The USGA and R&A announced on Wednesday plans to dial back how far the golf ball will travel, with the new rules being implemented in 2028 for elite players and 2030 for recreational players.
Here’s a look at how equipment manufacturers, prominent organizations and tours have responded (will be updated as statements are released):
TaylorMade CEO David Abeles
As a brand that prioritizes improving product performance for golfers of all skill levels, the decision to proceed with the golf ball rollback is disappointing. While appreciative of the opportunity to have a seat at the table and a voice in the debate, we feel like the rollback is simply disconnected from what golfers believe is best for the game.
Throughout the decision-making process, the USGA provided a platform to express our views, provide new data sources, and engage in candid discussions. In the spirit of collaboration, we acknowledge and respect the rules that form an integral part of our game’s fabric, even when we disagree with them. Looking ahead, as the new golf ball standards come into effect in 2028 for professional golfers and 2030 for amateurs, we assure everyone, at every level of our game, that we will be well-prepared to navigate these changes.
Our commitment to innovation remains unwavering. As with every product we make, we will work tirelessly to find alternative pathways to make them better and we will continually push the performance boundaries within the parameters set by the rules.
PGA Tour statement
Throughout the process, we have provided feedback to the USGA and The R&A and are pleased to see a number of our recommendations reflected in this most recent announcement. However, we believe the proposed increase in test clubhead speed to 125 mph is disproportional to the rate of increase we see when analyzing PGA Tour radar data. In conjunction with guidance from the Player Advisory Council, Player Directors and Policy Board, we will continue to share our feedback with the USGA and The R&A.
PGA of America statement
We appreciate that the USGA and R&A ran a collaborative and patient process over the past several years. We are particularly gratified that they heard our concerns regarding the significant operational challenges bifurcation would have presented and are no longer considering a local rule regarding the ball for elite players. We are also pleased that the proposed change to the ball has been delayed until 2028 for elite players and 2030 for recreational golfers. Given the important role our nearly 30,000 PGA of America Golf Professionals play in the recreational game, having more time to adjust to the new rule is helpful.
We remain opposed to any change that may potentially lessen the enjoyment of the game for recreational golfers or diminish the unprecedented momentum the game is enjoying. It appears recreational golfers will see a greater reduction in distance than we would advise. While this decrease has been lessened, we continue to recommend being more moderate on the swing speed change for the golf ball conformance test.
At this time, we continue to have concerns and look forward to continuing this important conversation and finding resolution with all of our golf industry partners.
We value our relationship with the USGA and R&A and respect their role as administrators of the Rules of Golf and the equipment standards of the game. We will continue to share our feedback on this, and any topic that affects our PGA of America Golf Professionals and the countless number of golfers they coach and welcome into the game each year.