-10 yards in 2030 I will be delighted as it means I’m still alive and playing. To the young ones. You will still be playing stuff way better than I ever dreamed of when I was 20. Grow up! If you think watching TOUR players hit par 5’s in two using an 8 iron for their second is thrilling I just don’t get it. Don’t take me wrong. The TOUR guys are great and have earned every yard they get.
      Separate balls for the pros? The manufacturers are not going to spend millions to develop balls that they can’t sell to us consumers. They also can’t try to sell us “Rory’s ball” because he would be using a different one.
      Bottom line is we will be playing a ball that is somewhat like a 2000 ProV1. Not the end of the kingdom.

      Reply

      Will

      6 months ago

      I don’t care in the slightest what the pros are doing, or whether the courses are “hard enough” for them, and I find the notion of watching someone else play being “exciting” to anyone completely baffling. My problem with this is that the dictators of golf are going back on their own made up rules, telling an entire industry what it can and can’t do on extremely flimsy reasoning, at great expense to the manufacturers and to the detriment of average players, and in a way that doesn’t even address the fictional “problem” they claim they’re trying to solve. It’s idiotic to a criminal degree.

      Reply

      Dave Wilcynski

      6 months ago

      Agree 100%! I’ll be quitting the game when they roll it back or before then. Total BS!!😳🤪🤔😡

      Chad

      6 months ago

      Bifurcation

      Reduce driver head size, roll back ball, bring back V grooves, then watch pros struggle with the older courses. It’s really a pretty simple concept.

      Reply

      I miss, I miss, I make

      6 months ago

      The modern pros will still be better than the old guys.

      Reply

      Sean S

      6 months ago

      Haha! They won’t struggle at all.

      Reply

      TailWagger

      6 months ago

      I’m sick of a bunch of old farts (I’m one of them by the way) acting as though they know what’s best for everybody else. But forget about that. What exactly is so wrong with balls going further and scores going lower? For centuries that has been the case.

      Regardless, given the current meme is that golf has never been stronger, the so-called defenders of the game could simply have measured what the current top balls are doing, created a speed limit based on current performance, and de-certified any new design going forward that exceeded it. Status quo maintained, everyone happy. So why wasn’t that good enough?

      Because the handwriting is on the wall. It’s not the ball that’s too good; it’s the humans. And that’s what the old farts are truly worried about. The best (but nowhere near most) of us are just getting too damn proficient. And because there’s no practical way to outlaw Trackman data, speed sticks, fitness coaching nor 200+ mph of club head speed, they see themselves as forced in the name of all that is sacred to find ways to dial things back to the way they were when Jack and Arnie strode down the fairway with a butt in their mouth. The USGA/R&A seem to see golf as their carrot and their role as the stick. As such no one ever, ever, ever can possibly be allowed to take more than a nip out of it every now and again. But let them take a full bite and sooner or later they’ll find a way to swallow it whole. Not allowed!

      For as much as these organizations see themselves as defending the honor and history of the game, I see them as subverting it. The cat leapt out of this cart bag back in the 16th C. when some clever bloke subbed in a feathery for a wooden ball. And up until recently, AFAICT next to nothing in the hundreds of years since was every contemplated to stuff the feline back in there. It really wasn’t until Tiger showed up and started whacking drives a club or two past pretty much everyone else that ever played professionally that some began to question the notion that better equipment makes the game better, not to mention more accessible and enjoyable for everyone, pro and amateur alike.

      So let’s at least agree on one thing, regardless of which side of the argument you might fall on. The evolution of equipment is just as much a part of the history and tradition of golf as any other aspect of the game. This, and all the other recent attempts to ban improvements like v grooves, anchored putters, CoR etc, isn’t about protecting golf, it’s about squashing anything that might enable the current crop of the very best from significantly outdoing the accomplishments of those that preceded them. I therefore see these actions as an attempt to protect the record book, not the game. It’s about time we all acknowledge the difference between the two and consider which should be the more important.

