2018 PGA Tour Driving Statistics

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A spectrum exists in terms of driving statistics on the PGA Tour: reduce power and ensure the fairway is found or full power, hit it and go find it. A quick look at the top ten drivers on Tour in terms of both average driving distance and average driving accuracy produces some interesting data to ponder.

The stats are from PGATOUR.com

PGA Tour Player's Driving Distance Top 10 from 2018
For average driving distance they detail that the statistics are based on two holes per round. The holes selected face opposite directions in an effort to control or counteract the effect of wind on tee shots. The total distance is based upon where the ball comes to rest, in the fairway or not.

PGA Tour Player's Driving Accuracy Top 10 from 2018
For average driving accuracy, they measure the percentage of all tee shots that come to rest in the fairway (par 3s excluded), regardless of the club used off the tee.

All of the players on both the distance and accuracy top ten lists had multiple top 10 finishes in 2018. And, while many players had multiple runner-up finishes, it is clear to see based on 2018 victories that the long hitters on Tour have the decided advantage.

Rory McIlroy, who was number one in driving distance in 2018, averaged 40.8 yards longer off the tee than the shortest hitter on Tour, Brian Stuard. That’s a massive disparity. On average, Rory is hitting 3 to 4 clubs less into greens than Stuard.

2018 produced primary evidence of what can happen when the course is set up to favor accuracy over power. At this year’s Ryder Cup, European coach Thomas Bjorn had Le Golf National set up with devastating roughs that penalized players greatly for missing fairways.

The result was the more consistent, (and on average) shorter hitters of the European team navigated Le Golf National with expert precision, while the Americans tried to use their brute strength to overpower the course. Europe went on to celebrate a landslide victory.

The gap between Rory and Stuard’s driving distances raises an interesting series of questions.

As far as the PGA Tour goes:

  • Are the courses on the PGA Tour set up too much in favor of the big bombers?
  • Do you want to see the PGA Tour do more to mitigate the long hitter’s advantage?
  • Does your enjoyment of the game directly correlate to how far the top pros are hitting the ball of the tee?
  • Would you like the PGA Tour to play more courses that are shorter, narrower, but require masterful accuracy?

In a personal sense:

Are these stats enough for you to throw caution to the wind and start swinging for the fences off the tee in your home games and tournaments?

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Keith Schneider

Web Content Manager at GolfDiscount.com
Keith Schneider Age: 34 Handicap: 4.9 Introduction to golf: Age 14 Playing years: 20 Rounds per year: 75+ Hole in Ones: 1 WITB Driver: Titleist TS2 10.5° Project X HZRDUS Smoke 65 6.5 3 Wood: Cobra King F9 Fairway Wood 3-Wood Project X HZRDUS Smoke 75 6.5 2-Iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi KBS Tour C Taper Lite Stiff 1° weak 1.5° upright Irons: Mizuno MP-68 (4-PW) +1/2" Dynamic Gold X100 2° upright Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM7 51° 8° bounce Dynamic Gold S400 F Grind Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge Works 55° 14° bounce Dynamic Gold S400 F Grind Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM7 Wedge Works 60° 6° bounce Dynamic Gold S400 K Grind Putter: Scotty Cameron Studio Style Newport 2 35" Balls: Titleist ProV1x, TaylorMade Tour Preferred X or Callaway Chrome Soft X

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