The PGA Tour does not believe the proposed Model Local Rule to roll back the golf ball is in the best interests of the game
The PGA Tour has told the R&A and the USGA it will not support the proposed Model Local Rule to roll back the golf ball.
In a memo to the membership, Commissioner Jay Monahan said there is “significant belief” that the MLR is not in the best interests of the game.
That memo added the tour had notified both organisations after meeting the Player Advisory Council, but still want to work with the R&A and USGA to best serve their players.
“Although there has been some level of support for limiting future increases, there is widespread and significant belief the proposed Model Local rule is not warranted and not in the best interest of the game,” Monahan wrote, resuming his duties after a medical absence.
“We have notified the USGA and the R&A that while the PGA Tour is committed to collaborating with them – to arrive at a solution that will best serve our players, our fans and the game at all levels, we are not able to support the MLR as proposed.”
The MLR would give competition organisers an option to require the “use of golf balls that are tested under modified launch conditions to address the impacts of hitting distance in golf.”
Asked about the distance debate, and the Model Local Rule, at the 151st Open, R&A chief executive Martin Slumber said: “I think I can speak on behalf of the R&A when I say both the R&A and the USGA believe doing nothing is a bad idea for the long-term future and health of the game.
“But part of doing something means you’ve really got to be out there and really asking for and taking direct comments, and that’s what we’ve been doing.
“This process is really strange. I’ve said it a few times publicly. We don’t have the ability in this process to walk around and talk to everybody individually and then come to the podium.
“We have to go to the podium, say what we’re thinking, and then spend the six months walking around and talking to everybody individually.
“Even though I think you probably only get one tenor in general. I would say that over my first two years doing this I feel like we’ve gotten real quality comments, and I feel like we’ll dial into the right long-term solution.
“But I think if your question is do you think the right long-term solution is nothing, highly unlikely.”
Among the supporters of the proposal is Rory McIlroy who said it would “help identify who the best players are a bit easier.” But Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau are among those who have wholly rejected it.
“I think it’s the most atrocious thing that you could possibly do to the game of golf,” DeChambeau said in March.
The parent company of Titleist, Acushnet, and TaylorMade have shown similar opposition to the MLR.
“Unification is a powerfully positive force in the game, and we believe that equipment bifurcation would be detrimental to golf’s long-term well-being,” Achushnet CEO David Maher wrote.
What else did the memo say?
Monahan outlined two components central to a Definitive Agreement with the Public Investment Fund, which are the Player Benefit Program and Player Discipline.
The Player Benefit Program will be “financially significant” and incremental to the tour’s planned compensation package for its players.
Player Discipline is a task force that will work to develop pathways back to the PGA Tour for LIV Golf players.
Monahan revealed the 2024 PGA Tour schedule will be released during the FedEx St. Jude Championship on Tuesday, August 8.
The tour has also retained Colin Neville of Raine Group as a third-party advisor, working with the Player Advisory Council while the tour works towards an agreement with the PIF.
Jason Gore was also promoted to the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Player Officer, assuming leadership over player relations.
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