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At 48, Phil Mickelson’s driver swing speed rises 6 mph “overnight.” He’s outdriving some of the longest hitters on Tour

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Phil Mickelson is enjoying one of the best starts he’s ever had to a year, finishing runner-up at the Desert Classic before winning emphatically on Sunday at the AT&T Pro-Am. At 48, most people would expect Mickelson to be slowing down, but that certainly isn’t the case with Lefty, and one element of the 44-time PGA Tour winner’s game that is even picking up is his numbers with the driver.

Mickelson’s swing speed with his driver in 2019 has left many dumbfounded. On our forums, our members have been discussing Lefty’s driver swing speed numbers at length, his ball speed are reaching as high as the mid 180s, and while speaking at the Desert Classic earlier this year, Mickelson stated that his swing speed jumped a considerable 6 mph overnight.

“So at the end of last year, even though I played poorly, I had something happen where it seemed like overnight. It had really been a year in the works, where my driver speed, it shot up 5, 6 miles an hour, which rarely ever happens to anybody, yet alone somebody in their late 40s.”

As you would expect, the significant jump has led to spectacular results. With his 49th birthday fast approaching, Mickelson turned up at his first event of the year at the Desert Classic and led the field for driving distance. Lefty averaged a driving distance of 318.2 yards that week, beating off the likes of Jon Rahm and Justin Rose.

Then at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, even though he missed the cut, Mickelson had an average driving distance of 318.8 yards, over 10 yards more than Justin Thomas that week, one of the longest hitters in the game.

Explaining his reasoning behind the jump in numbers, Mickelson, who has been a user of the SuperSpeed Golf Training System in the past, credited both biometric swing studies and added time spent in the gym

“It was nine months of hard work, and then overnight I was swinging 6 miles an hour faster. … It was biometric swing studies of my swing, taking weaknesses, making them strengths. It was time in the gym. It was a whole workout process. It’s been a lot of work, but days like this make it worthwhile.”

On the equipment front, Mickelson is gaming Callaway’s Rogue Sub Zero Driver (9 degrees), just as he did throughout 2018. His Project X HZRDUS T1100 shaft is the same one which Lefty utilized in his driver for all of 2018, which adds substance to Mickelson’s claim that the added speed has been “a year in the works”, while the added time in the gym is unlikely to have done Lefty’s swing speed any harm.

The 48-year-old sat fifth this season for driving distance on the PGA Tour before four rounds at a soggy and cold AT&T Pro-Am dropped him down to T24, and his impressive start distance and swing speed wise mirrors that of last year’s hot out of the gate start by Tiger Woods. The 14-time major champ was second on the PGA Tour for average clubhead speed after the first half of 2018, clocking in at an average speed of 122.04 mph. That number eventually dropped to 120.24mph by the end of the season, but the fact that a 43-year-old could achieve those numbers after returning from spinal fusion surgery was a shock to almost all golf fans.

Now, it’s Mickelson’s turn to stun the golfing world. The 48-year-old’s clubhead speed to begin the new season is 120.92 mph, up from an average of 116.48 mph in the 2017/18 wraparound season. With the added driver swing speed, Mickelson has become once again, for the moment at least, one of the longest hitters off the tee in the game.

Whether Mickelson can keep these numbers this high throughout the year remains to be seen, as does a specific reason behind such a significant jump. But already at the AT&T Pro-Am, the 44-time winner on the PGA Tour has cashed in on those numbers. With a U.S. Open still to come at the site of that victory, Mickelson will undoubtedly, with his swing speed through the roof, be bullish on his chances of completing the career grand slam in 2019.

 

 

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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. ~j~

    Feb 13, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Distance was never his problem. Finding it in the bushes was.

  2. Vas

    Feb 13, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Is it wrong of me for wanting Phil to credit deer antler spray?

  3. Tyler Durden

    Feb 13, 2019 at 1:50 am

    This is not some phenomenon. Superspeed Golf has been saying this happens since they debuted their product

  4. Tiger Lies

    Feb 12, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Left the circle, right the circle! You must use pow’a from inside DanielPickleson! Yeah, I’m thinkin’ driver faces are gettin’ juiced to draw as much interest back to the game as possible. I mean $550 plus dolla’s for off the rack drivers?!! Really!

