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19th Hole

Mickelson unveils 2020 Masters strategy: 47.5-inch driver and a ‘higher handicap’ iron set-up



Phil Mickelson joined the Callaway Golf Podcast this week where he dished on his equipment set-up and strategy for next week’s Masters tournament.

There has been plenty of buzz around Bryson DeChambeau potentially introducing his 48-inch driver next week, and Lefty revealed on the show that he will be playing a 47.5-inch driver of his own.

When asked why he had decided to put a 47.5-inch driver in play at the year’s final major, Mickelson revealed that it all came down to distance and broke down why at Augusta carry distance is so critical.

“Well at Augusta, most of the (drives) carry the bunkers, and open up the fairways a little bit. So on number one, to carry the bunker on the right, to carry the bunker on two, to carry the bunker on eight, (and) to get it over the hill on 14 and 17.

You really want to fly the ball 315-320 (yards) minimum and that seems like a lot, and it is a lot. It’s just that if you can fly it (that distance) there you have a chance to take advantage of some of those holes.

For example, number one, if you can carry that bunker it’s a sand wedge in and you’re thinking birdie. If you have to hit a 3-wood off of the tee and go to the side, or if you can’t carry it and you have to play more to the left, it’s a 6- or 7-iron into the green, so you’re thinking par. So there’s – the ability to attack a number of holes if you can fly the ball a little bit farther.”

The 50-year-old also gave listeners an insight into his iron set-up for next week and will be relying heavily on Callaway’s Epic Forged Irons throughout the bag.

Lefty explained that while he always used the Epic Forged mid-irons, next week he’ll also be adding the shorter irons into his bag which he described as a “kind of a higher handicap club” – heaping praise on how fast the ball comes off the face of the irons.

“At Augusta, the grain of the grass is – they started mowing from the green back to the tee. And so you’re always into the grain for your approach shot. And the ball tends to sit down a little bit lower – you’re always catching it like a groove low, and the ball is then launching a little low and it’s spinning a little more. And it’s hard to get the ball up.

So I’m using the Epic Forged Irons that I’ve always had – or I’ve had the 4 and 5 iron in my bag for some time, I’ve used the 6 and 7 irons for some time, but I’m also going to use the short irons, the 8, 9 and wedge. And it’s funny, because it’s kind of a higher handicap club, because the ball takes off the face so fast.

But I have such a high spin rate already that I’m looking to reduce some of that spin. And this gives me a chance to come into the shots, into the greens at Augusta, much higher and softer.

I’m trying to hit every iron shot at Augusta, all the way from 1 through 18, as high and as soft as I can, and eliminate the ball running because the greens are so fast when they’re releasing the ball tends to not stop. Those Epic Forged Irons allow me to hit it full, hit the ball way up in the air, (and) come in a lot softer into those greens.”

Mickelson will be going in search of his fourth green jacket when he tees it up at Augusta National next week.

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



  1. Bladehunter

    Nov 30, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Those irons lasted 4 rounds. Back to the MB for the “ match “.

  2. jgpl001

    Nov 12, 2020 at 4:20 am

    Phil couldn’t hit an elephants backside with a 45″driver and he is moving to 47.5″….. this will be funny to watch

  3. Pingback: What GolfWRXers are saying about Phil Mickelson using game improvement irons at the 2020 Masters – GolfWRX

  4. Albert A.

    Nov 7, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Checked the scorecard after Day 2. Looks like Phil’s driver worked real well

  5. Darnie

    Nov 5, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Phil’s odds just went from 1000 to 1 to 10,000 to 1.

  6. AC Holmes

    Nov 4, 2020 at 11:21 am

    i love the analyzing and amount of thought that goes into Mickelson’s approach to a course, tee, fairway and green. Would never go into the weeds (no pun intended) like that with golf but it’s fascinating to read and listen to.

  7. William Davis

    Nov 4, 2020 at 11:06 am

    It is getting very silly. Time to ban anything over 45″.Wake up PGA.

    • Drew

      Nov 4, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      100% agreed on this. It is such a simple and reasonable way to limit distance that wouldn’t get much, if any, pushback.

    • Funkaholic

      Nov 4, 2020 at 4:17 pm

      Nonsense, very few people will opt for extra long drivers, the loss in accuracy isn’t worth the few extra yards.

