5 Longest Drives in PGA History

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There have been some big hitters on the PGA Tour and these five individuals certainly know how to give the driver a rip off the tee.

Dustin Johnson

It doesn’t matter whether you are a 28-handicapper or a multiple Major winner, there isn’t a golfer on the planet who doesn’t want to hit their drives further.

But there have been some amazing distances posted over the years and we take a look at the longest five in history.

5. Dustin Johnson (489 yards, 12th hole at Austin Country Club, Texas at the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play in 2018)

There are few better sights in the game than seeing current world number one Dustin Johnson crack one off the tee, but it is just a shame that no video footage exists of his longest drive.

Johnson was not enjoying a great defence of his WGC Match Play title three years ago and he lost all of his group matches, but the highlight came in his match against Kevin Kisner.

Fortunately the shot tracker was on hand to record Johnson’s tee shot on the 12th at Austin Country Club, which surpassed Kisner’s effort by an amazing 139 yards.

So an official record does exist of the mammoth hit and, unfortunately for Johnson, so does the match score. He lost 4&3.

4. Tiger Woods (498 yards, 18th hole at the Plantation Course, Kapalua, Hawaii at the Mercedes Championship in 2002)

Official records for longest drives came in on the PGA Tour in 2004 after technological developments and that meant a host of thumps from the 2002 Mercedes Championship (now the Tournament of Champions) were expunged from the records.

The wide-open undulating 18th at the Plantation always lends itself to a drive that trundles down to the greenside, particularly with the aid of a Pacific breeze. It’s a free-for-all for sluggers.

But we couldn’t have a list without including the 15-time Major winner.

Here’s to you, sir.

3. Louis Oosthuizen (500 yards, 1st hole at Blackstone Golf Club, Incheon, South Korea at the Ballantines Championship in 2013)

We all know the most nerve-wracking shot of any round of golf is the first one, but what if you hit it 500 yards?

That happened to former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen at the Ballantines eight years ago after he missed the fairway to the right.

His ball caught a downhill cart path and bounced along for a minute and a half before resting against a kerb.

And then, he even got a free drop!

However, he still had to be content with a par five and went on to post a round of 71.

2. Mike Austin (515 yards, 14th hole at Winterwood Golf Club, Las Vegas, Nevada at the National Seniors Open Championship in 1974)

If you consult the Guinness Book of Records, this is the longest drive in competition ever, and it is all the more impressive because it was hit by a 64-year-old with a Persimmon driver about the size of a modern seven-wood.

Mike Austin benefitted from a 27mph tailwind in Las Vegas but it was still an almighty crack.

The only problem was that it took place on a hole that measured just 455 yards, so while it was smashed almost out of sight, it could hardly be considered Position A.

1. Carl Cooper (787 yards, 3rd hole at Oak Hills Golf Club, San Antonio, Texas at the Texas Open in 1992)

However, Austin’s effort looks like a 60 per cent sand wedge compared to Carl Cooper’s hole to remember at the 1992 Texas Open.

When the 31-year-old journeyman pro stood on the 456-yard par four, he could not have imagined he would have ended up more than 300 yards out of position.

He was supposed to be playing the third at Oak Hills but his drive landed on a cart path, careered past the green, the fifth green, the sixth tee and eventually came to rest behind the 12th green after being slowed by straying onto a maintenance path.

Almost needing a taxi to get back into play, it was no surprise that Cooper ended with a double bogey. But then, despite never having posted a top-ten finish in a PGA Tour event, he had earned his place in golfing history.

At the opposite end of the golfing spectrum, why not check out our list of the Five Worst Putts in the History of Golf? They are enough to warm the heart of the highest handicapper out there!

Rob has around 20 years journalism experience and has written and commentated on the likes of football, cricket and rugby. He also has an impressive background in racquet sports and regularly provides content on the likes of tennis and badminton.

3 Responses

  1. It is so ridiculous to even mention or compare a long drive thats assisted by cart paths bouncing for ever. Only a drive that stays on the fairway is counted please.

    1. Or like the shot put, javelin or discus measured to where it lands not where it ends up.

  2. It looks like Bryson has a ways to go with his “meager” 417 yarder he hit yesterday at Whistling Straits #4! LOL And I agree with the previous respondent that driving distance records should be only for balls staying in play, preferably ending up in the current fairway. Finally why don’t they use the full 7790 yards at Whistling Straits? I think I heard a total yardage of 7300 & change was used on Sunday.

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