“Extremely Disappointing” – Mickelson Reacts To Driver Length Rule Change


Unsurprisingly, Lefty isn’t a fan of the new local rule that will stop players from using 48-inch driver shafts

Golf’s governing bodies yesterday announced that a new local rule will come into force next year where professional and elite amateur competition organisers can limit the maximum driver shaft length to 46 inches, down from 48.

Having previously described the proposal as “pathetic”, six-time Major winner Phil Mickelson, who has used a 48-inch driver shaft this year, was always going to be outspoken.

After the original announcement from golf’s governing bodies confirming the change, Lefty tweeted “Stupid as stupid does.”

And today he has voiced his disappointment after learning that, as expected, the PGA Tour will be adopting the new local rule.

“It is extremely disappointing to find out that the PGA Tour adopted the new USGA rule through the media,” Mickelson said.

“I don’t know of any player who had any say or any kind of representation in this matter.

“I do know many are wondering if there’s a better way.”

The R&A and USGA discussed the potential change with the entire industry, including the world’s best golfers, although they do not seem to be in favour of the change.

Related: Bifurcation is here – What will golf’s governing bodies do next?

“I don’t really agree with it. I think it is, I don’t know. I feel like there’s a lot of other things, you know, like the arm bar putter that they should be approaching as opposed to the length of driver,” Justin Thomas said.

“I think the fact that you see only a few people using a long driver speaks for itself, that it’s not really that big of an advantage. It’s a lot harder to hit it straight.

“In terms of do I think it makes the game of golf and growing the game better? No, I don’t at all, but they seem to have their kind of mind around that for a while now, so it seems to be the issue because if there’s an amateur golfer or players at home that want to hit it a little bit farther, so be it. Or if there’s guys out here that want to have a chance to put it in play with a 47‑, 48‑inch driver, then power to them. I had that opportunity; I just chose not to.

“I don’t necessarily agree with it, but it is what it is.”

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