Nationwide Tour For Big Hitters
By Kickntrue on 10/14/10
Here's a stat that may surprise you. In the 2010 season the PGA Tour has 12 golfers averaging over 300 yards per drive. The Nationwide Tour has 52. We shouldn't jump to conclusion though. What this really tells you is how much course conditions have to do with driving distance.
Leading the charge is Kyle Stanley, a former standout at Clemson who heads into this week averaging a hefty 320 yards a poke. He's one of 52 players averaging 300 yards or better -- significantly more than on the PGA TOUR where only 12 players average 300 yards or better.

Stanley, who is in his first full season on the Nationwide Tour, has some experience on the TOUR after playing in 12 tournaments. He wasn't that surprised about the discrepancy between the two Tours.

"I think a lot of it has to do with course conditions and maybe there's a little more emphasis on getting it in the fairways on the PGA TOUR," Stanley said.
What this also should tell is how much of a gap there really is between us and the guys playing for the big bucks every weekend. Driving average on Tour may be below 300 yards, but that's because these guys are trying to be accurate and keep their ball in play. They CAN hit it much much further if they unload. That means- when you hit the drive of your life, that one time a round, that rolls out to 285 yards you are not in fact even close to what even the shortest guy on the Tour can do. Remember- they are also playing on fairways that can almost check their ball up. You occasionally hear or see about a player on a perfect hole in perfect conditions (Dustin Johnson, Mickelson, or Bubba Watson) hitting the ball 395 yards. THAT is the one you should be comparing to your 285 yard shot.

I have no problem with these numbers and I'm guessing the PGA Tour guys ego's don't either. So the Nationwide courses are set up a little easier... isn't that the whole point? They aren't as good a golfer.

Full Story
Via GeoffShackelford

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[ comments ]
birdieXris says:
True that. I was looking at drivers a while ago (as i perpetually am) and i was hitting them out there 280 and 290. The pro looks at me and says "if you're accurate at all, you shouldn't have any problem when you get to the qualifier" (citing my want to try for USam or Open qualifying in 2013). To which i replied "yea but those guys are hitting it like 320 on a bad day". The pro then lets me know that hitting a drive on a tour course in normal conditions will get you about 15-20 yards more roll because of the way they trim and roll the fairways. At this years AT&T national, i noticed that as well - the fairways were like concrete when i bent over to touch one. That being said, It's definitely true that the want to get it in the fairway exceeds the need for distance on tour. Hell, if i could go out and hit a little punch'n judy driver 275 or so that would be great, but the fairways are soft and hairy and just don't let that happen. that still doesn't make me want to deal with the 4+ inch brillo rough tho.
sepfeiff says:
Bottom 20 in distance average on pgatour this year.

169 T171 Alex Cejka 77 277.8 41,668 150
170 T171 Bryce Molder 80 277.6 42,199 152
171 177 Steve Flesch 72 277.2 37,697 136
T172 T173 Kevin Johnson 59 277.1 29,375 106
T172 T173 Brandt Snedeker 89 277.1 49,315 178
T174 175 Luke Donald 71 277.0 37,676 136
T174 176 Richard S. Johnson 80 277.0 39,891 144
176 178 Jim Furyk 76 276.0 40,853 148
177 T180 Chad Collins 87 275.8 43,575 158
T178 179 Ben Curtis 68 275.7 37,499 136
T178 T180 Brent Delahoussaye 49 275.7 23,713 86
180 182 Greg Chalmers 87 274.6 47,772 174
181 183 Mike Weir 59 273.9 31,230 114
182 184 Jeff Quinney 83 273.5 43,215 158
183 185 Paul Goydos 70 273.3 38,262 140
184 186 Omar Uresti 68 272.5 33,795 124
185 187 Tim Clark 84 271.8 44,030 162
186 188 Brad Faxon 55 271.2 27,667 102
187 189 Craig Bowden 56 270.0 27,545 102
188 190 Brian Gay 94 266.4 48,490 182
sepfeiff says:
And the top 20 in driving accuracy on pgatour this year. Lots of the same guys in there.

