Padraig Harrington on Bryson-proof rule changes incoming: "It's a SMALL gesture"

The last European Ryder cup captain admitted there are other things golf's governing bodies need to address. 

Ben Smith's picture
Sun, 31 Oct 2021

Padraig Harrington on Bryson-proof rule changes incoming: "It's a SMALL gesture"

Padraig Harrington has given his opinion on the move by golf's governing bodies to try and "Bryson-proof" courses. 

It was announced recently that tournament organisers and courses will have the option next January whether to activate a new local rule.

This story has been rumbling on for some time and Phil Mickelson has appeared to be up in arms about it. 

It would mean that Mickelson and the rest the fields are limited to using clubs that are no longer than 46 inches. 

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Mickelson was furious with the move and even compared the USGA to Forrest Gump when the news was confirmed. 

"Stupid is as stupid does," he Tweeted.

Harrington was asked about this at a press conference this week. 

"It's only a tiny, small step...you might call it a gesture," the 50-year-old said. 

"I don't think it was... I do agree I think it's difficult to swing a 48-inch driver so, y'know, it's not like it's straight-forward. 

"You supposedly gain 2mph of clubhead speed per inch of the shaft, assuming everything else stays equal but it doesn't stay equal when you go longer.

"I did use a 47-inch shaft at the Masters in...I think 2009, around about then.

"Anyway the year I used it I led driving distance and I was... I led overall driving at the Masters with that club.

"And yet I couldn't use it the following week. Y'know, on certain courses it worked okay. 

"Look, I think it's a small gesture but not the one that's really needed." 

Harrington did not go into detail about what other proposals he thinks could work. 

But he added: "Players are going to hit it harder going forward. 

"Even if you put a small head on it they're going to learn to hit that hard." 

He continued: "At the end of the day when it comes to distance for me... if I play with somebody who hits the same distance as me. 

"Whether we both hit it 270 or we both it 300 yards.

"If I hit it five yards passed him I feel good and if I hit it short of him I feel bad at whatever yardage I'm expecting. 

"It's not to do with how far you hit it but how far you hit it compared to expectation."

Harrington explained that he thinks the rollbacks will not change "the enjoyment of the game". 

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