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 323.7 yards, set by Bryson DeChambeau in 2020 — and breaking his own record of 322.1 yards he set one year earlier. Before DeChambeau, the record-holder was Hank Kuehne, who averaged 321.4 yards way back in 2003.

Now, on to the list:

PGA Tour Driving Average Leaders By Year
2021 — Bryson DeChambeau, 323.7 yards average
2020 — Bryson DeChambeau, 322.1
2019 — Cameron Champ, 317.9
2018 — Rory McIlroy, 319.7
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.

Related article: PGA Tour leaders in Strokes Gained Off the Tee

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

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