Last week, the USGA and the R&A introduced a proposal that would create new rules when it comes to the golf balls that professional and top amateur golfers could use.
Wednesday, Justin Thomas took time out of his Valspar Championship press comnference to deliver a three-minute rant over the proposed changes.
“My reaction was disappointed and also not surprised, to be honest,” he said. I think the USGA over the years has — in my eyes, it’s harsh, but made some pretty selfish decisions. They definitely, in my mind, have done a lot of things that aren’t for the betterment of the game, although they claim it.
“I had conversations with some USGA members and it just — to me, I don’t understand how it’s growing the game. For them to say in the same sentence that golf is in the best place it’s ever been, everything is great, but … And I’m like, well, there shouldn’t be a but. You’re trying to create a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. To me, it’s just — it’s so bad for the game of golf.”
"If you're swinging 127 mph, more power to you. People are running faster now too, so what, are they going to make the length of a mile longer so the fastest mile time doesn't change?"pic.twitter.com/2k5qlHSxSb
— LKD (@LukeKerrDineen) March 15, 2023
On Thursday, Bubba Watson was asked his thoughts on the potential changes. His initial answer was short and to the point.
“Justin Thomas,” Watson said, referencing Thomas’s reaction. “I do not like it. That’s pretty much what he said.”
Eventually, he expanded ob that, saying
“Well, there’s many reasons,” Watson began, “but first off, first of all, the commercialism is the one that’s paying all these bills for USGA and all these other organizations, and now you’re asking them to spend millions to change a ball or design a new ball and do all those things. Why?
“Professional golfers are a small — minute in the game of golf as a whole, who all plays it, so why not make a driver that lets some guy hit it straighter, further,” he said. “Make a ball that lets a guy or a woman, kid, hit it further.”
Watson also referenced fellow LIV golfer Bryson DeChambeau as an example.
“Just because you hit it further doesn’t mean it’s going to go straighter,” Watson said. “I’m not trying to throw Bryson under the bus, but Bryson tried to do something, he did do it, but he dialed it back a little. He still hits it further than everybody, but he dialed it back a little because he realized your misses are further — because I’ve been dealing with that for a while; my misses are further off.”
He also added that he doesn’t understand why golf needs to make so many changes.