Club Distances: Dispelling the Myths, and Why You Need Accurate Info
Golfers are obsessed with how far they can hit the ball. It is no surprise because that is the culture the game has created over the last decade. In this article I want to discuss golf club distances, and why it is so important to have the right information. It is not all about distance!
Long story short – there is no “right” distance you should be hitting the golf ball. However, finding out how far you do carry your clubs is vital information that every golfer should have. It can absolutely lower your scores by helping to make smarter decisions during your round.
There is no Such Thing as the Right Distance
There are thousands of golfers searching the internet right now for phrases like, “how far should I hit my 7-iron” and “how far should I hit my driver.” I’m here to tell you that there is no absolute correct distance that you should be hitting the ball.
Each golfer’s game is unique, and I am a firm believer that you can reach your goals as a golfer without hitting 300+ yard drives.
The fact of the matter is that most recreational golfers are not hitting the ball as far as they think. GAME GOLF has compiled the driving data of thousands of golfers. It is largely underwhelming. Here is a sample of average driving distance based on scoring level:
72 and Below: 250 Yards
75-80: 235 Yards
85-90: 208 Yards
95-100: 184 Yards
I also published this article that discussed the average swing speeds of golfers based on their handicap. It further confirmed that the majority of golfers do not hit the ball nearly as far as pros. They’re not even in the same vicinity!
My advice to you is not to worry about your golf club distances so much, but rather understand them better.
There is no question that hitting the golf ball farther can help lower your scores. We’ll get to that later in this article. But first I want to explore a more important topic…
Knowledge is Power
Golf is a strategic game. Every shot you hit should involve some kind of analysis that hopefully results in you picking the correct target and club. If you would like some more help in this department feel free to download my free eBook on golf course strategy here.
My number one recommendation for every golfer is that they should know their golf club distances. When you have this information it will help you make smarter decisions with your club selection, and hit more greens during your round.
There are two ways of looking at this.
The first is to figure out how far you are hitting the ball during your practice sessions. Personal launch monitors are now making this technology available to golfers. You can read my entire guide on the market, and here are a few links to reviews of products I recommend:
The Other Method
The second method of determining this is to figure out your golf club distances on the actual golf course. Typically most players will hit the ball farther during their practice sessions when there is less pressure. When they only have one chance to execute a shot, it is unlikely that they will strike it as purely.
Luckily technology can help with this problem. There are now several companies that are offering GPS devices that will track every shot that you hit on the course. That way you can figure out your golf club distances, and have complete confidence they are accurate.
I highly recommend working with systems like these because they can help shine a light on what parts of your golf game need the most help. This article explores my favorite products.
For example, you might think that you are hitting your 7-iron 155 yards. You’ll typically pull that club on the course from that distance, but in reality you might be hitting it 145 yards. Most golfers miss greens on the short side because of this, which I explored more in this article.
Knowing this information can help shave strokes off your handicap. You just need a little help figuring it out.
How to Increase Your Distance
I am almost positive you came into this article wanting to know how you can increase your golf club distances. Without getting into too much detail I’ll briefly explain that for you. There are essentially two methods:
- Learn how to strike the center of the clubface more often
- Swing faster
I believe that every golfer has the ability to achieve method number one. This involves increasing your smash factor, which is a measure of strike efficiency. You don’t have to swing the club any faster; you need to figure out how to stop striking the ball on the toe or heel of the club.
For anyone looking to pursue this method I recommend checking out Adam Young’s Strike Plan. I believe it’s the most comprehensive course available on this topic (you can read my full review here).
If you want to go with method number two, and swing faster (NOT harder) then it will require some work as well. You simply can’t decide you are going to increase your clubhead speed without any type of plan. It could ruin your golf swing.
I believe overspeed training is the most efficient way to increase your clubhead speed. A company called SuperSpeed Golf has invented a training system that has become extremely popular in the golf community. I personally tried it out and saw dramatic results without affecting the quality of my swing. You can read my full review here for more information on their system.
Golf Club Distances – Wrapping it Up
I have given you a lot of information, and hopefully, some of it has opened your eyes up a bit. There is no right distance to hit any golf club. Every player has their own unique set of circumstances.
If you want to improve your golf game I strongly recommending finding out all of your club distances so you can make smarter decisions on the course. If you want to increase your distance then there are a couple of methods to make that happen as well.
Either way, having the correct information and making better decisions on the course will help your golf game out in the long run.
I know you have a job to do and I can appreciate that but most folks are griping the club wrong and addressing the ball wrong causing loss of compression and increased trajectory at launch, gaining too much backspin and slowing the flight down. Fixing all that is going to ad way more yards than any club speed program since 1 mph only equals 3 yards with the driver if your swinging over 103ish mph
Dick Platt says
An outlier- What I have to say will seem to completely disregard your grounded advice.
I enjoyed sports as a kid and also as I grew up. As a boy playing sandlot baseball with some neighbors I was always trying to hit the ball out in front of me so I could—and with a quick shoulder turn—hit the ball far. I wasn’t aware as a teenager that I was and would remain only 5’ 6”. I’m now 77 and very fortunately still very active. I bicycle about an hour every day most every day including the cold months (layer up. face mask, winter parka, et cetera…when the pavements are dry. Dry roads for the warm months as well. Don’t want road grit getting thrown into the works of the bike. Bought myself an extremely expensive road bike so that I keenly look forward to cycling. One of the psychological aspects of sports: keep them enjoyable.
Which leads me to say that I’m now intent on driving the golf ball as far as I can. Emphasizing lag and keeping the shaft on plane. Only bring a driver with me and only swinging 4 to 6 times per 9 holes. Home run golf. So, it’s not really golf. But this season my brother and I have golfed continuously since April. Not missing very many days because we look forward each day to playing. It doesn’t grow old.