Professionals have a voice, but not the whip hand in discussions around the future of the rules of golf.
So says David Bonsall, chairman of the R&A’s rules of golf committee, after concerns were voiced about the pros’ influence through the world’s high-profile tours.
In a wide-ranging interview on Inside The Ropes, primarily about the 2019 rules modernisation project, Bonsall said the concerns were understandable but unfounded.
“They (the tours) are one of those constituents that are relevant to the game, but they are not the dominant force,” Bonsall said.
“We at the R&A, and with the USGA, are very conscious that we are the governing bodies, but we have really valued the input and debate we’ve had with the representatives from the (US) PGA Tour, the European Tour, the LET, etc.
“My committee has people from those bodies that sit in on those discussions and they are part of those discussions, but there is, and frankly never has been, any suggestion that if they want something they get it.
“We take account of the fact that there are 60 million golfers who are amateurs who struggle with what they are trying to do, who love watching the skill of the professional players … but they are playing the same game by the same rules and need to be given a fair crack through those rules.
“A lot of what we’ve done in the modernisation of these rules has been to take account of ordinary golfers and not at all driven by only how the game looks on television or how the professionals want to see things happen.”