      Reply

      Putmedownforasix

      6 months ago

      40+ years of rolling forward and 1 year of rollback has you upset?

      Reply

      Joe Domill

      6 months ago

      Let see I hit my drives 150-`60 , that means my drive will go 140-150. That’s just what I need for my game. I am 85 years old and I may not be around for 2030 however the roll back makes no sense for golfers like myself. They could control the drivers for the pros. They play a completely different golf game. As rory has said they get completely different equipment than the average person. Great information given as usual thanks.

      Reply

      Kris

      6 months ago

      Now what you ask? We stop listening to the USGA and play with the golf balls, putters, wedges, etc.. that we want. The last thing the game of golf needs is more interferences from an out of touch governing body… sound familiar? The future of the game is in zero crisis if the ball stays the same. Rory can say whatever he wants, (which is whatever they tell him to say) but everyone knows that he only wins when he is putting well. I make my case with the The Masters, Rory can hit it as far as he wants, but he hasn’t sniffed a green jacket. Golf ball distance means nothing. Cam Smith didn’t beat Rory at the Open by out driving him… putting completes the score.

      Reply

      k

      6 months ago

      Calm down Gaskins…. Without a snipe on 10 at Augusta Rory would’ve definitely sniffed one! But the roll back is ridiculous…

      Reply

      Harry

      6 months ago

      If the Pinnacle Soft currently meets the roll back requirements, why not just make that the official tournament ball? There are probably more than 20 different balls being used on Tour with most claiming to be the longest with different launch and spin. Why not have pros use 1 conforming ball so they can demonstrate their “skills”.

      Reply

      Sean S

      6 months ago

      Because one ball only will favor certain players, that is just the nature of it. Why do you think there are so many balls on the market, to get players into the ones that work best for them.

      Reply

      Harry

      6 months ago

      Kind of my point. Almost everyone plays with different balls, equipment, course conditions, tee boxes, etc. so not really the same. Read something that said more than 30% of current balls would be conforming, so why not just use those. Of course, those are probably the $2 balls and wouldn’t want to encourage people to buy those instead of $4+ balls. Making the game a little more difficult for the pros was supposed to be the reason for the whole exercise.

      Beak

      6 months ago

      So you could advocate less water use and still wet the fairways and grow the fairway grass and rough for the US Open. The opposite, letting them dry out and get hard, only exacerbates the problem they are trying to legislate. Plus, all the Tours have copied the USGA’s miserable setup routine. They made the problem and now they want to penalize everyone because they want it their way. Just once I wish they would take one of their precious old courses and play with the same agronomy as when that course opened. Just once!

      I suggest they limit pro’s to lifting weights once a week and no cardio other than walking the course. They have to carry their own bag and figure out their yardages. And hickory shafts, definitely hickory shafts.

      Golf fitness and technology have been exploding for years. The USGA\R&A missed the boat. They will never be able to legislate average pro drives returning to 280. EVER.

      Reply

      Kirby Laughlin

      6 months ago

      If the impact is so minimal why even do it? Just make the courses harder for the pro’s and elite am competitions.

      Reply

      alex

      6 months ago

      why not have tour sites mow into the grain (Like at Bay Hill) as well as the other grass growing suggestions.

      My guess is that at least one DTC/no endorser company like Snell, Cut, Sugar, Seed, etc. will continue selling a non USGA ball to regular folks. They might clean up with enough advertising (or if they team up with Costco). Will be interesting to see what Maxfli/Dick’s does.

      Reply

      Jimmy

      6 months ago

      Mike Whan has addressed this in interviews. This is a global problem. Elite level tournaments are held all around the world. The USGA doesn’t regulate agronomy, and they determined it’s not practical for them to start telling supers in Argentina or India or wherever how they should mow their grass. They do regulate equipment though, which is why they landed on an equipment-based solution to what they see as a distance issue.

      USGA/R&A have heard and responded to basically all of the objections people are making in these comments. We don’t have to guess at their motives. They’re not trying to hide anything.

