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Rory McIlroy: World number two backs plans to ‘roll back’ golf ball technology

Rory McIlroy is backing plans to “roll back” golf ball technology to reduce the distances that they can travel.

The world number two posted on social media that he couldn’t understand the “anger” towards proposals.

Rule makers want to help protect courses that are not long enough to cope with today’s 340-yard drives.

“It will make no difference whatsoever to the average golfer and puts golf back on a path of sustainability,” wrote McIlroy on X.

The R&A and United States Golf Association are understood to be on the verge of announcing a full roll back of golf ball technology after opposition to previous proposals for rules that would only impact golf balls used in the professional game.

Rory McIlroy

This idea of different rules for the amateur and professional game is known as “bifurcation”.

Golf’s governing bodies announced in March the proposal of a Model Local Rule (MLR) to give tournaments the option to require the use of balls which would travel around 15 yards less. That rule would have applied to their elite competitions, notably The Open and US Open.

But it was opposed by the PGA Tour and criticised by leading equipment manufacturers and some tour professionals.

As a result, Northern Ireland’s four-time major winner McIlroy, who also supported the MLR proposal, is now backing the more universal rule change.

He added: “I don’t understand the anger about the golf ball roll back.

“The people who are upset about this decision shouldn’t be mad at the governing bodies, they should be mad at elite pros and club/ball manufacturers because they didn’t want bifurcation.

“Elite pros and ball manufacturers think bifurcation would negatively affect their bottom lines, when, in reality, the game is already bifurcated.

“You think we play the same stuff you do?

“They put pressure on the governing bodies to roll it back to a lesser degree for everyone. Bifurcation was the logical answer for everyone, but, yet again in this game, money talks.” –