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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 Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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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WOTW: Joohyung Kim’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph “Panda”

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The Wyndham Championship gave a young pro, Joohyung Kim, his first PGA Tour win! Kim shot a 61 in the final round to win by five strokes at Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina. Kim was presented with the silver trophy that he held high while wearing a discontinued Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph “Panda.”

WOTW Specs

Name: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Chronograph
Reference: 26331ST.OO.1220ST.03
Limited: No
Date: 2017 – 2022
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Dial: Silver Toned Grande Tapisserie
Size: 41mm
Movement: Calibre 2385, 37 Jewels
Power Reserve: 40 Hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Waterproof: 50 Meters
Bracelet: Stainless Steel Royal Oak
Price: $24,500 (~$60,000)

Audemars Piguet, sometimes referred to as just AP, was founded in 1875 by Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet. As one of the largest and most respected names in luxury watchmaking, they are still family owned to this day. Paul-Edward Piguet is the great-grandson of Edward and on the board of directors, ensuring the 147-year-old company holds true.

Audemars Piguet was in rough financial shape back back in 1970 with quartz movement watches taking over the industry. Quartz movements are more accurate and far cheaper than mechanical ones, offering precision timepieces to the masses. In 1972, Audemars Piguet looked to one of the most famous watch designers, Gerald Genta, to create a piece that would save the company. Genta did not disappoint, creating one of the most iconic watches ever in the Royal Oak. Introduced in 1972, the Royal Oak was larger and more expensive than any other stainless steel sports watch in history.

The Royal Oak Chronograph that Kim is wearing was introduced in 1972 and looks like it was discontinued earlier this year. The case is made from stainless steel and measures in at 41mm across. On the right side of the case is the crown and 2 pushers to run the chronograph sub dials. The caseback is solid stainless steel, with an etched Royal Oak logo, and held down with 8 screws. On top of the case is the iconic 8-sided Royal Oak bezel, crafted in matching stainless steel. The top of the bezel has a brushed finish and contains 8 hex screws that hold it in place.

The dial is again a legendary AP design, the Grande Tapisserie texture. Grande Tapisserie is raised squares with some texture that looks like very fine milling marks on it. That dial is done in a Silver Tone that looks more white in the light. White gold hour markers and hands add some more luxury to the watch and should keep its color for years to come. Three black sub dials are arranged at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock for timing minutes and hours along with the pushers on the side.

Inside the Panda is a self-winding automatic movement designed and built in house by Audemars Piguet. The Calibre 2358 is based off of a Frédéric Piguet caliber 1185 that was originally designed in 1988. The 2358 features 40 hours of power reserve and contains 37 jewels. The 2358 has been used in quite a few timepieces and could be considered a workhorse for Audemars Piguet.

The bracelet was designed to flow perfectly with the case when Genta first designed it. The Royal Oak bracelet is crafted from stainless steel and the full width lugs are held together with 2 smaller links. The outside of bracelet is finished in a brushed look while the beveled edges are polished to a mirror-like look. The clasp features a twin trigger release with and thick steel swing arms for durability. An AP logo on the claps is the only way you can really tell it is there, almost invisible.

The Panda looks like it was discontinued this year and prices have been slowly increasing since then. If you would like one of these very popular watches, expect to pay around $60,000 in the current market.

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Tour Rundown: Buhai in the sky, 27 for the 20-year-old

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Major championship season came to a close with a final winner in 76 holes at Muirfield. The last regular season concluded on the PGA Tour, with a front-nine 27 and a 20-year-old winner. Another playoff featured on the Tour Champions, and two more events brought stirring resolutions on Korn Ferry and DP World Tour. Snap your fingers and it’s August. Three weeks from now, we’ll have a FedEx Cup champion. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and learn a bit about our five champions in this week’s Tour Rundown.

LPGA/Ladies European Tour: Buhai in the sky after playoff win

Ashleigh Buhai has been at the LPGA grind since 2014. Her storied amateur career translated into 15 wins on the South African and European circuits, but when she moved stateside nearly a decade ago, the wins stopped coming. On Saturday evening, on the heels of a Saturday 64 at Muirfield, Buhai found herself in possession of a five-shot advantage, and in the British Open, no less! No finer place to break through for a win, or break a heart.

For most of Sunday, it looked like the later would be Buhai’s plight. She stood one-over par through 14 holes, while In Gee Chun posted three birdies on the front nine, to narrow the gap to one. Chun gave two back at 10 and 12, but then the script fell out when Buhai mad a triple-bogey seven at the 15th to fall into a tie. The pair would par in to the clubhouse, and return to the 18th tee to decide matters.

Pars, then bogeys, then pars again, and Buhai-Chun returned to the demanding par four once more. Faced with a long, greenside bunker recovery, Buhai dug deep into her South African roots, where great bunker play is like skating in Canada. She splashed out to about 14 inches, made the putt for par, and collected her first major title and LPGA victory. Ahh, those East Lothian nights!

