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The game of golf seems to be obsessed with distance these days and when it comes to that topic the conversation typically moves swiftly to the biggest club the bag – the driver.
On the LPGA Tour the distances the top pros are hitting the ball off the tee continue to increase and at this current rate it seems it will not be long before the longest hitter on the LPGA Tour is averaging over 300 yards in driving distance.
But what drivers are most popular amongst the top professionals in the women’s game? To find out we took a detailed look at the driver each of the top 50 players on the LPGA Tour is carrying.
PING’s G425 LST is the most popular driver among the top 50 LPGA Tour players with 6 players choosing it. Titleist’s TSi3 is the next most used model while PING’s G410 Plus driver ranks 3rd. 26% of this elite group play a PING driver with TaylorMade and Titleist driver models being used by 16% and 14% respectively.
The make and model of any driver only tells us so much however and when we looked at the drivers being used by some of the best players in the women’s game it was interesting to see the multitude of different shafts being used and the variance in lofts chosen by the different players.
What was also fascinating to note was that despite all the focus on distance in the modern game two time major champion and former world number 1 – Ariya Jutanugarn – chooses not to carry a driver at all!
Breakdown of Drivers Used by Top 50 LPGA Tour Players
Even just a cursory glance at the average driving stats of the LPGA Tour quickly highlights that the same trend can be seen in the professional women’s game as in the men’s.
The distances the top pros are hitting the ball is steadily increasing and while the great Laura Davies topped the driving charts in 1993 with an average distance of 254 yards such a distance would barely scrape her into the top 100 longest hitters on the LPGA Tour today.
The advances in golf technology, specifically with the driver, has been a significant factor in this increase in average driving distances and when it comes to the elite of the women’s professional game and the top 50 LPGA Tour players it is no surprise to find the majority of them using the latest models from the top manufacturers.
In total we discovered 29 different models of drivers being used by the top 50 players on the LPGA Tour with PING’s G425 LST being the most popular and 6 players choosing it. Indeed PING drivers proved to be the most popular brand also with 13 of the top 50 using their driver models.
The major brands of PING, Titleist, TaylorMade and Callaway dominate the drivers used by the top 50 LPGA players but it is interesting to note that PXG is a far more used brand of driver on the LPGA Tour compared to the PGA Tour with 6 of the top 50 using one.
As with the men’s game however when you look in detail at the drivers being used by the top women pros the fact that they use the same model of driver does not tell the full story as the similarities often stop there with individual players choosing different set ups that suit their swing and game best.
As a result the shaft, loft and lie angle combinations rarely match between different players.
For example even though 6 of the top 50 LPGA Tour players use a PING G425 LST driver not one of those setups matches the other when you take into account the shaft, loft and lie angle choices.
“My ball flight is a bit high so the TSi3 performs better than TSi2.”So Yeon Ryu, Titleist LPGA Tour player
It is also interesting to note when it comes to looking at the drivers selected by the top 50 LPGA players that former world no.1 Ariya Jutanugarn is excluded from such an analysis.
And the simple reason for this is that she does not actually carry a driver in her golf bag.
Ariya Jutanugarn’s decision not to carry a driver is a fascinating one and indeed triggered her ascent to world no.1. After a string of missed cuts in 2016 her caddie pleaded with her to take her driver out of the bag and after agreeing to do so she moved to be ranked no.1 in the world the following year in 2017.
While today Jutanugarn uses her driver in some practice rounds she has never returned to putting it back in the bag for competitive rounds for the simple reason that she does not feel accurate enough with her driver preferring instead to hit 3-woods and 2-irons off the tee.
And even with this change she still ranks just outside the top 40 for average driving distance on the LPGA Tour so it doesn’t seem to be affecting her too much!
Here is a complete breakdown of the drivers used currently by the top 50 players on the LPGA Tour in the table below.
