Less-than-Driver Course Performance

The PGA TOUR has introduced more and more courses that fit the bill of a bomber’s paradise. Each year the majors seem to get longer and longer. Before we know it, they’ll be playing at 8,000 yard courses. This angle is about the exact opposite, as we are looking at courses that force golfers to club down and take less club off the tee.

The easiest way to pinpoint a less-than-driver course is to look at the field average driving distance of all drives. Anything under 280 yards is classified as a less-than-driver course.

These courses are often considered “classical” layouts and require position off the tee, not power. Most of these courses require more shot-shaping off the tee due to tree-lined fairways, pesky bunkers, or even water hazards. Again, those are all generalizations, and that may not apply to every single course in this set of data.

Golfers must have 25 rounds that fit the criteria above (since 2013-14 season) to qualify for the lists below.

Top 25 Performers on Less-than-Driver Courses (since 2013-14)

Rory McIlroy (2.942 sg:total)
Jordan Spieth (2.838 sg:total)
Jason Day (2.807 sg:total)
Henrik Stenson (2.661 sg:total)
Dustin Johnson (2.456 sg:total)
Sergio Garcia (2.443 sg:total)
Justin Rose (2.432 sg:total)
Adam Scott (2.28 sg:total)
Rickie Fowler (2.207 sg:total)
Jon Rahm (2.202 sg:total)
Matt Kuchar (2.185 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (2.13 sg:total)
Francesco Molinari (2.114 sg:total)
Bill Haas (2.086 sg:total)
Phil Mickelson (2.071 sg:total)
Jim Furyk (2.039 sg:total)
Kevin Na (2.01 sg:total)
Paul Casey (2 sg:total)
Jason Dufner (1.999 sg:total)
Patrick Cantlay (1.978 sg:total)
Steve Stricker (1.92 sg:total)
Marc Leishman (1.896 sg:total)
Brooks Koepka (1.892 sg:total)
Daniel Berger (1.883 sg:total)
Kevin Kisner (1.866 sg:total)

Top 25 Less-than-Driver Specialists
(Less-than-Driver Performance vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Tyler Aldridge (0.777 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.127 sg:total)
Wesley Bryan (1.524 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.73 sg:total)
Robert Allenby (0.075 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.701 sg:total)
Tim Clark (0.81 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.131 sg:total)
Joel Dahmen (0.868 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.257 sg:total)
J.J. Spaun (1.537 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.956 sg:total)
Tom Gillis (0.721 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.203 sg:total)
Graeme McDowell (1.575 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.112 sg:total)
Ted Potter, Jr. (0.91 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.462 sg:total)
Andrew Svoboda (0.347 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.099 sg:total)
Luke Donald (1.566 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.14 sg:total)
Willy Wilcox (1.175 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.759 sg:total)
Steven Alker (0.558 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.151 sg:total)
Jamie Donaldson (1.628 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.231 sg:total)
David Toms (1.115 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.723 sg:total)
Nicholas Thompson (0.196 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.194 sg:total)
David Hearn (1.254 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.866 sg:total)
Nicholas Lindheim (0.262 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.12 sg:total)
Bill Haas (2.086 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.705 sg:total)
Jason Dufner (1.999 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.626 sg:total)
Ryo Ishikawa (0.502 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.157 sg:total)
Cameron Tringale (1.093 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.756 sg:total)
Bo Van Pelt (0.612 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.278 sg:total)
J.T. Poston (1.051 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.72 sg:total)
Chris Kirk (1.535 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.206 sg:total)

Top 25 Less-than-Driver Anti-Specialists
Less-than-Driver Performance vs. Expected Strokes Gained)

Kevin Tway (-0.047 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.854 sg:total)
Scott Pinckney (-0.323 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.502 sg:total)
Andrew Putnam (-0.53 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.124 sg:total)
Martin Laird (0.756 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.379 sg:total)
Jonathan Randolph (-0.541 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.064 sg:total)
Richard Sterne (-1.048 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.444 sg:total)
Bill Lunde (-1.078 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.492 sg:total)
Xander Schauffele (0.916 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.497 sg:total)
Dustin Johnson (2.456 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.993 sg:total)
Chez Reavie (1.102 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.62 sg:total)
Bubba Watson (1.37 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.846 sg:total)
Angel Cabrera (-0.414 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.037 sg:total)
Mark Anderson (-0.22 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.229 sg:total)
Paul Casey (2 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.435 sg:total)
Jon Rahm (2.202 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.631 sg:total)
Pat Perez (1.324 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.741 sg:total)
Scott Stallings (0.411 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.819 sg:total)
Justin Thomas (1.803 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.209 sg:total)
Brendan Steele (1.348 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.747 sg:total)
Carlos Ortiz (-0.013 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.383 sg:total)
Rafa Cabrera Bello (1.448 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.828 sg:total)
Tony Finau (1.482 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.858 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (2.13 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.505 sg:total)
Rick Lamb (-0.769 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.404 sg:total)
Lucas Glover (1.009 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.371 sg:total)

Last Updated: February 20, 2018