  5. Tiger Noods

    Feb 12, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Woods is 43, not 44.

  6. 15th Club

    Feb 12, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    I thought that I heard Ian Baker-Finch say during the Saturday telecast at Pebble that Phil had been making a lot of use of “the Speed Stik.” I am quite certain that IBF used those words, and I found it surprising since the network announcers are usually very careful about product endorsements within a broadcast.

    Was IBF mistaken? Did he say, “the Speed Stik” when he meant “SuperSpeed System”? Did I mis-hear him? I don’t think I did, but I think IBF misspoke, because the two things (Speed Stik and SuperSpeed) are similar but not the same.

    I am thankful for this story, and I trust that it is correct about Phil’s use of SuperSpeed. Anybody know more about what I heard on the telecast? I am not aware of IBF having product deals with either of the swing-training systems.

    • The dude

      Feb 13, 2019 at 3:28 am

      “Anybody know more about what I heard??”…
      ….sorry dude….hard to say

      -mush

    • DS

      Feb 13, 2019 at 6:11 pm

      I heard what you heard. It was when he was whipping his driver through the air prior to a tee shot.

      • SuperSpeed Golf

        Feb 14, 2019 at 7:30 pm

        Ian said speed sticks referring to SuperSpeed on the broadcast. We do not pay any players or broadcasters to use our product.
        Thanks!

  7. Smee

    Feb 12, 2019 at 11:24 am

    “beating off the likes of Jon Rahm and Justin Rose”

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Nice to see your J degree working for you.

    • Distance Compression Dude

      Feb 12, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      LMFAO…Savage

    • Jack

      Feb 12, 2019 at 5:17 pm

      Work on your hand speed, and the clubhead speed will follow.

    • Tee-Bone

      Feb 13, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      And those boys game pretty stiff shafts.

  8. X

    Feb 12, 2019 at 10:49 am

    So it’s not just the club? lol

  9. Gunter Eisenberg

    Feb 12, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Sam Snead 2.0.

  10. salbo

    Feb 12, 2019 at 9:43 am

    Is this Gianni dude some disco holdout from the 70s?

  11. JP

    Feb 12, 2019 at 9:18 am

    The d man strength has kicked in.
    .
    Doesn’t everyone have a Grandpa that crushes handshakes? This explains it. Haha

    • JP

      Feb 12, 2019 at 9:06 pm

      *That was “old man strength”. Small phone typo

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News

Morning 9: Roaring Rory | Opinion: McIlroy shouldn’t be expected to play Irish Open | US Am sites announced