      Reply

      don

      6 months ago

      When pro basketball players were able to dunk they didn’t raise the basket. They just accepted pro games will now go over 100 while high school games will not. Who cares if pro golfers shoot 62 on the same course I can’t break 100. They are a pro, it’s fun to see them be so much better than me.

      Reply

      don

      6 months ago

      Ever hear its the archer not the arrow? Well that’s true until you hand a pro level bow set perfectly to the correct draw and the sights lined up to a non pro then hand the bow we all used at summer camp to the pro. All of a sudden you understand how much influence the arrow really has.

      Reply

      Robert

      6 months ago

      Am I missing something? If you use the Flightscope trajectory simulator, their proposal doesn’t make sense. 125mph swing at 1.5 smash factor is 180mph.

      At 180mph, 11 degree launch and 2220 spin, you get a carry distance of 310 with total distance 319. Which is within their tolerance.

      Are tour pros getting a higher smash factor?

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      6 months ago

      It’s not possible to get a higher smash than 1.5, so they are miscalculating momentum and aerodynamics

      Wayne Wallace

      6 months ago

      I’m 77, had two strokes, and have a blazing driver swing speed on a good day of 68 to 71 mph, and all I can say is any ball manufacturer who wishes to continue producing the golf ball they are making today into the infinite future, I’ll buy them. And for the overall governing bodies “Stay the hell out of my golf game!”
      Wayne Wallace

      Reply

      Dennis

      6 months ago

      Amen Wallace !

      Reply

      Andy

      6 months ago

      I’m not unsympathetic to the problem–environmental and course design concerns. But the solution seems clumsy. Why make one large change instead of a few small changes? We could test plenty of alternatives that would be cheap and probably keep plenty of existing equipment legal (especially that used by amateurs). E.g.:
      – Reduce maximum tee height
      – Increase minimum driver loft
      – Reduce maximum driver shaft length
      – Reduce maximum driver MOI
      – Make bunkers more penal
      – Publish guidance for narrowing fairways only at specific distances

      There are so many options to work with and small tweaks to a few categories would likely achieve the same (maybe even better) results without having such a major, noticeable impact on everyone.

      Reply

      Dave Tutelman

      6 months ago

      The problem, the difference of opinion, lies in the short phrase, “equipment rules to protect golf’s best traditions” in the USGA statement. I think they have a serious miconception of their most important function — PROTECTING THE GAME ITSELF. Not traditions! Golf is approaching an existential crisis. The biggest problem in protecting the game right now is attracting non-golfers to it. The golfing population is aging, and attracting youngsters and people who are scarce in the golfing population (e.g.- women, certain minorities) is essential to this task. But it is not the task the USGA is addressing. In fact, it is seriously contrary to what they are doing.

      Would someone please explain to me how making the game harder will attract new golfers. If you can explain that, go back and explain again, with the understanding that beginners and non-athletes will be most negatively affected by the change.

      I have been saying for years that the USGA is confusing protecting par with protecting the game. We have reached the point where they have to choose one or the other. Now we clearly see what they are choosing.

      Reply

      Andrew the Great!

      6 months ago

      And, they’re not even protecting par. The 9-11 yard rollback for male Tour pros is not even one full club. It will have zero effect on scoring, and zero effect on “protecting” old classic courses that have run out of real estate. And, male Tour pros and equipment manufacturers will find ways through fitness, nutrition, and technology to get back that 9-11 yards in short order.

      Reply

      BigBoiGolf

      6 months ago

      I have 0 confidence they are being honest about this rollback. All of this MLR, thousands of manhours and thousands of dollars wasted, looming in the eyes of another potential lawsuit that would make the Ping Eye 2 lawsuits seem tame, millions in RnD, et al, all for “up to” 15 yards at the highest level.

      It’s a joke and a slap in the face.

      You’re correct that the USGA and R&A are siding with tournament committee members whose sole existence is getting upset that professional athletes are “shooting too low of a score”.

