What is Tiger Woods’ longest drive ever hit during a PGA Tour Event? The answer is 498 yards.
Tiger Woods’ Longest Drive Ever
Ironic you ask this particular weekend because Tiger hit his longest drive ever on the epic 18th hole at Kapalua’s Plantation Course in 2002. It just so happens that this weekend’s Senty Tournament of Champions is being held at Kapalua, which is located on the Island of Maui, Hawaii.
Kapalua’s Plantation Course
When you see 498 yards you think that’s just not possible, and it really isn’t in most cases. However the 18th hole at Kapalua is very unique.
From the tee box it offers an absolutely gorgeous view of the Pacific ocean, and it is all downhill. If you got the wind at your back, and you hit it clean, you’re probably going to set a new personal best for driving distance.
This is exactly what happened to Tiger during the 2002 Tournament of Champions. He caught a downwind and that ball rolled a long way. The crazy part is that he was still 170 yards out after hitting his drive almost 5 football fields!
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The 18th hole at Kapalua is a 663 yard Par Five. Due to its downhill nature it is no surprise that some of the longest drives in PGA Tour History have been hit here. According to Golf News Net:
“Kapalua’s Plantation Course has given up the overwhelming number of 400-yard-plus drives in PGA Tour history. In the history of the PGA Tour’s use of ShotLink, there have been 437 drives of 400 or more yards dating back to Casey Martin being the first to do it in 2001. Of those 437 drives of 400 yards or more, 233 were at the Plantation Course. Another 56 have come at Firestone Country Club’s South Course, home of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Another 41 came at LaCantera Country Club, former home to the Valero Texas Open. Three courses account for 330 of the 437 400-yard-plus drives in the PGA Tour’s history of using ShotLink.”
If you’re looking for a golf adventure of a lifetime I think heading to Hawaii and giving the 18th at Kapalua a go would be an excellent time!
Longest Drive in PGA Tour History
Now there is a little discrepancy with everything we have researched with regards to the longest drive every hit at a PGA tour Event. According to PGA.com:
“Tiger Woods blasted a 498-yard drive on the 18th at Kapalua during the 2002 Tournament of Champions, which remains the longest drive in PGA Tour history recorded by ShotLink.”
We had recently written an article Titled The Longest Drive in a PGA Tour Event. A man named Mike Austin, a pro golfer and kineseology expert blasted a 515 yards drive back in 1974.
From our understanding this was more of an eye ball measurement without any of the fancy GPS and shot trackers that we have come to rely on. Tiger Woods’ 498 yard drive at Kapalua was recorded by PGA Tour’s ShotLink.
What is ShotLink?
ShotLink is a scoring and statistical data collection platform that is able to record each shot in real-time.
ShotLink has been used on the PGA Tour for a couple decades now providing information to broadcast networks, players, coaches, on-site video boards, and mobile devices.
How does ShotLink Work?
I certainley ain’t no scientist. So I’m not going to waste your time trying to decipher exaclty how ShotLink works. So here’s the explantion from ShotLink themselves:
“Each golf course is mapped prior to the event so a digital image of each hole is used as background information in order to calculate exact locations and distances between any two coordinates (e.g. tee box and the player’s first shot or the shot location and the location of the hole).
The ShotLink system is operated by a small staff of PGA TOUR employees and a volunteer workforce each week. It normally takes approximately 350 volunteers per event to score the golf tournament. This equates to approximately three man years of effort (between staff and volunteers). The annual ShotLink volunteer count on the PGA TOUR is approximately 10,000!”
Since ShotLink wasn’t around back in 1974 we are still sticking with Mike Austin’s 515 yards as the longest drive ever at a PGA Tour event.
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With all the technology available today, it is much easier to keep accurate stats. We can confirm that Tiger has the longest drive ever during a PGA Tour Event in the modern era, at 498 yards.