After weeks of anticipation, the R&A and USGA have officially confirmed their plans: the golf ball will undergo a rollback for professional players starting in 2028 and for amateurs by 2030. In an interview with GOLF.com, John Spitzer, the USGA's managing director of equipment standards, explained why they decided to make such decisions, which mostly caused negative reactions, especially when it comes to amateur golf.
John Spitzer explained in an interview with GOLF what factors they considered when they made this decision. “Over the years, we’ve seen launch angle go up and spin go down,” John Spitzer, the USGA’s managing director of equipment standards, told GOLF.com.
“The longest players aren’t all on the Tour. Some of them are in college and some of them might be in the junior ranks at this point. These [testing conditions] are reflecting where they’re headed and we’re trying to stay ahead of that”.
Thomas Pagel, the USGA's chief governance officer, also explained why they made such a decision. The goal was to focus on elite pros and amateurs, this meant moving the test speed to 127 mph. They asked themselves many questions to make the best decision.
Stakeholders had their suggestions “There were practical challenges that we heard from stakeholders,” Pagel said. “What should the collegiate game do? What should state amateurs do? What should junior amateurs do? How would PGA professionals approach this at their club if they’re asked to regulate? It caused us to step back and say, okay, the game is expressing a preference for unification.
We are committed to minimizing the impact on the recreational game, and that ultimately led us to the conclusion of that 125 mph”. Golf is experiencing strange times, and many believe that several more changes will appear in the coming period. A lot has changed since the arrival of LIV Golf.