1 2 Joe Durant 59 76.63 564 736
2 1 Omar Uresti 68 75.73 652 861
3 3 Brian Gay 94 73.80 941 1,275
4 4 Tim Clark 84 73.03 826 1,131
5 5 Craig Bowden 56 72.86 518 711
6 6 Heath Slocum 93 72.31 906 1,253
7 7 David Toms 86 71.88 851 1,184
8 10 Zach Johnson 93 71.24 914 1,283
9 8 Ben Crane 85 71.13 818 1,150
10 9 Jim Furyk 76 71.01 735 1,035
11 11 Garrett Willis 76 70.86 710 1,002
12 12 Alex Cejka 77 70.44 734 1,042
13 16 Justin Leonard 83 70.27 806 1,147
14 13 Paul Goydos 70 70.17 687 979
15 17 Jerry Kelly 87 70.10 816 1,164
16 14 Billy Mayfair 72 69.96 624 892
17 15 Skip Kendall 54 69.94 449 642
18 18 Richard S. Johnson 80 69.76 706 1,012
19 25 Ben Curtis 68 69.35 663 956
20 21 Chris DiMarco 76 69.31 691 997
kes300 says:
after a round on sunday i bumped into a bloke i know in the bar who told me about his round the day before he 'd played with a 5 handicapper who's drive from the tee on the 1st fell just to the edge of the green second guy takes a 3 wood and lands just short of the pin and then he goes on to tell me the guy playing of 5 has only been playing for 9 months oh and the first is a 381yd par4
windowsurfer says:
Thx Sep -- #169 Alex's swing looks sweet to me: I think he is a stack n tilt guy. Are many of the guys on these two lists stack n tilters?
birdieXris says:
I wonder about the stack n tilt. I heard so much mixed nonsense about it. How it's not a "longevity" swing and requires more flexibility and wreaks havoc with your back. Other people say it's the greatest thing. I'm not quite ready to switch.
windowsurfer says:
I messed around with it (no instructor) after playing with a guy who had S+T lessons. He showed me a few things and got some from youtube, etc. Irons good, wedges no change, driver and FW woods bad.
cjgiant says:
I laugh when a random partner, noticing me and my friend have a few yards on them ask how far we hit it. I say 240-260 on the good (not "crushed" ones). They scoff and say something like but you'relike 20-30 yards past me, so that's probably 280 or so. As if the fact that they hit it 230ish is an outlandish thought.

I do notice at most courses in my area if I get more than 2-3 yards of roll, I probably hit a cart path. I hit a relatively high drive, and my fitting indicate I have a fairly high spin rate. But I think it has more to do with the course, because even a nice draw doesn't add much. I've always hoped that's true at least :D .
Banker85 says:
that is a big difference though 40 mnore guys average over 300+ yards... i dont know about only course conditions being the difference factor. maybe some of the young guys on the nationwide are stronger and will be bringing a new game in couple years to the PGA tour.

thanks for making me feel like i will never ever make money golfing. i hit my 285yds and furthest this year 299! couldnt get one more yard seriously! anyways there is something else going on besides just course conditions...
ppinkert says:
I am teaching myself the S+T. I started playing golf again in June and recently got the videos from a fellow golfer. So far I've had mixed results, but for sure the style has helped me learn to hit the ground in the same place every swing and keep my head down. I like S+T. I do agree I need more flexibility to get the most out of the swing but that will come with practice and exercise.
Mags says:
Driving distance is such an overrated statistic. The numbers only come from 2 drives per round and are only on certain holes. BS stat.
cjgiant says:
@Mags - I both agree and disagree... I choose to hit 3W or 2H on hole only partially due to confidence in said clubs. The other part is to put me in position for my favorite "full shot".

That being said, I think there are quite a few "tests" where average golfers played from a pro's drive, and they scored well under their own average score. Similar tests I believe prove the "putt for dough" concept doesn't apply to scoring better for the average golfer (i.e. they can 2-putt almost as often as a pro). And I am a firm believer the pros largest advantage over us is around the green, but I think also most of us are more confident with an 8I over a 5I.

Take into account the pros play at least 20 more yards of hole than the best of us (50+ more yards than some of us), and you have to consider driving distance is an important factor. But unlike some might like to believe, it's not the only factor.
legitimatebeef says:
It's true. 300 yard drives are not that uncommon even on the muni's. Thanks to modern equipment. We can all learn something from these PGA vs Nationwide stats. Drive for show, drive it in the fairway for dough. :/
Goodlow20 says:
The one thing I've noticed is weekend setups on course I've been playing are shorter than the yardage on the scorecard, which gives some guys I've played with a false sense of distance. For example, a couple weeks ago, I played in a scramble and our second hole was a par 5 and I went last and hit a great drive, and my brother turns to me when we got to our ball and said that was 315 yds. Only it was really like 285 and the tee we used was forward 30 yds from the back tees.
SweetJazz says:
I never trust the scorecard for actual yardage distances. I always use my GPS to get the actual yardage. I have noticed some pretty significant discrepancies between the scorecard and the location of the tee box.
cjgiant says:
With GPS on certain holes (i.e. any hole with some turn), the card distance is usually per normal stroke, not as the crow flies. GPS obviously only does straight line.
Banker85 says:
@cjgiant: i think the difference between the pros is the long game. 200 yards and out.
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