In a game of golf, the driver is typically the club that hits the furthest. It is used off the tee to project the ball as far as possible before using the rest of your clubs for more precise hits.
The distance you can hit with this club will be determined by how well you swing it and how much power you have in your body. The average driver distance chart below shows what an average golfer should expect from their driver based on age and skill level.
If you are just starting out in golf or if you are looking to improve your driving ability, then you should start with a longer driver that offers excellent forgiveness and a feel great when hitting them.
Golf is a skill that has to be learned, and you won’t be able to step up to the ball and hit incredible distances without practice. Today we’re going to be looking at the average driver distance depending on gender, age, and skill level. We’ll also be comparing this to the PGA average.
Why Is The Driver So Important?
Every single club in your caddy is important in golf. They all have a purpose and need to work together seamlessly to achieve a low handicap or a low golf score. No matter what clubs you use, we can all agree that any good golf game starts with a good driver.
It has been proven that driving the ball a further distance at the start of a game will improve the golf score and even the accuracy of later hits. This means that if you want to get better at golf, you need to learn how to drive the ball farther.
One of the most important things that we learned about the driver is that the PGA Tour values distance over accuracy! This means that even if you are the most accurate golfer, you might not fare as well as another player who has a further driving shot.
A study found that the top ten professional golfers with the longest driving shots made up 1.1 strokes per round. The top ten golfers with the straightest driving shots gained an average 0.7 strokes per round.
This means that people with the furthest driving shots are achieving lower golf scores than players with more accurate driving shots.
Did you think it was a coincidence that the best players in the world also happen to have the longest driving shots? Improving on your driving distance is a surefire way to improve your game and lower your handicap.
What Is The PGA Tour?
The PGA Tour is responsible for the main professional golf tours in the United States, played by men. It is what most amateur golfers look up to and aspire to be a part of.
The tour is divided into four different regions: East, West, North, and South. Each region has its own leaderboard and tournaments.
The PGA is one of the oldest and largest golf organizations in the world, founded in 1916.
But what does this have to do with your driving distance? Well, if you want to run with the big dogs, you have to know how to beat them.
In the 2017 PGA Tour season, 43 golfers averaged over 300 yards on their driving shot. These players made an average of over $2.5 million in prize money for the entire season.
Compare this to the 147 golfers whose driving shots averaged at below 300 yards, who made around $1.36 million in prize money.
As you can see, driving distance certainly does seem to have a considerable effect on your overall game when it comes to PGA Tours. And if it’s good enough for the professionals, then it’s good enough for us. So, we need to increase our driving distance pronto!
Average Driver Distances
Like anyone in competitive sports, golfers tend to compare themselves to others. It’s not a bad thing – it can be very motivating to hold yourself up to others and see how you’re performing.
When you know how important your driving distance is to your overall game, it’s only natural that you want to know how much you need to improve to get to the top.
Knowing your driving shot is important so that you can measure your progress. Many people consider their driving distance to be a measure of their overall golfing performance. It’s not a bad idea considering how much a good tee shot can make or break your game.
Below we’ll look at the average driver distances considering age, gender, and expert level.
Average Driving Distances By Age
As you get older, your swing tends to get slower and less impactful. However, young people can also suffer from a weak swing. When you’re just starting out in golf, your swing speed will be slower as you are just training your muscles to put maximum power behind you.
After a few years in the game, your swing speed will be at its best and therefore so will your driving distance. As the years keep on, however, you will see a reduction in the speed of your swing due to losing muscle mass and energy.
Professional golfing tournaments easily showcase this reduction in driving distance as age increases. The PGA Tour has an average driving average of 295 yards, while the PGA Champions Tour has an average driving distance of 268.5 yards.
This is a reduction of 8.9% for the Champions Tour, which is a tour where players are only eligible over the age of 50. Even the best lose some of their driving distance over time, so don’t worry about it too much!
