Phil Mickelson took another shot at the United States Golf Association on Thursday, repeating in a three-minute video that the governing body is wrong in limiting the length of the drivers’ axes as a way to combat some of the problems in the game.
Mickelson, who did not qualify for this week’s tour championship, compares the idea of carrying the driver’s length back to combat profits remotely by asking whether New York City should ban ice cream sales due to a heat-related increase in the crime rate.
The USGA and R&A have studied equipment, golf balls and other measures, with the possibility of introducing some restrictions or even reductions to combat the greater distances that tourers hit the ball, and this shortens some good courses.
The general point of Mickelson is that it does not benefit the average golfer, and that they make up the vast majority of players in the game who play by the same rules and need all the help they can get.
The USGA is trying to ban the sale of ice cream in NYC?
Listen to me – limiting the driver length (again) is to misreading the data (again). pic.twitter.com/mbfTOsSVx8
– Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) 2 September 2021
“We need to identify the real problem,” said Mickelson, who made a similar complaint on social media last week.
The USGA and R&A have yet to say that they are reducing the legal length of a driver from 48 inches to 46 inches. Mickelson recently experimented with different lengths and used a 47.5-inch model.
When he won the PGA Championship, the length of Mickelson’s driver was 47.9 inches. Callaway, the equipment company he represents, ships its Epic driver at a standard length of 45.75 inches.
“What data said the driver’s length should be limited to 48 inches?” he said. “What data indicates that it should go up to 46 inches? We are addressing the wrong issue and we are re-reading the data incorrectly, just like the grooves in 2010.”
Mickelson refers to square grooves, which were banned in 2010 for touring players and which over time are illegal for average players. Simple, square grooves – as opposed to the “V” grooves – made more turning possible, especially from the rough. Mickelson’s claim is that the average player hurt a lot more than a touring player.
“The touring player did not even use groove in their clubs because it (the ball) spun too much,” he said.
Instead of limiting the length of the driver or even rolling the golf ball back so that it does not travel that far, Mickelson suggests going back to a ball that is not weighted perimeter. He explained that the ball was spinning much more about 20 years ago, before technological advances.
“The ball was not so stable,” he said. “There used to be more weight in the middle of the golf ball. We’re going to get more side pins. Who’s going to affect it? The guy who hits it 300 meters, as opposed to the guy who hits it 200 meters. They can be more offline, but they become so short that they will not experience as many problems as the man who hits it further.
“It’s just an idea to address the real issue and not have all the other issues that take away the fun of the game and not really address the issue.”