Does hitting fairways really matter anymore?

Not like it used to

One way to measure that is to see how much less today’s players hit fairways than they used to. Looking at the average fairway accuracy of top-ten players from every tournament, we can see that there has been a pretty noticeable decline.


The biggest decline begins after 2002, which is also the year the 500cc driver head was introduced. In 2004 the USGA changed the legal limit to 460cc. It’s tough to say what exactly caused such a decline in fairway accuracy, but what’s not debatable is that players know, in order to win, hitting the fairway matters less and less.

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