TaylorMade Responds To 'Disappointing' Golf Ball Rollback Plans

The equipment manufacturer has released a statement expressing its concern over the plans to rollback the ball

A TayloreMade club and ball
TaylorMade has described revised golf ball rollback plans as "disappointing"
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Golf equipment manufacturer TaylorMade has responded to the news that golf ball rollback plans are going ahead at professional, elite amateur and recreational levels, describing the decision as “disappointing.”

The brand released a statement reacting to the news, which began by stating: “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.” 

Initially, the USGA and The R&A had announced plans to introduce golf ball bifurcation to reduce hitting distances. However, after a substantial backlash, including from equipment manufacturers, the proposals were revisited. TaylorMade acknowledged its gratitude at being involved in the discussions following March’s announcement, but said the new plans don’t reflect what golfers really want.

The statement continued: “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.”

The new plans will see the rolled-back golf ball come into effect for professionals two years later than had originally been planned, in 2028, with the amateur game catching up in 2030. Despite TaylorMade’s opinion that the decision is flawed, it offered reassurances that it will be prepared for the changes.

The statement continued: “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."

Following the announcement, Martin Slumbers, R&A CEO, said: "We are convinced that this decision is one of the key ways of achieving a sustainable future for golf."

Mike Whan, USGA CEO, said: "Governance is hard. And while thousands will claim that we did too much, there will be just as many who said we didn't do enough to protect the game long-term."

Following a report pre-empting the changes that have now been confirmed, several players stressed disappointment at the revised proposals. Among them was LIV Golf player Lee Westwood, who said: “It’s not just the ball,” and went on to suggest that the issue of increased driving distances is as much to do with the improved technology uses to manufacture drivers.

LPGA Tour pro Jenny Shin had a similar perspective. She described the move ass “depressing” and called for a change to driver heads in the men’s game to address the issue.

Rory McIlroy also pulled no punches with his opinion saying the proposals “will make no difference whatsoever to the average golfer” but added that “people who are upset about this decision shouldn’t be mad at the governing bodies, they should be mad at elite pros and club/ball manufacturers because they didn’t want bifurcation.”

Rory McIlroy during the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai

Rory McIlroy has had his say on the proposals

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following March’s original announcement, TaylorMade questioned the golf ball bifurcation plans, saying it “will mean that you – the golfer – will play with different equipment than the professionals”.

 “We believe a large part of golf’s appeal is this underlying sense of: ‘I can do that, too.’ And using the same equipment as the pros gives us a more accurate feel for how talented these players are.”

Mike Hall
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.