Lost in the shuffle of Phil Mickelson’s historic win at the PGA Championship was an interesting gear nugget: Lefty used a 47.9-inch Callaway Epic Speed driver to become the oldest player ever to win a major.
To put that number into perspective, most drivers found on Tour are around 44.5 to 45.5 inches. The USGA legal limit is 48 inches, although it recently released a new local rule that, when enacted on Jan. 1, will limit the maximum length of a golf club to 46 inches. The official maximum is still 48 inches, but soon tournaments and clubs will be able to choose to institute the stricter limit.
The pros on the PGA and LPGA tours, like Mickelson, are out of luck thanks to the new rule, but regular golfers like you can still take advantage of a couple extra inches on your driver.
Callaway’s director of fitting and player performance, Michael Vrska, offers some things to consider if, like Mickelson, you want to try something longer.
Go strong: “We find most amateurs need to go down in loft. Phil is playing at 5 degrees. You probably don’t need to go to that extreme, but if you’re in a 10-degree head, you need to be at 8 or 9 degrees to help with angle of attack.”
Be shallow: “Because you’re standing farther away from the ball, golfers who tend to shallow the club and not be as steep tend to have more success.”
Float like a feather: “If you use an adjustable-weight head, swap those weights out for something lighter to keep the swing weight somewhat similar.”
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Callaway Epic Speed Driver