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.”
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 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.
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.
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.