On its surface, hang time is one of those seemingly nebulous stats. But dig down deeper and you understand its significance. It’s part of the bevy of information accumulated by the US PGA Tour.
As the US tour makes its annual two-step in Texas with the AT&T Byron Nelson and the Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial Country Club and the typical accompanying windy conditions, we’ve decided to take a look at those who have the tendency to get the ball on the ground quickly off the tee. Here are the five players with the shortest hang time and the drivers they use.
Hang time: 5.113 seconds
Driver: Titleist 917D2, 10.5 degrees
The average US PGA Tour player has a hang time of a little more than 6.3 seconds. At more than a full second less than the tour average, Griffin, who played the PGA Tour Latinoamerica in 2015-’16, is No.1 on this list. Ironically, Griffin uses a Titleist 917D2 driver – a model touted as slightly higher launching than the 917D3 – with 10.5 degrees of loft. Griffin appears to be an expert at keeping it low.
Hang time: 5.410 seconds
Driver: Ping G400 Max, 9 degrees
Summerhays gets some help in keeping his driver flight down by his choice of shaft. He employs Fujikura’s Pro Blue Kuro 65X in his Ping GMax 400 driver. The shaft features a bend profile that creates a stiff mid and tip section.
Hang time: 5.496 seconds
Driver: Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero, 9 degrees
Callaway’s GBB Epic Sub Zero has front and back weights in its low-spin design. Branden Grace combines that with a 9-degree head to produce the third-shortest hang time on tour. Grace was in the company’s newer Rogue Sub Zero model earlier in the season but has now changed back to the Epic model.
Hang time: 5.797 seconds
Driver: TaylorMade M2, 9 degrees
Some drivers push weight to the extremes of the clubhead in order to boost forgiveness. That can sometimes cause excess spin. But the TaylorMade M2 that Thompson uses boasts a carbon-composite crown and internal geometry to produce a forgiving driver with low spin, helping Thompson keep those tee shots down.
Hang time: 5.711 seconds
Driver: Wilson C300, 9 degrees
The stat of hang time has been the domain of Barnes on the low end. Counting this season, Barnes has ranked in the bottom five for five consecutive years and in the bottom 10 for the last eight seasons. The former US Amateur champion is doing so this year with a Wilson C300, a driver with three weights in the sole – two 6-gram weights and one 2-gram weight. Barnes has the two 6-gram weights positioned up front, helping to produce a lower ball flight.