Tracking StatsDecember 4, 2018

PGA Tour Stats: The five players who gained the most strokes off the tee this fall—and the drivers they use

The PGA Tour has finished the fall portion of its 2018-'19 season, and with a handful of events in the books, it's interesting to look at who excelled in this season's early events. Strong play off the tee can be indicative of future success, as it often sets up the rest of the hole. With that in mind, we take a look at the top five players in strokes gained/off the tee—each of whom pick up more than 5 strokes a week on average on the field—and the drivers they use.

Streeter Lecka

Cameron Champ
Driver: Ping G400 Max, 9 degrees
Strokes gained/off the tee: 1.483 In just his second start on the PGA Tour, Cameron Champ birdied five of the final six holes to win the Sanderson Farms Championship. As he has most of the year, Champ ranked near the top of the strokes gained/tee-to-green stat that week (he ranked second, picking up nearly six strokes on the field). Champ’s driver is Ping’s G400 Max. Champ’s club is a 9-degree head but set at 7.9 degrees with a 45-inch Fujikura Pro 63 TS shaft, tipped 1.5 inches. The club has four grams of weight on the toe, providing a slight fade bias, and a 16-gram backweight to assist launch as well as four grams of weight near the face to lower spin.

Gregory Shamus

C.T. Pan
Driver: TaylorMade M4, 9.5 degrees
Strokes gained/off the tee: 1.460 A former Nike staff player, C.T. Pan now uses TaylorMade’s M4 driver. Pan started the year using an M4 with a Ozik Matrix Black Tie MFS M5 60X shaft but now employs a Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Blue shaft 6S shaft in the club. Pan has the adjustable hosel set one click in the lower setting, bringing the loft slightly down.

Streeter Lecka

Luke List
Driver: TaylorMade M4, 9.5 degrees
Strokes gained/off the tee: 1.376 The 33-year-old former U.S. Amateur runner-up also uses TaylorMade’s M4 driver. List uses a Mitsubishi D+ Series 80TX shaft. The M4 features TaylorMade’s “Hammerhead” slot, designed to enhance flex and ball speed, not that the muscular List needs much additional help in that area.

Yong Teck Lim

Keith Mitchell
Driver: Mizuno ST 190, 9.5 degrees
Strokes gained/off the tee: 1.298 Although not on Mizuno’s staff, Keith Mitchell put Mizuno’s ST 190 driver in play the first week it was on the USGA’s list of conforming driver heads. The driver features the company’s “wave sole” technology which is designed to enhance face flex and has a backweight screw in the rear of the sole. Also of note to those who have paid attention to recent Mizuno drivers, the clubhead is not a blue color, but rather a more conservative black.

Stacy Revere

Tom Lovelady
Driver: Ping G400 Max, 9 degrees
Strokes gained/off the tee: 1.277 Tom Lovelady might not be a household name, but he currently ranks fifth on tour in strokes gained/off the tee. Lovelady uses Ping’s G400 Max with a finished head of 9 degrees but playing at a loft of 7.8 degrees as he utilizes the adjustable hosel in the big minus position. His shaft is a 44.75-inch TPT MKP 15.5. The driver, which has 3 grams of weight near the face and 5 grams near the toe.

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