Keeping Score

2020 Masters: Phil Mickelson opts for longer driver shaft

After Bryson DeChambeau raises the stakes in the distance game, Mickelson says he has been testing a 47½-inch driver for Augusta

47½: Length, in inches, of the driver that Phil Mickelson plans to use at next week’s Masters. The news comes after Bryson DeChambeau recently disclosed that he has been testing 48-inch drivers, the longest-length shaft allowed under the Rules of Golf, in an effort to produce more distance. DeChambeau leads the PGA Tour’s driving distance statistics, at 344.4 yards per measured drive. Mickelson is 67th, at 305.5. Speaking on a recent edition of the Callaway Golf podcast, Mickelson said he wants to be able to fly the ball 315-320 yards, which could give him a big edge at Augusta National Golf Club, site of the Nov. 12-15 Masters. “At Augusta, most of the [drives] carry the bunkers, and up the fairways a little bit,” said Mickelson, a three-time Masters champion who turned 50 in June. “So, on No. 1, to carry the bunker on the right, to carry the bunker on 2, to carry the bunker on 8 and to get it over the hill on 14 and 17 … you really want to fly the ball 315-320 [yards], minimum. … You have a chance to take advantage of some of those holes.” Mickelson had been using a 46-inch shaft but switched to a 47½-inch model three weeks ago in winning the Dominion Energy Classic, his second consecutive title on the Champions Tour. However, the longer driver didn’t work as well one week later, when he finished 76th in the 78-man Zozo Championship on the PGA Tour. Mickelson plans to use the longer model again this week at the Houston Open, which begins Thursday at Memorial Park Golf Course (tee times).

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