USGA boss slams 'alarmists' after golf ball rollback announcement

USGA CEO Mike Whan has criticised the 'alarmists' who are against plans to address golf's distance problem by limiting how far the ball will travel.

USGA boss slams 'alarmists' after golf ball rollback announcement

USGA chief executive Mike Whan had some strong words for those criticising the official announcement to rollback the golf ball. 

The game's biggest hitters are likely to see distances they can hit the golf ball shortened by around 15 yards. 

Golf's rule-makers, the R&A and USGA, confirmed on 6 December the rule change will affect professionals from 2028. 

Amateurs will follow two years later. GolfMagic's Johnny Percival has already written an in depth piece about how you will be affected

Speaking to Golf Channel after the plans were announced, Whan hit out at what he described as 'alarmists'. 

"There's going to be a lot of ambulance chasers and alarmists to make this seem so much worse than it really is," he said. 

"We've run those stats, we ran it by an independent, third-party ball expert, three different ball companies, two of which quickly came back to us and said we agree with your estimate, so I don't want a few loud voices that are trying to get more clicks and more viewers and more phone calls to drive a frenzy that quite frankly just isn't based on fact."

Rory McIlroy, the PGA Tour's biggest hitter who averages more than 330 yards off the tee, is for the rollback

"Bifurcation was the logical answer for everyone," McIlroy said. "But yet again in this game, money talks."

Tiger Woods has also doubled down on his previous comments about bifurcation after making his latest audacious comeback attempt. 

Several leading touring professionals have already voiced their displeasure. 

Keegan Bradley described the rollback as 'monstrous' and Rickie Fowler echoed his sentiments. 

As far as Bradley and Fowler are concerned, the game has never been so popular so to make such as dramatic change to how the game is played for everyone is ludicrous. 

In an interview with BBC Sport, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said: "We feel very strongly that we need to act and update the rules for the modern game.

"It is 20 years since we last updated the golf ball and a lot has changed in sport, and in golf, in that time."

He added: "We feel that [a reduction of] 15 yards for the longest hitters is fair and will have a meaningful impact.

"But it is very important to understand that for the average recreational golfer we will see an impact of less than five yards."

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