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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

Phil Mickelson’s PGA Championship winning Odyssey putter could be on its way to retail

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As far as putters go, Phil Mickelson’s Odyssey Milled Blade “Phil Mickelson” flat-stick may be one of the most admired by amateur golfers on Tour.

Golf fans have long been hoping that the blade would make its way to retail, and it appears they may finally get their wish very soon.

On Tuesday, Odyssey hinted on their Twitter that a small-batch release could be in the pipeline to commemorate Lefty’s history-making 2021 PGA Championship victory.

Phil Mickelson quickly responded to the tease from Odyssey, tweeting “I like the idea”, and golf fans were in complete agreement with the 6-time major champion, who gave their seal of approval to the idea under the post.

GolfWRXers, would you be interested in seeing a Mickelson putter release at retail?

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19th Hole

‘Stupid is as stupid does’ – Mickelson and JT tee off on USGA and R&A’s new local rule

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On Tuesday, golf’s governing bodies introduced a local rule (MLR G-10) allowing competitive tours the choice to cap driver length at events to 46 inches. 

As expected, some tour pro’s, particularly Phil Mickelson, were not best pleased.

Being one of the few tour pros to use a driver longer than 46 inches, Lefty described the rumored new rule as “pathetic” back in August. On hearing the announcement on Tuesday, Mickelson broke out a Forrest Gump quote to slam the USGA and R&A’s decision.

Mickelson wasn’t the only tour pro to hit out at golf’s governing bodies, with Justin Thomas also taking to Twitter to have his say. The 28-year-old branded the rule as “awful” before explaining his stance to a user who accused him of whining.

Speaking to the press at this week’s CJ Cup, JT further explained his opposition to the new rule, saying

“I don’t really agree with it. I feel like there’s a lot of other things, you know, like the arm-bar putter that they should be approaching as opposed to the length of driver. I think the fact that you see only a few people using a long driver speaks for itself, that it’s not really that big of an advantage. It’s a lot harder to hit it straight.

In terms of do I think it makes the game of golf and growing the game better? No, I don’t at all, but they seem to have their kind of mind around that for a while now. … If there’s guys out here that want to have a chance to put it in play with a 47-, 48-inch driver, then power to them. I had that opportunity; I just chose not to.”

The new rule will come into effect from January 1, 2022.

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19th Hole

It’s good from deep! Former NFL kicker makes albatross at TPC Sawgrass

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Former NFL player Josh Scobee, who spent 12 years place kicking for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New Orleans Saints, just showed us how he’s been spending his retirement.

On Monday, the NFL veteran shared an incredible video to social media which shows him making albatross on TPC Sawgrass’ ninth-hole.

The man who once tied the NFL record for most 50 yard plus field goals in a single game, apparently is pretty good from deep in golf as well. 244 yards with a five-wood is no joke.

As you can hear in the video, the shot was also into the wind, for those keeping track at home.

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