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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 the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

19 Comments

19 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. Tom

    Feb 12, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    “It’s jailbreak man, that technology is fantastic”…..Uncle Rico added 50 yards to his drives with it!” If only the coach had played him in the Paris Ryder Cup!

  6. Tiger Noods

    Feb 12, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Woods is 43, not 44.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. X

    Feb 12, 2019 at 10:49 am

    So it’s not just the club? lol

  10. Gunter Eisenberg

    Feb 12, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Sam Snead 2.0.

  11. salbo

    Feb 12, 2019 at 9:43 am

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

  12. 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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Morning 9: Masters Champions Dinner is on | Can TW find his 2019 Masters form? | Other side of the golf gambling coin

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By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]
October 27, 2020 
 
Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. The putt that kept DJ at No. 1
Golf Channel’s Mercer Baggs…“Thomas birdied the 72nd hole Sunday at the Zozo Championship, joining Rahm in a share of second place for the tournament. That was just enough to keep Rahm from regaining the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.”
  • “Johnson, who did not play the Zozo as he continued to recover from a bout with COVID-19, leads Rahm by just over .08 points. Rahm, in turn, is .11 points ahead of Thomas, who stands third in the OWGR.”
2. Masters Champions Dinner is still on
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“Tiger Woods confirmed Saturday at the Zozo Championship that the annual Champions Dinner is still a go.  Woods, who won his fifth green jacket two Aprils ago, said the plan is to hold the dinner on Nov. 10, in its usual Tuesday night slot during Masters week. The dinner, though, will be relocated to downstairs in the iconic clubhouse, so they have more room to socially distance.”
  • “I think we’re not going to get a lot of the past champions coming because obviously they’re at the at-risk age,” Woods said. “It’s going to be a shame, but this is unlike any times we’ve ever had in the past, so we’ve got to do what we can do to obviously have the traditions that we’d like to have but also maintain safety guidelines.”
3. Can Tiger rediscover his 2019 Masters form?
He’s not exactly on pace to, writes ESPN’s Bob Harig…“The lead-up to the Masters in 2019 saw Woods play five times in the three months prior to the tournament, with his best result a tie for fifth at the WGC-Match Play. He was not a back-nine contender at the Farmers Insurance Open (20th), the Genesis Invitational (15th) or the WGC-Mexico Championship (10th)”
  • “But those results were far better than what we’ve seen since in the post-shutdown events. Woods’ best tournament was a tie for 37th at the PGA Championship. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open. In each of the six tournaments he played, Woods was never closer than 8 shots through 36 holes.”
  • “At least he showed some flashes at the first five events, where he gained strokes on the field in approach to the green. But even that aspect of his game was off at Sherwood, where he was near the bottom of the field.”
  • “And not much else was very good. Woods was 70th in the 77-player field in strokes gained off the tee; 71st in stroke gained tee to green; 55th in proximity to the hole; 21st in strokes gained around the green; and 65th in strokes gained putting.”
4. Shackelford’s ZOZO observations
An interesting point among many other of note…including the “funerary” milieu at Sherwood…The Sunday range scene was…intense. If you ignored the lack of fans and just watched players warm up, you sensed big money, a nice title and pre-Masters momentum was on the line. Matthew Wolff and instructor George Gankas engaged in a spirited putting lesson up to his tee time. And I mean, right up to his tee time. Eventual winner Patrick Cantlay’s instructor Jamie Mulligan was shuttling from his Virginia Country Club member-guest duties to keep a watchful eye on his student. The overall intensity seemed like the old days, minus too many range volunteers and agents blocking your view.”
GolfWRX Recommends 
 
We think a quarterly journal is the best complement to a website that publishes dozens of articles daily. And while that might not make sense to you now, it certainly will once you subscribe to The Golfer’s Journal and dive into some of the best golf writing and photography around. 
 
