By now you’ve seen the video of Dustin Johnson’s massive drive on the 18th hole in the Northern Trust playoff at Glen Oaks Club.
It was absurdly long, carrying first the water hazard and then the fairway bunker, flying on a line that TV viewers could not have been ready for. Commentators and fans have long joked about Johnson’s length being unfair, but according to Ian Poulter and some other tour pros, those jokes may be pretty spot on.
Poulter tweeted out an image of the PGA Tour’s shot tracker system, which vividly paints the difference between Johnson’s drive and that of his competition, Jordan Spieth.
— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) August 27, 2017
Johnson’s drive carried 310 yards, nearly the entire length of Spieth’s shot. He said after the event that he can cover a 300 carry with consistency, and due to the shape of the hole, that meant Johnson was left swinging a 60-degree wedge while Spieth was forced to line up his six-iron.
Poulter wasn’t the only pro to complain about the playoff being played on the 18th hole. Wesley Bryan also noted the specific 18th-hole advantages for those who can bomb it as far as Johnson did.
If you fly it 315 then you have a 100 yd wide fairway on 18…..
It’s a shame that it ended because of a long drive contest in the playoff
— Wesley Bryan (@wesleybryangolf) August 27, 2017
Kevin Kisner shared his opinion more succinctly:
Worst hole ever
— Kevin Kisner (@K_Kisner) August 28, 2017