• Jack Nicklaus blames modern day golf ball for slow play
• "The golf ball has been the worst offender," said the American
• Gary Player has also been incredibly vocal on the matter
Jack Nicklaus has blamed modern day golf balls for the reason the sport takes as long as it does.
Speaking at the 100th annual PGA meeting, where he was guest speaker, the 18-time major champion was asked the best ways in which to grow the game.
Slow play was one of the problems Nicklaus addressed as to why people aren’t taking up golf, comparing the time taken to other sports, before explaining the key reason why he thinks a round takes so long.
"The golf ball has been the worst offender" - Jack Nicklaus
“We can’t take five hours to play golf,” Jack Nicklaus told Golf Channel. “No other sport does. We need to play the game in three to three-and-a-half hours.
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“How do you do that? Well, one of those is golf balls. The golf ball has been the worst offender of that. I think if the golf ball came back and instead of having a lot of 7,500-yard courses, you had more 5,500-yard courses.
“We’d still play the same way but the ball would just go shorter to hit it. It would reduce the cost, it would reduce the time and the design of these courses would make it easier, too.”
For what it’s worth, Nicklaus has his own range of golf balls, albeit the proceeds go to the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation.
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But Jack Nicklaus isn’t the only major name that has spoken up against the ball. Nine-time major winner Gary Player was also very vocal after a joint R&A/USGA document earlier this year said driving distance was only up 1% on four of the seven leading tours.
“We’re in for big trouble if we don’t change the ball,” he told bunkered.co.uk earlier this year. “In the years to come, you’ll see players drive the green on eight of the holes at St Andrews. Will that be an Open Championship? It’ll be laughable.
"We’ve got a tsunami coming" - Gary Player
“We’ve got a tsunami coming because we’ve got guys going to the gym now and working out – so it’s really a lot of crap. It’s Mickey Mouse what you’re seeing now because soon we’re going to see real athletes. It better change, otherwise they’re going to be caught with their pants down.”
Do you agree with Jack Nicklaus?
Do you, like Jack Nicklaus, believe that the pace of play isn’t being helped by modern day golf balls and the subsequent length of courses? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.