Research indicates that a golfer’s driving distance will be reduced around 10 yards for every 10 years that they grow older. The study found that an average 20-30 year old golfer would have a total distance of 238.68 yards.
This can be compared to that of a golfer who is over the age of 60, who has an average driving distance of 196.40 yards. This means that senior golfers will have an average reduction of their driving distance by 17.7 yards.
With this being said, you shouldn’t automatically believe that your driving distance will be shorter than younger players just because of your age. Senior golfers can choose a high-quality senior driver and work on improving their distance.
Average Driving Distances By Gender
Men tend to have longer drives than women. This is because they tend to have a stronger swing and a more powerful hit. However, this is not necessarily true on all occasions.
Women who have been playing for many years will surely have a further driving distance than men who have just started playing the game.
Having said that, when looking at averages, the majority of men have a more impressive driving averages than women do.
Research considering factors such as launch angle, spin rate, and head speed found that the average male golfer would have a driving distance of 226 yards.
Women, on the other hand, have an average driving distance of 148 yards. Just like seniors, women can continue working on their driving distance and increase it to much higher than this average.
As we will see in a moment, it is possible for women to achieve a distance similar to that of the men’s professional golfers.
Average Driving Distances By Skill Level
The PGA and LPGA are impressive tours full of highly skilled golfers. It can be easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to these professionals when you are just starting out.
However, there is no need to compare yourself with them. Many of these players have been honing their craft for many decades, and their hard work shows!
With that being said, it’s only natural to want to improve as much as you can for bragging rights that you’re as good as the stars of the PGA tours.
The average driving distances for the PGA and the LPGA are always adapting and improving, so you have to keep up with the latest results.
Currently, the average driving distance in the PGA is around 295 yards. This has been increasing every year, so who knows what it will be next year!
If the trend continues like it has been doing, we can expect to see an average driving distance of over 300 yards in the PGA. This is 30% higher than the average male golfer’s drive, which is 226 yards.
In the LPGA Tour, which is the women’s equivalent to the PGA, the average drive is around 270 yards. This is only 25 yards shorter than the men’s PGA drive and goes to show that women don’t have to have a much lower driving distance than men.
In fact, the longest driver on the LPGA Tour is Anne Van Dam who has a drive of 286 yards. This is higher than the average male golfer’s driving distance.
However, comparing the LPGA distance with the average distance of a woman golfer leaves a more stark difference.
However, the gap in average golf driver distance is further when it comes to female golfers. According to the USGA Index Report, the average woman golfer will have a drive of 148 yards. This is a 45% decrease in distance compared to the average drive on the LPGA tour of 270 yards.
This clearly shows how great you have to be at golf to get into the PGA and LPGA tours. Most amateur golfers won’t be able to get their driving distances anywhere near the 270 yard mark, let alone 300 yards.
So, rejoice in the fact that we’re all in this together and shouldn’t really compare ourselves to the professionals in the top leagues.
How To Increase Your Driving Distance
While we shouldn’t necessarily compare ourselves to the best of the best, sometimes we can’t help it. And even so, what’s wrong with wanting to improve our drive to better our game and reduce our handicap?
There are various ways to increase your driving distance. The most important thing to remember is consistency. You can’t improve if you aren’t consistent – so keep practicing and you’ll start to see improvements.
Below are some tips on how you can improve your drive and get your game started on the right foot.
1. Invest In Your Equipment
You may think that you don’t need any new equipment because you already have one or two clubs but, believe me, your equipment plays a huge part in determining your driving distance.
If you’re using a club that isn’t suited to your swing style, then you’ll struggle to hit the ball far. So, make sure that you invest in quality clubs that fit well to you. There are different clubs for men, women, and seniors.
While you might think that playing with a men’s club is going to be better for your drive as men tend to have a higher driving average, the club won’t suit your body and you’ll struggle to make it work. So, choose a club that is right for you.
