McIlroy: I don’t understand the anger about the golf ball roll back

Ronan MacNamara
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Rory McIlroy (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Rory McIlroy feels rolling back the golf ball will make no difference to the average golfer and he cannot understand the anger over the prospect of a ‘Model Local Rule’ being introduced in 2028.

The R&A and USGA proposed a Model Local Rule in March of this year to give tournament organisers the option to require the use of a distance-reducing ball.

In response, parties such as the PGA Tour and PGA of America have released statements against the proposed MLR, which could see players use one type of golf ball in The Open and U.S. Open and another in the PGA Championship and PGA Tour competition.

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“I don’t understand the anger about the golf ball roll back. It will make no difference whatsoever to the average golfer and puts golf back on a path of sustainability. It will also help bring back certain skills in the pro game that have been eradicated over the past 2 decades,” McIlroy wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The people who are upset about this decision shouldn’t be mad at the governing bodies, they should be mad at elite pros and club/ball manufacturers because they didn’t want bifurcation. The governing bodies presented us with that option earlier this year. Elite pros and ball manufacturers think bifurcation would negatively affect their bottom lines, when in reality, the game is already bifurcated.

“You think we play the same stuff you do? They put pressure on the governing bodies to roll it back to a lesser degree for everyone. Bifurcation was the logical answer for everyone, but yet again in this game, money talks.

On Saturday, Tiger Woods spoke out in support of the MLR.

“I’ve always been for bifurcation, and I’ve always said that. Just like wood (baseball) bats and metal bats”, said Woods.

“This discussion has been, I guess, the talk ever since I’ve been out on tour.  And then to finally see it come to this point where I think both governing bodies who control the rules around the world are going to come to a collaborative understanding of how far you can hit the ball, as we just don’t have enough property anymore.

“So, I think that understanding that yeah, we’ve been hammering the ball needs to slow down, but it has kept speeding up my entire career and here we are.

“I’m curious to see what the feedback is. I know the PGA Tour had their stance on it, but the ruling bodies are the ruling bodies.”

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