Rickie Fowler won the 2017 Honda Classic with a 43.5-inch driver in his bag, a driver that's anywhere from 2-2.5 inches shorter than the stock shaft offering from many equipment manufacturers.
Fowler got the idea from Jimmy Walker, who put a 42-inch driver into play at the SBS Tournament of Champions to start 2017.
"Jimmy had been testing the shorter driver, and I was with him when he first hit it. We were in Vegas back in December," Fowler said.
"I play short clubs. My irons are a half-inch short. My 5-wood, I'm not sure how much shorter than standard but it's 40.5 (inches), and my 3-wood is short -- it's 42 (inches). So when you look at the progression of my clubs, when you go from 40.5 to 42, add another inch and a half, you're at 43.5. Just kind of matched up and I wanted to potentially get to that, and at least wanted to test and see how it might be."
Fowler had been in a 44.5-inch -- closer to a stock length -- Cobra Golf driver. He dropped down the inch, and it felt odd at first. However, he loved his position at the top with the shorter driver. After caddie Joe Skovron begged him not to switch drivers after his good off-the-tee play in Abu Dhabi, Fowler took his two-week break before Honda to figure out the new driver. It clearly paid dividends, including several titanic drives that never would have betrayed Fowler's usage of a shorter club.
Fowler isn't sure if it's a permanent change, but he certainly has to keep it under consideration for the long haul.
"It's been good so far," he said. "I don't know if it's perfect. I don't know if it's the last driver I'm going to play or we're going to do some more testing and see where we can go with it, but it's definitely been nice this week."