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 (2.908 sg:total)
Jordan Spieth (2.836 sg:total)
Jason Day (2.763 sg:total)
Henrik Stenson (2.547 sg:total)
Rickie Fowler (2.478 sg:total)
Jim Furyk (2.409 sg:total)
Sergio Garcia (2.362 sg:total)
Justin Rose (2.217 sg:total)
Matt Kuchar (2.169 sg:total)
Kevin Na (2.141 sg:total)
Adam Scott (2.128 sg:total)
Bill Haas (2.083 sg:total)
Paul Casey (1.958 sg:total)
Wesley Bryan (1.915 sg:total)
Jason Dufner (1.868 sg:total)
Jamie Donaldson (1.798 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (1.794 sg:total)
Steve Stricker (1.787 sg:total)
Kevin Kisner (1.787 sg:total)
Francesco Molinari (1.724 sg:total)
Martin Kaymer (1.711 sg:total)
Daniel Berger (1.709 sg:total)
Luke Donald (1.704 sg:total)
Marc Leishman (1.639 sg:total)
Byeong Hun An (1.61 sg:total)

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

Tyler Aldridge (0.947 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.109 sg:total)
Wesley Bryan (1.915 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.888 sg:total)
Steven Alker (0.842 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.019 sg:total)
Sam Saunders (0.995 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.258 sg:total)
Stuart Appleby (1.071 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.356 sg:total)
Robert Allenby (0.157 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.524 sg:total)
Tom Gillis (0.743 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.072 sg:total)
Jamie Donaldson (1.798 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.151 sg:total)
Luke Donald (1.704 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.117 sg:total)
J.J. Spaun (1.245 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.666 sg:total)
Derek Ernst (0.014 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.559 sg:total)
Steve Wheatcroft (0.877 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.358 sg:total)
Morgan Hoffmann (1.114 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.599 sg:total)
J.T. Poston (1.204 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.697 sg:total)
David Toms (1.172 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.675 sg:total)
Kevin Na (2.141 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.644 sg:total)
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (0.673 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.185 sg:total)
Willy Wilcox (1.182 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.706 sg:total)
Joost Luiten (1.42 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.955 sg:total)
Whee Kim (0.897 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.443 sg:total)
Blayne Barber (1.041 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.588 sg:total)
Jamie Lovemark (1.499 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.048 sg:total)
Kevin Kisner (1.787 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.343 sg:total)
Matt Every (0.028 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.407 sg:total)
Tom Hoge (0.751 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.333 sg:total)

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

Dustin Johnson (1.422 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.606 sg:total)
Jonathan Randolph (-1.067 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.073 sg:total)
Bubba Watson (1.05 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.998 sg:total)
Cameron Beckman (-2.472 sg:less-than-driver vs. -1.536 sg:total)
Chez Reavie (0.175 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.085 sg:total)
Wes Roach (-0.887 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.004 sg:total)
Colt Knost (0.072 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.794 sg:total)
Carlos Ortiz (-0.403 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.307 sg:total)
Smylie Kaufman (0.077 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.727 sg:total)
Brooks Koepka (1.303 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.94 sg:total)
Brendon Todd (-0.024 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.597 sg:total)
Sangmoon Bae (0.19 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.811 sg:total)
Martin Laird (0.417 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.035 sg:total)
Kevin Streelman (0.39 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.968 sg:total)
Phil Mickelson (1.378 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.954 sg:total)
Hunter Mahan (0.036 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.607 sg:total)
Heath Slocum (-1.267 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.698 sg:total)
Brice Garnett (-0.429 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.125 sg:total)
Geoff Ogilvy (-0.106 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.441 sg:total)
Tony Finau (0.995 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.528 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (1.794 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.291 sg:total)
Trey Mullinax (0.087 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.576 sg:total)
James Hahn (0.308 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.794 sg:total)
Patrick Rodgers (0.194 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.675 sg:total)
Si Woo Kim (0.31 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.784 sg:total)

Last Updated: August 14th, 2017