Golf Ball Rollback: New USGA Distance Regulations Explained In Player's Guide

Published April 18, 2024

Spearheaded by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R&A), the golf ball rollback represents one of the most significant changes to affect the sport in recent years and the team at Golf Online Today believes knowledge of the new regulations is essential for any player to possess.

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With PGA and world professional players hitting better and further than ever--their skills enhanced by more and more rigorous training regimes and increasingly advanced club and swing refinement technology--these leading organizations have determined a need to create a maximum cap to the distance any golf ball can travel.

As Golf Online Today explains in their new guide, the rollback, which is to come into effect in 2028, represents a desire to protect the integrity of the game for all players and to respect its history. Their staff writers said, "The rationale behind this move stems from a desire to mitigate the technological advancements that have allowed for longer drives, which in turn have contributed to the obsolescence of historical golf course designs and the challenge of keeping the sport balanced and traditional."

While the players most affected initially will be professionals, Golf Online Today suggests that players at all levels will eventually be impacted and may need to reconsider their swing style, practice methods and equipment.

As one of the leading sources for golfing advice for recreational and semi-professional players, Golf Online Today is pleased to be breaking down exactly what the golf ball rollback means for players and offering insights from their team of golf writers about how players can navigate these incoming regulations.

They especially recommend their FAQ section of the guide, which answers questions like what constitutes a legal change of golf ball during a round, how refinishing affects a golf ball's performance, and what is the 'one ball' condition in golf competitions.

Their staff writers added, "Since the rollback is primarily targeted at the highest levels of play, recreational golfers might not see as a significant change in their drive distance. Nevertheless, some amateurs may notice a slight decrease in yardage, which could lead to adjustments in their game strategy and equipment choices."

In addition to golfing news, Golf Online Today offers readers unbiased gear reviews, club and ball type guides, play tips, and more.

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