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19th Hole

USGA and R&A introduce local rule allowing driver length to be capped at 46 inches

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On Tuesday, golf’s governing bodies announced a local rule that will allow tours to reduce the length of non-putters from 48 inches to 46 inches.

The new rule will come into effect from January 1, 2022, allowing competitive tours the choice to implement the local rule (MLR G-10) at events, requiring driver length not to exceed 46 inches. However, the rule is unlikely to ever impact amateur play.

Speaking on the decision to introduce the new local rule, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said

“We have taken time to consult fully with the golf industry, including players, the main professional tours and equipment manufacturers, and have considered their feedback carefully. We believe this is the right thing for the game at this time, and it will provide tournament organizers with the flexibility to choose for themselves within the framework of the rules.”

USGA CEO Mike Whan added his thoughts in today’s statement, saying

“Admittedly, this is not the ‘answer’ to the overall distance debate/issue but rather a simple option for competitive events. It’s important to note that it is not a ‘Rule of Golf,’ and as such, it is not mandated for the average recreational golfer. Rather, this is an available tool for those running competitive events.”

One of the few professionals that use a driver longer than 46 inches is the current PGA Champion, Phil Mickelson. Lefty sounded off on the new rule when it was rumored to be in the works a couple of months ago — an idea which he suggested was “pathetic.”

The game’s governing bodies also revealed that research into tolerance of the spring-like effect and ball testing is still being considered.

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

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Paulo

    Oct 13, 2021 at 1:39 am

    Anybody not aware Phil was firmly tongue in cheek?

    • John

      Oct 13, 2021 at 5:58 am

      And you know this how?

      • Paulo

        Oct 13, 2021 at 7:06 am

        Because I can read , I’m not an Android and I can see he’s not being serious.

  2. Walter

    Oct 12, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    Less broom force ruling, golf is slipping.

  3. Band Aid Solutions

    Oct 12, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Waste of time.

    • gianni burner

      Oct 12, 2021 at 1:16 pm

      nope, just a ruse by the USGA/media to get people to like bryson after his incessant whining and various other things that shows his childish behavior…

      love what he does, 419 yard drive at the ryder cup, WLD performance awesome, but he needs to learn a whole lot of other things in life… same can go for Brooks

  4. Richard Douglas

    Oct 12, 2021 at 11:07 am

    Phil’s assertions are wrong, of course. If they were true, you would experience those effects with every club in the bag except the putter and a really long driver (if you have one). He’s just being Phil.

    That said, this is an obvious attempt for the USGA and R&A to have it both ways. They want the ban where it bugs them–competition–but they don’t want the equipment manufacturers coming after them for interfering with sales.

    If this was about the game, they’d either limit everybody or leave it alone. It’s an issue or it’s not.

    Almost all amateurs should be using drivers shorter than 45″ anyway.

    • Daddy Douglas

      Oct 12, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      “If they were true, you would experience those effects with every club in the bag except the putter and a really long driver (if you have one). He’s just being Phil.”

      please tell me youre using +3 inch irons just to hit it further…… that seriously cannot be your logic Richard….

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19th Hole

Check out 14-year-old Bryson on the range discussing his future before rise to stardom

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Videos of today’s stars when junior players are a common theme – look at the pairing of Justin and Jordan and the (almost) hundreds of Tiger movies – and Instagram site Long Drivers recently released a video of a 14-year-old Bryson DeChambeau, just before he made his trip to the World Youth Team Championship.

In the video, Bryson talks positively about his status as the top Californian player in his age group, commenting that it’s “fun for me and I enjoy that reputation” – almost a prophetic statement given his prominence in today’s game.

Playing since before he can remember and winning tournaments since the age of eight, a teenage Bryson looks to secure a place at Stanford and sees the upcoming event as “very serious actually”, again a prophetic vision of the player we see at double that age today.

Bryson’s coach gets a few lines in the short clip and, alongside eulogizing about his talent, states that “he’s getting noticed by a lot of big-time people”.

Check out the video below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Long Drivers (@long.drivers)

Now, as a winner of eight events on the PGA Tour, including the U.S Open, and with a win in Dubai on the European Tour, I guess we can say he has been a world-class player in the making for a very long time.

So close to a hugely publicized ‘match’ with Brooks Koepka, I reckon we can say he’s still getting noticed.

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19th Hole

Bubba Watson reveals he asked ‘the Lord to take him’ during mental health struggles

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Bubba Watson has been dealing with mental health issues originating back in 2017 and recently published his journey in his book Up & Down.

A few years ago, the two-time Masters champ had lost a lot of weight due to a stomach issue which caused his golf game to suffer tremendously. At that time, Bubba had considered retiring from golf, and all of the downtime had caused his mind to take him “down a rabbit hole.”

