Phil Mickelson Uses a Comical Analogy to Ridicule the USGA’s New Rule

Published 09/03/2021, 5:13 AM EDT
Golf – The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – April 11, 2021 Phil Mickelson of the U.S. reacts after missing a birdie putt on the 2nd hole during the final round REUTERS/Mike Segar


Phil Mickelson doesn’t shy away from sharing his opinion with the world. And this is what he did recently on Twitter when he came to know about the possible equipment restriction by USGA. However, still, there is no official statement about this plan by the golf’s governing body – the USGA. But Mickelson made sure that he ripped the organization and informed fans how this would affect golf. 

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According to speculations, the USGA is planning to limit the length of drivers to 46 inches from 48 inches. And Phil, without any hesitation, made sure he points out the flaws of this decision and its adverse effects. 

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“We’re addressing the wrong problem,” says Phil Mickelson

Aug 26, 2021; Owings Mills, Maryland, USA; Phil Mickelson plays his shot on the seventh tee during the first round of the BMW Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson had made a tweet about the same issue last week. But this time, he made a video addressing this issue and expounded it with a comical analogy. He said, “USGA is trying to ban the sale of ice cream in New York City. Not literally, of course. What I mean by that is this in New York City. When the crime rate goes up, so do ice cream sales. So does that mean you should ban ice cream sales?”

“No, because the underlying problem is heat when people get agitated crime rate goes up, as does the sale of ice cream, so let’s identify what the real problem is. What data was there to say that the driver length should be capped at 48 inches? What data is there to say it should go to 46 inches? We’re addressing the wrong problem, and we’re misreading the data, yet again.” 

Furthermore, he said the same thing was done with the square grooves in 2010 as players were getting more GIR. The USGA thought banning the square grooves is only going to affect the Tour pros, but that’s not the case. It affected the average golfers, as grooves are mostly used on wedges. And Tour pros mostly use their short irons to reach the green, while the average golfer needs a wedge as he cannot do it with a 7 or 8 iron. 

Hence, banning the grooves has affected the average golfers more than the PGA Tour pros. And Phil Mickelson believes that capping the driver length to 46 inches is going to create a similar problem. So, the USGA needs to come up with a better solution to the distance problem. 

What is the solution?

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May 23, 2021; Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA; Phil Mickelson hits his tee shot on the eighth hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson ensured that he also came up with a solution for this issue. “What if we just got rid of the perimeter weighting, so the ball wasn’t stable, we had more weight in the center of the golf ball, we’re gonna get more sidespin,” he said. 

“And who is that going to affect? The guy that hits the ball 300 yards, as opposed to the guy who hits 200 yards. Yeah, they might hit it more offline, but they hit it so short, it’s not going to get in as much trouble as the guy that hits it farther.”

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Phil’s solution does look logical and practical at the same time. Hence, USGA needs to consider their decision before taking a final call, as one small rule change could affect millions of golfers across the world. 

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Amey Kulkarni

277 articles

Amey Kulkarni is a Golf writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in mass media. Before joining EssentiallySports he used to write articles on Golf and Cricket on his personal blog cricgolf.

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