Golf ball changes will bring back skills, says McIlroy

Rory McIlroy says golf ball rules an­nounced on Wednes­day aimed at taming the biggest hitters will bring certain “skills” back to the sport and make it more enter­taining.


The longest hit­ters are expected to lose up to 15 yards in driving distance under regulations relating to ball specifications set out by the game’s govern­ing bodies, the UK-based R&A and US Golf Association.


The new rules will apply at elite level from 2028 and for recreational players from 2030.


“I think it’ll just bring back some skills into the pro game that have maybe been lost and I actually think it’ll make the pro game more entertaining to watch,” McIlroy, a four-time major winner, told Sky Sports.


“I think you’re going to see a different variety of games succeed.”


The R&A and USGA said they wanted to protect the in­tegrity of golf courses, includ­ing their overall length, and ensure that a variety of skills were required for success.


A joint statement added: “Longer golf courses require additional resources such as water, the cost of renovating or moving elements like tees and bunkers continues to rise and other long-term impacts have been identified as a result of increased distance.”


The change will have less of an impact in wom­en’s professional golf and a “minimal distance impact” for most recreational golfers. — AFP