Ask your buddy their average driver distance, and you can be sure they will overestimate it. It’s not that’s they’re exaggerating, they probably don’t know. Thanks to the folks at Game Golf, we have a better idea. Their Game Golf Live product captures your stats in real-time and syncs with your Android or IOS phone. Using data from April to September of 2016 they have published the driver distance of its customers. The average young golfer hit’s it almost 240 yards, declining about 10 yards every ten years. Hence, golfers over 60 average <200 yards with a driver.
Because you swing slower as you age, your average distance declines predictably. But the golf club doesn’t know your age. Assuming acceptable clubface contact, what matters most is swing speed. Better golfers have higher swing speeds. USGA data shows that thirty-one percent of US golfers have a single-digit index. According to Game Golf data, Thirty-seven percent of their users have single-digit handicaps. It appears that better players are more likely to use the Game Golf product and this data doesn’t accurately reflect the golfing population at large.
Distance is directly related to swing speed. Although the PGA Tour Pros swing between 110 and 120mph, you need not be that fast to score well. The average Senior Tour player swings a driver at 106mph and hits it 274 yards. But the average LPGA Tour Pro swings a driver at only 93 mph and hits it 246 yards. They hit a 130 yard 8-iron and a 170-yard 4-iron. If you can do that, then why can’t you shoot par or under par like the LPGA pros? Consistency, short game, and putting are the difference. Don’t spend a disproportionate amount of time on swing speed. Next time, play from the forward tees, and see how long you can go.