The US Golf Association and R&A have jointly announced a new rule that will limit a driver’s maximum height to 46 inches. The new Model Local Rule leaves it up to professional tours and elite amateur events to decide whether to implement it from January 1, 2022.
The PGA Tour said in a statement it plans to implement the Local Rule early next year. A survey on 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 does this affect the women’s game?
The LPGA told Golf week that it also plans to implement the Model Local Rule sometime after the 2021 season, noting that officials have already spoken to the small number of players affected by the change.
Brooke Henderson has used a taller driver throughout her professional career. The ten-time winner may be the only player on the tour to use a 48-inch driver, although Chief Tour Operations Officer Heather Daly-Donofrio said there might be one or two other players.
Canadian Henderson has been gripping her clubs, including her driver, since she started playing the game when she was 3 or 4 years old. Earlier this year, Henderson said she tried to “grab like a normal person” a few years ago and it didn’t go well.
She currently ranks ninth on the tour riding distance at 273.8 meters.
Henderson could not be reached for comment.