‘It's Too Extreme’ - Major Winner On Golf Ball Rollback Plans

Keegan Bradley has questioned whether the plans will ever be implemented, and said they go too far

Keegan Bradley takes a shot at the 2023 WM Phoenix Open
Keegan Bradley has declared the golf ball rollback plans "too extreme"
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Keegan Bradley has lashed out at The R&A and USGA’s golf ball bifurcation plans, saying the proposals are too extreme and that he doesn’t think they will ever happen.

The 2011 PGA Champion was speaking on SiruisXM’s PGA Tour Radio about the plans that will see players in elite competitions use different balls to recreational players in a bid to curb driving distances.

CEO of The R&A, Martin Slumbers, said the plans, which will see golf ball distances limited in elite competition, were being proposed to preserve the long-term integrity of the game with fears that, without the change, many courses will eventually become too small for the game’s biggest hitters.

Bradley, though, thinks the move will be too damaging considering the unique nature of a game that can be played among those of any ability. He said: “I don’t think there’s a chance they’d ever do this. I don’t think it will ever happen, it’s too extreme.

"It creates a huge void between players. One of the coolest things about golf is you could come out and play with a PGA Tour player with a 30 handicap but we’re playing the same sport. I can’t go and play football with Tom Brady with pads on, on a Sunday – I’ll get killed."

Bradley also questioned the timing of the move considering the upheaval in the game over the last year. He said: “I think it’s an inappropriate time to bring this up with all the volatility that’s going on and I just think it’s an overreaction. If this is a major issue you're going to have to wait because everyone’s got a lot on the table right now.”

The 36-year-old was then asked if he could foresee a scenario where the rule is passed, but the PGA Tour doesn’t implement it, and the potential knock-on effects of playing in the US Open and Open Championship that would follow. Bradley admitted he could see the scenario playing out.

He said: “I think it could be. I would hope that they are above that. I don’t see a world where the PGA Tour will go for this, but I can see them going well, this is the deal, you’ve got to come, and when you play the US Open and the British Open this is the ball you’ve got to play. There’d be a lot of upset people.”

Bradley’s comments echoed the concerns of equipment manufacturer Titleist, who, following the announcement, said in a statement: “This bifurcation would divide golf between elite and recreational play”. It also said it was “a solution in search for problem”.

The American is not the only player to speak out against it either. LIV Golf’s Bryson DeChambeau has slammed the golf ball rollback plan as ‘atrocious’.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.