DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Rory McIlroy has called upon the world’s golf authorities to reconsider their controversial new regulations on the shape of grooves in the heads of golf clubs.
Both the USGA and The Royal & Ancient in January introduced new rules designed to prevent tour professionals imparting excessive spin on golf balls when playing out of long rough grass.
The measures have been greeted with a mixed reaction and confusion on both the PGA and European Tours.
And in America Phil Mickleson has found a way around the ban on “U”-shaped grooves by playing with a 20-year-old Ping wedge that in 1993 was the subject of an unreversable Supreme Court ruling that it was approved for play.
McIlroy, who currently stands ninth in the world rankings, believes there are other ways to make golf more difficult for professionals rather than tampering with club design.
“I think they are trying to bring the whole professional game and the Amateur game closer together,” said the 20-year-old Northern Irish golfer in Dubai as he prepared for Thursday’s start of the Desert Classic which he won last year.
“I don’t see why they don’t firm greens up and get the rough longer to bring scores down,” said McIlroy. “They can make golf courses a lot tougher and turn 20-under winning scores into 12- under.”
McIlroy did, however, add that he feared making scoring harder at professional tournaments could cause golf to lose spectator appeal.
“When I turn on the TV and I am watching a tournament I don’t like to see guys struggling for pars all the time. I think people like to see birdies as well. I like to see birdies and people hitting the ball close to flags.”