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 (2.861 sg:total)
Jason Day (2.85 sg:total)
Henrik Stenson (2.694 sg:total)
Jordan Spieth (2.672 sg:total)
Jim Furyk (2.61 sg:total)
Sergio Garcia (2.409 sg:total)
Rickie Fowler (2.33 sg:total)
Justin Rose (2.28 sg:total)
Bill Haas (2.252 sg:total)
Kevin Na (2.233 sg:total)
Adam Scott (2.196 sg:total)
Matt Kuchar (2.103 sg:total)
Wesley Bryan (2.038 sg:total)
Paul Casey (1.833 sg:total)
Jamie Donaldson (1.811 sg:total)
Ryan Moore (1.794 sg:total)
Jimmy Walker (1.787 sg:total)
Jason Dufner (1.746 sg:total)
Francesco Molinari (1.742 sg:total)
Martin Kaymer (1.738 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (1.711 sg:total)
Luke Donald (1.707 sg:total)
Lee Westwood (1.661 sg:total)
Kevin Kisner (1.643 sg:total)
Ryan Palmer (1.638 sg:total)

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

Tyler Aldridge (1.146 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.179 sg:total)
Wesley Bryan (2.038 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.186 sg:total)
Stuart Appleby (1.316 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.519 sg:total)
Sam Saunders (0.79 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.029 sg:total)
Robert Allenby (0.206 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.536 sg:total)
Steven Alker (0.856 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.152 sg:total)
Jamie Donaldson (1.811 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.138 sg:total)
Tom Gillis (0.736 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.065 sg:total)
Jamie Lovemark (1.508 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.899 sg:total)
Whee Kim (0.979 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.395 sg:total)
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (0.743 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.164 sg:total)
Ben Martin (1.289 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.722 sg:total)
Kevin Na (2.233 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.675 sg:total)
Derek Ernst (0.003 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.553 sg:total)
Matt Every (0.089 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.468 sg:total)
Morgan Hoffmann (1.074 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.52 sg:total)
Luke Donald (1.707 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.154 sg:total)
Bill Haas (2.252 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.705 sg:total)
Willy Wilcox (1.221 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.712 sg:total)
David Toms (1.16 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.662 sg:total)
Padraig Harrington (0.695 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.203 sg:total)
Blayne Barber (1.059 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.57 sg:total)
Tom Hoge (0.787 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.301 sg:total)
Cameron Smith (1.265 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.78 sg:total)
Jim Furyk (2.61 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.148 sg:total)

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

Bubba Watson (0.94 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.112 sg:total)
Wes Roach (-0.904 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.023 sg:total)
Chez Reavie (0.15 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.992 sg:total)
Colt Knost (0.053 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.786 sg:total)
Carlos Ortiz (-0.41 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.298 sg:total)
Kevin Streelman (0.222 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.886 sg:total)
Brendon Todd (0.013 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.666 sg:total)
Smylie Kaufman (-0.06 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.59 sg:total)
Geoff Ogilvy (-0.256 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.39 sg:total)
Brooks Koepka (1.145 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.773 sg:total)
Sangmoon Bae (0.179 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.799 sg:total)
Brian Gay (-0.734 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.121 sg:total)
Tony Finau (0.779 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.392 sg:total)
Webb Simpson (0.783 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.364 sg:total)
Martin Laird (0.428 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.993 sg:total)
Brice Garnett (-0.438 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.124 sg:total)
Heath Slocum (-1.24 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.69 sg:total)
Hunter Mahan (0.153 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.683 sg:total)
Angel Cabrera (-0.242 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.265 sg:total)
Billy Hurley III (0.168 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.665 sg:total)
Brandt Snedeker (1.12 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.607 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (1.711 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.186 sg:total)
Phil Mickelson (1.554 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.971 sg:total)
Robert Streb (0.726 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.137 sg:total)
Patrick Rodgers (0.276 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.686 sg:total)

Last Updated: March 20th, 2017