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Golf Datatech unveils golf ball rollback survey assessing serious golfer perception of proposed USGA/R&A “Model Local Rule”

Proposed ruling has become a major topic of discussion across professional tours and amateur golf community; Golf Datatech analysis provides immediate analysis of where golfers stand on the issue

Kissimmee, Fla., March 22, 2023 – On the heels of the USGA /R&A’s announced proposal for a “Model Local  Rule” for elite competition that reduces the overall distance a golf ball would travel at extremely high speeds,  Golf Datatech, LLC, the golf industry’s leading independent market research firm for retail sales, consumer,  and trade trends, has unveiled a survey that provides immediate analysis of where Serious Golfers stand on  the issue. 

“This golf ball rollback is a hot button topic across the professional tours and among the amateur golf  community, especially among better players who rely on distance as key part of their game,” said John  Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech, LLC. “For this reason, we expedited this Serious Golfer Survey to put a  stake in the ground so we can assess how perceptions and opinions shift on this issue over time.” 

On March 14 the USGA and R&A proposed changes to the rules of golf to create a ball that flies shorter,  which will be used by "Elite Professional and Amateur" events, while maintaining the current ball for  "Recreation" play. In other words, rather than having all golf balls be the same, the Elite players would be  required to use the shorter golf ball and recreational players would not have to change from what they  currently play. 

In developing the Golf Ball Rollback Survey, Golf Datatech analyzed data from over 1,250 respondents in the  Company’s Serious Golfer database. This is an opt in group of passionate, avid golfers who play the most and  spend the most on golf equipment. As such, their opinions are particularly important and valued by the  golfing community. Among the feedback from the respondents, each who were provided a synopsis of the Model Local Rule, include

Opinions on the Proposed Rule: 

• 52% don’t like the proposed rule. 
• 23% are in favor of the proposed rule.
• 13% don’t know enough yet to have an opinion. 
• 12% don’t care. 

Among those who DO NOT SUPPORT the Modified Local Rule (647 respondents): 

• 72% indicate they “like knowing that everyone plays by the same rules.” 
• 55% don’t think it is necessary. 
• 43% believe it “complicates” the rules. 
• 7% indicate they play “high level competition” and the proposed rule complicates things for them. 

Open End Feedback among those who DO NOT SUPPORT the Modified Local Rule includes: 

• It penalizes Elite players for being Elite. 
• Many like to play the same equipment as the Elite players to see how they are the same/different.  • Some feel the ball is being held accountable, when the focus should be on clubs. • There is an undercurrent of golfers who are concerned that the expense of designing and making two  different balls will ultimately have to be born by the consumer, and golf ball prices will rise as a result. 

Among those who SUPPORT the Modified Local Rule (293 respondents): 

• 85% don’t want to see the classic courses made obsolete. 
• 45% believe technological improvements are ruining the game. 
• 39% feel Tour Pros hit the ball “too far.” 
• 26% don’t hit it like a tour pro, so they don’t really care what the Elite players use. Open End Feedback among those who SUPPORT the Modified Local Rule: 
• A shorter ball will bring more skill back to the game for Elite players.
• Concern that bigger/longer golf courses require more resources to maintain (capital, water, fertilizer,  etc.), and ultimately will create a sustainability case against the sport. 

Respondents were also asked what impact the proposed new rule will have on their personal enjoyment of  the game, and results were as follows: 

• 79% indicated it will not have any effect on their own enjoyment. 
• 17% said it might make the game less enjoyable. 
• 4% believe it might make the game more enjoyable. 
• 1% indicated they will no longer enjoy the game. 

Adds Krzynowek, “While the majority of Serious Golfers polled are opposed to the proposed Modified Local  Rule, ultimately most do not think it will have a direct impact on their own personal enjoyment of the  game. What this survey did not evaluate is what are the potential ramifications on interest in the  professional game? Will there be less interest in watching Elite players compete on some of the world’s biggest stages if they are using a shorter/modified golf ball? That is yet to be determined, but what is certain  is that this topic is not going away and we will continue to analyze the issue in the weeks ahead.” 

For more information on Golf Datatech’s golf ball rollback survey, email or call 888- 944-4116.  


About Golf Datatech, LLC 

Golf Datatech, LLC ( was established in 1995, and since that time it has become the  industry’s gold standard for accurate and timely information on retail sales, inventory, pricing, and distribution of  golf products through the on and off course channels. In 1998, the Company extended its reach into consumer  research, strategic sales, and marketing consulting. In 2006, the Company expanded its retail and consumer  research programs into the United Kingdom and in 2008 added markets in Europe. Golf Datatech now produces  the first-ever digitally driven golf retail sales reports for the US, UK, Sweden, France and Germany. All golf courses  are welcome to contribute to the monthly rounds played research and receive the reports by going to Simply enter your course name to locate your facility then enter  your previous month’s rounds along with your email address to ensure that you receive the latest results by email  as soon as they are available.  

Media Contact: Jared Minski (  
Mastro Communications @ 732-546-4325