Who Hit the Longest Drive in PGA Tour History and How Far Did it Go?
How far can you hit a drive if you really give it everything you have? 200 yards? 300 yards? 350 maybe? Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and the rest of today’s longest hitters consistently knock it past the 300 mark, but what’s the longest drive ever recorded on the PGA Tour and who struck it? The answer is probably longer than you think.
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Brooks Koepka are all incorrect
The best golfers in the world today can absolutely crush the ball. Rory McIlroy averages 320.2 yards per drive this season. Yes, you read that right. He’s not even the longest hitter on Tour either. Bryson Dechambeau leads the PGA Tour in driving distance with a 321.3-yard average.
A total of 86 golfers average more than 300 yards per drive for the 2020 season. For comparison, John Daly hit the longest recorded drive of the 1992 season, and it went 308 yards. That’s a pedestrian figure in this day and age.
The longest drive of the 2020 season was a 449-yard bomb by Justin Thomas. Tiger Woods’ longest poke this season is 335 yards. Huge, right? Actually that’s tied for the 306th longest on Tour in 2020. Brooks Koepka hit one 348, but that wasn’t even enough to crack the top 200.
The newest golf technology allows players to mash drives farther than any year in recorded history, but the Tour’s longest drive didn’t come from this bunch.
The honorable mention longest drives in PGA Tour history
Dustin Johnson is a frequent visitor to the world’s longest drives list. He owns two of the longest drives ever recorded. Johnson crushed one 463 yards in 2011 and another 489 yards in 2018. He also almost aced a 433-yard hole two years ago. The ball was in the whole way but stopped inches short of the hole.
Tiger Woods might not be one of the longest hitters this season, but he does own one of the biggest drives of all time. In 2002, Woods unleashed a 498-yard bomb on the 18th hole at the Mercedes Championship at Kapalua’s Plantation Course. It holds up today as the longest recorded drive of the 21st century.
The first drive over 500 yards came from Mike Austin in 1974. Austin smashed one 515 yards deep at the National Seniors Open Championship at Winterwood Golf Course. The most impressive part? Austin was 64 when he unleashed the bomb. The Guinness Book of World Records still recognizes Austin’s drive as the longest official shot in golf history, but there’s one that traveled farther.
The unofficial farthest drive ever traveled almost 800 yards
The Korn Ferry Tour featured a hole last season that measured 773 yards. It’s a par-5 at the TPC Colorado Championship. The longest drive ever recorded on Tour would’ve rolled over the green on this behemoth.
That’s right. The farthest unofficial drive in history traveled 787 yards before finally coming to rest — 330 yards past the intended hole.
Carl Cooper, a 31-year-old at the time, smoked the historic drive at the Texas Open in 1992. Cooper uncorked the drive on the 456-yard third hole. The ball landed on a downhill cart path and took off. It continued its journey along the cart path past the third hole and all the way to the 12th green. Cooper’s caddy calculated the distance at 787 yards from the third tee.
Cooper might be thrilled with the record-setting drive today, but he definitely wasn’t at the time. He went on to record a double bogey on the hole.