Tiger Woods doubled down on his stance to roll back the golf ball in an interview with Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis on Morning Drive Tuesday.
Woods, who on Thursday makes his first competitive start since February, said he sees “no reason why we can’t be like baseball and have a line of demarcation [for the golf ball] between college or amateur and the professional ranks, which would be the minor leagues all the way up to the bigs.”
“My idea was to have it so that every professional would have to play a reduced-flight ball,” Woods continued. “Even if you played a pro-member you would have a reduced-flight ball for the pro, and have to play with that type of ball, where as the amateur, go ahead and make it fun, juice the golf balls up, juice the clubs up and let them go have a great time. But at a professional level I see no reason why we can’t have it very similar to where baseball has it right now.”
Woods, who in 2016 signed a multi-year contract with Bridgestone to play its balls, was also asked if he thought equipment should be addressed.
“I think equipment could be looked at, but I don’t see any reason why it should, cause if you reduce the ball enough, who cares what the driver is doing,” he said.
The rolling-back-the-ball debate has been a hot topic in the golf world of late. Earlier this month, in a podcast with UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma, Woods said, “I just think [the ball] is going too far. … With the game progressing as it is, I think the 8,000-yard golf course is not too far away.” And just last week USGA executive director Mike Davis and Titleist chief Wally Uihlein made their cases on the distance debate to the Wall Street Journal.
Woods’s much-anticipated return to pro golf begins at 12:05 p.m. Thursday, when he tees off alongside Justin Thomas for the opening round of the Hero.