Padraig Harrington: ‘So many benefits to rolling the ball back’

Padraig Harrington has backed plans to reduce the distance the ball travels in the men’s professional game.

The USGA and R&A recently proposed a new rule change to role the ball back at the start of 2026 in attempt to reduce tee shot distances by 15 yards.

It has been met by harsh criticism from the likes of Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau, with the latter calling it “atrocious”.

However, three-time Major winner Harrington thinks it’s a move in the right direction.

“There’s so many winners by rolling back the ball, or rolling back the equipment,” said Harrington, as reported by

“In terms of cost – the cost of building a golf course, the cost of maintaining a golf course, the speed of play is going to be incredibly improved by reducing the distance, by reducing the size of the golf course and also reducing the amount of waiting time on par fives and par fours.

“There’s so many benefits to rolling it back. Old golf courses come back into play, great golf courses come back into play. Environmentally, reducing the footprint. So many reasons to roll it back.”

If the new rule change is adopted in the men’s professional game, it won’t affect the balls used by amateur players.

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