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The drivers used by the top-10 longest hitters on the PGA Tour in 2017-2018

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What drivers do the PGA Tour’s longest golfers use to bomb their tee shots? Now that the 2017-2018 PGA Tour season is behind us, we can do a thorough examination.

First, here’s a tally of what the top 10 in driving distance on Tour are using by driver manufacturer. Interestingly, only two OEMs figure.

  • Ping: 4
  • TaylorMade: 6

But this is GolfWRX, so of course you want to know more. Below is a breakdown of the driving-distance leaders on the PGA Tour in 2017-2018, the specifics of their drivers, shafts and how far their average tee shots flew.

10) Keith Mitchell

Driver: TaylorMade M1 440
Loft: 10.5 degrees (10 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS T1100 7.5 (tipped 1 inch)
Length: 45.25 inches
Swing weight: D3
Grip: Golf Pride Victory Cord 58R
Average driving distance: 312.6 yards

9) Bubba Watson

Driver: Ping G400 LST
Loft: 8.5 degrees (7.6 degrees)
Shaft: Ping BiMatrix-X (tipped .50 inch)
Length: 44.5 inches
Swing weight: D4
Grip: Ping 703 Gold
Average driving distance: 312.9 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Bubba’s clubs

8) Brooks Koepka

Driver: TaylorMade M3 460
Loft: 9.5
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70TX
Average driving distance: 313.0 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Koepka’s clubs

7) Gary Woodland

Driver: TaylorMade M3 440
Loft: 9 degrees (8 degrees)
Shaft: Accra RPG 80X (tipped 2 inches)
Length: 45.25 inches
Swing weight: D5
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord Mid
Average driving distance: 313.4 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Woodland’s clubs

6) Dustin Johnson

Driver: TaylorMade M4
Loft: 9.5 degrees
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
Average driving distance: 314.0 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Dustin’s clubs

5) Luke List

Driver: TaylorMade M4
Loft: 8.5 degrees
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White D+ 80TX
Average driving distance: 314.7 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about List’s clubs

4) Tony Finau

Driver: Ping G400 Max
Loft: 9 degrees (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Accra Tour Z X485 M5 (tipped 1 inch)
Length: 45.25 inches
Swing weight: D5
Grip: Custom Lamkin UTX Mid
Average driving distance: 315.3 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Finau’s clubs

3) Tom Lovelady

Driver: Ping G400 Max
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: TPT MKP 15.5
Length: 44.75 inches
Swing weight: D3+
Grip: Golf Pride V55 Full Cord 58R
Average driving distance: 315.9 yards

2) Trey Mullinax

Driver: Ping G400 Max
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage XT 60-X
Length: 45 inches (tipped 1 inch)
Swing weight: D4
Grip: Golf Pride V55 Full Cord
Average driving distance: 318.7 yards

1) Rory McIlroy

Driver: TaylorMade M3 460
Loft: 8.5 degrees
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 70XTS
Length: 45.625 inches
Swing weight: D8
Grip: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R
Average driving distance: 319.8 yards

See what GolfWRX members are saying about Rory’s clubs.

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Ron Roulhac

    Jan 9, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Appreciate the article. It’s nice to have all of this golf club information in one place. To improve you golf game, it’s not just about clubs, but your approach is very important. After visiting http://www.golfswingpundit.com my golf game improved dramatically.

  2. Benny

    Nov 3, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Many great points in here. Does show me that the long ball hitters are all under 9* loft. Low loft, low spin drivers and getting that launch angle up. I saw this video with Thomas on pressure scales. At impact he is posted up on his right/rear leg around 90% and behind the ball. So add all that up amd you get some added distance boys. My 13* 430 won’t get me there lol.

  3. Chris Bunting

    Oct 17, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Woodland, lol. 80tx, tipped 2″. Id use that shaft to stake a new tree in my yard. F’n animal.

  4. Cliff

    Oct 8, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Ben:

    Thanks for the good stuff, but for us mortals with swing speeds of under 120, how about the drivers used by the shortest hitters on tour. That info may give us some insight into what clubheads and set ups are generating the most distance. Probably would be good to do the seniors and women, too, but for me I am going and get my x shaft tipped 2 inches so I can hit my driver under the tee markers. Lot of hot air in town (Washington DC) these days.

  5. dave

    Oct 8, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    The engineers make their big money designing shafts, all those guys can use the same heads with their “made for them shafts” and get similiar results.

