Phil Mickelson explains the clever logic behind his eye-catching equipment plan

May 31, 2019

Phil Mickelson, golf’s king of social media and resident equipment geek, made a big announcement on his Instagram account on Thursday: That he’d be putting two Callaway Epic Flash drivers into play ahead of the 2019 U.S. Open.

One of the drivers will be used to hit “cute cuts.” The other? To hit “BOMBS!” Check out his funny announcement video?

On Thursday at the Memorial, he went into a little more detail. First, he talked about why he’s decided to put two drivers into play — a strategy that worked well for him en-route to victory at the 2006 Masters. Basically, he wants to focus on putting the ball in play on most of the holes, apart from the handful of holes that Pebble Beach rewards you for flying it extra far. That’s when he’ll let the big dog eat.

“Well, I want to hit little cuts in play, because we come up to the U.S. Open, we come up to the British 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, it opens up. And maybe four or five of those, depending on what the wind is, I can do that. I’ve got a driver that I’ve been using that I can fly it that far. Trying to drive 14 and things like that. I wanted to get a little bit of work done with the driver cutting it in play, which I did like on 11, even though it was a par 5, I cut it in play there. And I wanted to take advantage of a couple of the tee shots.”

Then, he talked about what, exactly is different between the two drivers. Interestingly, they’re both the same loft…

“They’re both 8.5 degrees. But the angle of attack, spin rate [are different].”

The AoA (angle of attack, as it’s known in the biz) and spin rate differ because the because the two drivers are different lengths, Phil explains…

“I launch [the bomb driver] at 16, 17. You cannot control that. That is such a high launch you can’t control that 14 times a round. So I put one in that’s a little shorter, my angle of attack is down, my launch is closer to 11 1/2, 12, much easier to control. And I should have a reasonable chance of hitting some fairways with the rest of the year with that club.”

Same swing, same loft, different lengths, different results. Bombs and cute cuts. It’s the wonder of physics, let’s see how it works for Phil at the U.S. Open.

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