New Data shows Club Golfers need more Distance
What constitutes a long drive? If you watched the tour pros at the SA Open, tee shots going 300-plus metres at Glendower were not the exception.
South African Dean Burmester (right) was the early No 1 in the 2017 European Tour driving distance stats, averaging 309 yards this season, or 283 metres. He headed the tour’s driving distance stats in 2016 with an average of 315.6 yards. On the PGA Tour, J B Holmes was No 1 in 2016, with 314.5 yards.
But for mere mortals – read average golfers – the numbers are far more modest, and goes to show that it would be foolish for golf’s governing bodies to try and curb golfball technology.
Game Golf, maker of a wearable, realtime shot-tracking system that received Golf Digest’s 2016 Editors’ Choice award for Best Game Analyser, compiled the average driving distance in the United States for all users from rounds played between April and September 2016.
The overall average? Try 219.55 yards, or 201 metres. Of course, that number varies by age and handicap.
Golfers aged 20 to 29 averaged 238.68 (218m), while those between 30 and 39 (the largest group at 25.76 percent of users) averaged 231.21 yards (212m), while those between 40 and 49 averaged 220.52 yards (202m). Golfers over 60 average 196.4 (180m).
Players with handicaps of 5 or lower averaged 250.93 yards (230m), with golfers between a 5 and 9 hit it 231.04 yards (211m).
Game Golf also provided other club distances: the average 3-wood went 186.89 yards (171m), the 7-iron clocked in at 133.48 yards (122m), with the pitching wedge at 73.97 yards (68m).
And for what it’s worth, golfers found the fairway off the tee 46.46 percent of the time. What to make of the findings?
While the longest distance number may seem puny – especially when Henrik Stenson is outdriving that figure by 40 yards with his 3-wood – at least it’s clear that when golf officials discuss the potential need for curbing escalating driving distances, they’re not talking about an issue for recreational amateurs.