Lexi Thompson's impressive 348-yard drive in the first round of the 2018 ANA Inspiration had us wondering what is the longest drive in LPGA Tour history. The Tour has been around seven decades, and there have been a number of long-hitting women on the Tour who are world-class mashers of the golf ball. Think about Laura Davies, or Brittany Lincicome, or Michelle Wie, and you can go down the line of long-ball hitters.
However, Thompson's drive at Mission Hills Country Club isn't the longest drive recorded in LPGA history. In fact, there's been two drives as long as Thompson's in 2018. Georgia Hall of England hit a 355-yard bomb on the 10th hole in the final round of the 2018 HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore, and Peiyun Chien hit a 348-yard drive of her own on the fourth hole in the second round of the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.
The LPGA only has statistics on driving distance dating back to 1992, and, frankly, not many people were all that worried about those numbers back then. However, as golf's distance game has evolved and pro golfers have become more athletic and pursued more golf-specific training, the ladies have been seeing percentage distance gains like their PGA Tour peers.
Like the PGA Tour does for their official driving distance statistic, the LPGA measures drives on two holes each week, typically going in opposite directions on holes where players are almost certain to hit driver. At the ANA Inspiration, that's holes No. 2 and 3. In Thursday's opening round, Thompson led the way on those two holes, but four golfers averaged over 300 yards:
- Lexi Thompson: 327 yards (306 yards and 348 yards)
- Angel Yin: 322 yards
- Yani Tseng: 318 yards
- Nanna Koerstz Madsen: 305 yards
No LPGA player has ever averaged 300 yards off the tee for a season. The longest season-long driving distance average belongs to Sweden's Karen Sjodin, who averaged 284.5 yards off the tee in 2006.
10 longest driving averages in LPGA history
- Karin Sjodin - 2006 - 284.5
- Joanna Klatten - 2016 - 281.4
- Maude-Aimee Leblanc - 2017 - 279.3
- Brittany Lincicome - 2006 - 278.6
- Joanna Klatten - 2017 - 278.1
- Lexi Thompson - 2016 - 277.4
- Brittany Lincicome - 2011 - 277.3
- Brittany Lincicome - 2012 - 276.1
- Karin Sjodin - 2007 - 275.8
- Sophie Gustafson - 2006 - 275.2