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

February 22, 2019

Good Friday morning, golf fans.
1. Roaring in round 1
For a while, Rory McIlroy looked like he could be en route to firing a first-round 59 at the WGC-Mexico Championship. He faltered later (relatively speaking), however, to “settle” for an opening round 8-under 63.
  • ESPN report…“McIlroy, already off to a solid start on the back nine, hit a 2-iron on the 305-yard opening hole at Chapultepec Golf Club that landed on the front of the green and was rolling just left of the pin when it settled 6 feet away, leading to an eagle that carried him to an 8-under 63 and a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson.”
  • “McIlroy’s 2-iron was the signature shot in an exquisite start to this World Golf Championship. He was 6 under through an eight-hole stretch in the middle of the round, and a 20-foot birdie on No. 8 toward the end of his round is what gave him the lead over Johnson, who played in the group behind.”
2. Meanwhile, in Puerto Rico
AP report…“Andres Romero shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Puerto Rico Open.”
  • “Romero birdied three of his last five holes in a bogey-free round at Coco Beach Golf and Country Club. The 37-year-old Argentine player won his lone PGA Tour title in New Orleans in 2008 and has two European Tour victories.”
3. …and in Thailand
AP report…”South Korean golfer Jenny Shin snatched the lead at the LPGA Thailand with a birdie on the last hole of the second round at Siam Country Club Pattaya on Friday.”
  • “Shin bogeyed the sixth hole but sunk five birdies in the rest of the round, including the par-5 18th. Her round of 4-under 68 put her at 11 under overall and one shot ahead of the field.”
  • “Three players were tied for second: Lizette Salas of the United States (68), Minjee Lee of Australia (69), and first-round leader Eun-Hee Ji of South Korea (71).”
4. Tiger starts at even par in Mexico
Steve DiMeglio on Tiger Woods’ opening round at Chapultepec, which was largely an effort to right the ship after an opening double bogey.
  • “An award-winning performance it was not, but at least Woods kept himself within shouting distance of the leading actors heading into Friday’s second act.”
  • “Yeah, got off to a bad start,” Woods said in a post-round interview that was as short as it was brusque. “Got it going after a little bit there, made three (birdies) in a row. Couldn’t make any birdies after that for some reason (he did make one more).
  • “It is what it is.”
  • “What it was was an even-par 71, a round that left Woods eight shots behind front-runner Rory McIlroy and still searching for answers to combat the thin air that resides 7,800 feet above sea level at Club de Golf Chapultepec.”
5. Slow start for Spieth
With Michael Greller sadly scratched from him duties at the last minute due to the death of his father, Jordan Spieth’s father was pressed into service
  • “Shawn Spieth stepped in as his son’s caddie, his first time on the bag since the 2011 U.S. Amateur, at a World Golf Championship played at an elevation of 7,800 feet.”
  • “It started well enough, with Spieth hitting a tough pitch to a tap-in range for birdie, followed by a casual fist-bump with his father.”
That was the high water mark, though, as Spieth struggled to an opening-round 75.
6. Can’t blame him
How about this on Ryan Fox from Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard?
  • “Fox had played five consecutive weeks in three different countries, from the United Arab Emirates to Australia, before the real scramble began Monday when he learned he’d earned a spot into this week’s WGC-Mexico Championship.”
  • “Fox flew from New Zealand to Mexico City and arrived at 8:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday having never seen Chapultepec Golf Club.”
  • And this…”I actually felt alright for most of the round, and it sort of really hit me on sort of 13, 14, and I kind of felt drunk almost the last five or six holes, limbs flying everywhere,” Fox said. “I hung on pretty well. Holed a couple of decent putts coming home, just to limit the damage a little bit.”
7. Rory shouldn’t be criticized
Golfweek’s Alistair Tait with a well-reasoned defense of Rory McIlroy’s decision to skip the Irish Open.
A couple of ‘graphs…“The problem for Rory is that the Irish Open is the first of a run of three tournaments that includes the Scottish Open and the Open Championship. It’s beyond unreasonable to expect McIlroy to play three in a row, especially when The Open is the most important of the trifecta. He could be burned out by the time he gets to Royal Portrush if he plays the Irish and the Scottish. Something had to give, and since he wants to play his way into The Open, the Irish Open loses out.”
  • “…McIlroy shouldn’t feel guilty about skipping Ireland’s national championship this year. He’s done his bit along with other major Irish stars like Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell to put the Irish Open back on the map after years as a second-rate event with B list casts. Rory has played in every Irish Open since he turned pro in 2008. He also played in the 2005 Irish Open as an amateur. He’s hosted the last four tournaments through his Rory Foundation. There’s a strong argument to say he’s the reason it is now a $7 million Rolex Series event with Dubai Duty Free acting as sponsor. He even managed to win the 2016 event at the K Club despite the added responsibilities of acting as host.”
8. U.S. Am sites announced
The official press release…”The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced sites for six U.S. Amateur Championships, from 2021 through 2026. Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club will host the U.S. Amateur in 2021 and will be followed by Ridgewood (N.J.) Country Club in 2022 and Cherry Hills Country Club, in Cherry Hills Village, Colo., in 2023. The 2024, 2025 and 2026 championships will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club, in Chaska, Minn.; The Olympic Club, in San Francisco, Calif.; and Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pa., respectively.”
  • “This distinguished group of future U.S. Amateur sites aligns the USGA’s oldest championship with courses of historical significance and proven competitive excellence which will be beneficial to both the player and fan experience,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of Championships. “Amateur golf is primary to the USGA’s mission and the partnerships with these prominent clubs affirm our commitment to supporting and growing amateur competition.”
9. Brendan Steele: club designer
“Check out this sweet new toy! @wilsongolf was awesome enough to let me create a new prototype driving iron and it couldn’t have turned out better!” Steele posted to Instagram.
Our Ryan Barath with some perspective…”It has some similarities to the previous V4 Driving Iron from Wilson by the looks of both the screw and the knurling around the hosel…but the cosmetics and certainly more inline with the new Staff Blades pictured below along with also appearing to have a shorter heel to toe length and a higher overall toe profile”
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Morning 9: Beyond “nice guy Stricker” | McIlroy to skip Irish Open | Opinion: Romo shouldn’t accept sponsor’s exemption

