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Bryson DeChambeau has led the PGA Tour in ‘Driving Distance’ for each of the past two seasons – but a man who previously topped that category believes he could comfortably outmuscle the former US Open champ.

John Daly was the PGA Tour’s ‘Driving Distance leader between 1995 and 2002, his best year coming in 2002 when he averaged 306.8 yards off the tee.

DeChambeau, by contrast, has averaged 322.1 and 323.7 yards in each of the last two seasons.

Two-time major winner Daly, however, believes that his peak would be bigger than Bryson if he was using modern equipment and, specifically, a modern golf ball.

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In an appearance on the Full Send podcast, Daly was adamant that he could outdrive DeChambeau “by far”, adding that he is the “straightest long hitter that ever lived”. His numbers, he insisted, would be far greater had he not been using a balata golf ball at his peak.

“I looked at the monitor at The Masters last year, and [DeChambeau] was at 200 or 205mph ball speed,” said Daly. “I remember Nick Faldo was watching him, and I was like, ‘Nick, I was at 220mph’ and that was with the balata ball. 

“I was carrying the ball 330 to 340mph with the balata and that’s not even with a driver. That’s with a 2-wood brassie.

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“Bryson, what he’s doing is phenomenal but most of the golf tournaments I played, I hardly ever hit driver. I hit 1-irons. I’d fly that thing 300 [yards]. I’d cut it 280 into par-5s.”

“The golf ball’s so easy now. It goes straight. Try hitting a balata ball. Tiger would agree. No disrespect to all the guys out there but I’d love to see them put a balata ball in front of Bubba Watson or any of the biggest hitters nowadays.”

• Watch the full interview with John Daly on the Full Send Podcast here. 


author headshot

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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