Similarly, you’ll need a club that is going to be best for your personal style of golf. For example, you might have a lower swing speed because of an arm injury a few years ago. If this is the case, your driver will need additional loft to ensure that it makes up for the reduction in swing speed.
We use the word invest because golf clubs are not always cheap, and the ones that are tend to be no good. While you might think that you should opt for a cheaper driver until you get better at the game, a cheap club could be hindering your performance.
Spend a while looking at different drivers, along with their reviews, to find which is going to suit you best. You might even want to head to a golf store to try a few clubs out before you buy them. Give them a swing or two to get the feel of it and see whether that is right for your game.
2. Take It Back To The Basics
Perhaps the most important thing to do when trying to improve your drive, aside from getting the correct driver, is to find the sweet spot. Many golfers find that they are having trouble improving their swing because they have picked up some bad habits along the way which are now causing issues.
To improve your drive, take it back to the basics and work on your swing. Focus on the swing, the angle, your hand placement – everything about the swing. Once you improve your swing, you’ll likely see a difference in your driving distance.
3. Replace The Shaft
The shaft of your driver is incredibly important when it comes to hitting those long shots. A poorly fitted driver shaft can cause all sorts of problems including poor alignment, loss of power, and inconsistent contact.
Many beginner drivers come with bulky and heavy shafts which will only slow down your swing and cause your drive to be shorter than you’d like. Replacing the shaft with one made of more lightweight materials can increase the speed of the swing and therefore your drive.
Another great thing about replacing the shaft on your golf club is that you can customize your driver to how you need it. Most clubs won’t be tailor-made for you, but you can fix this by replacing the different parts of your club to exactly what your body needs.
4. Work On Your Club Head Speed
Club head speed is another big factor in determining how far you can go with your driver. The faster your club head moves through its arc during impact, the further the ball travels. This is why many golfers who play with slower drivers often struggle to hit the ball very far.
If you’re struggling to hit the ball as far as you would like, then you may want to start improving your club head swing. The average PGA Tour golfer has a club head swing of around 115 miles per hour. The fastest is currently 130 miles per hour.
A mid-handicapper, on the other hand, will often see a club head swing of around 93 miles per hour. This considerable difference between professional and amateur players might be a big reason why there is also such a difference in driving distances.
You can purchase club head speedometers which you can fit onto your golf club so that you can monitor your progress. Once you start to increase this speed, you’ll surely see an impressive improvement in your overall drive.
5. Swinging Through The Ball
An easy way to add 100 yards to your drive is to swing through the ball. This is the process of accelerating the club head the entire way through the impact area so that your club doesn’t slow down right before impact.
This gives you the best chance of keeping momentum and hitting the ball as hard as possible. Swinging through the ball will take some time to perfect, but by mastering this technique you will see a difference in your driving distance almost immediately.
6. Check Your Tee Height
Our final tip looks towards the golf ball rather than your driver. Many golfers overlook the importance of the ball’s position before tee-off. The tee needs to be at the correct height so that the driver can hit the ball at the right angle to maximize distance.
If you’re hitting down on the ball, you’ll actually be losing some distance automatically so you’ll never be able to reach your maximum drive potential.
The easiest way to rectify this issue is by using trial and error. It’s long winded and annoying, but you need to experiment with different ball heights to find the best for your drive.
Another thing to think about is the loft of your club. This needs to be suited to you and your swing. If the loft is not optimized to your swing, you won’t be getting the best angle underneath your ball. In turn, this will reduce your drive as well.
We hope that you’ve learned something interesting about your driving distance and how it matches up to the average in comparison to your gender, age, and expert level. Professional players in the PGA and the LPGA have much further drives than amateur players.
Female and senior golf players also tend to have slower drives, although they can certainly work their way up to a higher driving distance.
There are many ways that you can improve your drive, such as practicing longer shots or taking lessons from a pro. Swinging through the ball, investing in the best driver, and improving your club head speed can help further your drive.