• "It takes a little bit too long," the world No.1 told the BBC
• Also hints at the possibility of retiring around the age of 40
World No.1 Rory McIlroy has weighed in with his thoughts on the pace of golf and admitted that a shortened format of the game must be considered if participation levels are to increase.
Last month, an R&A survey revealed that 60% of golfers would enjoy the sport more if it took less time and with the number of 16-25-year-olds playing golf at least once a week almost halving over the past five years, McIlroy is keen to seem some alternatives and hopes he and the next generation of golfing stars can help inspire youngsters across the globe.
“The real thing with golf at the minute is it takes a little bit too long,” said Rory McIlroy in an interview with BBC sports editor Dan Roan. “A shortened format would help as people don't have five or six hours a day to go and play golf.”
"I definitely think I can be a catalyst along with some of the other young players coming up" - Rory McIlroy
“A shortened format would get someone out on the golf course for a couple of hours - even if it's just to play nine or 12 holes.”
“I definitely think I can be a catalyst along with some of the other young players coming up. Jordan, Rickie, Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama, we're all guys from different corners of the globe and that's a huge thing as kids seeing younger guys excel at golf will make them want to play.”
But Rory McIlroy also admitted that his career may not be as long as most. The four-time major winner – who has targeted becoming the ‘best player of his generation’ - has previously thought about retiring at 40 and hinted that 25 years in the sport would be enough.
“I don’t anticipate playing senior or Champions Tour golf,” said McIlroy. “I used to think 40 , that’s still 14 years away and it’s a longer career than most sportspeople have.
“I’ve already had nearly an eight-year career and as golfers we’re very fortunate that we do have long careers and, avoiding injuries, 25 years at this game should hopefully be enough to help me achieve what I want to. Then it’s a case of figuring out what I want to do after retirement!”
While McIlroy claimed he is focusing entirely on his golf at this moment in time, it’s worth noting that if the Northern Irishman was to retire at 40, he’d have to win one major every year to tie Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18.
Rory McIlroy :: Your thoughts
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