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Ian Woosnam has criticised the R&A and USGA over their golf ball rollback proposals, insisting that they don’t go far enough. 

The 1991 Masters champion believes that plans to introduce a Model Local Rule, designed to knock up to 15 yards off tee shots for the biggest hitters at the top-end of the game, will make little material difference. 

Speaking to the Daily Mail, the 65-year-old said: “They’re trying to roll this ball out. Take five per cent off [the shot length]. Is that going to make any difference? It’s rubbish really.  

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“There should be clubs and golf balls for professionals and keep the game as it is for amateurs. There is a scope for doing that.  

“If you wanted to turn professional, this is the equipment you use. Take 25 per cent off the golf ball or the club.” 


As a former champion, Woosnam has a lifetime exemption to play in The Masters but made his final appearance in 2021 after admitting that the course had become too long for him.  

Despite that, he intends to be at Augusta National this week to take in the Champions Dinner on Tuesday night – and he believes Rory McIlroy has a good chance of hosting that meal next year. 

“Rory’s playing well,” he acknowledged. “It looks like he’s sorted his driver out, half an inch up — he copied me!”

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“That’s one of the things you need at Augusta. If you’re driving well and long, it makes it easier. His irons are pretty good. Putter seems to be going well. 

“You would think it suits him down to the ground. If I was ever going to win a major, it would be the one I’d want to win. He plays very much similar, big, high draw and he can hold the ball off well.” 

The 87th Masters Tournament gets under way at Augusta National on Thursday. Follow the bunkered social accounts for live updates direct from the course. 

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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