Tour Report: 2012 biggest movers: Driving distance

Mike McAllister
PGA Tour

Which players improved their driving distance the most in 2012? And which players suffered the biggest drops?

The PGA TOUR’s Alex Turnbull compared the average distance and TOUR ranking of 136 players who played the minimum number of rounds in both 2011 and 2012 (thus, qualifying statistically in the category). Here are the five players at the top of the list and the five at the bottom, based on their change in ranking from one season to the next.


Player 2011 rank (avg. distance) 2012 rank (avg. distance) Increase in rank
Ernie Els 118th (288.1 yards) 51st (294.6 yards) +67
Jason Dufner 125th (286.8 yards) 64th (292.4 yards) +61
Kevin Streelman 111th (289.2 yards) 63rd (292.8 yards) +48
Carl Pettersson 81st (291.8 yards) 35th (297.1 yards) +46
Daniel Summerhays 139th (284.9 yards) 101st (289.3 yards) +38


Player 2011 rank (avg. distance) 2012 rank (avg. distance) Decrease in rank
Chez Reavie 71st (293.5 yards) 161st (282.5 yards) -90
Sung Kang 68th (294.2 yards) 133rd (285.7 yards) -65
Derek Lamely 37th (297.9 yards) 102nd (289.1 yards) -65
Michael Thompson 94th (291 yards) 158th (283.4 yards) -64
Webb Simpson 51st (296.2 yards) 111th (288.6 yards) -60


Neither Rory McIlroy nor Tiger Woods played enough rounds on the PGA TOUR in 2011 to qualify for the comparison list. But here are their numbers had each player met the minimum number of rounds last year.

Player 2011 rank (avg. distance) 2012 rank (avg. distance) Difference in rank
Rory McIlroy 7th* (307.2 yards) 5th (310.1 yards) +2
Tiger Woods 71st* (293.6 yards) 32nd (297.4 yards) +39

* – If he had met minimum number of rounds