Rory McIlroy speaks out on driving distance report

McIlroy: “I think golf has a responsibility to minimise its footprint as much as it possibly can."

Jack Seddon's picture
Fri, 14 Feb 2020
Rory McIlroy speaks out on driving distance report

Following the most recent driving distance report, the R&A and USGA believe that distance needs to be slowed in order to save the future of the sport.

It's certainly a topic that leads to debate, as golf's biggest brands like TaylorMade and Callaway spend millions of pounds in finding the best technology to make everyone's driving game longer.

Many people believe that the ability to work your way around a course is dying due to how far players can hit drivers in the modern game, while it also has a negative impact on the environment, as courses are constantly making changes to make them longer.

Rory McIlroy is one of the longest hitters on Tour, currently ranked 12th in driving distance, with an average drive of 312 yards.

Speaking to the media prior to the Genesis Invitational, the world No.1 believes that golf has a responsibility to minimise its footprint, especially at a time where global warming is causing world-wide disasters.

“I think the biggest thing that came out of the report for me, a lot of the stuff about the ball going too far and technology, it really pertains to 0.1 percent of golfers out there,” said McIlroy.

“So look, if they want to try to contain what we do as touring professionals, I’m all for that.

“Selfishly, I think that that’s only a good thing for the better players, but for the game in general, I think one of the best things that came out of it was the sustainability aspect and the fact that architects building these golf courses, and not even architects to a degree, but also the people that are giving the architects the money to build these golf courses with this grand ambition of maybe having a Tour event one day.

“Building these golf courses on these massive pieces of land, having to use so much water, so much fertiliser, pesticides, all the stuff that we really shouldn’t be doing nowadays especially in the climate we live in and everything that’s happening in our world.

“You look at what happened in Australia, you look at what happens in this state [California] every August, September, October time with fires and global warming.

“I think golf has a responsibility to minimise its footprint as much as it possibly can.

“For me, I think the sustainability aspect of what they’re trying to do is very important and that’s the one thing I would definitely stand behind.”

NEXT PAGE: Patrick Cantlay says it's "ignorant" to ignore driving distance