BY MATT CRAIG | PGA.COM INTERN | BALL STATE SPORTS LINK
This piece was originally published on PGA.com
Comparing golfers of different generations is a fruitless task. The way courses are prepared, the technology of clubs used, and the athletic training for Tour players today is vastly different than it was several decades ago.
That hasn’t stopped the constant discussion of how players now would fair against the greats of the past. While I can’t answer that question, I would like to present an interesting bit of evidence.
Rickie Fowler busted out an old-fashioned persimmon driver during a range session this week with Claude Harmon III. Harmon was nice enough not only to take a video of one of Fowler’s drives, but also post a screenshot of his TrackMan statistics using the persimmon wood.
Even with a generous 20 yard roll out, Fowler’s drive with the persimmon came in at 292.1 yards. For context, Fowler ranked a very respectable 23rd on the PGA Tour last season with a 301.6 yard average.
Add in the rougher cut fairways of old, which didn’t allow for hardly any roll out, and you can see why driving statistics aren’t what they used to be.