There are certain things golf enthusiasts expect when they see round coverage. Tiger Woods wears red on Sunday, Kevin Na runs shots, and Jordan Spieth talks to his golf ball. Much.
But in recent years, perhaps no golfer has been more associated with a signature move than Hideki Matsuyama. The 2021 Masters champ hits the top of his back swing and stops conspicuously before the bottom wing kicks in, usually shooting a perfect shot. Even if he doesn’t react like he’s perfect.
But in a video shared on Tuesday, Matsuyama is seen hitting a driver nonstop in his swing. The results were amazing.
The video comes from Eddie Fernandes, better known as “Fast Eddie,” a 51-year-old competitor at World Long Drive, who earlier this month shared another clip of him hitting 393 yards. Apparently, Fast Eddie is working with Matsuyama to ramp up his swing speed, and while the Japanese superstar isn’t quite ready to get into long driving competitions just yet, this one is pretty impressive:
First of all, it is good to see Matsuyama in good health after withdrawing from the 3M Open with a wrist injury after opening 77 last Thursday. But we’re here to talk about these numbers. The ball’s speed is 191.4 mph and the club’s speed of 131.4 mph really moves it. And he knows it. “Best ball speed,” Matsuyama declared in the video. Yes, that’s serious speed, Hideki.
To put it into perspective, Matsuyama’s club average pace on the PGA Tour this season is 115.64. Which puts him 84th, or about an mph faster than the tour average of 114.46.
Cameron Champ leads the round with an average of 124.77. Champ also leads the tour in driving distance at 319.7 yards per poke. So imagine what Hideki, who currently averages 305.6 yards from a tee, could swing at 131.4 mph? And how much speed can he get if this is really his first speed session?
We’ve already seen Matt Fitzpatrick make huge gains on the field this year, leading to his US Open title last month. And of course, Bryson DeChambeau made his own gains before winning the 2020 US Open.
Could Matsuyama be the next player to add distance to win this title? And could he do that by losing his signature and pause? We have to wait and see.