'It’s The Course Setup' - Tour Pro Dismisses Golf Ball Rollback Changes

In a tweet by Richard Mansell, the DP World Tour player suggested that it's, in fact, the course set up which should be looked at, and not the roll back in equipment

Mansell watches his tee shot after striking his three-wood
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A lot has been made of the recent announcement of bifurcation golf ball rollback proposals, with multiple players giving their thoughts and suggestions about the plan that has divided the golf world.

Whether it's changing the golf ball, growing the rough, tightening the fairways or rolling back the driver, there have been many suggestions on how to combat the distance debate. However, after exceptional scoring in the recent Jonsson Workwear Open, DP World Tour player, Richard Mansell, has given his thoughts on how scores could be influenced more...

Tweeting after the event, Mansell stated that "if you shot -10 on the DP World Tour this week, you finished in a tie for 46th on a really long golf course. You had to be -17 for four rounds to be in the top 10. That’s not the golf ball, it’s the course set up….. Pretty simple what needs to change."

Mansell isn't the only one that has spoken about future course set ups, with PGA Tour player, Michael Kim, tweeting: "I truly am amazed at the grow the rough brigade on Twitter. It’s such a bad idea."

Following the opening line, Kim then gave seven reasons as to why growing rough won't help, with the American stating: "1. Rough only makes it more advantageous for the longer hitters 2. There’s no skill involved in hitting from thick rough 3. Golf is way more interesting on TV when the ball is in motion for long stretches. 4. It costs a lot of money. 5. Rough is not consistent everywhere 6. It can injure players 7. Spectators trample rough a TON especially for guys like Tiger. I could literally go on and on about this."

In reaction to Kim's tweet, Billy Horschel also gave his thoughts, as the seven-time PGA Tour winner responded: "On point #2…. It does take skill. Every part of the game has skill in it. Reading the lie, figuring out how to get clean contact with minimum rough between ball and club. Controlling the shot from the rough. I would recommend taking point #2 out of your argument."

Multiple professionals have voiced their disdain at the proposals of bifurcation, with the likes of Bryson DeChambeau slamming the idea as "atrocious", whilst Justin Thomas said the proposals are “so bad for the game of golf”.

The only real support of the rollback in equipment has come from Rory McIlroy, with the four-time Major winner happy to see the proposal to make the ball shorter in the pro game. Speaking prior to the WGC Match Play, the 33-year-old stated: "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."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x