Brooke Henderson’s 48-inch driver will have to go after LPGA institutes local rule that limits driver length

Brooke Henderson will need to make changes to her driver in 2022.

The LPGA has confirmed to Golfweek that it will institute the Model Local Rule, which gives tours the option to limit the maximum length of a driver to 46 inches, beginning the week of March 21 for the JTBC Classic (formerly the Kia Classic). The new local rule was put forth in October by the U.S. Golf Association and R&A.

The 10-time LPGA winner has used a 48-inch driver for her entire career on tour. Known for her aggressive style, power and the way she chokes down on her clubs, Henderson finished ninth on tour in driving distance in 2021.

“I started hitting a driver longer than 46 when I was 15,” she told Golfweek at the Pelican Women’s Championship, “and I’ve never looked back.”

Brooke Henderson hits her tee shot on the 4th hole during the third round of the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Aronimink Golf Club. (Photo: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

Henderson had hoped the tour would refrain from implementing the new rule, saying that she believes it takes skill to be able to hit a longer club as well. Her father and instructor Dave noted that longer clubs (and distances off the tee) bring more excitement to the tour.

Henderson had already begun testing a 46-inch driver and “didn’t love it,” losing several yards.

The tour set up a club-testing area at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship to check driver lengths.

An LPGA spokesperson said that seven players, including Henderson, had clubs longer than 46 inches at CME and most were very close to the mark.

The decision to enforce the MLR came from the Executive Leadership Team, Rules Committee, and Player Directors. The same group will also make the call on altering what’s allowed in green-reading books.