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      6 months ago

      Tour Pros get to wear metal spikes anyway, so there’s bifurcation as is!!!

      Reply

      DougEB

      6 months ago

      At 72 I think it’s about time to punish the average golfer. After all I can still reach most par 4s in 2. (sarcasm intended) Who wants this besides Jack? Let the course superintendents handle the elite players. That wouldn’t cost or disrupt anything. Of course we would have to listen to those elite players whine.

      Reply

      Will

      6 months ago

      Extremely disappointing to see Bridgestone just bending over and taking it. All the manufacturers need to stand together and tell the USGA to take a flying leap. They’re a “governing body” with absolutely no teeth and they need to be reminded of it.

      Reply

      Per J

      6 months ago

      I believe changes need to happen as we can expect golf courses to make changes every time there is a technology change in hardware/balls, something needs to happen – is the rollback the right move?

      I could argue for changing the irons/ woods to perform a bit worse and leaving the balls as they are – it will become “messy” to distinguish if it’s a conforming or non-conforming ball played, especially at amateur/club golfer level and what to do with all millions of none-conforming golf balls?

      My hope there will be a more sensible solution at the end of the day.

      Reply

      LOWEBOY

      6 months ago

      My big miss when I don’t stripe it down the center, is a big old slice that flies over the houses and appears to go three streets over. With less distance I will now hit the houses on those misses, if I’m lucky my ball will ricochet off some solar panels and bounce back into play. That will be nice.

      Reply

      Beak

      6 months ago

      to funny, I’m sure they didn’t think about this problem!

      Reply

      Chris F

      6 months ago

      Well written article. The USGA and R&A are taking a sledgehammer approach to roll the distance back to 20 years ago for the PGA pros, so that in 20 years time, we will back to where we are now. So the new tag line will be shortest ball on tour. That should sell lots of balls.

      Reply

      Robert Pace

      6 months ago

      roll the ball back today I don’t care, I’ll still be longer than most. the maybe positive for me would be I might actually see the ball. another positive might be courses add 1 or 2 tee boxes, more area to space out the divots.
      there have been some really good points about launch and spin, I mean do we start to loft down now?. do you actually think equipment companies won’t figure out how to launch at the optimal angle?, gonna have 4 years to work on it.
      sounds to me like everyone’s going to need a new driver come 2028/2030. cha-ching for somebody.
      I believe a universal roll back is the easiest way to seamlessly implement a new rule, but I understand the frustration some see. I have a dear friend who is in his mid 70’s and has always been a short knocker, how the hell do I tell him to hit from the reds?, and what about all the guys that hit from the whites now and are still hitting woods into par 4’s,
      gonna be hitting a lot more woods from par 3’s ? hence please add more tee boxes cause nobody is going to hit from the reds unless the reds are moved…..it’s an ego thing, what golfers do you know that their ball sac has shriveled up enough to play from the ladies tee.
      my biggest hope though is it will speed up play, but then again I am forever fixing ball marks.

      Reply

      Mike

      6 months ago

      Amateur players hitting the ball 10 yards shorter will not speed up play. Is that, just the opposite. On longer par 4’s, now instead of reaching the green in regulation & putting, I’ll be chipping on. = Longer rounds

      Reply

      Robert Pace

      6 months ago

      point well taken, but on the flip side 10 yds shorter might be the difference between in play or out.
      less ball hawking, finding more short grass might be better.
      I mean you can play just about any course with 250 down the middle but very few at 300 ob.
      one thing for sure is watching this thing play out.

      M Brian Wallace

      6 months ago

      Can anybody name another sport utilizing a ball where participants get to select their own individual ball? I’ve always thought the PGA Tour should specify what ball was to be used for each event and everyone has to play that ball. But, it’s not about the competition, it’s about the money so that’s not going to happen. I’m expecting the ball marketing companies (not to be confused with the ball manufacturing entities) to file suit and eventually win. Another thought, what about the LIV (if it still exists in 2028)? It doesn’t have to abide by USGA/R&A mandates for competition, correct?

