Jack Nicklaus Confident Of Golf Ball Rollback

With players playing courses in a way that was never intended, one of the greats of the game, says the solution lies in the ball. And it will be coming to a course near you soon.

Jack Nicklaus Confident Of Golf Ball Rollback
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Golden Bear says that the golf ball will be rolled back

Jack Nicklaus Confident Of Golf Ball Rollback

With players attacking golf courses in a way that was never intended when they were laid out, does something have to be done? Yes, says one of the greats of the game, and the solution lies in the ball. And it will be coming to a course near you soon he believes.

Jack Nicklaus says a new golf ball to reduce distance will be developed soon. He was speaking at a joint press conference with Gary Player, after both had performed their duties at the 2020 Masters as ceremonial starters,

“They will bring the golf ball back," said Nicklaus.

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"They probably would have brought it back this year if it wasn't for Covid. Or at least they would have thought about it.”

The argument about a new golf ball to reduce distance is not new. Far from it. Nicklaus says he first went to see the USGA and the R&A about it in 1977 and “Bobby Jones wrote that we've got to watch out for in the future is how far the golf ball goes. This is 1930. It’s always been an issue.”

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“Augusta is the only golf course that I know in the world that’s been able to keep up with the changes in equipment. But nobody else has the land or really has the ability to afford to do that."

"They have to make some changes, otherwise all the old golf courses, all the strategy and everything else that you've had on golf courses is gone. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.”

new golf ball to reduce distance

Gary Player agrees with Nicklaus on the need to protect courses, and suggested the next Open at St Andrews will see the course overpowered.

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But when Player suggested that Nicklaus was only talking about a new ball for the pros, Nicklaus replied: “No, they’ll change it for everybody, Gary. I don't know what they’re developing. But my guess is they’re developing a golf ball that the faster the club head speed, the progression is less as you go down.”

“If you swing at 125 miles an hour, you’ll be limited. If you swing at 100 miles an hour, you won’t lose as much distance. If you go to 90, you won't lose hardly any distance at all.”

“In other words, the average golfer is not hurt but you try to rein in the longer hitters so you’re not ruining every golf course that’s there.”

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Roderick Easdale

Contributing Writer Golf courses and travel are Roderick’s particular interests and he was contributing editor for the first few years of the Golf Monthly Travel Supplement. He writes travel articles and general features for the magazine, travel supplement and website. He also compiles the magazine's crossword. He is a member of Trevose Golf & Country Club and has played golf in around two dozen countries. Cricket is his other main sporting love. He is the author of five books, four of which are still in print: The Novel Life of PG Wodehouse; The Don: Beyond Boundaries; Wally Hammond: Gentleman & Player and England’s Greatest Post-War All Rounder.