Unofficially, what is the longest drive ever recorded on the PGA Tour?

According to Guinness World Records, the longest drive recorded on the PGA Tour since the introduction of ShotLink, which employs survey-grade lasers to precisely measure yardage, in 2003, was 476 yards. That distance was achieved by American professional Davis Love III on the seventy-second and final hole of the Mercedes Championship on the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii on January 11, 2004.

However, in the history of the PGA Tour, there have been several longer drives, before and during the ShotLink era, that could not be officially confirmed, have been expunged from the record books or deemed unofficial for one reason or another. American Dustin Johnson, for example, hit a 489-yard drive from an elevated tee on the twelfth hole at Austin Country Club during the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in March, 2018. Compatriot Tiger Woods likewise recorded the longest drive of his career, 498 yards, on the same downhill par-five on which Love III set the official record at the Mercedes Championship in January, 2002.

Although no longer recognised by Guinnes World Records, in September, 1974, the late Michael Hoke ‘Mike’ Austin hit a 515-yard drive on the fourteenth hole at Winterwood Golf Course in Las Vegas, Nevada. Notwithstanding the fact that he had the assistance of a tailwind, estimated at 25mph, Austin was 64 years old at the time and achieved his feat with a steel shafted persimmon driver.

The grandaddy of them all, though, was the 787 yards achieved by journeyman American professional Carl Cooper on the third hole at Oak Hills Golf Club, San Antonio, Texas during the 1992 Texas Open. Cooper, 31, let fly on the 456-yard par-four, only for his ball to land on a downhill concrete cart path, which eventually carried it 300 yards or more beyond his intended target and, rather unfairly, cost him a double bogey.

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