      Reply

      Andrew the Great!

      6 months ago

      Can anyone name another sport where the competitors call infractions on themselves?

      Basketball players don’t all wear the same sneakers; baseball players don’t all use the same gloves, bats, or spikes; hockey players don’t all use the same skates or sticks or other equipment.

      The “other sport” argument about the golf ball is a red herring.

      Reply

      Not Andy the Great!

      6 months ago

      I don’t think the other sport/golf ball comment is a red herring. First of all, you’re comparing an individual sport to team sports. That’s like comparing apples to chainsaws. Consider this, the NBA uses a game ball. The players don’t choose their own ball every time they touch it. MLB uses a game ball. NHL uses game pucks. Comparing other pieces of equipment is silly because the ball in other sports is used by the team on every play, pitch, and face-off. Geez, even NFL, tennis, volleyball, and soccer use regulated or team balls. None of which is specific to a specific player every time they touch it, like in golf. Pointing at other pieces of player-worn or used equipment is the red herring. Nobody is asking to govern shoes, gloves, bags, umbrellas, golf carts, etc. That said, you will find bats, hockey sticks, helmets, pads, etc. are governed to meet safety/performance guidelines, respectively, just like…wait for it…golf clubs. Nope. I don’t see the the “other sport” comment about golf balls as a red herring at all. Consider this, what would PGA golf look like if each player used the same ball like in other sports? My guess is probably not much different than it looks now. Tour pros will still be better than you or I.

      Dave V

      6 months ago

      I can name one… motorsport. It used to be that a participant could run any tire they wanted to buy or get sponsored. Now series use spec tires that are all from one manufacturer. For any given race, there is a limited selection of tires. Golf could do the same thing. Events could be sponsored, in part, by the ball manufacturer. Elite golfers would have to prove their “elite” status by showing they can adapt to the ball at each venue.

      Reply

      Sean S

      6 months ago

      Racing tires are entirely different than a golf ball. Also there was a time where you had multiple tire manufactures in racing. It had nothing to do with leveling a playing field and more to do with it not being worth it for the tire manufactures. Also some golfers characteristics of hitting with naturally lead to putting more spin on a ball and now you are robbing those folks of distance that no amount of skill can erase. This is not like baseball or basketball.

      Beak

      6 months ago

      I don’t think the ball manufacturers will do anything other than cave. If they all produce short balls, what is the public going to do? Have to play something.

      The big hope is Vice et al continue to make the long ball. THAT would be the only thing that would affect the major ball producers when they realize the are losing sales.

      Reply

      Mark J Adriansen

      6 months ago

      Some random thoughts I have: Instead of rolling back, why can’t we just stop where we are? It seems that most technological advancements in equipment have been distance related, so I guess the focus would have to shift toward accuracy. And, yes, if I hit it that much shorter, I’ll be moving up a tee box. Shorter off the tee means longer pace of play.

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      6 months ago

      What I’m hoping that will happen, is that in the next year or two, one of the manufacturers pull out the stops and release a ball that is conforming, but by chance happens to be 10 yards longer than the ball of today.
      So by the time the roll back comes, we haven’t actually lost anything, but the ball flies the same as 2024 LMAO

      Reply

      John Boles

      6 months ago

      With respect to the “just move up a set of tees (or two) suggestion”, for those women and men already playing the most forward tees, what are they to do?

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      6 months ago

      Go fishing. Go play tennis or pickleball

      Reply

      Andrew the Great!

      6 months ago

      The stupidity and idiocy of the governing bodies – USGA and R&A – roll on at the speed of light. Golf Channel reported this morning that the rollback will cost MALE TOUR PROS just 9-11 yards!!! That’s not even ONE full club! And this is supposed to rescue and save the old classic courses that have run out of real estate??? WT absolute F? The “stewards” of the game clearly have SFB.

