Rules Update: 3 Most Significant Changes in 2022
New year, new rules. The calendar turning to 2022 means that a few previously announced rules changes via the USGA and R&A are now officially live on Jan. 1, 2022.
How many do you need to know? Basically three of them are worth mentioning, but they only affect some professionals and a small amount of amateur golfers, so worry not your weekend game won’t be changing. Regardless, a basic understanding of these will make you the smartest player in your group, and it can’t hurt to be educated, right? Here are the main changes:
Driver length shortened
The PGA Tour will implement a new local rule and limit driver length to 46 inches (previously 48 inches). If this one sounds familiar, that’s because Phil Mickelson has been a vocal critic of it. Mickelson, who won the PGA Championship last year with a 47.9-inch driver, has called the change “pathetic.”
Word is USGA is soon rolling back driver length to 46inches.This is PATHETIC.1st it promotes a shorter more violent swing (injury prone,) doesn’t allow for length of arc to create speed,and during our 1st golf boom in 40 years,our amateur gov body keeps trying to make it less fun
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) August 27, 2021
GOLF’s equipment editor Jonathan Wall says most drivers on Tour are around 44.5 to 45.5 inches, and the USGA previously said only 3 percent of pros use drivers longer than 46 inches. Rory McIlroy was among the players who didn’t seem bothered by the change.
“I was in all those meetings when we discussed it for quite a while, and I think the majority of players are on board with it,” McIlroy said in October.
As for you? Don’t lose sleep over it. It’s a local rule, so you don’t need to worry about it if you happen to be playing that long of a driver anyway. (In fact, here’s how you can take advantage of a longer driver.)