Golf ball rollback across entire sport seems to be only option as year-end decision nears, R&A CEO says

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The distance debate in golf may never end, but the R&A and the United States Golf Association (USGA) appear to have finalized their positions ahead of the year-end announcement to keep the golf ball from flying. Far in the air. After proposing the Model Local Rule (MLR) and following a comment period that ended in August, the R&A and USGA may have tipped their hands on how to move forward.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: “The ball is unequivocally moving further than it was 15 years ago.” Golf Digest. “And I don’t see any reason to doubt that it won’t continue that way. I’ve held this view for a long time. And for a long time, I had to keep it secret. But after we published our remote report early in this process, I was clear that we needed to address this issue for the good of the game.”

“We have to do something from that point of view and from an environmental point of view. We were very clear, like. [CEO] Mike Wan at the USGA there are only three options: we can bifurcate; You change the whole game; Or you do nothing. And doing nothing is not an option. We will stop here.

Introduced in March, MLR is intended only for elite tournaments. It requires the use of golf balls tested in improved launch conditions, reflecting the longest shots in the professional game. Parties such as the PGA Tour and PGA of America have issued statements on the proposed MLR, which would result in players using one type of golf ball at The Open and US Open and another at the PGA Championship and PGA Tour events. Augusta National has hinted at its return ahead of the 2023 Masters.

Most PGA Tour players have expressed disdain for MLR, but Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods; He recently finished first and second in the Player Impact programBoth have given their support. McIlroy has even gone so far as to say he uses the new MLR golf ball at PGA Tour events to prepare for major championships.

“The game wasn’t happy with the model environment,” Slumbers said. “He was of the view that it would create a highly divided game. There was a very strong push for that. The PGA Tour was very public about it. So was the American PGA. Several players spoke. And our job is to listen.

But our responsibility is to the long-term future of the game. Along with the USGA, the R&A is the custodian of the game. We are responsible for our time, something that has been going on for hundreds of years and has been done for hundreds of years. So we are listening. And we decided what to do. We are currently working to achieve that and will announce it before the end of the year. “

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