“If you give up long hitting, that’s the end of your life.” This is what Japanese player Torakichi Nakamura said. This is one of my favorite golf quotes.
For a golfer, long hitting is the most desperate desire. A long hitter, as we define it, refers to a golfer with a physical condition that makes it difficult to hit a long hit with more than 300 yards.
At LIV Golf, players such as Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, and Brooks Koepka have the physical condition to hit long shots. On the other hand, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Cameron Champ, Xander Chopley, and Sergio Garcia can hit for long despite their small size. These players are true long hitters.
It is difficult to express unequivocally as the average driving distance of players’ driver shots was measured in two holes per round, regardless of fairway or rough. Still, we have no choice but to rely on that statistic.
The longest hitter in 1986 was Davis Love III. The average driving distance of Love III was 285.7 yards. At this distance, it is in the lower ranks. Of course, the equipment is incomparable to what it is now. The tour average at the time was 261.1 yards.
In 1980, when shot data began to be recorded, the average distance of the PGA tour was 256.5 yards, and in 1992, when Metalwood was released, it was 260.2 yards. This is an average increase of 3.7 yards even after changing from a Persimmon wood driver to a metal wood driver. Last year, the driver’s average driving distance was 299.8 yards, an increase of 43.3 yards over 42 years. If you look at the record alone, that’s an increase of one yard per year.
The player who cannot be left out when it comes to ‘long hit’ is John Daley. Daley, who was ninth in the 1991 PGA Championship standby, made it to the majors thanks to Nick Price, who had to drop out due to his wife’s childbirth. It was then that he stunned golf fans around the world by hitting 300 yards for the first time.
At the time, because of Daley, a long hitter with superpowers, there was even an incident where the length of the practice range was increased. Since then, many golfers have followed Daily’s overswing among aspiring pros and junior players in the United States. In 1991, the average distance on the PGA Tour was 260.7 yards, while Daily average distance was 288.9 yards. In 1997, Daley had 302 yards and Woods had 284.8 yards. Afterwards, Daley competed with Woods until 2002, but Daley always took first place.
From 2003, new long hitters such as Hank Haney, Ernie Els, Bubba Watson, and J.B. Holmes appeared. Part of the reason Woods never ranked No. 1 in average distance was the reason other players used graphite shafts after his pro career, but also used steel shafts for accuracy.
Who is the best long hitter according to players who have made the best drive shots of all time? Here’s what I said to Jack Nicklaus, Davis Love III, John Daly and Greg Norman about it on the PGA Tour a few years ago.
First, when asked by Nicklaus to name the best driver shot player including himself, he picked Norman without hesitation, followed by Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, and Johnny Miller. Rival Lee Trevino once said that if Jack Nicklaus had played back then with his current equipment, he would have been able to get 400 yards. 스포츠토토
In 1998, when Nicklaus was 58 years old, he first measured club head speed at a golf event in the American West, where he recorded 118 mph. This was higher than last year’s PGA Tour average (114.6 miles), so it was a great head speed at that age.
Davis Love III also picked Norman as the best. The reason is that it is the best in both distance and direction. McIlroy was cited as the current active player.
Who would Daily choose? He ranked Nicklaus first. He was asked, ‘If I had to take a tee shot at the 15th hole at Augusta National, who would I take it to?’ The answer was that Tiger Woods must be the best, as he is a player with both distance and direction.
Finally, I asked Norman, and he cited Adam Scott without hesitation. The answer was that Nicklaus and Woods could not be called the best due to their poor accuracy.
Jang Hwal-young: As a commentator for Sporty Golf & Health, this year marks the 22nd year of commentary. He boasts the first US LPGA tour and US PGA tour commentary experience in Korea and runs Jang Hwa-young Golf Academy.