RBC Canadian Open

Hamilton Golf & Country Club

Masters 2024

Masters 2024: Why Tony Finau is using two drivers


Maddie Meyer

It’s said you need to play the Masters several times in order to understand the nuances of Augusta National. In the case of Tony Finau, as he prepares to play in his seventh Masters, a realization sunk in: he doesn’t need a 3-wood but could use a second driver instead.

That’s right, Finau is going full Phil Mickelson, who famously used two drivers in winning the 2006 Masters. In addition to his 7.75-degree Ping G430 LST at 45.25 inches, Finau is adding another G430 LST that is three-quarters of an inch shorter. The 10.5-degree head is in the minus adjustable hosel position, making it closer to 9 degrees of loft. Both have a Mitsubishi Diamana GT 70-TX shaft.

According to Ping, the move was made after Finau determined the only time he would even possibly use a 3-wood off the ground at Augusta National was on the par-5 eighth hole. The second driver, he concluded, would be more forgiving off the tee than the 3-wood and could potentially be used off the tee on Nos. 2, 7, 10, 14 and 17. That’s five holes instead of one. One of the longer hitters on tour, Finau can carry the shorter driver about 300 yards.

Finau can only hope to enjoy the same success as Mickelson in 2006, the genesis of the idea coming in the fall of the previous year.

“I had been working in the off season to get this longer driver in play,” Mickelson said prior to the 2006 Masters. “We got it dialed in to where I could hit just a very long draw. But all of the little finesse shots like carving it around the trees on 13 and so forth, the club wasn't designed for that and just wasn't doing it. I used the internal weighting of the driver to take the left side out of play so it draws and I use the other driver’s internal weight to take the right side out of play, so now I just play with half the trouble. I was trying to get it worked out so I only use one driver, but as it turned out, I'm going to end up using two.”

Mickelson used the two Callaway FT-3 drivers expertly. On holes 7, 10 and 13 he used one where he could hit a controlled fade, whereas on holes such as No. 8 and 15, where he needed some extra pop to reach those par-5s in two, he used the longer, draw-biased club. Mickelson went on to win his second Masters by two shots over Tim Clark.

Will Finau have the same result? Stay tuned.