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Home Mickelson loves to tinker with his clubs

You have to hand it to Phil Mickelson. Not only is his a marketing vice-president’s dream, he sticks to the script. In advance of his opening event in 2014 in Abu Dhabi, Mickelson was extolling the virtues of a new club in his bag. “As I look back on 2013, I played some of my best golf and had some huge breakthroughs. But I did most of it without a driver. And this year, we have the best driver I've ever hit that lowers my spin rate just like my 3-wood,” said the reigning British Open Champion. “If I drive the ball well, like I have been in practice and I have been this off-season, heading into this 2014 season, could be the best year of my career for that simple reason,” he said. “The 3-wood goes a long ways for me and I'm able to get my driver 25 yards past my 3-wood now. Whereas before, my driver had so much spin that it would only go about eight or ten yards past it.”

In December, Mickelson was in the Valley of the Sun to participate in the Waste Management Phoenix Open kick off luncheon as well as induction into the Thunderbirds Hall of Fame. “I had a phenomenal putting year last year, and I feel like I really keyed in on some things that allowed me to really putt well on a day-in-day out basis,” he said. “The weakness of my game has always been driving. I’ve always been a good iron player, good short game and so forth. But what I have found is, we have been going the wrong way, for me personally, in technology. We’ve been moving the center of gravity back on drivers, and as we’ve done that, it has thrown my feel off,” he volunteered. “Now that we’ve created a driver with some interesting technology, I’ve been able to have the center of gravity forward just like my irons, and my driving has never been this good. Even though it’s taking place here in the off-season, I think that starting next year I’m going to see myself playing some of the best golf of my career because I’m driving it better than I ever have.”

Mickelson kicked started his 2013 with a victory at the TPC Scottsdale and made some noise in doing so. In his second round, Lefty came as close as one can to shooting 59. His final putt scared the hole, which left him with a round of 60. Afterwards, Mickelson was just as excited as he appears today about a specific club in his bag. “I didn't miss a fairway until 18, and even that was right on the edge, because I count first cuts. I gave it a little peck, yeah. I gave it a little kiss,” he said after signing for a 60 and referencing his affection towards his driver. “I'm really ecstatic about the way I'm driving it this week but also about the long-term effects that this driver can have.” As history proved, Mickelson ditched the driver for a 3-wood as the year progressed and won the Scottish Open and then the Open Championship. Time will tell whether history repeats itself again.