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By Ben Alberstadt (ben.alberstadt@golfwrx.com)

February 21, 2019

Good Thursday morning, golf fans.
1. More than just a nice guy
Steve Stricker is a fiery competitor and tactician who has the allegiance and respect of his players. So says Steve Dimeglio regarding the now-official 2020 U.S. Ryder Cup captain.
  • “On the surface, Stricker could be mistaken as being a softy, a man without a temper and one who is reluctant to put up a fight. That would be a mistake.”
  • “Well, everyone knows he’s such a nice guy, but beneath all of that exterior is this fieriness and this competitiveness,” Tiger Woods said Wednesday at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship.
  • “In other words, Stricker is as tough as he is nice, a nice combo that U.S. players can lean on in the 2020 Ryder Cup. On Wednesday Stricker, 51, was officially named the U.S. captain for Ryder Cup matches to be played in his home state of Wisconsin at Whistling Straits.”
2. He has their backs
Interesting tidbit from Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard on one Patrick Reed.
  • “Stricker, who was named the 2020 U.S. Ryder Cup captain, said he’s already spoken with Patrick Reed about last year’s matches and that he doesn’t expect the American’s inflammatory comments following last year’s matches to be an issue in 2020.”
  • “As far as he’s concerned, and I am, too, it’s been handled,” Stricker said. “He’s apologized and spoke to the players. He spoke to me and I kind of asked him what to expect from him. He’s like, ‘You know what, I’ve got your guys’ back. I’m there for the team.'”
3. The inside scoop
An interesting story in particular, yes, but the general takeaway–PGA Tour pros sometimes settle on gamers in extremely atypical ways–is just as cool.
  • Our Ryan Barath talked with Mizuno’s Senior Club Engineer, Chris Voshall, about the MP-32 irons Danny Lee was spotted with at the Genesis Open.
  • “We recently spotted Danny Lee at the Genesis Open and it started a LOT of discussion about classic designs, as well as whether these are new old stock (NOS) or new forgings, using the original tooling.”
  • “I reached out to Mizuno’s Senior Club Engineer Chris Voshall to get to the bottom of this interesting iron development. (Plus the idea that Mizuno has sets of 10-plus year-old irons kicking around ready for custom builds – I have a huge smile thinking about what that storage room might look like – is a pretty fun thought).”
  • “Heres the inside scoop on Danny’s irons from Chris Voshall…”The MP-32s being played by Danny Lee are a new old stock set that came from Luke Donald’s personal stash inside the tour van. The ones Danny is playing are the very last set of custom grind 32s that were made for Luke.”
4. Tiger moves Mexico
AP report on the Tiger Woods Effect at the WGC-Mexico Championship
  • “Golf is still in its relative infancy in Mexico, though the appeal changes when one of the most recognizable athletes in the world is in town. Security has increased this year, most of that because of Woods.”
  • “Grupo Salinas took over sponsorship of this WGC in the summer of 2016, when Woods was recovering from two back surgeries. There was no guarantee if his game would get back, so news of his decision to play last week was massive for small sector of golf fans in Mexico.”
  • “Tiger definitely moves the needle,” said Benjamin Salinas, the CEO of TV Azteca and lead voice for Grupo Salinas at the Mexico Championship. “When he announced he was coming, ticket sales leaped tenfold. He moves Mexico.”
5. Hot take: Romo is wrong
I’ll just let Carlos Monarrez take it from here regarding Tony Romo’s sponsor’s exemption into the Byron Nelson.
  • “Romo couldn’t get in the honest way, through a Monday qualifier like the hoi polloi who have to scratch and claw their way in.”
  • “Maybe some fans think it’s cute and harmless and will be curious to see how Romo will fare. But I’ve covered pro golfers for years, and I have too much respect for their struggle to watch an amateur with an inflated sense of himself pretend to be a pro for two days on his way to missing the cut badly.”
  • “And make no mistake, Romo will miss the cut. At last year’s Nelson, the cut came at 4-under-par. Amazing players like Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Brandt Snedeker missed the cut. Romo also got a sponsor’s exemption last March to the PGA Tour’s event in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and he finished dead last among 132 players at 15-over.”
6. Pat Perez loves his Js
Helen Ross of PGATour.com talked to the singular Pat Perez about his affection for Jordans.
Here’s a morsel regarding Double P’s meeting with his Airness
  • “The relationship developed into a business pact, as well, and Perez now wears Jordan Brand shoes on the golf course. The two text often, and his Airness even sent Perez and his wife Ashley gifts when their daughter was born last year. Oh, and Perez loves getting shipments of Air Jordans for his collection.”
  • “Perez’s only regret? One day when the two had hit the links, Jordan was wearing a pair of VI golf shoes – which were “the only pair in the world,” Perez says.”
  • “After the round, Perez says, “I can’t, believe you made those into golf shoes.” To which Jordan replies, “Well, take them if they fit.”
7. Tiger Hood doc
Golf Digest’s Alex Myers...”What began as an activity to pass the time while trying to sell his photographs has “become a lifestyle” for Patrick Barr. Better known around the streets of New York City as “Tiger Hood,” Barr now spends much of his days and nights hitting empty milk cartons with a golf club. And he’s about to have even bigger galleries watching him in action.”
  • “A new documentary titled Neighborhood Golf Association by Nicolas Heller explores Barr’s life, career, and mostly his unusual hobby. Heller, the man behind the popular New York Nico Instagram account, does a nice job of showing the charismatic local legend in his element while also getting across Barr’s beautiful message of inclusivity.”
8. McIlroy to skip Irish Open
Gareth Hanna at the Belfast Telegraph on the news that Rory will be passing on his island’s Open.
  • “The world number eight was the tournament host from 2015 to 2018 and strived to place the Irish Open among the European Tour’s top events.”
  • “However, he says missing out on this year’s edition at Lahinch will give him a better chance of lifting the Claret Jug at the Open Championship in Portrush.”
  • “The Irish Open will be played, as is the norm, two weeks before the major in July…McIlroy has previously said that he will look to play the week before the four major tournaments this season and has now confirmed his intention to tee it up at the Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club rather than the week before in County Clare.”
9. Wiezy’s back
Michelle Wie fired an opening-round 68 at the Honda LPGA Thailand in her first
competitive action since hand surgery in October.
Eun-Hee Ji leads at 9 under after one round. Scores.
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Equipment

