“Innovation is a part of every sport” – Rory McIlroy takes a major U-turn to back the proposed golf ball rollback
Amid the raging debate, Rory McIlroy has now emerged to support the R&A and USGA’s proposed golf ball rollback. With this, the star golfer has made a major reversal of his previous attitude, in which he described the project as a “huge waste of time and money”.
McIlroy recently claimed he was pleased at the suggestion of making the ball shorter in the pro game. The four-time Major winner said that “innovation is a part of every sport” that he “really likes” the suggestion to reduce batting distances.
Discussing the proposed golf ball rollback move on the No Laying Up podcast, Rory McIlroy said:
“I used to think they weren’t trying to slow down Formula 1 cars. Innovation is part of every sport. It’s a part of every industry. But whenever that innovation exceeds the footprint of the game, I think we have a problem.”
He then explained his position on the subject. The PGA Tour star said:
“I’ve been quite adamant that I don’t really want the governing bodies to touch the recreational golfer because that way we don’t have to make this game as intimidating and as fun as possible just to try and keep attendance at a high-time high.
So with this new proposal, I’m glad they didn’t touch the recreational golfer. But for elite level games I really like it. I really do. I know that’s a really unpopular opinion among my peers, but I think it will be a bit easier to identify the best players.”
Rory McIlroy claims that the proposed rollback would allow the game to grow
Rory McIlroy went on to say that the proposed changes would shake up the sport for the better. He claimed that the move “would help the entire professional game.”
“I think you’re going to see that people with more balanced games are more likely to succeed than what the game has become, which has been a bit of a bombshell and rut in recent years,” he added. “Selfishly I think it helps me. I think this will only help the better player. You know, it might help the longer player in a way too. But I think it will help the whole professional game.
I think getting the guys back to hitting some long irons and some mid irons and being able to hit every club in your bag in a round of golf. I can’t remember the last time I had to do that. I don’t know if this change on the ball will get us there, but it’s certainly a step closer.”
It is important to note that Rory McIlroy’s views on this matter contrast with many other golfers. Players such as Bryson DeChambeau, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas, among others, had previously come out to beat the move.
While DeChambeau called the proposed plans “atrocious,” Rahm questioned why the governing bodies would “change something that works.”