Category Archives: Golf Tour

By Paul Myers

Unfortunately, some of the long hitters that come along in the game of golf only have that one trick. Sure, they can blast the ball incredible distances off the tee, but relatively speaking, the rest of their game leaves something to be desired. Without a well-rounded game from the tee through the green, even the longest hitter may not last long on any professional tour.

That is what can make it so exciting to watch the growth and development of young professional Tony Finau. While Finau can certainly blast it with the best of them – he is averaging well over 300 yards per drive early in the ’14-’15 PGA Tour season – he has plenty of game around the rest of the course to go with it. For proof of that, look no farther than his sub-70 scoring average on the young season, or the fact that he playing on the PGA Tour at just 25 years old. With two top ten finishes in the first five events of the season, it seems obvious that Finau will be a player to watch in the years to come.

Watch Out Par Fives

As you might expect from someone with the impressive power that Finau possesses, par fives don’t stand much of a chance when he steps to the tee. Incredibly, he is making birdie on more than 50% of the par fives he has played thus far. Success on the professional tours is largely determined by the damage that a player can do on the par fives, and Finau is off to a great start. As long as he can continue to dominate the par fives throughout the Tour season, he could have a big advantage of much of the field.

Massive distance isn’t a requirement to compete on the PGA Tour, but it sure does help. Tony Finau is an exciting young player because he offers a combination of power and skill around the rest of the course that isn’t commonly seen. Should he continue to develop the rest of his game as well as he has developed his 123 MPH club head speed, there could be great things ahead.

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By Jaacob Bowden

Have you ever been curious to know how fast your favorite Tour player’s swing speed is?

It’s not listed which tournament the stats came from, but it is believed these Flightscope stats came from an European Tour event in 2008. Stats included are last name, first name, club speed, ball speed, back spin, side spin, launch angle, height, flight time, carry distance (yards), and smash factor.

You can download the Flightscope documents below:

European PGA Tour – Driving Stats (pdf)
European PGA Tour – Driving Stats (excel)
European PGA Tour – Driving Stats Sample 2 (pdf)

Trackman has also kept the average stats of all the PGA Tour players from 2004-2008.  Stats included are club, club speed, attack angle, ball speed, smash factor, vertical launch, spin rate, max height, land angle, and carry (yards and meters).  Keep in mind that the club lofts are not listed.  For example, one guys PW might be 48 degrees…and another’s might be 45 degrees.

Check out the numbers in the below Trackman document:

  PGA Tour Driver And Iron Stats – 2004-2008 (pdf)

Some of the things that I found interesting and noteworthy are:

• I’ve heard of the average swing speed for a Tour player being around 113-114…but      Flightscope and Trackman actually show that to be 110-112.

• Despite getting more driver distance by catching the ball on the upswing, the average player actually hits down on the ball with driver.

• Many professionals are not hitting drivers that would optimize them for distance. For example, based on my experience, the average launch angle is a little too low and the average spin rate is too high. This may be due to ignorance and mis-information, but it may also be done on purpose because accuracy becomes more important for many once they have reached a certain level of distance. The higher the spin with the driver, the more accuracy one would have off the tee.

• The long hitting, Alvaro Quiros of Spain, had the highest swing speed of the European Tour players at 125 mph. He may be doing it on purpose as I mentioned above, but if he brought his spin rate down and launch angle slightly higher…he could be hitting the ball even further.

• I’ve heard that 1.48 or 1.50 is “perfect” as far as smash factor goes with the driver. Since both data sets show an average of 1.48…Tour players would appear to be getting about as much ball speed as they can out of their current swing speeds. Basically, they are hitting the sweet spot a lot.

• Smash factor goes down when you get to higher lofted clubs.

If you liked the article about the swing speed of PGA and European PGA tour players with irons and you think it would help another golfer, please


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