Mickelson prepares to use two drivers at Pebble

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Phil Mickelson has never been one to shy away from trying new things.

In 2006 he won the Masters with two Callaway drivers in his bag – and he’s doing it again.

Mickelson wanted to hit “cute” little cuts with the shorter of the two drivers to have a better chance of keeping the ball in play. But he still wanted to hit “bombs” on the brawny Muirfield Village course.

“I realised that when I was not hitting bombs, my confidence was low, my self-esteem was low,” Mickelson joked on Instagram. “Often I wouldn’t want to get out of bed!

“And so, when I started hitting bombs, my confidence shot back up, my testosterone came back, my overall attractiveness increased. And so, I’m going to have a driver to hit cute cuts in the fairway, and I’m going to hit bombs.”

After the round, a more serious Mickelson added: “Well, I want to hit little cuts in play, because we come up to the US Open, we come up to the British Open and some of these other events, I need to put the ball in play.

“And yet here there are six times where if you can fly it 325 here, the course opens up.”

Both his Callaway Epic Flash drivers have a loft of 8.5 degrees, but the longer driver – the one for the bombs – is 1¼ inches longer, resulting in more clubhead speed and more distance.  

“My swing is different than a lot of the young guys, where they’re very connected and have fast switch muscles that explode through the ball. My body moves a little lethargic,” Mickelson added.

“I use length of arc for great speed. I need longer shafts and timing to be able to create the same kind of speed.”

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Callaway said: “Phil is always thinking about how to fit his game to the course best and frequently swaps clubs in and out. Certainly the first time we did it with Phil it got attention and that was around the 2006 Masters. He won the old BellSouth tournament at Greensboro as a trial run and had some of his best driving statistics ever.

“The next week was the 2006 Masters. He won that also with two drivers. For the Masters, we had plotted which hole he would hit each driver and we set one up for his stock fade and the other for big towering draws. Conversely, the last time he won a major – The Open at Muirfield in 2013 – he had no driver in the bag but he used our X Hot 3 Deep from the tee and fairway. 

“This time, hitting ‘bombs’ is his aim, but the course set-up doesn’t allow you to do that on every hole, so he carries a second driver that he intentionally sets up to go shorter even though he feels like he is still swinging hard.”


Sarah Pyett