‘We Don’t See Distance As A Problem’ – Titleist Latest To Oppose Golf Ball Rollback Plans7th December 2023

Golf ball giant Titleist has added its name to the lengthening list of opponents to the rollback of the golf ball, stating that it don’t see distance as a problem in the modern game.

Wednesday’s announcement from the R&A and USGA will see the golf ball rolled back for both recreational players and professionals alike. The governing bodies have argued that protecting golf course sustainability and curbing the ever-increasing driving distances of pros are key reasons behind the decisions.

However, the proposals have drawn the ire of many in the golf world. Golf equipment manufacturer TaylorMade described the decision as “disappointing”, while the PGA Tour said it could not support the proposal.

Titleist, the global leaders in golf ball sales and tour counts every week, has now weighed into the debate and the company is vocal, too, about its opposition to the plans.

“As we consider today’s R&A and USGA announcement against recent feedback provided by the World Alliance of PGA’s and the PGA TOUR, we are also concerned that the golf ball rollback overly impacts golfers and does not fully reflect the input of those closest to the game,” a statement from CEO David Maher began.

“There have been requests to align on what data is used and how it is used to draw conclusions prior to any equipment changes being made. Many important stakeholders do not see distance as a problem the way the governing bodies do, and therefore come to differing conclusions about how to proceed to ensure the best possible outcome for the sport.”

Acushnet – Titleist’s parent company – has also argued that current ball-testing mechanisms are already rigorous and “tightly controlled” while pointing out that there is plenty of data to suggest distances in the professional game have begun to plateau.

“We note that the mean of the fastest 1% of measured clubhead speeds on the PGA TOUR was flat from 2019-2021 and declined in 2022 and 2023,” they added. “The mean of the fastest 5%, 10%, 20% and 50% of measured clubhead speeds has been flat since 2017.