5. Pagdanganan just missed averaging 300 yards off the tee at the LPGA Drive On Championship
Golf Digest’s Keely Levins…“She’s averaging 288.8 yards for the season, besting fellow bombers Maria Fassi (282.2 yards) and Anne van Dam (281.8 yards) to lead the tour. But at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Reynolds Lake Oconee, Pagdanganan was hitting it far-even for her.  According to the tour, Pagdanganan’s longest drive of the week came during Saturday’s third round, when she hit her tee shot on the 18th hole 317 yards. She had an iron into the green with her second shot, while others had to lay up on the closing par 5.”
6. I’d be honored….
Golf.com’s Nick Piastowski on a truly bizarre/spectacular moment in the history of golf on television.
  • “As Thomas got ready to swing during Saturday’s third round of the Zozo Championship, Dion began to sing. A home near the 18th turned the speaker dial as far right as it would go. Then it dialed up the last stanza of the song.”
  • “You’re here, there’s nothing I fear”
  • “And anybody that can hit a shot through Celine Dion music coming from one of the nearby houses, it’s big,” announcer Dan Hicks said on the Golf Channel broadcast.
  • “And I know that my heart will go on”
7. Vandals hit Ontario course
If you live North of the border and have any information, help the folks at Lake St. George Golf Club out…
  • CTV Kim Phillips…”Provincial police in Orillia are asking for the public’s help to find the culprit who caused thousands of dollars in damage to a Severn Township golf course.  Police say someone drove a vehicle onto the Lake St. George Golf Club on South Sparrow Lake Road in Washago, ripping through the fairways and greens over the weekend.  According to its Facebook page, this is the first time in the club’s 40 years that anything like this has happened.”
8. The possible other side of the golf gambling coin
George Peper for Links with a cautionary scenario…Consider two big differences between golf and arena sports such as football and baseball. Number one is the proximity of the gallery to the players, and number two is the absence of loud “white” noise. We’ve all watched telecasts punctuated by yahoos yelling “Baba Booey.” Consider what might happen if one of those liquored-up clowns has a big bet on the line.”
  • “The Tour currently deals with such incidents by escorting the offender off the course, but there’s no way to prevent such an incident from occurring-especially if the disturbance is caused not by a stumbling drunk with a $100 bet but a deadly serious shark with a lot to gain.”
  • “Let’s say there’s a professional gambler, a shady character, who has placed a big bet on a player to win The Players Championship and stands to reap a seven-figure payout if it happens. And let’s say his horse is now in the clubhouse with the winning score and just one player has a chance to tie him, if he can sink a three-foot putt on the final green. Shady, in order to protect his bet, has hired a stooge who is standing beside the green. As the player takes his putter back, Stooge fires a blast from an air horn.”
  • “The ball never hits the hole. Stooge goes to jail for a week and pays a $50,000 fine, a pittance compared to the fee he receives from Shady, who is the big winner. The big loser is golf.”
9. Sawgrass turns 40: Some or the real beneficiaries are tour pros…
Cameron Morfit for PGATour.com…“TPC courses have hosted more than 400 professional tournaments, with the rent-free venues allowing for bigger purses and charitable donations…”
  • “It’s those world-class players, though, who may have the most to celebrate. For them, the TPCs are a lot more than a bucket-list destination. They’re a lifeblood; a top-quality driving range, an impeccably groomed course (or two), a place to find a game or just a putting contest. For them, it’s hard to overstate the importance of former TOUR Commissioner Deane Beman’s totally revolutionary “Stadium Golf” invention those many moons ago.”
  • “It’s home,” said 2014 FedExCup champion Billy Horschel, who lives in Ponte Vedra Beach and practices at TPC Sawgrass, where his coach, Todd Anderson, is Director of Instruction at the PGA TOUR Performance Center. “It’s been a great place to practice, to get better.”
  • “About 77 professionals from the six PGA TOUR-owned-and-operated tours play out of TPC Sawgrass…”
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DailyWRX (10/26/2020): From dumpster fire to greatness

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From dumpster fire to greatness…

 

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#TigerTuesdays A remarkable par that shook Sherwood.

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I love this guy….

Kind of agree with Poppa Spieth on this one…….I mean at this point maybe listening to Dad will get it done…

 

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Jordan’s dad Shawn is on the bag this week, and he’s already committed the cardinal sin of caddying ?

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Looks like Mel Gibsons crib from Lethal Weapon…..

 

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Caddie John Wood’s Airbnb accommodations for this week’s @zozochamp are, well, not terrible! Check out those views! ?

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DM @johnny_wunder

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Tour Rundown: Cantlay’s home cooking

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Sherwood Country Club lies one hour north and west of where Patrick Cantlay was raised. That proximity disposes his participation in the ZOZO Championship as home cooking. The California Kid lurks as a late returner, for the many established reasons (we’ll mention a pair below) and when on his game, is a bet for contention.

