Weekend golfers are getting screwed because the PGA’s elite are too good

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Mackenzie Hughes

Mackenzie Hughes
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One of the biggest changes in golf came earlier this week, when the USGA and R&A decided to implement a golf ball rollback, changing the way the golf ball travels at all levels of the sport.

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The rollback, to put it simply, is going to affect how far the golf ball travels off the tee. As players are getting better at hitting it further due to physical strength and the advancement of technology in the drivers and other clubs, the ball is traveling tens of feet more after they are hit. Extending courses is costly and could take a long time to renovate, so the simplest and most cost-effective solution is to change the golf ball.

However, one of the major draw-ins to the game of golf is that almost everything is the same across the board. It could be your first day ever on a course, your 20th year playing golf with your pals, or on the PGA tour and all have the same clubs or golf balls available to use and can even play on the same courses. A double-edged sword in some ways, as the pros will use balls that will stop the golf ball 13-15 shorter, and 3-5 yards for the recreational player to keep that standard of equality. Golf will now, in theory, be more difficult for people new to the sport, and change the way existing people play.

“Ball rollback just doesn’t make sense to me,” said Canadian professional golfer Mackenzie Hughes on X. “Golf is about the masses, not the 0.1% of golfers that can hit the ball far. We want to make it easier and more fun for amateurs, not the other way around. Hopefully this decision is not the final say on this.”

There are opposing views, like Rory McIlroy saying there already are differences in equipment from professionals to the recreational player.

41.1 million people play golf in the United States, up 32 million from 2016, which roughly translates to one in seven people. According to R&A’s head Martin Slumbers, “There are only three options: We can bifurcate; you change the whole game; or you do nothing. And doing nothing is not an option,” he said to The Athletic.

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