Thursday, October 25, 2012

PGA Tour Players On The Best Driver On Tour

Here's an entertaining video of PGA Tour players answering who is the best driver of the ball.

Most of the answers line up with my metric Driving Effectiveness. Here are the current top-10 players in Driving Effectiveness:

1. Bubba Watson
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Hunter Mahan
4. Charlie Beljan
5. Boo Weekley
6. Jason Dufner
7. John Rollins
8. Graeme McDowell
9. Graham DeLaet
10. Keegan Bradley

A few things I disagree with are:

- Using the Tour's 'Total Driving' metric is flawed because of the way the 'formula' is designed (adding the rankings instead of looking at the actual numbers) and it doesn't account for how bad the player's miss is when they miss the fairway. My Driving Effectiveness metric is a proprietary formula that utilizes the actual numbers of the player's driving distance, fairway percentage and average distance to edge of fairway.

That being said, Bill Haas' pick of Charles Warren (which Haas based off of Warren's Total Driving on Tour) is an excellent pick. When Warren has been on the PGA Tour, he's been consistently in the top-10 in my Driving Effectiveness ranking.

He not only hits it accurately and precisely, but with great power. And he's rather small in stature, which amazes me that swing instructors rarely have his swing on video while you can find the golf swing of Stuart Appleby on YouTube with ease. Appleby is at best an average driver of the ball (and a below average total ballstriker).

- Hitting it short but accurately does not make a golfer effective off the tee, particularly against the rest of the Tour. While Brian Gay has had some effective years driving the ball, he's currently 167th in Driving Effectiveness on Tour. Even if he's hitting the most fairways and having the best distance to the edge of the fairway, he can still be less effective than a Boo Weekley who hits it 30 yards further and hits less fairways and has a greater distance to the edge of the fairway.

According to my metrics, the best short hitting drivers of the ball on Tour are:

Graeme McDowell
Heath Slocum
Jim Furyk

Personally, I would rank these players as the best drivers on Tour. This is based on the metrics along with the types of players I think can carry their driving prowess into the toughest courses in the world:

Boo Weekley
Rory McIlroy
Hunter Mahan
Jason Dufner
John Rollins
Graeme McDowell
Keegan Bradley
Bo Van Pelt
Kevin Stadler
John Senden


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