Ross McGowan is not those things. Prior to Sunday, he had won twice in his professional orbit. One came in Europe, on the big tour, while the other celebrated in South Africa, on the Sunshine circuit. As you can guess, he receives mention for a reason.

Finally, Ally McDonald was a head-scratcher of a USA Captain’s Pick in the 2019 Solheim Cup. Unfortunately for her, she played true to form, and didn’t help much as the USA went down in defeat. Fast forward to 2020, and McDonald faced off against the defacto number one, Danielle Kang, and…it’s time for Tour Rundown on my birthday!

Cantlay wins relocated ZOZO championship

Doesn’t seem to matter where they play the ZOZO; a Californian comes out on top. Tiger Woods won the inaugural playing in 2019, some 5500 miles distant from this year’s venue. Pandemics compel that sort of rearrangement. For all the world, it looked like a Justin Thomas vs. Jon Rahm duel, a golfers who don’t win as often as they should sort of showdown. As if to prove a point, neither one won.

Instead, it was Patrick Cantlay, the Patrick-return-lately who suffered a back injury early in his pro career, then lost his caddie/best friend in a tragic, hit-and-run when he returned. Since 2017, when the Long Beach native was finally able to put the puzzle together, he has won thrice on the PGA Tour. This week, he never looked uncomfortable until an inexplicably-pulled wedge at the 70th hole led to a comedic bogey, reducing his margin of advantage to one stroke over Rahm.

The Basque had no more stroke-savers in his pocket, and ended on -22. At the 18th, his playing partner Thomas made a birdie of his own, to tie Rahm at -22. As for Cantlay, he found pars at the bottom of the cup on 17 and 18, and signed for 23-under par on the week, thanks to a 9-birdie round of 65 on day four.

McDonald makes Drive On her first title

Ally McDonald was not anyone’s favorite when the week began at Reynolds Plantation, in Georgia. The Mississippi native (and Mississippi State alum) certainly felt at home in the southeast, but prior to Sunday, had zero professional wins to her name. That’s not to say she hadn’t experienced success. The Tupelo Kid was a major-event lurker, with six, top-25 finishes in the past two years. What made things better for her, perhaps karmic, was the coinciding of her birthday with Sunday’s final round. Making it an anniversary to remember for all time, McDonald implausibly won.

Danielle Kang was on march toward another tour victory. The black belt in karate had gone deep into the golfing dans in 2020 with two wins and a number-one ranking. All that had eluded her thus far was major championship success. Coming down the stretch, she and McDonald were locked in a battle with wunderkind Bianca Pagdanganan, the current distance leader on tour. Here’s how it shook out:

  • Pagdanganan birdied the final two holes … and lost. She had Faldoed her way to 16 consecutive pars on the day, and the pair of birds brought her to -14, two back of the winner;
  • Kang birdied the final hole … and lost. She made six birdies on the day, but a pair of bogeys did her in.

McDonald’s birdie at 16 gave her a three-shot cushion. She gave one back at 17 with bogey, then dropped a par putt at 18 to keep Kang at bay. Nothing like celebrating your 28th birthday with champagne!

McGowan lays claim to victory in Italia

As happens with many professional athletes, injuries slowed Ross McGowan as he entered the prime of his 20s. His burgeoning career stalled, and he returned to Europe’s Challenge Tour, in an effort to stoke the embers of a promising future. His inaugural victory, at the 2009 Madrid Masters, lay in the distant past. With fortitude on his side, McGowan returned to the winner’s podium in 2020, halfway between Milan and Venice.

McGowan was the talk of Brescia over three days, reaching 19 strokes below par by Saturday evening. As might have been predicted, Sunday would be different, and the Englishman endured three bogies and a double in his fourth round. It’s important to have a short memory if you wish to compete successfully, and the man from Surrey followed that double with an eagle. He wasn’t out of the choppy waters just yet, but he did uncover three more birdies along the road to the final green. McGowan made birdie at the final hole for the fourth consecutive day, slipping past another resurgent golfer by one squeaky stroke.

Nicolas Colsaerts, the lean and long-hitting Belgian, was fast-tracked for success early in his career. The anticipated never arrived, and the title journeyman was affixed to his plot line. On Sunday, Colsaerts opened with bogey, but then produced five birdies over the next 17 holes. His 68 wasn’t low round of the day, but it was low round among those who mattered. Colsaerts might have caught McGowan if golf still adhered to the St. Andrean standard of 22 holes, but that’s a matter for another epoch.

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