PGA’s across the world unite in opposition of USGA’s and R&A’s proposed Model Local Rule
In a moment of unity, PGA’s from around the globe have officially pushed back on the USGA’s and R&A’s proposed Model Local Rule (MLR) on golf ball distance at the elite level.
In a two-page memo obtained by GolfChannel.com, PGA’s from America to New Zealand spoke in one voice against the potential rollback. “As we all know, and have discussed at length, golf is currently benefitting from a global surge in interest and participation. We fear that the proposed changes could seriously interrupt the current momentum in the game and be fundamentally damaging and detrimental in the long run,” the memo read.
The feedback from the various PGA’s around the globe dovetails with the PGA Tour’s push back to the proposed rule and requests the USGA and R&A extend the potential implementation of the local rule.
“We would ask that the R&A and USGA firstly extend the consultation period to allow a review of the conflicting data being presented and for more data to be gathered to prove or disprove if change is indeed required,” the PGA memo read. “Members of The PGA World Alliance will work with the industry to produce a ‘white paper’. This report will review various data and potentially include alternative solutions to be considered.”
The memo questioned parts of the data that is being used as a foundation for the proposed MLR. “There are sets of data that conflict with the R&A and USGA materials. This is confusing and, in our view, needs to be considered fully, reviewed and clarified prior to any final decision being made,” the memo read.
The USGA’s response to the memo aligned with the organization’s comment following the Tour’s feedback, stating, “We remain in a Notice & Comment period, accepting feedback from voices from across the game. The PGA is an important stakeholder and we appreciate the feedback they have contributed to this conversation.”
The R&A released a similar statement to GolfChannel.com, saying, “We are currently in a notice and comment period where we are listening to views from throughout the golf industry. We appreciate the contributions we have received so far about the proposed Model Local Rule, including the World Alliance of PGAs.”
At last month’s Open Championship, R&A CEO Martin Slumbers deflected most questions on the MLR but repeated the thoughts of his counterpart, USGA CEO Mike Whan.
“Our role, indeed our responsibility, is to do what is right for the sport when we reach our determination on the way forward,” Slumbers said. “All I really will say at this stage is that I would echo Mike Whan’s sentiments when I say that doing nothing is not an option.”
The comment period on the proposed MLR ends next Monday.