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The fourth annual edition of the R&A and USGA joint report into driving distances on the world’s professional tours has been published – and, as ever, the results are fascinating.

The 2018 Driving Distance Report, compiled using data taken from seven men’s and women’s professional golf tours around the world, shows that driving distances increased by an average of 1.7 yards on 2017 (during which distance increased by more than three yards).

The average driving distance is typically measured on two holes at each tournament and usually results in nearly 40,000 shots being measured over the course of a season on some tours.

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The seven tours assessed are the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, European Tour, Ladies’ European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Web.com Tour and PGA Tour Champions.

Introduced in 2015, the report includes data starting with the 1968 PGA Tour season.

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The 2018 report represents one set of data among the already substantial collection of information currently being studied within the context of the ongoing Distance Insights project, which was launched last May to provide a comprehensive and definitive study of the past, present and future impacts of distance at all levels of the game globally.


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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