Colin Montgomerie believes the “time has come” for tour pros to play with a tournament ball that travels up to 85% shorter than those they currently use.
However, his former Ryder Cup teammate Sir Nick Faldo disagrees, insisting that such a change would cost the game “millions”.
Speaking to the BBC about the new-look, bulked-up Bryson DeChambeau and the extraordinary distance gains he has been displaying at this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge, Montgomerie called the American’s transformation “amazing”.
“I could not believe what I saw when I switched on in the first round,” he said. “Even Bryson’s XL shirts are looking tight now. He played with Dustin Johnson the first two days and he was giving him 25 yards off the tee – and Dustin is no slouch.”
DeChambeau claims to have packed on 20lbs during the tour’s three-month coronavirus shutdown and, in the first event back, leads the field in driving distance. In the opening two rounds, he has averaged 343.8 yards off the tee.
That, according to Montgomerie, is unsustainable for the game’s future – and he believes it is now time for the game’s governing bodies to take action.
“I’m an advocate of what Jack Nicklaus proposes – a tournament ball for professionals, that goes only 80 to 85 per cent as far,” said the eight-time European No.1. “The time has come, because we can’t be building courses at 10,000 yards.
“We haven’t got the money or the space and there are the obvious ecological reasons.”
Acknowledging that the creation of a tournament ball would be “a massive step” as it would, in effect, bring about the advent of bifurcation, Montgomerie added: “Haven’t we reached that stage now? We’ve seen at Colonial that something has to be done or these classic courses cannot be used.”
However, when Montgomerie’s comments were reported by The Telegraph, Sir Nick Faldo responded to the story and appeared to present an alternative solution.
“Re-tooling a golf ball will cost millions and guess what we will all hit it shorter!” tweeted the six-time major champion. “It’s the strike skill factor for the Pro we need to step up! #NoTeePegs”
What do you think?
Do you agree with Colin Montgomerie that the time has come for a tournament ball to be introduced for professionals? Do you have an alternative solution to the big questions posed by the driving debate? Or do you think things are fine as they are? Leave your thoughts in our Comments section below.