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Rory McIlroy has issued an impassioned response to golf’s rollback plans. 

According to Golf Digest, the R&A and USGA are set to announce steps to “make nearly every popular golf ball played both professionally and recreationally non-conforming”.

The governing bodies had announced early plans to bifurcate the game in March last year with a new Model Local Role for golf balls planned to be introduced in elite competition.

Yet it appears that, after a rethink, the authorities will now roll back the ball for every golfer, limiting distance across all levels of the sport.

• Tiger Woods responds to rollback plans

McIlroy has always been in favour of bifurcation, which offers different equipment restrictions for professionals and recreational amateur golfers.

And the Northern Irishman has now taken aim at his fellow pros and club and ball manufacturers over an imminent decision that he believes will be defined by money.

“I don’t understand the anger about the golf ball roll back,” McIlroy wrote on X.

“It will make no difference whatsoever to the average golfer and puts golf back on a path of sustainability. It will also help bring back certain skills in the pro game that have been eradicated over the past 2 decades.

“The people who are upset about this decision shouldn’t be mad at the governing bodies, they should be mad at elite pros and club/ball manufacturers because they didn’t want bifurcation.

“The governing bodies presented us with that option earlier this year. Elite pros and ball manufacturers think bifurcation would negatively affect their bottom lines, when in reality, the game is already bifurcated.

• Mutiny on the PGA Tour? Players petition fellow pros over ‘special meeting’

• Jay Monahan issues 12-word rebuttal to his critics

“You think we play the same stuff you do? They put pressure on the governing bodies to roll it back to a lesser degree for everyone. Bifurcation was the logical answer for everyone, but yet again in this game, money talks.”

Tiger Woods shares McIlroy’s view that bifurcation was the way forward.

“I’ve always been for bifurcation,” the 15-time major champion told reporters at the Hero World Challenge on Friday. “I’ve always said that. Just like wood [baseball] bats and metal bats.

“This has been I guess the talk ever since I’ve been out on tour. To finally see it come to this point where I think both governing bodies who control the rules around the world are going to come to a collaborative understanding — we just doesn’t have enough property anymore.

“We’ve been hammering the ball needs to slow down, but it has kept speeding up my entire time on career and here we are.”


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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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