Bubba Watson heavily criticises golf ball changes

Ronan MacNamara

Bubba Watson (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Bubba Watson was asked during a LIV Golf press conference for his thoughts on the R&A and USGA’s proposed plans to roll back the golf ball from 2026.

He responded with two words: “Justin Thomas.”

Justin Thomas launched a scathing three minute rant in opposition to the decision to implement a modified local rule to dial back on the distance the golf ball goes and Bubba followed suit, believing golf’s governing bodies are messing with the game when it’s at an all time high.


“Well, there’s many reasons, but first off, the commercialism is the one that’s paying all these bills for USGA and all these other organisations, and now you’re asking them to spend millions to change a ball or design a new ball and do all those things. Why?” Watson asked.

“Professional golfers are a small, minute in the game of golf as a whole, who all plays it, so why not make a driver that lets some guy hit it straighter, further. Make a ball that lets a guy or a woman, kid, hit it further. Just because you hit it further doesn’t mean it’s going to go straighter.

“I’m not trying to throw Bryson under the bus, but Bryson tried to do something, he did do it, but he dialled it back a little. He still hits it further than everybody but he dialled it back a little because he realised your misses are further — because I’ve been dealing with that for a while, my misses are further off.

“Going back to the ball, I just don’t see the reason why. We’re the one sport that’s changing what we do, and we get mad when a guy shoots 10-under for three straight days, but we celebrate when a guy scores 50 points or scores three home runs or four home runs, a guy throws seven touchdowns. We celebrate that. We don’t make him, hey, you can’t throw that many passes the next game, so why are we messing with that.

“The sport is at an all-time high, so let’s don’t mess with it, let’s just keep it growing. That’s my short answer.”

Watson was speaking alongside Rangegoats teammate Harold Varner III and the 2012 and 2014 Masters winner was coy on whether he would use a different ball in the major championships – Augusta are yet to reveal whether they will adopt the MLR for the Masters.

“I’ll ask my sponsor first if I’m allowed to, and then I will gladly play that ball if they let me. If I’m in a major or if LIV says you’ve got to play this ball, I’m not good enough to do anything else. Make up random questions, I guess I could do that.”

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