Posted May 4, 2023 in Play Better Golf by Trevor Cigich
When discussing the average distance for golf clubs, there are a few major contributing factors to go over. Depending on your skill level, swing speed, each club’s specifications, and the weather conditions in which you typically play, an overall average figure may be more or less useful for you.
We will give general average distances for short, medium, and long hitters of both genders to provide the answers that apply to the widest array of golfers. These figures will represent clean shots by amateur golfers, as tour pro numbers aren’t very useful for most golfers, and bad contact will bring about poor results.
Afterward, we’ll go over some of the ways these different contributing factors are going to affect drive distance and how to improve the ones that are under your control.
|Medium Hitter(Mid handicap)
|Long Hitter(Low handicap)
|Women’s Golf Shot Averages
As a general rule of thumb for this table, women can typically subtract 50 yards for driver and woods, 40 yards for irons, and 30 yards for wedges. This should get them in the ballpark for women’s averages across the same three categories.
As mentioned above, there are some primary contributing factors to shot distance:
While the weather isn’t under one’s control, nor the effects of wind and precipitation, golfers should consider three factors when looking to extract more distance out of their golf shot.
Increasing swing speed will boost the range of a golf shot if all other factors remain the same or improve. This factor is why distance improves as golfers get more experienced: They learn how to swing the club faster while maintaining quality ball contact. If swing speed increases, but the ball isn’t struck near the center of the club face, golfers may not extract more distance from their shot. Even if they do, it may be a distance in the wrong direction, which won’t get them any closer to the pin than they would have been otherwise.
For newer golfers with higher handicaps, the best point of focus is improving the consistency of their ball contact. High-handicap golfers typically struggle with consistently striking with the center of the club face. If they don’t improve this part of their game, no amount of club speed increase will get their ball farther down the fairway outside of a few lucky shots.
For mid-handicap golfers, this judgment becomes more case-by-case. Some mid-handicap golfers have achieved pretty consistent ball contact. Thus, they should start working on increasing their swing speed. Others may already have decent swing speed but still struggle with slices or hooks that transfer too much of their ball’s momentum laterally. If your shot is typically straight, think about increasing swing speed. If you still have a significant hook or slice, focus on contact.
For low-handicap golfers, things usually come down to getting more speed in their swing. This can be achieved in several ways. If you rule out equipment-focused improvements and narrow in on improving distance with the clubs you have, increased swing speed is typically achieved by the following:
Club specs also affect the average distance for golf clubs. Three primary club specifications help golfers dial in their shots and consistently improve their range without hurting their accuracy:
Club loft affects range by directing the vertical path of the golf ball. It’s worth noting that the exact effect of loft on distance can vary depending on the individual player’s swing, the ball used, and other factors. Certain woods will have an adjustable loft that allows golfers to tweak things to dial in their shot. It may seem like a no-brainer to go for the lowest loft possible. However, if you struggle to get the ball up in the air, increasing the loft on your driver may improve your carry distance. Largely, though, the lower the loft, the farther the ball will be carried by a solid shot.
Shaft and head weight mostly affect clubhead speed. Using a shaft that is too heavy can slow down your swing, lowering your effective range. Many club heads also carry extra weight distributed toward the rear to improve their forgiveness, but too much of this excess weight can also decrease speed. This factor is why you must find a club with the right balance of forgiveness and range for your individual swing.
Using a longer club will typically result in more distance, as it creates a flatter club angle that can better leverage the rotational power of your hips. This issue also makes it harder to keep a straight ball path, though, as the same rotation makes it easier to send the ball sideways than straight down the fairway or towards your target. Again, this is all about finding the right combination of these elements for your swing.
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Trevor Cigich | Director of Retail Marketing | Worldwide Golf Shops
I’ve been at Worldwide Golf Shops for 6 years, and I’ve been playing golf for 23 years. I have played a few mini tour events but now compete occasionally at the amateur level– currently a +2.1 handicap. I am a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to golf and golf clubs. I enjoy testing all aspects of different products, utilizing various fitting systems and learning about all the different club shafts, club lengths, golf balls, and putter styles. Not just for my game, but to help customers of all calibers.
For more content from me and our team, as well as our vast online store, go to www.worldwidegolfshops.com.