Distance Boom? The Stats Say Otherwise

Almost all of the talk heading into last week’s Masters Tournament was about this new “distance boom,” in the game of golf, mostly revolving around Bryson DeChambeau. 

In fact, Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley took a whole segment out of his Masters Wednesday press conference to discuss the “distance boom,” and how it is not good for the game. 

However, a new chart published by Golf Stat Pro Lou Stagner, shows that perhaps the “distance boom,” is not really much of a boom at all. 

Chart courtesy of Lou Stagner.

“When I hear that a great many players can carry the ball 320, I point to the data that says not one player averaged such a carry in 2020… but on a soft course last week, one can look at the data and see quite clearly that tee shots covering 320 downwind and downhill are rare,” tweets Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee about the chart. 

As Chamblee points out, Augusta National was playing very soft this week, much softer than it would in April, which would be a factor in how far a ball rolls out. 

Looking at the chart, you will notice that approximately 50.8% of drives are over 290 yards, and almost as many are over 320. 

Stagner writes, “For tee shots 320+, there are very often contributing factors (altitude, elevation change, wind, firm fairways, or some combo).”

At his press conference, Ridley talked about potentially making changes to Augusta National to compensate for the long tee shots. 

There has been plenty of chatter about the PGA Tour making changes, or rolling back equipment to help preserve some of these golf courses. 

And perhaps they still will, but when you look at the data, it appears that the “distance boom,” is not quite as drastic as originally thought. 

Leave a Reply