It wasn’t that long ago, that a round of 59 or better was a rare achievement on the PGA Tour. In the month of January there have already been two rounds of 59… emerging star Justin Thomas torched SONY Open’s Waialae Country Club’s normally difficult driving layout with an 11 under par 59 in the first round. And then last week, Adam Hadwin blazed through the desert at the Career Builder Challenge with an amazing third round score of 13 under par 59.
So why this proliferation of incredibly low scoring on the PGA Tour? In my view the answer is simple…
- The equipment – for the best players the golf ball is going farther and is more easily controlled… but more importantly the new hybrid clubs make the longer approaches much easier than hitting long irons, and the phenomenal recovery potential from short distances that has come with the introduction of high loft (60-64 degree) wedges.
- The condition of the course – The pristine condition and lower grass lengths of the fairways and green surrounds result in increased spin potential and much more control for the game’s best. And the putting surfaces? Well they are typically extremely fast, true and consistently more conducive for tremendous amounts of putts being holed…..even from what are considered to be only mediocre to good putters.
- The condition of the players – this particularly applies to the younger generation coming out on the PGA Tour as they are simply better athletes than even a decade ago. They are stronger, which helps not only with distance, but also with playing out of any rough and manufacturing high spin short shots. They also, because of their physical condition, can perform better not only later in individual rounds, but also deeper into 72 hole tournaments.
Get used to this low scoring trend on the PGA Tour….I believe it’s here to stay!