Fearing he wasn’t good enough and wasn’t well-liked Watson “feared for” his life and described his feelings to CNN’s Patrick Snell as being the “darkest of the dark at that moment.”

“When I looked in a mirror at that moment when I was down to 162 pounds, all I saw was a thin Bubba, a guy losing weight, a guy not going to make it,” Watson explained.

“And so when you think about that moment, those were the darkest hours, and when I think about my tears at that moment, when I think about what I asked the Lord and then it resonated in my head, and it was like a wake-up call.

“It was like a bell went off and said: ‘Wait, if you have 10 minutes left, is this how you’re going to waste your 10 minutes?’ And I was like, ‘No.'”

In that frightening time in his life, Watson relied heavily upon his wife of 17 years and his partner in raising their two adopted children. Angie helped Bubba return to a better place psychologically:

“Being able to be a man and speak to her and tell her my deepest, darkest secrets and let her know what I was going through and let her know that I was scared … that’s a hard thing to do,” Watson recalls.

“I mean, talking to my wife and supposed to be the man of the house … but then thinking about my knees on the floor, when I hit the floor and ask for the Lord to take me, I thought about: ‘Wait, if this is the last 10 minutes of my life, this is the last 30 minutes, the last day, last two weeks, whatever it is, I need to be better. I need to be better for her and be better for my kids.”

Angie convinced Bubba to stick with golf because of all the joy it had brought to his life and knew it could help bring him back to normality.

With help from his family and his faith, Watson seems poised to conquer his struggle with mental health going forward.

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19th Hole

Bryson says Koepka’s treatment of him has been ‘disgusting’; Brooks: ‘I’ve never liked him’

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On October 5th, “The Match” between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau was announced.

Just a week earlier, the world saw the two hugging it out at Whistling Straits after the United States defeated Europe in the Ryder Cup. It was a great moment for the U.S. team who seemed to bond during the event, but it certainly wasn’t ideal for generating excitement for a Brooks v.s. Bryson match on Friday November 26th.

In a conference call on Monday, Koepka and DeChambeau attempted to re-generate some of the disdain that golf fans had witnessed prior to the pair’s embrace in Wisconsin. Both Brooks and Bryson insist that the hug was “forced”:

“I wouldn’t put much on a forced hug,” Koepka said on the call Monday night.

DeChambeau agreed:

“It was definitely a little forced,” he said. “The team wanted us to do it, and to be honest I was surprised he did it. But I’m a guy that can put things behind me pretty quickly when you apologize and then we can move along. But it definitely felt forced, there wasn’t an apology or anything like that. Until I get an apology for what he’s said and what not, nothing will change.”

Bryson went on to explain why his beef with Brooks is real from his perspective:

“This is all real on my end,” DeChambeau added. “It’s disgusting the way the guy has tried to knock me down. There’s no need for it in the game of golf, he’s just tried to knock me down at every angle, every avenue. For what reason, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because he’s jealous and wants to get a part of that PIP [Player Impact Program] money from the tour. That’s probably a part of it, because it was squashed until that was announced.”

Koepka agrees that the contempt is authentic between the two:

“I’ve said it like 10 different times,” Koepka said. “I’ve never really liked him. I think we played together maybe when he was an amateur at Augusta, that was the only time that I can think of that we ever played [together]. We didn’t get along there, didn’t get along since he got out [on tour], and then he said that stuff to Rick and I just thought it was crap. You don’t go ask my caddie to say something to me. Just come to me. Don’t be a little baby about it. I think he’s learned his lesson.”

Bryson’s first impression of Brooks wasn’t much better:

“My first impression of [Brooks] was always like, he was a little cocky,” DeChambeau said. “A little like, ‘I’m too cool for this game.’ He’s kind of held up to those standards so far.

“For some reason, he doesn’t like me. Whatever, it is what it is,” DeChambeau said. “I’m here to showcase and inspire kids to play a game in a unique way, and apparently he doesn’t like that.”

It is yet to be seen whether the recent comments by the two will generate some more interest in the event. Koepka has missed two cuts recently leading up to “The Match”, and DeChambeau was quick to point that out:

“He’s been lacking a bit recently,” DeChambeau said, referring to Koepka’s two recent missed cuts. “I’m happy for him that he signed with Srixon, wink wink.”

Koepka has already declared himself the winner of the “trash-talking” battle, and seeks bragging rights for a victory on the golf course as well:

“With all that’s gone on the last two years, eventually it was going to come to this,” Koepka said. “That way, somebody will have the bragging rights at the end of this and somebody won’t. I’ve already won the trash-talking point, I think that’s a given. So now it just comes down to playing golf, because obviously no one will [pair] us together. So we’ve got to do it on our own.”

The outcome will finally be determined on Friday November 26th in a 12 hole match in Las Vegas beginning at 4PM E.T.

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