Rory McIlroy Comes Out In Favor Of Golf Ball Rollback

As more reaction funnels in from PGA Tour players about the new USGA and R&A proposal to roll back the golf ball for elite competitions, one of the top players in the world has come out in agreement with the decision.

In an exclusive interview with No Laying Up, Rory McIlroy spoke about the changes and gave a surprising endorsement. 

“I’ve been pretty adamant that I don’t really want the governing bodies to touch the recreational golfer because we need to make this game as not intimidating and as much fun as possible, just to try to keep the participation levels at an all-time high,” McIlroy said. “So, I’m glad in this new proposal that they haven’t touched the recreational golfer.

But for elite-level play, I really like it. I really do. I know that’s a really unpopular opinion amongst my peers, but I think it’s going to help identify who the best players are a bit easier. Especially in this era of parity that we’ve been living in these past couple of decades.”

McIlroy also said that he believes this will help the better, more skilled players down the road and force players to go deep into their bag more often again. 

“Selfishly, I think it helps me,” McIlroy said. “I think this is only gonna help the better player. You know, it might help the longer player too, in some ways. But I think it’s going to help the overall professional game.

I think making guys hit some long irons again, and some mid irons, and being able to hit every club in your bag in a round of golf. I can’t remember the last time when I’ve had to do that. I don’t know if this change in the ball will make us do that, but it certainly is a step closer to that.”

A caveat to the entire debate is that the PGA Tour does not have to adopt the rule if they do not want to because it is a MLR (Model Local Rule).

McIlroy said that even if the Tour does not adopt the rule, he still may play the rolled-back ball in Tour events to prepare for major championships like the U.S. Open and the Open Championship. 

“Honestly, for me, the major championships are the biggest deal, so if the PGA Tour doesn’t implement it, I might still play the Model Local Rule ball, because I know that that’ll give me the best chance and the best preparation leading into the major championships,” McIlroy said.

“And again, this is personal preference and personal opinion at this stage of my career. I know that I’m gonna be defined by the amount of major championships that I hopefully will win from now until the end of my career. And that’s the most important thing for me.”

“If (playing the MLR ball in PGA Tour competition) gives me the best chance to succeed at the major championships and feel as prepared as I possibly can be, then that’s what I would do.”