Player, Harmon Call For Rollback

Alex Lowe on, writes about an interview given by Gary Player on BBC Radio Five Live:

Player has been saddened by the sight of Tiger Woods and Ernie Els using long irons off the tee this week because their drivers would send the ball too far on the bone-dry links at Hoylake.

He has urged the Royal and Ancient, the world body in charge of setting golf's rules and regulations, to take immediate action.

"As a spectator, I want to see Tiger and Ernie and the top players taking a driver," Player said.

"They are all hitting off with three irons and four irons. The ball is going so far that they can do that and I find it very sad the Open championship has come to that.

"The R&A and the USGA (United States Golf Association) have to cut the ball back by 50 yards.

"In 30 years' time players are going to be hitting the ball 50 yards beyond Tiger.

"It is a technology issue. The galleries have said to me 'I want to see these guys hit a driver'. These fellas are all hitting irons off the tee.
Butch Harmon, Woods' former coach, agreed with Player and insisted there is no problem with the professional game operating under different regulations to amateur golf.

"The ball is the big problem. It goes so much further than it ever did," Harmon told Sportsweek on BBC Radio Five Live.

"If you take these players back to equipment Gary won his three Opens with they wouldn't take irons off the tee because they would then have to hit woods onto the green.

"The R&A and USGA have to step up to the plate and decide what they are going to do with it. Professional golf can have own rules compared to amateur golf."