Why Did Driving Distance Decline on the PGA Tour in 2013?

Driving distance is down. Well down, on the PGA Tour, in 2013. The tour leader in driving distance was Luke List, whose average was 306.3 yards.

That's a big drive for mere mortals, but for long-bombing PGA Tour guys, it's a pretty puny average. For example, in 2012, the driving distance champ averaged 315.5 yards. In 2011, it was 318.4 and in 2010 315.5.

List's 306.3 average is the shortest by any Tour driving distance champ since John Daly's 301.4 average in 2000.

In 2012, Bubba Watson averaged 315.5; but in 2013, Watson's average was only 303.7. Charlie Beljan dropped from 311.6 to 295.4. Robert Garrigus's average fell from 310.3 to 302.4. Dustin Johnson's average fell from 310.2 to 305.8.

And while the fall in driving distance is more pronounced at the very top, it happened all down the line. The 10th-place finisher was at 304.6 in 2012, but 301.5 in 2013. The 25th-place finisher fell from 299.2 to 297.2. The golfer in 50th place was at 294.7 a year ago, 293.1 this year. And at 100th place, 289.4 in 2012 and 287.1 in 2013.

Here's the question: Why?

Anyone have any theories (or any actual answers)?

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