'Out Of Touch' - Brandel Chamblee Takes Aim At Golf's Governing Bodies Over Supposed Rollback Plans

The Golf Channel analyst said 'over 50 million global golfers' were not in favour of the USGA and R&A reportedly reducing the distance golf balls can travel

A close-up shot of Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee believes two of the sport's governing bodies are "out of touch" with the average golfer amid reports that a significant golf ball rollback plan is set to be revealed.

First reported by Golf Digest, the USGA and R&A are expected to announce a change to how far the ball can travel which will affect every single person who participates in the sport by using conforming equipment.

In effect, from 2030, anyone who plays golf should use a ball that travels up to 15% less than its predecessor.

Since the first round of stories broke, several high-profile names have shared their opinion - including Rory McIlroy, who emerged from a four-year break on X (formerly Twitter) to post an emotionally-charged rant in favour of the alleged decision.

Chamblee was the latest recognizable face to nail his colors to the mast, with the former pro golfer attempting a fierce defence of the '50 million-plus golfers' who do not want to see a change to rollback rules.

Chamblee said: "I appreciate the governing bodies and what they mean to the game, but on the roll back issue they are not only out of touch with the game they govern, but the people that play it.

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"It is a very small number of people that are in favor of a roll back. Golf course architects of which there are what, maybe a hundred or so? Golf course architect geeks of which there are maybe a few thousand? And a very few tour players and former tour players, compared to 50 million global golfers against it and 28,000 PGA of America members against it and most every single touring professional against it.

"The average LPGA tour player flies the ball 220 yards, the average male amateur carries the ball 215 yards, the average female amateur carries the ball 147 yards, (all numbers courtesy of a USGA report btw) but because a few tour players through years of practice, thousands of hours in the gym, and yes, advances in tech, can carry the ball 283.8 yards (tour average for 2023) they want to penalize 50 million golfers. Please.

"Appreciate the athleticism of the best, but don’t punish the only people in the game that will feel the sting of this decision."

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.