PGA Tour: 27 for the 20-year old leads to Kim win

As Nick Faldo took a bow in his final telecast for the PGA Tour, Joohyung Kim made his own waist bend, and collected a first tour title, fresh out of his teens. You’ll no doubt read that Kim began the 2022 Wyndham with a quadruple bogey. We’ll not get into that, because no one needs to disect that sort of cadaver. What Kim did over the subsequent, 71 holes is what deserves attention. 25 birdies, three bogies, and one mighty eagle were enough to push the young Korean to a 61 on Sunday, and a one-shot victory.

For a time, it seemed that Kim’s countryman, Sungjae Im, or American John Huh, might figure in the outcome. Kim put that notion to rest with an impossible 27 on Sunday’s front nine. That’s right: Kim averaged three shots per hole over the first half of the final round. He made four at the first, which might have felt like a birdie after Thursday’s eight on the same hole. He balanced that with a two at the fourth, and made threes the rest of the way.

A solitary bogey, just his third of the week, stalled his progress at the tenth. Pars and birdies the rest of the way ensured a five-shot cushion over Im and Huh. What was I doing at 20? Who knows. What were any of us doing at 20?

DP World Tour: Shinkwin secures second title on big stage

Despite what the caption says for the video below, Callum Shinkwin was not at the peak of his powers on Sunday. He did post a fourth, consecutive round under par; the only man in the field to do so, in fact. That round of 70 was just one shot below par, and was comprised of seven pars, six birdies, and five bogeys. Round four was something of a ratatouille for the Englishman, but he was able to steer the ship through choppy waters, and ultimately come out with a four-shot win over Scotland’s Connor Syme.

Syme had a week of his own, save for a second-day 73. The highlander (well, Fife) needed perfection on Sunday at Celtic Manor, but was unable to find it. The former Ryder Cup venue, site of a European side triumph, played tough as nails all week, but it did offer a bit of respite at moments. The Cazoo win was Shinkwin’s second on the DP World Tour. The tour moves from Wales to Northern Ireland this week, and Shinkwin certainly hopes that Galgorm Castle will be as hospitable as was Celtic Manor.

Korn Ferry Tour: Only low numbers need apply as Kozan kollects korn

Andrew Kozan played his college golf at Auburn University. This week in Utah, he made the Tiger faithful proud with bookend 63s for a first KFT laurel. The only motto this week was Go Low or Don’t Go. 13 golfers posted 18-under or better and, with the victory coming at -21, there were a lot of players in the mix for a long time.

Third-round leader Mark Anderson started off well, with birdies on three of the first seven holes. The wheels came off as he rounded the turn, where three bogies dropped him from the lead. Anderson would recover with two more birdies coming home. On a day when eight and nine-birdie cards were the norm, his work would not carry him home.

Justin Suh, Patrick Fishburn, and Ashton Van Horne tied for second, a shot behind Kozan. Each posted a marvelous, Sunday score (63, 64, 64, respectively) but each also had a bogey on his sheet. Kozan did as well, at the par-four eighth, but when all the ink had dried and the shots were tallied, he was one shot clear of the trio, and on the podium for his first, important professional win.

PGA Tour Champions: Kelly keeps Huston at bay in Calgary

Guys like Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer brought multiple major titles and sizable PGA Tour win totals to the senior circuit. Guys like Jerry Kelly found a spotlight they hadn’t known on the young-uns circuit. While Kelly won thrice on the early tour, the wins came early and middle, but not after 2009. Kelly arrive on Tour Champions in 2016, seven years after his third and final, regular-group win. He won twice in 2017, and nothing would hold him back.

This week in Calgary, Jerry Kelly won his third event of the 2022 campaign, and second in a playoff. In June, Kelly dispatched Kirk Triplett in a playof in Iowa. Triplett held the overnight lead on Saturday, and rematch was in the offing. Triplett faded on Sunday, and the drama was left to Kelly and one-time Tour Champions winner John Huston to settle matters.

The first playoff hole was the par-five 18th, and Kelly found a way to sneak an approach in to about seven feet. The putt wobbled at first, then straightened out into the hole, and the man from Wisconsin (aka Canada South) had his eleventh win on the seasonsed citizens tour, and third in three months.

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Imprisoned Masters champ to face second trial for ‘gender violence’

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As first reported by CBA24n, Angel Cabrera is set to stand trial once again this December.

The 2009 Masters champion was charged with threatening, assaulting and harassing former partner Cecilia Torres Mana in July of 2021 and is currently serving two years in Argentina for his conviction.

Since that case has concluded, there have been more allegations against the 52-year-old. Torres Mana is claiming that Cabrera had violated his restraining order against her on “multiple occasions.”

Now, a second accuser, Micaela Teresa Escudero, is claiming that she faced “coercion,” “coercion and threat” and “minor injuries” from Cabrera as well.

The former golfer is serving his time at Carcel de Bouwer, which is an infamous prison known as “El Penal del Infierno” or the “Prison of Hell.”

The trial is set to begin on December 1.

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