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 (2.862 sg:total)
Jason Day (2.853 sg:total)
Jordan Spieth (2.552 sg:total)
Jim Furyk (2.525 sg:total)
Henrik Stenson (2.517 sg:total)
Rickie Fowler (2.501 sg:total)
Sergio Garcia (2.408 sg:total)
Justin Rose (2.295 sg:total)
Wesley Bryan (2.285 sg:total)
Kevin Na (2.178 sg:total)
Bill Haas (2.131 sg:total)
Adam Scott (2.126 sg:total)
Matt Kuchar (2.02 sg:total)
Jason Dufner (1.861 sg:total)
Paul Casey (1.838 sg:total)
Jamie Donaldson (1.81 sg:total)
Ryan Moore (1.799 sg:total)
Francesco Molinari (1.785 sg:total)
Martin Kaymer (1.719 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (1.711 sg:total)
Luke Donald (1.701 sg:total)
Kevin Kisner (1.686 sg:total)
Daniel Berger (1.679 sg:total)
Ryan Palmer (1.65 sg:total)
Jimmy Walker (1.634 sg:total)

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

Wesley Bryan (2.285 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.142 sg:total)
Tyler Aldridge (1.149 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.034 sg:total)
Sam Saunders (0.97 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.176 sg:total)
Steven Alker (0.865 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.077 sg:total)
Stuart Appleby (1.164 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.419 sg:total)
Tom Gillis (0.742 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.065 sg:total)
Jamie Donaldson (1.81 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.138 sg:total)
Robert Allenby (0.077 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.571 sg:total)
Derek Ernst (0.007 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.572 sg:total)
Matt Every (0.057 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.51 sg:total)
Luke Donald (1.701 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.146 sg:total)
Jamie Lovemark (1.441 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.91 sg:total)
Kevin Na (2.178 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.655 sg:total)
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (0.745 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.228 sg:total)
David Toms (1.163 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.662 sg:total)
Padraig Harrington (0.698 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.201 sg:total)
Morgan Hoffmann (1.039 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.545 sg:total)
Bill Haas (2.131 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.647 sg:total)
Willy Wilcox (1.226 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.749 sg:total)
Blayne Barber (1.115 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.643 sg:total)
Steve Wheatcroft (0.818 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.351 sg:total)
Ben Martin (1.199 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.744 sg:total)
Anirban Lahiri (1.178 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.725 sg:total)
Peter Malnati (0.262 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.178 sg:total)
Whee Kim (0.839 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.404 sg:total)

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

Bubba Watson (0.939 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.062 sg:total)
Smylie Kaufman (-0.156 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.755 sg:total)
Wes Roach (-0.9 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.023 sg:total)
Chez Reavie (0.088 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.958 sg:total)
Colt Knost (0.059 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.786 sg:total)
Carlos Ortiz (-0.408 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.298 sg:total)
Brooks Koepka (1.146 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.847 sg:total)
Brendon Todd (0.013 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.647 sg:total)
Sangmoon Bae (0.177 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.799 sg:total)
Tony Finau (0.854 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.451 sg:total)
Martin Laird (0.425 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.007 sg:total)
Kevin Streelman (0.271 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.848 sg:total)
Geoff Ogilvy (-0.173 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.404 sg:total)
Brice Garnett (-0.436 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.124 sg:total)
Heath Slocum (-1.234 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.69 sg:total)
Hunter Mahan (0.097 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.63 sg:total)
Si Woo Kim (0.297 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.812 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (1.711 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.205 sg:total)
Webb Simpson (0.887 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.38 sg:total)
Phil Mickelson (1.47 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.959 sg:total)
Brian Gay (-0.356 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.12 sg:total)
Billy Hurley III (0.283 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.756 sg:total)
Scott Stallings (-0.16 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.273 sg:total)
Brandt Snedeker (1.193 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.609 sg:total)
Michael Putnam (-0.013 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.388 sg:total)

Last Updated: May 22nd, 2017