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The overwhelming majority of club golfers are opposed to a proposed golf ball rollback.  

That’s according to research undertaken by equipment giant TaylorMade.  

The company has shared findings from a survey of more than 45,000 golfers from 100 different countries, spanning “a variety of ages, abilities and participation levels”. 

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They were asked for their feedback on the R&A and USGA’s intention to introduce a Model Local Rule (MLR) that would see changes to the balls used by professionals and elite amateurs. 

If taken forward, the MLR would give tours and tournament officials the ability to reduce hitting distances at the top-level of the game by up to 15 yards from January 2026.  

The recreational golfer will not be impacted by these proposed changes but that hasn’t stopped them voicing their disapproval.  

According to TaylorMade’s research, 81% of everyday golfers disagree with the plans.  

More than three-quarters (77%) think that there is no need to reduce average hitting distances in professional golf, whilst 81% are against bifurcation.  

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Almost half (48%) said that is “extremely important” to them to play with the same equipment used by professional golfers and, in what is bound to be the most concerning statistic to the R&A and USGA, 45% said they would be “less interested” in professional golf if the rule was to come into effect.  

Indeed, more than half of respondents aged between 18 and 34 said they would be less interested.  


“The goal of our survey was to give golfers the opportunity to voice their opinion on this proposed ruling as we absorb the MLR and its potential effects on the everyday golfer,” said David Abeles, TaylorMade Golf’s President & CEO. 

“We are grateful that nearly 45,000 golfers across the world felt the need for their voice to be heard. The overwhelming amount of responses show the passion, knowledge and care for the game our audience possesses.  

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“Each response and data point is being reviewed as we will utilise this feedback in our preparation to provide a response to the USGA and R&A.” 

The proposal, announced a fortnight ago, has been vehemently opposed by most of those who stand to be impacted – although interestingly not by one of TaylorMade’s highest-profile brand ambassadors, Rory McIlroy.  

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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