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 (2.933 sg:total)
Jordan Spieth (2.862 sg:total)
Jason Day (2.79 sg:total)
Henrik Stenson (2.729 sg:total)
Rickie Fowler (2.617 sg:total)
Sergio Garcia (2.388 sg:total)
Kevin Na (2.305 sg:total)
Jim Furyk (2.295 sg:total)
Justin Rose (2.241 sg:total)
Adam Scott (2.152 sg:total)
Jon Rahm (2.063 sg:total)
Matt Kuchar (2.058 sg:total)
Bill Haas (2.019 sg:total)
Paul Casey (1.984 sg:total)
Jason Dufner (1.874 sg:total)
Wesley Bryan (1.862 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (1.818 sg:total)
Jamie Donaldson (1.814 sg:total)
Steve Stricker (1.813 sg:total)
Kevin Kisner (1.782 sg:total)
Francesco Molinari (1.744 sg:total)
Martin Kaymer (1.734 sg:total)
Russell Knox (1.731 sg:total)
Ryan Moore (1.715 sg:total)
Graeme McDowell (1.693 sg:total)

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

Wesley Bryan (1.862 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.745 sg:total)
Tyler Aldridge (0.851 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.056 sg:total)
Oscar Fraustro (0.533 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.338 sg:total)
Steven Alker (0.741 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.093 sg:total)
Jamie Donaldson (1.814 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.168 sg:total)
Sam Saunders (0.936 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.302 sg:total)
Kevin Na (2.305 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.688 sg:total)
J.J. Spaun (1.449 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.845 sg:total)
Scott Piercy (1.606 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.025 sg:total)
Derek Ernst (0.076 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.495 sg:total)
Abraham Ancer (0.365 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.184 sg:total)
Robert Allenby (0.029 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.48 sg:total)
Morgan Hoffmann (1.134 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.661 sg:total)
David Toms (1.175 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.709 sg:total)
Stuart Appleby (0.842 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.391 sg:total)
Luke Donald (1.573 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.136 sg:total)
Jason Dufner (1.874 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.443 sg:total)
Graeme McDowell (1.693 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.277 sg:total)
Willy Wilcox (1.128 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.715 sg:total)
Patton Kizzire (1.125 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.72 sg:total)
Kevin Kisner (1.782 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.402 sg:total)
Blayne Barber (0.975 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.603 sg:total)
Steve Wheatcroft (0.676 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.321 sg:total)
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (0.57 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.216 sg:total)
Danny Lee (1.39 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.042 sg:total)

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

Heath Slocum (-1.793 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.717 sg:total)
Bubba Watson (1.077 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.991 sg:total)
Brendon Todd (-0.22 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.609 sg:total)
Chez Reavie (0.519 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.29 sg:total)
Brooks Koepka (1.328 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.048 sg:total)
Wes Roach (-0.662 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.044 sg:total)
Sangmoon Bae (0.075 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.734 sg:total)
Jonathan Randolph (-0.592 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.018 sg:total)
Steven Bowditch (-1.133 sg:less-than-driver vs. -0.54 sg:total)
Phil Mickelson (1.4 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.994 sg:total)
Tony Finau (1.051 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.636 sg:total)
Trey Mullinax (0.035 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.592 sg:total)
James Hahn (0.263 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.814 sg:total)
Angel Cabrera (-0.301 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.243 sg:total)
Hunter Mahan (0.162 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.689 sg:total)
Martin Laird (0.594 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.118 sg:total)
Colt Knost (0.235 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.736 sg:total)
Geoff Ogilvy (0.003 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.492 sg:total)
Bryson DeChambeau (0.564 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.052 sg:total)
Harris English (0.757 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.243 sg:total)
Cameron Beckman (-1.985 sg:less-than-driver vs. -1.501 sg:total)
Smylie Kaufman (0.198 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.679 sg:total)
Brandt Snedeker (1.217 sg:less-than-driver vs. 1.689 sg:total)
Hideki Matsuyama (1.818 sg:less-than-driver vs. 2.279 sg:total)
Michael Putnam (0.019 sg:less-than-driver vs. 0.48 sg:total)

Last Updated: November 13, 2017