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The U.S. Golf Association and R&A have jointly announced a new rule that allows the option to limit the maximum length of a driver to 46 inches. The new Model Local Rule leaves it up to professionals tours and elite amateur events to decide whether or not they want to implement it beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
The PGA Tour said in a statement that it planned to implement the Local Rule at the beginning of next year. A survey across the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions and Korn Ferry Tour found that a very small number of players have used or are currently using clubs longer than 46 inches. The new rule does not apply to putters.
How will it impact the women’s game?
The LPGA told Golfweek that it also plans to implement the Model Local Rule sometime after the 2021 season, noting that officials have already talked to the small number of players affected by the change.
Brooke Henderson has used a longer driver for her entire professional career. The 10-time winner might be the only player on tour who uses a 48-inch driver, though Chief Tour Operations Officer Heather Daly-Donofrio said there may be one or two other players.
Canada’s Henderson has gripped down on her clubs, including her driver, since she started playing the game at 3 or 4 years old. Earlier this year, Henderson said she tried to “grip like a normal person” a couple of years ago and it didn’t go well.
She currently ranks ninth on the tour in driving distance at 273.8 yards.
Henderson could not be reached for comment.
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USGA, R&A announce Model Local Rule to reduce the maximum club length to 46 inches