When Watson isn’t riding his hovercraft golf cart or sitting courtside at Miami Heat games watching LeBron James, he’s bombing drives with his signature pink Ping driver. Bubba’s self-taught swing has vaulted him to the top of the PGA Tour driving distance charts since he joined the Tour in 2006. He led the Tour his rookie year in 2006, averaging 319.6 yards off the tee, and has finished no worse than second in the six years since.
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Courses took drastic efforts to prevent themselves from becoming obsolete due to Tiger’s ability to hit the ball longer than anyone on Tour. Even though he’s been surpassed in driving distance in the recent years, the “Tiger-proofing” of layouts across the Tour stops provides evidence that Tiger was one of a kind in the late ‘90s. Augusta National notably stretched its layout by more than 500 yards in 1997 after Tiger lapped the field en route to a 12-stroke victory.
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Mickelson has entered major tournaments with two drivers, no drivers and a driver that is more like a three-wood than a driver. But he still can hit it with the best of them -- especially when he gets the help of a cart path, as evidenced by his Tour-leading 450-yard-drive earlier this season. Mickelson, who ranks 78th overall in driving distance, launched his long drive during the first round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship on the 419-yard par-4 at Doral in March. Mickelson hit a flop from the cart path to five feet then birdied the hole.
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No list of the top drivers on Tour is complete without John Daly. His clubhead sometimes looks like it’s going to clip his left ankle on his backswing, but the distance can’t be denied. Daly dominated the PGA Tour driving distance rankings from 1989-2007, leading the Tour in 14 of those 18 seasons.
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In 2011, D.J. claimed the longest drive for the Tour season with a 463-yard tee shot on the par-5 seventh hole at the TPC Boston in the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. D.J. has been in the top-4 in driving distance in the past five seasons.
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In his first season on the PGA Tour, Colsaerts is among the leaders in driving distance. He hasn’t translated his power into wins on the PGA Tour, but the “Belgian Bomber” has two wins on the European Tour.
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Couples earned his nickname “Boom Boom” from the long drives that resulted from a seemingly effortless swing. The Hall-of-Famer won the 1992 Masters and maintained his standing on the driving distance charts well into the latter part of his PGA Tour career.
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Garrigus supplanted Bubba atop the driving distance chart in 2009 after Bubba had led the Tour three consecutive seasons. In a long drive challenge in 2011, Garrigus bombed a drive 354 yards.
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