PGA Tour Driving Distance Leaders By Year

Below are the yearly leaders in average driving distance on the PGA Tour, dating to 1980 when the tour started recording this statistic.

A few notes about the list:

  • The first time a golfer topped 300 yards on average was 1997, when John Daly did it.

  • Speaking of Daly, he led the tour in driving average 11 times. The only year from 1991 through 2002 that Daly was not the leader in this stat was 1994.

  • The longest average driving distance to date by a golfer who led the tour is 321.4 yards, set by Hank Kuehne in 2003. So far, Kuehne is the only golfer to finish a PGA Tour season avering more than 320 yards on measured drives.

Now, on to the list:

PGA Tour Driving Average Leaders By Year
2018 — Rory McIlroy, 319.7 yards average
2017 — Rory McIlroy, 316.7
2016 — J.B. Holmes, 314.5
2015 — Dustin Johnson, 317.7
2014 — Bubba Watson, 314.3
2013 — Luke List, 306.3
2012 — Bubba Watson, 315.5
2011 — J.B. Holmes, 318.4
2010 — Robert Garrigus, 315.5
2009 — Robert Garrigus, 312.0
2008 — Bubba Watson, 315.1
2007 — Bubba Watson, 315.2
2006 — Bubba Watson, 319.6
2005 — Scott Hend, 318.9
2004 — Hank Kuehne, 314.4
2003 — Hank Kuehne, 321.4
2002 — John Daly, 306.8
2001 — John Daly, 306.7
2000 — John Daly, 301.4
1999 — John Daly, 305.6
1998 — John Daly, 299.4
1997 — John Daly, 302.0
1996 — John Daly, 288.8
1995 — John Daly, 289.0
1994 — Davis Love III, 283.8
1993 — John Daly, 288.9
1992 — John Daly, 283.4
1991 — John Daly, 288.9
1990 — Tom Purtzer, 279.6
1989 — Ed Humenik, 280.9
1988 — Steve Thomas, 284.6
1987 — John McComish, 283.9
1986 — Davis Love III, 285.7
1985 — Andy Bean, 278.2
1984 — Bill Glasson, 276.5
1983 — Curt Byrum, 276.0
1982 — Bill Calfee, 275.3
1981 — Dan Pohl, 280.1
1980 — Dan Pohl, 274.3

The PGA Tour's driving distance stat is based on two measured drives per round. The Tour tries to select two holes that play in opposite directions, to even out any wind effects. And the drives on those two holes are measured to the point the ball comes to rest, regardless of whether the ball is in the fairway or not.

Photo credit: "Rory McIlroy" by Tour Pro Golf Clubs is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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