PGA Tour superstar Rory McIlroy believes the R&A and USGA's decision to rollback the golf ball will "make the professional game more entertaining to watch" for golf fans when it comes into force in 2028, following an interview with Sky Sports.
Golf's governing bodies confirmed today they will update the testing conditions used for golf ball conformance under the Overall Distance Standard (ODS) from January 2028 at Tour level.
The revised ball testing conditions will be as follows: 125-mph clubhead speed (equivalent to 183 mph ball speed); spin rate of 2220 RPM and launch angle of 11 degrees.
The current conditions, which were established 20 years ago, are set at 120 mph (equivalent to 176 mph ball speed), 2520 RPM with a 10-degree launch angle.
The longest hitters are expected to see a reduction of as much as 13-15 yards in drive distance. Average professional tour and elite male players are expected to see a reduction of 9-11 yards, with a 5-7-yard reduction for an average LET or LPGA player.
The change in testing speed is expected to have a minimal distance impact, 5 yards or less, for most recreational golfers. Research shows an average swing speed of 93 mph for male golfers and 72 mph for female players.
Existing balls approved for conformance in 2027 may continue to be used by recreational golfers until January 2030 to give golfers, manufacturers and retailers additional time to adjust. These decisions are in line with the commitments made by the governing bodies at the project’s inception.
In light of today's update where rolling back the golf ball is concerned, McIlroy believes the changes are necessary in the game.
McIlroy believes it will bring back some skills in the profressional game that have been lost, as well as make it much more entertaining to watch for spectators as a result of the different shots players will have to hit out on the golf course.
He also thinks the golf ball rollback will help bring some of golf's great classic courses back into the picture where major championship rotas are concerned.
McIlroy told Sky Sports News:
McIlroy's latest comments about the golf rollback plan came after his sensational rant on December 3.
The four-time major champion tweeted: