Distribution of Driver Distance – Key Takeaways

  • Driving distance drops by 47 yards when comparing the youngest golfer to the oldest
  • From 2018 – 2019 driving average hasn’t changed
  • Is driving distance really an issue?

Improved Performance Through Data

Big data is a powerful tool. Not only does it allow golfers to assess individual parts of the game but it provides an opportunity to examine performance from a variety of perspectives.

Golf stat tracking and performance management companies like Shot Scope help golfers better understand their on-course performance. However, by aggregating data from golfers around the world, we get a more complete picture of the realities of amateur performance.

So, as we dive into a relatively straightforward topic, think about how far you hit the ball. Has your distance improved with age? Do you think handicap affects distance?

Distribution Of Driving Distances

Observations

  • The majority of golfers average between 200 and 224 yards off the tee.
  • Only 4% of golfers drive the ball over 300 yards.
  • The second highest percentage of golfers drive the ball between 225 and 249 on average.

The majority of golfers drive the ball 200 – 224 yards on average with only 4% of golfers hitting it over 300 yards. It begs the question that rolling the ball back should only be targeted to the PGA Tour and not the amateur game?

Driver Performance Average By Handicap

Observations

  • Across all handicaps, the driving distance has remained stagnant on average.
  • Golfers with handicaps from 10 – 17 have gained 1.2 yards on average from 2018 – 2019
  • The 18 – 28 handicaps lost 0.8 yards off the tee from 2018 – 2019

Golfers only lost 0.1 of a yard from 2018 – 2019 and, let’s face it, that’s no change at all. You have to remember that we don’t know what driver these golfers are using, what model, loft and so on. These variables are something to consider as you wont see that much of a difference in distance in drivers that are 1-5 years old. However, if the golfer plays a wooden driver or a driver thats 10-15 years old you will see an increase in distance with a newer model driver.

Driver Performance Average Distance By Age

Observations

  • Theres close to a 30 yard difference for golfers between the ages of 30 and 60 in diving distance.
  • Comparing the youngest golfer to the oldest, there is a 47 yard difference in drive distance.

No real shocker here. The older you get, the shorter you hit the ball and higher your handicap increases on average.

Key Takeaways

In the amateur world, the majority of golfers drive the ball between 200 and 249 yards on average. This subset of data backs up the theory that driving distance isn’t an issue in the golf amateur world. In the professional world the total driving distance after roll is 296.4 based on 2020 stats. Is that distance too far to roll the ball back?

Getting older is inevitable. It’s true that the older you get the higher your handicap becomes. Now when it comes to driving distance, ego plays a big factor. Golfers tend to lie about how far they hit the ball. Shot Scopes data suggest that some golfers might be telling a few porkies about how far they hit the ball to their friends.

How Do You Compare?

Do you score better or worse than the Shot Scope database averages?

What’s your biggest takeaway? Where is there room for improvement in your game?

Post a comment below!