      This is astonishingly demented. No, it’s worse than that. I don’t know if there are sufficiently-severe words in the English language to describe the abject asininity of the USGA and the R&A. I’ll bet the Germans have a word for it, though. They’re good at crafting appropriate words for this kind of sht.

      Reply

      Fred

      6 months ago

      I’ll be 80 before it takes effect – so I am not going to worry about it.

      Reply

      Steve

      6 months ago

      As a tournament director in the DMV for about 20 years we’ve never played a course that added tees further back cause players hit too far. In fact many of these same courses let the original “tips” tee boxes grow over cause no one plays them. I’ve never heard any of our members say the game was too easy cause they hit it too far.

      At nearly 50 I hit the ball about as far as I did at 20 but it’s a combination of factors not just the ball. My handicap at 20 was 4. My handicap at almost 50 is 6.

      Reply

      Andrew the Great!

      6 months ago

      To your point, there’s a seaside course here in Puerto Rico – Royal Isabela Golf Links – that I used to play occasionally until they quadrupled the green fee for us unwashed residents. One time I played during the week, and I had the course to myself (I think I saw 2 other golfers all day). So I decided to play from the 7,300 yard tips (no, I’m not that good, but I figured what the heck). I had great difficulty finding at least THREE of the back tees, things were so overgrown and unmarked, and on one other hole I was hitting my tee ball through a chute of overgrown tree branches.

      Reply

      Andrew

      6 months ago

      The big problem for “recreational” golf is going to be the continued use of “non-conforming” balls. You can buy such balls today (though few golfers do). Come 2030, most golfers will be doing just that (unless it’s a tournament……and even then). Some manufacturers will choose to keep the “old” ball on the market if there is consumer demand. If demand is high enough, thus making new ball “unwanted” and “under-purchased”, bifurcation is going to occur naturally. I for one, will likely purchase about 20 dozen, or so, of my Kirkland’s before 2030. Of course, I will also likely go through them in 6 months!

      Reply

      King Simpkins

      6 months ago

      The only people here to be punished by a roll back are everyday players ( PERIOD )
      You want one ball for the Pros, GREAT then lets see who’s the best at the professional level.
      However I’m 71 and need all the help I can get, so I plan on stocking up and screw the governing bodies

      Reply

      Rich

      6 months ago

      Why not do the same thing for clubs, spikes and uniforms? The reason why they allow choice is because every golfer is different, and it’s not a piece of equipment that is shared by you and your opponent, like in all of your examples. They don’t use one weight of bat in baseball, they allow for stick variance in hockey, etc. No reason for a unified ball.

      Reply

      Rich

      6 months ago

      Apologies, meant to reply to Wayne below, but there’s no way of editing or removing comments.

      I agree with your comment!

      Wayne i

      6 months ago

      I have to pipe in. Most other sports, the “ball” is supplied by the tournament, we don’t see tennis players supplying their own balls, baseball, football even hockey all have registered products, even football pressure is monitored…. Let the tournament pick whatever ball they want to sponsor, tournaments would then make money on ball sponsorship, and in the case of older courses, they can pick a ball based on what criteria they choose. Everyone wins, weekend players can play what they want, tournament hosts can choose high spin, low spin, soft hard whatever, and make more money hosting the event. The only loser would be pga players that sponsor golf balls, but I haven’t ever seen hockey, football or baseball players complaining they can’t make money sponsoring their “balls”.

      Reply

      MarkM

      6 months ago

      A ball rollback on it’s own will not do anything on tour, they will figure out different launch conditions, etc to make up the 10-15 yards.
      The only way to do what they hope is to pair the ball with a driver rollback, BUT then again the manufacturers will figure out how to make smaller clubs more forgiving.
      So this will basically be a useless exercise at the top levels. It’ll only affect us in the long run.

      Reply

      Scott

      6 months ago

      Exactly. They are just going to make a game that is hard for the average golfer that much harder!

