Kramer Hickok on experimenting with a 48-inch driver: ‘It’s like swinging a sledgehammer’

Bryson DeChambeau isn’t the only PGA Tour player considering using a 48-inch driver.

Kramer Hickok, who will enter the final round of the Bermuda Championship trailing leader Doc Redman by one stroke, experimented with the maximum legal limit for club length recently and noted he gained 8 miles per hour in ball speed, though he elected not to use the driver in competition this week.

“I think there’s a big speed surge right now and certainly Bryson is instrumental in I think having all these guys go after speed now,” Hickok said. “I think just the advantage of length is just so huge and astronomical that if you can get an extra 10 to 15 yards, sometimes you’re taking out a bunker. Obviously, you’ve got to hit it straight.”

DeChambeau, who manhandled Winged Foot at the U.S. Open in September, is working on adding a 48-inch driver to his bag in time for the Masters, which begins November 12. Hickock said his dispersion was minimal and that the ability to drive the ball farther would consequently result in shorter approach shots. Even if he hit the ball in the rough it likely would be advantageous to hit a wedge from the rough rather than an 8-iron from the fairway.

“I’m not necessarily a short hitter, but I’m not a long one, but I hit it straight so I was just trying to mess around. I just wanted to see if I can get maybe an extra 15 yards of carry and still be able to control it,” Hickok said.

“I got my ball speed up about 8 miles an hour with it, but there’s so much that you have to change when you add length to a driver. The head weight, swing weight’s off, you’ve got to actually make the club flatter. It’s just a lot of tinkering going on. I just wasn’t able to get it done before coming here, but it’s a work in process.”

Hickok, who lives in Dallas, has been working with Artisan Golf on his equipment and said he used a 47-1/2-inch Callaway Maverick driver.

“I had my same shaft, just tipped an inch and that was as long as they could get it for me. Throwing my head directly into a 48-inch driver, my swing weight went from D-3 to E-6, which is, if anyone knows golf, that’s unbelievable. That’s like swinging a sledgehammer.

“So, I took all the weight out and I was able to get my swing speed up about 10 to 12 miles an hour, but then the smash factor wasn’t there because there’s not enough mass in the head. We’re going to mess around with a 46-and-a-half, 47-inch driver next week whenever I’m home just to kind of find some happy medium. If I can control it, great. I mean, length is not a bad thing. And if I can’t, then I’ll just keep hitting my driver the way I do.”

Hickok has recorded just one top-10 finish in his 52 Tour starts. It came at the 2019 Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship (T-10), but he poised to improve upon that finish and perhaps a whole lot more if he can play well on Sunday in Bermuda.

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