[Note – Worldwide Golf Shops links are re-directed to Scottsdale Golf for our UK readers]
|DRIVER||NO. OF TOP 50 LPGA PLAYERS||SELECTED GOLFERS|
|PING G425 LST||6||A Lim Kim, Ally Ewing, Elizabeth Szokol, Jennifer Kupcho, Leona Maguire, Lizette Salas||View at Worldwide Golf Shops|
|PING G410 Plus||3||Amy Olson, Caroline Masson, Patty Tavatanakit||View at Worldwide Golf Shops|
|PING G400||2||Brooke M Henderson, Esther Henseleit||Check eBay|
|PING G400 LST||1||Brittany Altomare||Check eBay|
|PING G400 Max||1||In Gee Chun||Check eBay|
|TaylorMade R1||2||Jenny Shin, Stacy Lewis||Check eBay|
|TaylorMade M2||2||Angel Yin, Moriya Jutanugarn||Check eBay|
|TaylorMade SIM2 Max||1||Yuka Saso||Check Amazon|
|TaylorMade SIM Max D||1||Gaby Lopez||View at Worldwide Golf Shops|
|TaylorMade M3||1||Eun-Hee Ji||Check eBay|
|TaylorMade M5||1||Sei Young Kim||Check eBay|
|Titleist TSi3||4||Anna Nordqvist, Danielle Kang, Jin Young Ko, So Yeon Ryu||View at Worldwide Golf Shops|
|Titleist TSi4||1||Jessica Korda||View at Worldwide Golf Shops|
|Titleist TS2||1||Matilda Castren||Check Amazon|
|Titleist TSi1||1||Nelly Korda||View at Worldwide Golf Shops|
|PXG 0811 XT Gen4||2||Austin Ernst, Megan Khang||Check eBay|
|PXG 0811 X Gen2||2||Celine Boutier, Mina Harigae||Check eBay|
|PXG 0811 X Prototype||1||Lydia Ko||Check eBay|
|PXG 0811 X Gen4||1||Ryann O’Toole||Check eBay|
|Callaway Epic Speed||2||Jeongeun Lee6, Madelene Sagstrom||– Check Amazon|
– View at Worldwide Golf Shops
|Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero||1||Amy Yang||Check eBay|
|Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero||1||Nanna Koerstz Madsen||– Check Amazon|
– View at Worldwide Golf Shops
|Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic||1||Georgia Hall||Check eBay|
|Srixon Z785||2||Hannah Green, Nasa Hataoka||– Check Amazon|
– Check eBay
|Srixon ZX7||1||Minjee Lee||View at Worldwide Golf Shops|
|Cobra Radspeed||1||Lexi Thompson||– Check Amazon|
– View at Worldwide Golf Shops
|Honma TW717||1||Shanshan Feng||Check eBay|
|XX10 Eleven||1||Inbee Park||Check eBay|
|Yonex Ezone XPG||1||Hyo Joo Kim||Check eBay|
|No data||3||Pajaree Anannarukarn, Yealimi Noh, Xiyu Lin|
[Note – if you are interested in checking out how the driver set of the top 50 LPGA players compares to their colleagues on the PGA Tour check out our analysis of the drivers used by the top 100 PGA Tour players here.]
What Driver Shaft Do Most LPGA Players Use?
When it comes to driver shaft choice the top professionals in the world are often very particular when it comes to their preference and the top 50 players on the LPGA Tour are no different.
Not all the individual driver shaft data is available for this elite group with details of the shafts being used by the 21 not being available but for the remaining 28, excluding Ariya Jutanugarn who does not use a driver, we found the following.
As a whole the most common driver shaft flex used by the top 50 LPGA Tour players is stiff. Nelly & Jessica Korda, Nasa Hataoka and Lizette Salas all play stiff driver shafts while Brooke M Henderson chooses to use an extra stiff shaft in her driver. 4 players including Inbee Park choose a regular driver shaft flex.
Driver shaft weights amongst the top 50 vary between 50g and 68g with the most common being 65g and chosen by 5 players in the data set available. Indeed Nelly Korda chooses a 65g driver shaft in the Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 6 S shaft she uses in her Titleist TSi1 driver.
In total we found 32 different driver shaft models being used by the top 50 LPGA Tour players with Graphite Design’s Tour AD IZ 6 S shaft being the most popular. Graphite Design is also the most used driver shaft brand followed by Fujikura with 11 users and Mitsubishi shafts with 6 players choosing them.
While Graphite Design’s Tour AD IZ 6 S shaft is its most popular model according to the data available Fujikura’s Ventus and Speeder Evolution ranges of shaft find the most favour among their users.
When it comes to Mitsubishi’s range of driver shafts we found one player each using the following models – KURO KAGE Black 55 R, Tensei CK Pro White 60 S, Tensei CK Pro White 50 S, Diamana BF 60 S, Diamana BF 60 R and Diamana DF 50 R.
What Driver Loft Do LPGA Players Use?
Professional golfers are very precise with their equipment and when it comes to driver loft different players will choose different degrees of driver depending on their swing, how they want to flight the ball in play and also on the conditions.
Modern golf technology also makes it much easier now for players to alter the loft of their drivers and when it comes to looking at the driver set up of the top 50 LPGA players it is clear most of them take advantage of the preciseness modern drivers afford them.
Driver lofts used by the top 50 LPGA players range from 8 up to 11 degrees. The most common driver loft is 9 degrees with 17 players choosing that degree of driver. 10.5 degrees is the next most used loft with 11 golfers opting for that degree of driver with another 5 players each choosing 9.5 and 10 degree drivers.
When looking at the choices of driver loft selected by the best players on the LPGA Tour it was noticeable that there was less variance compared to their male colleagues but it is of course common for the top pros to change the loft of their driver depending on the latest course they are playing.
Below is a breakdown of driver lofts currently used among the top 50 LPGA Tour players.
|DRIVER LOFT||NO. OF TOP 50 LPGA PLAYERS||SELECTED GOLFERS|
|9 degrees||17||Lydia Ko, Yuka Saso, Hyo Joo Kim|
|10.5 degrees||11||Ally Ewing, Austin Ernst, Hannah Green|
|9.5 degrees||5||Nasa Hataoka, Lizette Salas, Shanshan Feng|
|10 degrees||5||Nelly Korda, Minjee Lee, Anna Nordqvist|
|8.5 degrees||3||Angel Yin, Brittany Altomare, Inbee Park|
|11 degrees||1||Jin Young Ko|
|8 degrees||1||Lexi Thompson|
|Not applicable||1||Ariya Jutanugarn – does not carry a driver|
|No data||6||Sei Young Kim, Jenny Shin, Matilda Castren|
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