      Reply

      bob

      6 months ago

      This seems like a great opportunity for Maxfli and Snell, two great golf balls at great prices that rival Pro-V, Z-Star, etc. Those companies are not played by PGA guys so why make a ball that conforms to the new standards? Just keep making the balls they put out today and you will pick up quite a bit of market share from the amateur players. I know some of you will say, ‘But my club mandates we play the conforming ball’….okay, but those golfers are still only a sliver of the players who just go out on the weekends to play, not trying to win any club flights or parimutuel betting events.

      Reply

      Rich

      6 months ago

      I think most people will still want to play in accordance with whatever the conforming regulations require. There are already plenty of non-conforming clubs, balls, and things like anti-slice sprays to reduce driver spin, if you’re looking to drop your scores without caring about the rules. Most people aren’t using those though.

      Reply

      Robert E Smith

      6 months ago

      They will be

      Raymond

      6 months ago

      Golf ball rollback hurts average players like me. Nicklaus and co. Don’t want to build longer courses due to cost. The answer to all your questions is money- Don Ohlmeyer. I have resigned my membership in the usga . Why support a group that doesn’t support you.

      Reply

      Andy Miller

      6 months ago

      Rolling back the golf ball will still leave an advantage with the pumped up physio trained golfer over the skillful less muscular golfer particular on courses with long straight flat fairways.

      If instead you made golf courses like the original Links courses with narrow undulating bendy fairways then the skillful would win out over the less skillful muscular without any golf ball modifications.

      Reply

      CryptoDog

      6 months ago

      Huh?
      You know what we say about Links courses?
      They need more trees
      (cos that helps with the wind, and it forces air-out high curve drivers of the ball to have to hit it straighter because they won’t have the freedom of the sky to manipulate it)
      LMAO

      Reply

      Jimmy

      6 months ago

      Length is a skill. The stated goal of the rollback is not to decrease the advantage of the longer players relative to shorter ones, nor should it be. It’s to bring everybody back a little bit to slow down the pace at which they believe golf courses are becoming obsolete for elite level golfers. Equipment manufacturers balked at the model local rule, so USGA/R&A made it universal.

      Changing the way golf balls are tested is a much more practical solution than renovating every wide/flat golf course.

      Reply

      Roy

      6 months ago

      Yes, Golfers are hitting it longer today for one reason and one reason only is they are taller and physically fit. They have better training aids , launch monitors in there hotel room, No more shagg boys stand out on the practice range. The average 5’8″ @ 165 lbs is gone.

      Reply

      Elroget

      6 months ago

      You have baseball players hitting 450-foot home runs.
      Pitchers hurling baseballs plus 100 MPH. Should the material on the ball cover be changed to a softer cover?

      Golfers have an option of playing the tees where they can reach the greens in regulation, (3,4, and 5) strokes. Move up to them. Of course, I have played balata balls. LOL

      Stand on the champion tees and move up to your preferred tees when the slow group in front of you moves on.
      Enjoy playing the game and stock up on golf balls before the new rules are implemented.

      Reply

      JSilva

      6 months ago

      All this belly aching… “just hit the damn ball”, and I’m an old fart who can barely hit it past my shadow.

      Reply

      Dan

      6 months ago

      Yep!! Got a bunch of Pro V1s in the garage-found them on my walk through the woods on my golf course. So many rocketed into the woods. I, too, am an old fart and will continue to use my found Pro Vs. At least they go further than my croquet balls!!

      Reply

      Scott

      6 months ago

      Good thing I’ve got about 1,000 balls in my garage from my walks. Should last me for a little while :)

      Dean

      6 months ago

      This is lunacy. As I think about all of the swimming records or 100 yard dash records that continue to pile up, I don’t see anyone lengthening the race. I don’t see them pouring saline into the pool to slow down swimmers’ bodies. It will have the greatest impact on us weekend warriors I’m afraid. And I’m only 53. What about the guys out there hitting 170 yard drives at 84??? It’s a hard enough game as it is. Sheesh. There has to be a plan for bifurication that everyone can agree on. Have Titleist produce three confirming balls and all other OEM’s can label them with their brand for the national TV broadcast.