      • Thomas A Zanarini

        Nov 6, 2020 at 9:32 am

        The loss in accuracy is definitely the extra yards gained. Fairways hit is a BS stat for the pros. I think Bryson put that to bed at the US Open.

    • cg

      Nov 4, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      What about that guy who’s 7 foot tall? He may need a 47-48 inch driver just so to be properly fit! I remember Manute Bol was fitted for clubs and they were all way over standard length.

  8. Euan Hardman

    Nov 4, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Judging by Mickelson’s accuracy with the driver, he could be playing his second from parts of the course never seen on television before.

    • Richard Pinsonnault

      Nov 4, 2020 at 11:21 am

      Or from another state….:-)

    • Acemandrake

      Nov 4, 2020 at 2:01 pm

      “Lost in the Pines” by P. Mickelson

      The TV camera crew is in for a workout that week.

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19th Hole

Why Justin Thomas ‘doesn’t really like’ that rangefinders will be used at PGA Championship



For the first time, the PGA Championship will allow players to use rangefinders during tournament play this year, but it’s not a prospect Justin Thomas is excited about.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo, Thomas revealed that he’s unlikely to use one, stating that he doesn’t “really like them” and believes that the technology takes away the importance of caddies.

“I think it takes away an advantage of having a good caddie that maybe goes out there and does the work beforehand as opposed to someone, especially now between the yardage books, the greens books and range finders, you technically don’t even really need to see the place or play a practice round. You can go out there and know exactly what the green does, you know exactly what certain things are on certain angles because you can just shoot it with the range finder.”

PGA of America president Jim Richerson stated earlier this year that he expects the use of rangefinders to improve the pace of play at the event. However, JT doesn’t see that being the case at Kiawah Island later this month.

“I certainly don’t think it’s going to speed pace of play up at all unless you have a scenario where you do hit it on another hole or some kind of crazy angle where it would take you a long time to get a yardage. At the end of the day, Kiawah Island isn’t some kind of course where the greens are going to be really soft and you just see pin, hit pin. It’s going to be, okay, I have 193 hole, we have 174 front, I need to probably land this probably 180 to 182, a little wind off this way.”

The PGA Championship begins on May 20 from Kiawah Island.

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19th Hole

Rickie Fowler shares his thoughts on ‘interesting’ Super Golf League



While Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas have ruled themselves out of joining a Saudi backed Super Golf League, others have had their interest piqued and are waiting to hear more details on the proposals.

Phil Mickelson has said that he is intrigued by the idea, and now Rickie Fowler has revealed his interest in the potential breakaway Super Golf League.

“It’s definitely interesting. I think there’s a lot that needs to happen for it to even move forward of any sort, and at the same time I think competition can be a good thing. 

I do think that the PGA Tour is the premier place to be playing against the best players in the world. Could it get better? I’m sure this wouldn’t be coming up if someone didn’t think that there were ways that certain things could be better.”

Though PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has threatened that any players committing to a breakaway tour could face expulsion from the PGA Tour, it hasn’t stopped players voicing their interest in the SGL. For Rickie, he’s happy to wait and see what develops.

“For a super golfer league of some sort to move forward, it would definitely need at least a handful of guys to be going that direction, or committed or whatever it may be. I don’t know of anything like that right now.

I can’t say that I’m in, out or whatever. I still think the Tour is the best place to be. We’ll see what happens, but I’m happy where we are.”

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19th Hole

Patrick Reed recounts meeting wife Justine after being ghosted by her sister



Patrick Reed and his wife Justine are one of the more prominent couples on the PGA Tour, with his wife previously caddying for her man on the tour.

But the story of how the two met may surprise you, with Reed recounting the interesting story in a recent Q&A with Golf Digest.

It all began with a date with Justine’s sister, which ended abruptly after Patrick found himself quickly ghosted (a personal relationship ended without communication or explanation).

“I was a freshman at the University of Georgia, and her younger sister, Kris, was at LSU. Kris came to visit, and we went on one date, and I texted her to confirm she’d made it back home safe. No response.

So I reached out to Justine on Facebook, who confirmed her sister was back and got frank with me about why it was probably not going to work out. So I start talking with Justine, who I discovered is this incredibly driven person who was pursuing dual degrees while working to become a nurse.

We kept talking as a couple of years went by; then we started dating. Best decision of my life.”


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A post shared by Kristiane Karain (@kris_karain)

All is well that ends well for Patrick and Justine, with the two being married since 2012.

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