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While his season may be over, Phil Mickelson isn’t backing down.
A week after he called out the USGA for supposedly planning to roll back the permitted length of driver shafts from 48 to 46 inches, Mickelson dove deeper into the matter, accusing golf’s governing body of making the “wrong adjustments to the game” in an attempt to combat ever-increasing distance gains, in a three-minute Twitter video posted on Thursday.
“Let’s identify what the real problem is,” said Mickelson, who is one of the few tour pros who uses a driver shaft longer than 46 inches (47.5). “What data was there to say the driver length should be capped at 48 inches? What data suggests it should go to 46 inches? We’re addressing the wrong problem and we’re misreading the data yet again, much like the grooves in 2010.”
Mickelson, of course, is referring to the square grooves that were outlawed a decade ago, and he argued that since the ban on square grooves, the average player has been affected more.
“The PGA Tour player didn’t even use grooves in their irons because [the ball] spun too much,” Mickelson added.
The USGA is trying to ban the sale of ice cream in NYC?
Hear me out – Restricting the driver length (again) is misreading the data (again). pic.twitter.com/mbfTOsSVx8
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) September 2, 2021
A USGA spokesperson told GolfChannel.com last week after Mickelson’s initial tweet that they were holding off on an official statement, “but will refer anyone who asks to see usga.org/distanceinsights if they have any question about research or our process.”
Mickelson declined an interview request to discuss last week’s comments with reporters last Sunday at the BMW Championship.
Mickelson’s newest social sound-off included not only an ice-cream metaphor but also a proposed solution. While some people have called for a rollback of the golf ball, Mickelson had a different idea regarding the ball.
“What if we just got rid of the perimeter weighting so the ball wasn’t as stable and we had more weight in the center of the golf ball?” said Mickelson, referring to the liquid-core golf balls of old. “… And who is that going to affect? The guy who hits it 300 yards as opposed to the guy who hits it 200 yards. They might hit it more off line, but they hit it so short they’re not going to get in as much trouble as the guy who hits it farther.
“It’s just an idea to start addressing the real issue and not have all these other issues that are taking a lot of the fun away from the game and not really addressing the problem.”