This article first appeared on Golfshake.com in Aug 2019
Every golfer knows the satisfaction that comes from launching a really HUGE drive. The electrifying tremor in your hands as the ball hits your driver face, the sweeping follow-through, the first joyous sight of the ball rocketing up and riding longer and higher into the sky, seeing it bound down the fairway and keep rolling – there are few feelings like it in the world. Whatever the length of your longest hit, however, we’re willing to bet that it comes short of the following long drives. To help keep your ego in check the next time you really catch one, here’s a list of 10 of the longest drives of all-time.
Carl Cooper – 787 yards on the 3rd Hole, Round 2 of the 1992 Texas Open at Oak Hills Country Club
The longest drive ever recorded on a golf course full stop; Carl Cooper’s 1992 hit combined a firm whack with some tarmac-related good fortune to register a drive of almost 800 yards! In the 1992 Texas Open Cooper smacked a drive down the par four 3rd hole which landed on a concrete cart path angled downhill. As per the laws of physics, the ball took an almighty bound, bouncing down the path with increasing speed. By the time the ball had left the concrete it was 787 yards from its original destination. An incredible hit, though Cooper would probably have preferred something shorter – it cost him a round killing double bogey!
Mike Austin – 515 yards on the 5th Hole of the 1974 National Seniors Open Championship at Winterwood Golf Course
When Carl Cooper unleashed his 787-yard behemoth, he stole the longest drive top spot from another, arguably more impressive, big hit: Mike Austin’s. In fact, because the exact measurement of Cooper’s drive is disputed, Austin’s still holds the crown in the Guinness Book of World Records. And what’s more, he did it when he was 64, and with a persimmon wood driver and equally outdated balata ball and no helping hand from a path. The mighty swipe came in the 1974 US National Seniors Open championship in Las Vegas and there has yet to be a longer (official) drive on the PGA Tour.
Tiger Woods – 498 yards on the 18th Hole, Round 2 of the 2002 Mercedes Championship at Kapalua’s Plantation Course
Before the recurrent injuries and the back troubles, Tiger Woods was at the pinnacle of world golf. He was also a pretty long driver. It’s easy to forget because of the quality of the rest of his game, but a big reason for Woods’s prior dominance was his length off the tee. This was nowhere more in evidence than on the 18th hole of the third round of the 2002 Mercedes Championship, where he unhooked a drive of prodigious length. ShotLink measured the hit at 498 yards, the longest drive on the PGA Tour in the last 40 years.
Dustin Johnson – 489 yards on the 12th Hole, Round 3 of the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club
DJ has been one of the longest drivers in the world for some time now and the 489-yard monster he untethered in the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play was an unparalleled reminder of his prowess. Unfortunately, we can’t provide any more details on this ginormous strike because the drive wasn’t televised!
Davis Love III – 476 yards on the 18th Hole, Round 4 of the 2004 Mercedes Championship at Kapalua’s Plantation Course
Although few would now associate him with it, Davis Love III was one of the longer drivers on Tour in his time. In the 2004 Mercedes Championship, on the same hole as Tiger Woods had hit his 498-yard crackerjacker two years earlier, Love came up with a similar effort. Catching the downhill section of a steeply cambered fairway, Love’s hit ran out to a cool 476 yards; one of the Tour’s longer drivers indeed.
Jeff Sluman – 473 yards on the 14th Hole, Round 2 of the 2003 Bob Hope Chrysler Championship at PGA West (Palmer)
Jeff Sluman wasn’t much of a tournament player, at least compared to many of the other names on this list, but boy could he hit a long golf ball! The former PGA Champion’s long drive effort came in the 3rd round of the 2003 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic at PGA West (Palmer). He launched one and on and on it went, ending up at 473 yards all told.
Charley Hoffman – 467 yards on the 1st Hole, Round 3 of the 2009 Texas Open at LaCantera Golf Club (Resort)
Something of a journeyman, Hoffman’s big hit was achieved in the third round of the 2009 Texas Open. Aside from its impressive yardage, what makes Hoffman’s drive so interesting is that it came on the very first hole of his round. The blond bomber just stepped up cold turkey and whacked one, without even the benefit of being warmed up!
Dustin Johnson – 463 yards on the 7th Hole, Round 4 of the 2011 Deutsche Bank at TPC Boston
The only golfer to make this list twice, who else could it be but Dustin Johnson? This particular hit came at the 7th hole at TPC Boston in the 2011 Deutsche Bank Championship. The hole measures 600 yards, but DJ had less than 150 of them for his approach shot – this means he probably hit the green in two with a wedge!
Justin Thomas – 457 yards on the 10th Hole, Round 3 of the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec
Justin Thomas’s long drive effort is one of the most recent on this list. Thomas unleashed his fateful smash at the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship. Although Thomas’s hit was, as you might expect, the longest drive of the tournament, the WGC-Mexico was a hotspot for shows of big-hitting. On the 10th hole alone (where Thomas had his effort) five players hit drives of over 410 yards!
David Duval – 454 yards on the 13th Hole, Round 5 of the 2002 Bob Hope Chrysler Championship at PGA West (Palmer)
Another big hit unloosed at the Bob Hope Chrysler Championship, but this time by David Duval. Known for his terminator shades and cool collected demeanor, Duval isn’t the sort of character that you associate with a long ball, but the former world number one had a very powerful drive in his time as this 454-yard hammer proves. Duval was one of the first players to embrace lifting weights in the gym and, with this prodigious smash, it showed.
In addition to the above names, here are honorable mentions for Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy in the Scottish Open!