Abraham Ancer becomes Miura’s first PGA Tour ambassador

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Miura Golf has announced that Abraham Ancer will be the company’s first-ever PGA Tour ambassador ahead of this week’s WGC-Mexico Championship.

As a PGA Tour ambassador for the club manufacturer, Ancer, who has played Miura clubs since 2017, will work directly with the Miura family in Himeji, Japan to craft his custom-designed forged irons and will don a Miura hat at tour events.

Speaking on the announcement, Ancer said

“I switched to Miura irons well before any partnership; I just wanted to play the best forged irons available. I am honored to represent Miura and look forward to introducing Miura to the Mexican market.”

Ancer as well as club fitter Genaro Davila (who initially fit Ancer for Miura clubs two years ago) have also teamed up with entrepreneur Gerardo Benavides to form Dead Solid Perfect (DSP) Golf Mexico, which will become the official distributor of Miura Golf in Mexico.

Hoyt McGarity, President of Miura Golf, shared his thoughts on the partnership, stating

“This is a first for Miura, and it was important to us that this partnership transcend the traditional sponsorship model. Abraham is the perfect partner to grow Miura’s presence on and off the course. As one of the most successful Mexican golfers ever, his personal investment in Miura is the strongest endorsement as we increase our operations in Mexico and other parts of the world.”

Ancer will tee it up for the first time since becoming Miura’s first PGA Tour Ambassador today at the WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec. The 27-year-old will play alongside Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau in the opening round at 2.03 pm ET.

 

 

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