"Pathetic" - Phil Mickelson Slams USGA Over Possible Equipment Changes

"Pathetic" - Phil Mickelson Slams USGA Over Possible Equipment Changes

Phil Mickelson Driver Length
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Phil Mickelson voiced his opinion over the USGA's potential equipment rules changes, branding America's golf governing body "pathetic."

"Pathetic" - Phil Mickelson Slams USGA Over Possible Equipment Changes

With an afternoon tee off at the BMW Championship, Phil Mickelson was extremely vocal about the possible equipment changes proposed by the USGA.

In a tweet, Mickelson said: "Word is USGA is soon rolling back driver length to 46inches. This is PATHETIC. 1st it promotes a shorter more violent swing (injury prone,) doesn’t allow for length of arc to create speed, and during our 1st golf boom in 40 years, our amateur gov body keeps trying to make it less fun."

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After the tweet, the PGA Champion responded to some comments, with one user saying: "Amateurs shouldn’t be swinging into a driver longer than 45”. Pros that use something longer than 46” are gimmicky." To which Mickelson (opens in new tab) replied: "Are you calling the reigning PGA champion gimmicky?"

Other comments included: "USGA trying its best to outdo MLB in shooting itself in the foot," and "that is stupid. What’s the reasoning behind that inept decision?" Mickelson responded to both comments, saying: "Sadly so true" and "Who even knows. Logic isn’t their strong suit."

Mickelson, who uses a 47.5 inch driver, just 0.5 inches short of the maximum length of 48 inches. Is one of only a handful of players to play with a driver of over 46 inches.

Mickelson averages 301.6 yards off the tee, ranking just outside the top-50 for driving distance on the PGA Tour. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Related: How Can Phil Mickelson Drive It So Far At 50? (opens in new tab)

The majority of Tour players use drivers of 46 inches or less, with the average length for amateurs being around the same.

Back in February, the USGA and R&A announced a plan to change the limit to 46 inches, but did not say how or when the change would be enforced.

"There is a 100-year trend of hitting distance increases in golf, as well as a corresponding increase in the length of golf courses, across the game globally. The USGA and the R&A believe this continuing cycle is detrimental to the game’s long-term future." Said the USGA in a report. (opens in new tab)

It isn't the first time time that Mickelson has fallen out with the American governing body. In 2013, he called the third hole at Merion "terrible." Five years later, at Shinnecock Hills, in a fit of anger, he hit a putt whilst the ball was still moving, incurring a two shot penalty.

Phil Mickelson Driver Length

Mickelson at the 2018 US Open at Shinnecock Hills. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.


Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.


Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x