Phil Mickelson ditches driver, opts for two 3-irons Tuesday at Royal Birkdale

July 18, 2017

Phil Mickelson is a notorious gear tinkerer, who regularly alters his bag based on what he thinks will best help him win on a particular course. With a chance to win his second Open title, Lefty is at it again at Royal Birkdale this week.

For Tuesday’s practice round, Mickelson chose to leave his driver behind. According to, he instead is carrying two 3-irons, one that is bent so that the loft is closer to a 2-iron, and the other at a traditional 3-iron loft. The biggest wood in his bag is his standard Callaway 3-wood.

While these gear choices are by no means final, if he does go through with this eccentric club choice it won’t be the first time he’s done so at a major. At the 2006 Masters, Mickelson opted to carry two different drivers in his bag. That worked out well for Lefty as he captured his second green jacket that week. The same can’t be said for the 2008 U.S. Open, when he chose not to carry a driver at Torrey Pines, which at the time was the longest course in tournament history.

However, Phil fans should have some hope this week if he does indeed leave the driver at home — the last time he did so was at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he triumphed to claim his first claret jug.