Ever wonder what will happen to your game as time passes? How does age affect your game?
As Ben Franklin opined, “nothing is certain except death and taxes.” Given Shot Scope’s database of on-course performance, it might be prudent to view Franklin’s statement through the lens of a golfer.
What is certain is that none of us is getting younger yet this data seems to suggest that age doesn’t need to be a death sentence for performance.
Quick disclaimer: Data is representative of male golfers in the Shot Scope database.
- Average driving distances decrease with age.
- Peak driving distance occurs when golfers are 30 to 39 years old.
- Though distance decreases over time, golfers hit a higher percentage of fairways as they age.
Something to consider: Many equipment companies design clubs specifically around the needs of older golfers. Typically, this means lighter components (head, shaft, grip) and materials designed to boost ball speeds.
FROM THE FAIRWAY
- Most golfers hit four to five greens in regulation per round.
- Older golfers (70+) still leave 43 percent of approach shots short of the green.
- Golfers in their 20s and 40s are a bit better but still leave 37 percent of approach shots short.
Something to consider. Most golfers don’t take enough club on approach shots. This happens for a variety of reasons but the root cause is lack of objective information. Unless you know how far you hit each club, it’s likely that you overestimate how far the next shot will travel. To get a solid average carry distance, use this advice from Scott Fawcett, founder of the popular course management system, Decade. Take any club (I started with 7-iron) and hit 20 shots with it. Remove the shortest 25 percent and then take the average of the remaining 15 shots.
- Older golfers tend to have fewer three-putts per round.
- Older golfers tend to have fewer total putts per round.
- The youngest segment (ages 20 to 29) has the most total putts/round and three-putts/round.
Something to consider, again … Great putters can consistently match the line and speed of a putt. That said, most golfers can figure out the general direction of a putt fairly easily. Speed control is a different story. Do a quick search for “Scott Fawcett Putting Speed Drill” and get to work!
Father Time remains undefeated. However, the average golfer’s handicap doesn’t change much regardless of age. This seems to support the importance of playing the correct set of tees based on your average driving distance. Beyond that, golf is a game that requires a tremendous amount of skill to play well. And as a result, Shot Scope’s database average handicap is in line with the USGA reported average of 14.2.
Considering the data, what is the perfect age for a golfer? How does age affect your game? Defend your thinking and post below!