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‘We Have Made a Decision’: R&A CEO Announces That Distance Rollback Decisions To Come Out by the End of the Year

Suchita Chakraborty

Martin Slumbers R&A

R&A CEO Martin Slumbers has confirmed that the rollback policy decisions for the distance of the golf ball will be unveiled by the end of 2023. Martin talked about how the distance of the golf ball has been increasing through the passage of time, and looking at the reports, this is a major concern to be addressed by the USGA and R&A, the regulatory bodies for the rules of golf.

“Unequivocally, the ball is going further than it did 15 years ago…once we published our distance report at the start of this process…for the good of the game, we need to address this issue”.

Talking about the issue, Slumbers went on to describe the ways to solve it and said that they had reached a decision.

R&A CEO Says a Major Decision Regarding Rollback Policy Underway

As the same interview proceeded, Slumbers declared that he and USGA CEO Mike Whan were left with three options to address this problem.

“There are only three options: We can bifurcate; you change the whole game; or you do nothing. And doing nothing is not an option. We stand by that.” 

Previously, the USGA and R&A provided a solution to this by introducing the Model Local Rule, which requires the golf balls to be tested under technological machines before being used for professional golf tournaments. Also, this rule was applied to professional golf and not local golf. But the solution was not well received, especially by the PGA Tour, with Jay Monahan being the frontman for declining it. Other than Monahan, Adam Scott, Jon Rahm, and other golfers also turned down the proposal. 

But to continue the game in the long term, the golf associations have reached a resolution.

“We have made a decision about what we are going to do. We’re working that through at the moment and will make it public before the end of the year.” 

Slumbers also talked about the Open Championship qualifications for next year. This was introduced after LIV got installed on the roster and allowed golfers from both the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to play in it. 

“That’s the best global field we can get. I care about global…There are enough spots between top-50 exemptions on the world rankings, plus our qualifying events in South Africa, Australia, Japan, on the Asian Tour and final qualifying…we find the best players and get them into the field. We will do the same again next year” 

The R&A’s confidence in implying the rollback policy clearly asserts that a lot is going to change in golf. With the policy receiving massive initial backlash by golfers and fans alike, it is to see how the governing bodies bring out a solution that satisfies everyone and, most importantly, is best for the future of the sport. But will it change the traditional golf norms of the PGA Tour? Only time will tell. 

About the author

Suchita Chakraborty

Suchita Chakraborty


Suchita Chakraborty is a senior golf writer at The SportsRush. She did her post-graduation at St. Xavier's University. For a year now, she has developed a riveting inclination toward golf, with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy being her top-tier motivational figures to indulge in the sport. She even lives by the words of the Hall of Famer, "You can always become better", which impels her to excel every day. Her strong suit in golf is covering the LPGA Tour, especially the nooks and crannies of the international event, the Solheim Cup. As a pastime amusement, Suchita also engages herself in reading about golf controversies. Her favorite pick is ‘LIV and Let Die’ by Alan Shipnuck, which covers the PGA-LIV beef.

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