• Suggest golf balls should be adapted to suit specific courses
• Says it's a key reason why not as many people are playing golf
Jack Nicklaus has unleashed a new rant about the golf ball – suggesting balls should be adapted to suit a specific type of golf course.
The 75-year-old, who designs his own golf ball range with proceeds going to charity, has been outspoken about the impact of the ball on participation and slow play – with nine-time major winner Gary Player also concerned.
"It’s now a slower game and more expensive than before" - Jack Nicklaus
And, speaking at the HSBC Golf Business Forum in Florida, Nicklaus believes the golf ball is a key reason not as many people are playing the sport.
Read more -> Jack Nicklaus blames golf ball for slow play
“Fact is, more golf courses have closed in the US in each of the last ten years than have opened. This is thanks in great part to changes in the golf ball and the distance it travels. Courses have had to change along with it.
“It’s now a slower game and more expensive than before, and that can’t be a good thing. We don’t want to change the game for the core golfer, but we need to make every effort to offer alternatives to bring more people into the game and keep them in the game.
"We need to develop a golf ball to suit the golf course" - Jack Nicklaus
“I think we need to develop a golf ball to suit the golf course, rather than build courses to suit a golf ball. Whether it’s a ball that goes 50%, 75%, or 100%, you play a ball that fits the course and your game.
Read more -> Jack Nicklaus course gets anti-missile unit
Despite being a traditionalist, Nicklaus also conceded that the sport must look at different formats and innovations to encourage people to take up the game.
“We should continue to look at changing formats,” he added. “We’ve done 12-hole events, and the feedback among women, beginners, juniors and seniors is that they loved it.
“If something as simple as that can bring people into the game and keep them, which is important, we have got to get serious about doing anything out of the box or unconventional.”
Is Jack Nicklaus right about the golf ball?
Do you agree with the 18-time major champion that something must be done to combat the distance the golf ball travels? Leave your thoughts in the 'Comments' section below.