  6. Billy

    Oct 6, 2018 at 6:05 am

    I have the LST. I am 65 and hitting the ball longer than I ever have. For some reason the 65g stock shaft fit me perfectly. Not surprising with Ping.

  7. CrashTestDummy

    Oct 5, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    You put any brand driver in their hands that is fitted for them with a good shaft, they would still be the longest guys on tour.

    • Just k

      Oct 5, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      Not necessarily. It’s hard to get the launch/spin combo with a Callaway or other as ping and TaylorMade atm

    • Brandon Miller

      Nov 13, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      I agree it’s great to see what the longest hitters in tour are using and there set ups but ultimately they could interchange the club heads and have similar results.

  8. big jones

    Oct 5, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    This is interesting. How about providing lists of wedges and putters. That’s a great idea about the drivers of straight hitters. Thanks.

  9. Vas

    Oct 5, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    Made the move to the Ping LST this year. If I smash one with both, my Rogue SZ was probably 5 yards longer, but the LST does NOT go left… like ever. I’m a believer. Also, everyone I know who has tried the G400 Max that isn’t brainwashed into having the absolute lowest spin setup loves it. The original G400 is probably useless now, but the LST and Max are ridiculously good.

  10. dat

    Oct 5, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    PXG? Nope.

  11. Tom

    Oct 5, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    All these driver heads perform the same, rules of golf ensure that. Just depends on who is paying each guy…

    • Joe

      Oct 7, 2018 at 10:08 pm

      No they don’t. Heads are very different. They are absolutely designed to accomplish different things.

  12. John Krug

    Oct 5, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Driver specs are personal to the individual. Is it accurate to say the information provided is as relevant as the shoe size of a player?

  13. Martin

    Oct 5, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    The shafts interest me most. Amazing that there are two Accra’s, such a small company!

    • Brett

      Oct 25, 2018 at 10:55 pm

      Been using Accra shafts for years now! Seriously underrated!

  14. John

    Oct 5, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    I doubt the list would change much if they hit a different brand driver.

  15. Aaron

    Oct 5, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Rory’s driver is D8! Even with his Tensei Orange shaft, that’s a lot of extra head weight being added.

    • Matt

      Oct 5, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      More a result of length. Every half inch is 3 ticks on the scale. So if he was at 45″ his SW would be a shade over D4.

    • Murv

      Oct 5, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      His driver is almost 46 inches long. Accounting for almost all of the swing weight.

    • Dave

      Oct 9, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      The reason the SW is d8 is because of the extra length. BTW SW is an artifical number. I can build a d0 with same head weight and shaft.

    • Redundant Ray

      Oct 11, 2018 at 10:54 pm

      I think that extra swing weight is probably just the result of the extra length. He plays a longer driver, like 46″ I read somewhere.

  16. Jack Nash

    Oct 5, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    As a result of last weeks Ryder Cup, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to list the Drivers used by the Top 10 Most Accurate Drivers on the PGA?

    • Mike

      Oct 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm

      Agree with Jack Nash – accuracy far more important than distance. Ryder Cup teams as follows: Europe : 8.5 x4; 9.0 x5; 9.5 x1; 10.5×2
      USA: 7.6 x1; 8.0 x1; 8.5 x3; 9.0 x2; 9.5 x3 10.5 x2

      If Casey, Rahm, DJ & Simpson are at 10.5 deg drivers – those of us playing amateur golf should be at least 13 deg ,,, yet, we are being sold drivers to imitate the top professionals !?!?

      • Scott

        Oct 5, 2018 at 3:14 pm

        Mike, there are more factors than loft. Shaft flex, kick points weight, etc. If you were fit for your driver vs. buying one off the rack, you would understand.

      • Craig

        Oct 5, 2018 at 7:10 pm

        Sometime the lofts described may not be accurate, they will take a 10.5 degree driver and adjust the loft down which depending on driver also creates a slightly open face many pro’s prefer.

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight Review: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

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Product: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

Pitch: The TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3 is a stronger-lofted version of the standard TaylorMade M5 3-wood. The Rocket is 14 degrees. The standard M5 is 15.

Our take on the TaylorMade M5 Rocket 3

“WOW, you really hit that 3-wood like a rocket!”

” Not like a rocket… an actual Rocket!”

The beloved 3-wood. A favorite club of both average golfers and pros alike, a club that many will hold onto well after what some might consider their “best before” date. But with new options and improved technology, these old faithfuls are getting the boot quicker for a lot of reasons including the ability to better dial in a fit and help minimizing misses.

Since making a club faster off the middle is becoming more and more difficult thanks to the limits set forth but the USGA, OEMs are changing the way we think about clubs and putting a greater focus on decreasing dispersion and optimizing misses. TaylorMade is doing this with TwistFace, which was originally introduced in drivers a generation ago, and has now been included in the M5 and M6 fairway woods.

I got to spend some time with the knowledgeable crew at TaylorMade Canada in their new indoor facility just north of Toronto (lets call it Kingdom North) In that time, we went through a driver fitting, and then to the new M5 fairway woods to try and replace one of my oldest faithfuls: a 14-degree SLDR Tour Spoon. To say I have a unique ability to elevate a fairway wood is something that even my fitter was a little surprised by. My numbers with my cranked down to 12 degree (measured) fairway off the deck were good but could be improved. I can hit it both ways (as much as a 6-handicap can actually claim that) but my trusted go-to shot is a slight fade with some heel bias contact because of my swing. I am willing to sacrifice some distance but usually hit it where I want.

What I saw at the end of the fitting was a club that produced longer shots along with a tighter dispersion without having to make or to try and make any changes to my swing. The final fit was a 14-degree “Rocket” M5 fairway set to 12 degrees. It beat out my SLDR by a total of nine yards, which is an increase of just over a total of three percent, including an additional six yards of carry.

To say I was honestly surprised would be an understatement. The SLDR TS is a club that the first time I hit it I went WHOA! Low spin, workable, looks exactly how I want that club to look (small and compact). You can see from the numbers below when it works it works.

Why does TwistFace work?

Let’s explain and get a little deep in the technology weeds for a second. Bulge and roll is not a new concept. In fact, it would be a lie to claim that all OEMs haven’t done something similar to this is the past or played with these two variables to help golfers hit better shots. Fact: Every OEM optimizes the bulge and roll on their clubs to increase speed and maximize performance. Tom Wishon actually had a line of woods at one point that went the other way had VERY limited roll from the top tine to the sole. With this design, more loft on the bottom of the head helped players who miss low or need help elevating the ball off the deck increase launch and spin. It worked. Cobra also has what it calls E9 technology to tweak bulge and roll to help maximize the speed and forgiveness of their woods. It also works.

What makes TaylorMade’s TwistFace different is that it is the most aggressive iteration of this bulge and roll tweaking yet, and by introducing it into the fairway woods and hybrids, it’s proving to be a winner — even for this now-proven wrong skeptic.

At the end of the day, the M5 Ti “Rocket” was a measurable improvement over my previous 3-wood. Now it would be disingenuous to say “if you aren’t using TwistFace in your fairway woods you’re not maximized,” but if you are someone that struggles with fairway wood dispersion and looking to find some extra distance for taking on par-5s, taking a look at the new M5 and M6 fairway woods as part of your next fitting should be very high on your list.

 

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Low handicapper switching to game improvement irons”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from jasonTel3 – a low handicap player who plays blades but who has had his head turned by game improvement irons. According to jasonTel3, every ball was hit straight when testing out a set of Ping G400’s at a simulator, and he’s been asking fellow members for advice on whether he should make the move to GI’s.

Here are a few posts from the thread discussing jasonTel3’s conundrum, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • balls_deep: “My first thought is to say don’t do it.. but then if you’ve hit them, liked them, and the numbers were right, it could be a good option. A friend I play with uses G400 and they have too much offset for my liking. I also don’t like that you can see the cavity on the 4 and 5 iron. Top line is actually very nice for a SGI iron. I just read the Ping Blueprint article on Golf Digest where they were talking about how some players hit small heads better. I definitely fall into that category. That said, I just ordered a set of i210 to try as I had really good luck with the i200 and should never have sold them. Have you tried the newer I series? IMO it’s GI help in a players look with an acceptable sole width. Long story short though – if you felt comfortable and the fit was right, why not try them? If you don’t work the ball a ton, I don’t see any issue with it. High and straight is a good way to go!”
  • hammergolf: “I’ve been playing Ping G25’s for 6 years. Still can’t find anything I like better. I can hit any shot I need to whether it’s my stock draw, fade, high, or low. And when I hit it a little thin, or on the toe, it still lands on the green. My thought is why play golf with a club that will punish you for mishit when you can play one that will help you.”
  • azone: “Everyone has an opinion, and here is mine. If you are/have been a good ball striker with a sound mental game, your mind will keep writing checks your body may not be able to cash as you get older or don’t practice enough. Those “ugly” forgiving irons look beautiful when a miss ends up on the green, and you are putting– not in rough or deep in a short side bunker. Those irons won’t be AS ACCURATE as, say, a blade, BUT if you aren’t as dependable as in the past, your results will be better. I used to keep two sets of blueprinted irons; blades for practice and CB for play. I play with guys that have cashed checks playing…and they don’t care how ugly the iron is.”
  • Jut: “As a decent player (and ball striker) and a sweeper/picker (I could hit off of a green and not take any landscape with me), I’ve found much success with the F9s (which, with the wide sole, are very similar to the G410 irons). In the past 4 years I’ve gone from Mizuno MP-68 to Callaway Apex CF16 to Ping i500 (a brief and bad experience) to the Cobra F9’s. For what it’s worth, the Cobras have been the best of the bunch by far.”

Entire Thread: “Low handicap going to game improvement irons”

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WRX Spotlight: Stitch headcovers

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Product: Stitch headcovers

Pitch: From Stitch: “Your game should match your style. At Stitch, we aim to merchandise our line of products so you can easily put together items that not only match your bag and what is it in it, but also match your style and personality. We want to make it easy for you to have a unique and color-coordinated golf bag. We have designed unique products that have defined color schemes so that choosing which items to put in your bag becomes easier. We aim to provide you with various looks, mixing and matching our head covers to give you confidence that the purchase you make for your bag will take you to the course in style. Let us help you dress your game.”

Our Take On Stitch Headcovers

Stitch is a relatively new company – founded in 2012. The company initially only created premium headcovers but has grown into so much more, with all sorts of golfing accessories now on offer on their site StitchGolf.com. Their bags, in particular, are now some of the most popular amongst golfers, with the quality and uniqueness provided leading multiple Tour players to sport them in tournament play.

That sign of quality in the bags bodes well for what the company was founded on – their headcovers. Stitch provides both leather and knit headcovers in a variety of designs that do as good a job as any in covering the needs of all golfers.

Stitch describes the companies Monte Carlo headcover as being their “classic, timeless design”, and for those looking for that vintage style to add to their set up then they can’t go wrong with this headcover. A mainstay in the likes of multiple tour winner Paul Casey’s bag, the Monte Carlo headcover, as with all of the companies leather covers, is hand-crafted from 100% leather and is both water and stain resistant. The cover comes in four color codes: Black, White, Navy and Red, and at $68 is the most affordable of all their leather headcovers.

Other options in the leather department range from their intricately designed Camo cover which comes in a multiple color design, as well as Stitch’s tribute to “The King”, through their Arnold Palmer headcover.

The AP cover comes in a minimalist black with white stripes for a classic feel, but it also comes in a white color code decorated with red, white and yellow stripes which, for myself at least, looks even more alluring. Part of an exclusive collection, the only issue with the AP cover is that only those located in the U.S. are currently eligible to get their hands on one. But for those in the states, the company is now offering a set of three AP leather covers for $128 instead of $298 should you use the code APLEATHERS on their site.

From their Tour Racer, USA, Shamrock and Bonesman editions, Stitch provides a great choice when it comes to their leather covers, and as previously mentioned, all are hand-crafted from 100% leather, water and stain resistant and will assure an excellent fit on your clubs.

Stitch also provides knit headcovers which contain not only excellent designs but also the same quality which has gone into their leather covers. All of the companies knit covers are made from Techno Wool, which is 100% acrylic and designed in order for your clubs to stay entirely dry. Another feature of the knit covers from Stitch is their smart fit design which ensures all of the covers retain their shape over a long period, as well as providing for a cover that will reliably stay on your club.

The knit covers from Stitch cost $68 ($72 for the limited AP cover), and there are currently seven different designs available to choose from over at StitchGolf.com. The leather covers are, unsurprisingly, a little pricier, but still very affordable, ranging from $68-$98. The covers deliver in both style and performance, and for a relatively new company, it speaks volumes that the likes of Jim Furyk, Paul Casey, Bryson DeChambeau and many more tour pros are now sporting the company’s creations.

 

 

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