I’m posting this sitting in the Phoenix Airport heading to Tulsa. When Phil holed out you could hear people yelling and clapping. I have goosebumps. This is AMAZING.
2021 PGA Champion (#6) Phil Mickelson has always chased better. Remember the two-driver thing in 2006? The original 64-degree wedge at Winged Foot? The list goes on and on. I’ve seen his full specs and it’s a study in loft and lie math that would make your head spin. Yes, there is a recipe for the Phil Mickelson madness.
In the past year, something has definitely shifted with Phil, perhaps it was Bryson mania that is the culprit but the guy became infatuated with speed IE hitting high nasty bombs. If you have followed Phil on Social Media you will have seen his winter sessions with a trackman and foresight in tow pushing himself to clip the 185MPH ball speed mark. His body has morphed into something you would see taking snaps in the NFL and his swing mechanics have evolved to make all this possible. The guy has worked his ASS off and it shows, trust me I’ve seen it up close.
Going into the masters it was a 310 carry that was the goal, according to Phil being able to carry that number opened up Augusta National to new scoring opportunities. I guess kind of like up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start used to make a few Nintendo games a good time. 🤷🏻♂️ It has taken me three years to use that reference and I now feel complete.
And oh yeah his calves became the center piece of this whole endeavor…
I wanted to know how it all went down so I went to my “Phil guy” and wizard Callaway Tech Gerritt Pon for the how and why.
This is what he had to say:
JW: Phil has always chased the long ball but in the past couple of years it seems to have elevated to a ball speed chase. When did this shift happen and what was the starting point equipment-wise.
GP: I wouldn’t say he’s ball speed chasing, that’s obviously important but it’s been a pursuit of distance through the combination of speed, launch, and spin while trying to get a head that doesn’t feel like he has to flip at it to hit it straight (I.e. doesn’t want to feel like he making a hook swing to see the ball go straight). He has taken ownership of the speed mostly through his commitment to fitness/training for speed, as well as employing physics (longer shaft, lighter head, less loft etc). This process started with the epic flash line and has been evolving ever since.
JW: How did the idea of going to a longer driver start?
GP: He called me and said “G, I wanna try 47 1/2”, and I said, “yeah no problem”. I’m here to service players rather than inject opinions about a player’s equipment setup. That was just before his champions tour debut. Over the last month, it has evolved to 48”.
JW: In regards to his mechanics, what shifts to his equipment did you have to make to accommodate the new approach.
GP: Had to change the 3 wood to a 2 wood (essentially a second driver that can hit the occasional off the deck shot, and be more accurate than the hellacious seed stick), had to add a strong 4-wood (almost works like a 3w but is more versatile from the rough), had to add 1/4” to the 4 iron and strengthen the loft 1/2 degree to hit a gapping target
JW: Was switching to the LS ball ever a consideration?
Phil loves to try any new gear we create so I know he did try the LS but ultimately the CSX is a ball that holds this whole package together. The versatility of that ball with its speed and spin platform gives Phil an all-in-one ball that leaves zero on the table. The CSX ’20 has been vital to this whole process especially when we got him dialed into the Epic Speed, the draws stay in the air at an optimal spin rate (1900-1950) and the fade spin stays around 2300-2400. That is incredibly efficient at 175+ MPH ball speed. Keep in mind this ball also gives a ton of versatility from 180 and in. Phil is a player that likes to play with spin and to have a ball that launches like that off the driver and still gives a player like Phil what he needs around the greens is phenomenal.
JW: Triple Track is something that Phil relies on for the long game more than anything, can you give us some insight as to how he utilizes it exactly?
GP: He will use TT to line up off the tee in many cases, at the speed he goes at it, alignment is obviously key. Having those three lines creating a track to his target leaves little doubt.
JW: He has interesting gapping in the middle of his bag IE his utilities, can you explain what adjustments he makes to the 19 and 25 XUT to fit his gapping? Why not use a 22?
GP: PM is using a 16 degree this week with lighter/longer shaft (better than the 4w because of the conditions), the 19 degree is lofted weak a little bit to become his 4 iron loft, and because he needs the 4 iron a little longer for gapping, this loft is better for swing weight than using a 22 and bending strong. And his 5 iron loft is historically a little on the strong side so the 25 is a natural fit.
Phil Mickelson WITB:
FYI: He had the 1 iron in play until the face cracked Sunday morning and swapped in the 4-wood.
Driver: Callaway Epic Speed (6 @5.25, Green Dot Cog, 3GF, 2GB)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6TX (47.75 inches, D9)
4-Wood: Mavrik SZ (16.5@14 12GF, 12GB)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 8X (43 Inches, Tipped 1.5, D4.5)
Irons: X-Forged UT (16),X21 UT Proto (email@example.com, 25) Callaway Apex MB ‘21 (Small groove) (6-PW)
Shafts: MMT UT 105TX (16), KBS Tour V 125 S+
Wedges: PM Grind ’19 (52/12@50,) Callaway PM Grind Proto “Raw” (55/12, 60/10)
Shafts: KBS Tour-V 125 S+
Putter: Odyssey Milled Blade “Phil Mickelson”
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour
Ball: CSX (Black Box w/ TT)