SOUTHPORT, England – Phil Mickelson is at it again. In his attempt to win his second British Open and earn his first Tour victory since 2013, the world’s 26th-ranked player is ditching his driver this week at Royal Birkdale.
According to Golf Channel, Mickelson will not use a driver and instead will opt to have a 64-degree wedge in his bag. For tee shots, he will rely on the Callaway Phrankenwood he used during his 2013 Open win at Muirfield, as well as a low-spin 3-iron. The Phrankenwood is essentially a prototype 2-wood that Callaway says reduces spin and helps Mickelson produce a flatter shot shape.
While the 250-cubic centimeter, stainless steel clubhead is just more than half the size of modern 460-cc drivers, Callaway said in 2013 that the club has 8.5 degrees of loft, equivalent to a low-lofted driver.
Mickelson isn’t afraid to experiment with his gear. He has had two drivers in the bag at multiple Masters, and he went sans-driver for two rounds at the 2008 U.S. Open and tied for 18th at Torrey Pines. Royal Birkdale is playing at less than 7,200 yards with fast fairways, and he believes leaving the driver out of the bag might be a smart play this time around.
Since a T-22 at the Masters, Mickelson hasn’t missed a cut in six events and has finished T-29 or better five times, including at the Greenbrier, where Lefty tied for 20th. This will be his first Open without caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay – the longtime duo split last month.