      Reply

      Jimmy

      6 months ago

      FINA (swimming governing body) has a 20 page document on swimsuit regulations and famously updated their rules only a few years ago because the new tech made swimmers too fast. https://resources.fina.org/fina/document/2021/02/23/7d18d53c-cf57-47f2-adc9-4649c1926044/frsa.pdf

      Reply

      Jimmy

      6 months ago

      Reply

      Steve S

      6 months ago

      Regardless of what happens the prices for golf balls will go up. If the change goes through a lot of us will be buying 5 years supply of golf balls. The used golf ball market will see their prices increase as we get closer to the cutoff date. It would be nice if someone would test the Pinnacle Soft(or other balls) to see if it does comply. Then we could actually try them and see how much it would affect our individual games.

      Reply

      Michael

      6 months ago

      So, this seems to open up the next great research area in golf balls. If the regulations are only limiting distance at 125 MPH at certain launch angles and spin rates, then it seems to me there is a great opportunity for golf ball manufacturers to work on balls that meet that criteria at speed, but perform better than current balls at 100MPH, or 90MPH. This could still result in distance loss but actually be a great equalizer between higher speed and lower speed players. For example, if the guy hitting it 280 loses 20 yards, and the guy hitting 220 loses 10 yards, their final result is 10 yards closer than it would have been.

      Reply

      andrew

      6 months ago

      Interesting thought. I also see clubs gaining technology that help drive further distance accelerating as well.

      There is already a host of DTC brands that are non conforming that claim better distance than say the PROv1. I don’t see that changing and would consider playing them given the circumstance. We may also see several other manufactures go the same route. Who is to say there wont be a PROv2 for the masses, and the PROv1 conforms?

      Reply

      Douglas

      6 months ago

      Ok, totally agree that the ball should be taken back for all PGA’s. Hitting a drive, 9 iron, or wedge into a Par 5 is ludicrous and does not make sense. It now is not a Par 5 but a Par 4. For the average Joe and that is everyone else, does not make sense. Most will just hit it farther in the woods. Can see the ball companies making the tour ball as mandated but also making a ball for the mass of regular golfers out there and they will just defy the rule. If you do not play events, why not? Local rule at club will allow it. Makes sense.

      Reply

      Sean S

      6 months ago

      The simple fact is the pros will adjust, more of them will do speed and strength training, and the guys that already do that will just swing harder and thus effectively render this roll back useless. This will hit the every day golfer hard and the pros will just shrug it off and all the new R&D cost will be passed along to us, the consumers.

      Reply

      Andrew the Great!

      6 months ago

      Rolling the ball back 9-11 yards (per Golf Channel this morning, Dec. 6) means they’ll be hitting drive, 8-iron or 9-iron rather than 9-iron or wedge into a par-5. BFD.

      If the governing bodies DIDN’T have SFB, they would’ve rolled the ball back FIFTY (50) yards for male Tour pros. But of course that was never going to happen. So they did the stupidest thing imaginable: 9-11 f’n yards.

      Reply

      Scott

      6 months ago

      Funny thing is that there already is a “Tour” ball. Rory said it the other day, “you think we are playing with the same equipment you are”. The Pro’s already use better equipment and balls. So maybe the USGA should just give all PGA players a Pinnacle ball to play with and leave everything else alone!

      Reply

      Robert Roy

      6 months ago

      I think the vogue term would be “Defund the USGA” Recreational golfers unit. Tell the USGA NO to their arbitrary plan. They need us more than we need them.
      I hope the ball manufacturers keep making the balls the same as they are now. If everyone just refuses to comply then the USGA will have to stop. If the PGA Tour refuses to comply with the rollback what then? The PGA should see a business opportunity to create their own handicapping apps for the masses who chose not to obey the antiquated USGA.

      Reply

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