He led the PGA Tour in driving distance in 1980 with an average of 274.3 yards, a distance that would have ranked dead last on the Tour last year. Yes, the game has changed that much. But Dan Pohl’s claim to fame as the first to lead the official driving distance stat is secure. Pohl’s career wasn’t great by professional standards, but he almost won the Masters, losing in a playoff to Craig Stadler in 1982. Pohl did win twice on the Tour, both times in 1986, and won the Vardon Trophy for low stroke average in 1987.

Pohl suffered a series of injuries beginning shortly thereafter, and his playing career never again reached such heights. He played on the Champions Tour beginning in 2005, but today is retired from professional golf and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Pohl also hosts a radio show there. While today’s game with modern equipment may produce impressive missiles off the tee, galleries in 1980 were undoubtedly equally impressed by Pohl’s long-distance prowess back then, too. p>

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