Count Rory McIlroy as one of the members of the PGA Tour willing to sacrifice distance for golf's greater good.
In the Distance Insights Project released by the USGA and R&A last week, the sport's two governing bodies concluded that ever-increasing distances are moving golf "in the wrong direction."
McIlroy, the recently-minted World No. 1, commented on the report during his press conference at this week's Genesis Invitational.
"A lot of the stuff about the ball going too far and technology, it really pertains to 0.1 percent of golfers out there," McIlroy said Wednesday. "So, if they wanna try to contain what we do, as touring professionals, I'm all for that. Selfishly I think that's only a good thing for the better players."
Some of the world's most iconic courses are no longer challenging for the game's best players due to increasing distances. Moreover, course owners are spending millions of dollars on renovation projects to make their courses playable at the highest level.
Rory is mostly concerned about the environmental impact this will continue to have.
"With this grand ambition of maybe having a Tour event one day, (architects are) building these golf courses on these massive pieces of land, having to use so much water, so much fertilizer, pesticides, all this stuff that we really shouldn't be doing," he said.
"Nowadays, especially in the climate that we live in and everything that's happening to our world. You look at what's happening in Australia, you look at what happens in this state (California) every August, September, October time, with fires and global warming. I think golf has a responsibility to minimize its footprint as much as it possibly can."
The USGA and R&A outlined in the "Next Steps" section of the report how equipment specifications could be made to put a cap on distance. A Local Rule, suggested as one possible solution, would allow a course such as Augusta National to use a limited-flight ball during The Masters.