European Ryder Cup legend blasts (!) professional golf's biggest stars

European Ryder Cup legend Tony Jacklin says he's 'frustrated beyond words' with the distance problem in men's professional golf.

European Ryder Cup legend blasts (!) professional golf's biggest stars
European Ryder Cup legend blasts (!) professional golf's biggest stars

European Ryder Cup legend Tony Jacklin says professional golfers should be using persimmons. 

Jacklin is not shy of offering his opinions and his latest expletive-laden rant was about the distance problem in golf. 

Earlier in the year the governing bodies that oversee golf's rules, the USGA and R&A, outlined plans to limit how far the golf ball can travel. 

It was proposed that the MLR would come into action from 2026. But, for the most part, the plans haven't been met with optimism. 

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced the North American circuit wouldn't support the proposals. 

Though it could be argued that was more about appeasing angry golfers amid the PGA Tour-PIF deal. 

Of course, several OEMs aren't keen. Players like Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau were also not supportive.  

Rory McIlroy was perhaps the highest-profile player to support the idea of a golf ball rollback. 

Jacklin told bunkered: "There's no question in my mind that the ball goes miles too far."

He added:

"What they were proposing to do wasn't sufficient anyway. The fact they're not doing it doesn't make a bit of difference.
"It needed to come back 40 yards at least. They're not going to do it so they're very content for the pros to be playing courses hitting wedges and nine-irons into 12 holes a round. It just becomes a putting contest.
"When I won my majors at Hazeltine and Lytham I was hitting medium irons into par-fours all day. There was a balance there. You don't see that now."

Jacklin pointed to a conversation he had with golf greats such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player

He continued:

"Our views are not relevant to the conversation they are having, otherwise they would have listened and they haven't. Now the players are making the rules. 'We don't want the ball to be rolled back!' 
"Oh, OK. When I was playing we didn't have anything to do with what the R&A and USGA decided.
"Somebody said to me, 'Of all the senses, common sense is the least common.' 
"Anybody with half a brain can see that if you play a 7,200 yard golf course with a ball that only goes 280 yards you don't need to lengthen those courses and have 520-yard par-4s and 300-yard par-3s. Bulls*** is what it is.
"How else can you advertise a golf ball? Longer and straighter! You have an opportunity to make a difference and if you don't do it you're doing a disservice to a game that put you in the position. Nothing they’ve done has made the game better.
"It was better when Jack Nicklaus and I could only hit a seven-iron 150 yards.
"The fact they’re creating these swing speeds is all to do with the head size on the driver."

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So what is the solution, Mr Jacklin?

"I think pros should be playing persimmons. The technology wasn't meant for the pros, it was meant to improve the amateur experience. The powers that be at the R&A and USGA let that go.
"They've been fearful of doing the right thing and the horse has bolted now. They can't shut the gate and say we should have done this 15 years ago.
"I'm frustrated beyond words about what they haven't done with the professional game to keep it professional."

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