The nine-time Major champion says he is very worried about golf and wants bifurcation
Gary Player: "Cut The Ball Back 50 Yards"
Talk of low scoring, course design and bifurcation is rife in the game of golf, and Gary Player has his own thoughts on how to preserve our classic golf courses.
"It’s quite sad to see The Old Course of St Andrews brought to her knees by today’s ball & equipment," he tweeted back in 2017 after low scoring at the Dunhill Links Championship.
Nearly two years on and he still believes that technology in the professional game has gone too far.
Just two of the 69 players in the field at the recent BMW Championship finished the week over par at Medinah where Justin Thomas won with a score of 25 under par.
That was after shooting an 11 under par 61 in the third round, which was the fourth time the course record had been matched or broken last week.
"If a golf course is soft we are just going to tear it apart,” Adam Scott told the Australian Associated Press (opens in new tab).
Scott called for courses to be made "smarter, not longer," asking designers and officials to test players off of the tee to reward good drivers.
However, Gary Player wants a change to the equipment pros use and not their golf course set ups.
"I think we got a problem," he told Golf Monthly.
"I think the game is getting more rounds back again I’m happy to say according to the stats but I am very worried about golf because we’ve got people coming out now who are going to be able to hit the ball 450 yards.
"I once mentioned it on television with a top announcer, player in fact, told him they are going to hit the ball 450 yards, he said I am talking nonsense, well it’s a common occurrence now and now if you take Koepka.
"If Koepka went to St Andrews on a calm day with the ball running he can drive the first green, he can drive the second green, he can drive probably 7 or 8 greens."
Player's solution to the far-travelling ball is simple. Cut it back for the pros and bifurcate.
"Cut the ball back 50 yards, only for the pros," he said.
"Not for members, let the members play with anything, let them keep the long putter against their chest, don’t stop them playing, they are two different games.
"They don’t want to acknowledge that but they are.
"Just go and watch Koepka if you think you are playing the same game."
Listen to Gary Player's interview on the latest Golf Monthly Clubhouse podcast below at 18 mins -
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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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