August 7 2013
Phil Mickelson didn't carry a driver at either Merion or Muirfield this summer. (Getty Images)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- If there's one thing Phil Mickelson has proved this season, it's that going driver-less at major championships can lead to runner-up finishes -- and a Claret Jug.
Following his decision to drop his Callaway RAZR Fit Xtreme driver in favor of Callaway's X Hot Phrankenwood at the Masters, Mickelson made the conscious choice to put Phrankenwood on the shelf and only use X Hot 3Deep as his "driver" at the U.S. Open and The Open Championship.
Tight course layouts and penal rough allowed Mickelson to use his 13-degree 3Deep fairway wood -- a taller-faced version of the X Hot Pro fairway wood that's almost as long as Mickelson's driver and allows him to work the ball both ways -- off the tee and add a 64-degree Mack Daddy 2 wedge to the bag at the last two majors.
The decision paid off in a big way with a win at Muirfield and a runner-up finish at Merion.
With tight, tree-lined fairways and primary rough that's sure to cause some problems at Oak Hill, site of this week's PGA Championship, Mickelson told ESPN's Bob Holtzman that he's going leave Phrankenwood on the bench for a third consecutive major and add an extra club -- likely his 64-degree wedge -- to the bag.
"I may sacrifice 20 yards off the tee, but I want to get the ball in the fairway, make sure my misses are minimized and keep it more in play," Mickelson said. "I may have an extra club or two into the greens, but that's OK. First and most important is getting the ball in play off the tee. Second, is keeping it under the hole."
Mickelson isn't the only player considering a driver-less bag setup this week. Nicolas Colsaerts, the current leader in driving distance on the PGA TOUR, also spent the past few days working with 3Deep and used it off the tee on a number of occasions during Tuesday's practice round. He was reportedly carrying the fairway wood 290 yards off the tee.