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19th Hole

The average driving distance for male amateur golfers in each handicap range



How far does the average male amateur golfer really hit the ball with their driver? It’s been a topic of hot debate for years, but thanks to statistician Lou Stagner of Decade Sports the question has been answered for 2020 at least.

Using data taken directly from the USGA Distance Insight Report, Stagner calculated the driving distance for male amateur golfers in the following handicap ranges: Less than 6, 6-12, 13-20 and 21+, with the average yardage of all golfers coming in at 217 yards.

Check out the full results below.

Along with these new interesting findings, recently Stagner has also broken down Tiger Woods’ handicap index throughout his career, as well as the handicap indexes of other top professional golfers.

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito



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  3. Bob Jones

    Oct 31, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    I don’t understand the relationship between handicap and driving distance at all. I am 71. I was single digit from the whites ten years ago when I drove it 230-235. I am still single digit, but from a more forward a set of tees because now I expect drives to go 195-200.

  4. Pingback: The average driving distance for male amateur golfers by age – Amateur Golf Tour

  5. A. Commoner

    Oct 19, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Let’s do a couple variables. X = golfer big talk, y = golfer performance– test hypothesis for inverse correlation.

  6. MJ

    Oct 17, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    Is there a stat for this from the 90s?

  7. BASE615

    Oct 15, 2020 at 5:55 am

    Shows how useless my putting is. Admittedly only just came back from a 20 year layoff but am off 25 currently and my average drive is 220m so about 240 yards. To be fair, I used to be off 12 so that’s closer to my Driving number if I can Just sort my short game out again.

  8. aedeoiad

    Oct 14, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    On the internet, everyone is splitting it 320.

    • Dom

      Oct 30, 2020 at 2:41 pm

      I’m 8 to 10 handicap from the whites and frequently shot to better then that. My carry on the driver is 180 to 200. It would be a much easier game if you had longer drive off the tee, but staying in play and working on your short games makes will make you a much better golf.

  9. juststeve

    Oct 14, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    The confusion comes from the fact that they are averaging golf course yards, not internet yards. Most everyone claims to be longer on the internet than they are on the golf course.

  10. Obee

    Oct 14, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    “Averages” in golf are meaningless — especially in a scenario such as this (calculating the “average” drive of a slice of golfers). The reason is that the “average” golfer in the 6-handicap and below range includes lots and lots of golfers who are between 50 and 70 years old. As a group, they are neither young, flexible, nor strong enough to swing the club with enough speed/force to drive the ball a long way. A better stat would be to separate all of those yardages by age groups. If you did so, my guess is that the average drive of the 6-capper and below range would increase a decent amount of yards — probably up to about 260.

    • Obee

      Oct 14, 2020 at 2:17 pm

      Meant to add: If they separated the ranges into age categories, the younger age categories would hit it farther. So, for the 6 and below group, if the age range were 18 to 39, the distance would be significantly longer than if you included ALL 6-cappers and below. Plenty of older guys in that “6 and below” range that drive down the overall average, which makes it useless to compare to the pros which, let’s be honest, is all that most people want to do. LOLZ

  11. Moosejaw McWilligher

    Oct 14, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    The most revealing thing about this article is the comments field.

    Publish results from a data-driven study. Then see the people line up to dispute the results. See the people line up who take the results as a personal attack against their own individual circumstances, despite them being *1* of the millions of people who play golf.

    Did someone just question YOUR manhood? Nah, you don’t need a mask either!

    If you dislike studies like this, then you should absolutely HATE capitalism. It works by boiling everything down to the average and then catering 100% to the average.

  12. phizzy

    Oct 13, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    I’ve always been a long hitter and yes I am low single digit handicap. I do believe these numbers as most amateur golfers don’t have the desire or time to spend in the gym strength training, doing plyometrics or stretching among other things tour pros do in order to maximize distance off the tee. I’m 40 and still make 175 mph ball speed(was 183 mph in my 20’s) because I dedicate a good amount of time in the gym. It’s all about putting in the work if you truly desire to hit the ball as far as you can.

    • Tigerbabb

      Oct 16, 2020 at 9:42 pm

      Curious, What’s your workout program..?

    • Golfer2fore

      Oct 17, 2020 at 10:11 am

      Do play from the tips?

    • gwelfgulfer

      Oct 18, 2020 at 10:43 pm

      You don’t have to do all that just to have good speed, natural ability or just skills ability that transfers over from other sports that create lag can do it.

  13. Craig

    Oct 13, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    These numbers are averages people, not best drives. If you are a 15 handicap who carries it 250, your handicap indicates to me you are also hitting a number of “duffs” that go 200 into the trees. These are included in the average as well.

  14. JACOB

    Oct 13, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Makes sense. My handicap is around 6 and I carry it on a good shot around 250 max. People often ask me what iron I’m hitting from 150 and I say 8 iron and they’re shocked. I hit 9 iron here they say. But off the tee I’m even or past them. Whole lot of guys thinking they’re hitting it 300 but I have the advantage of hitting on a home sim so I know what I’m carrying the ball in actuality. I’ve found at my local pro shop I hit it about 15 yards further than at home/on the course, I suspect they have the altitude jacked up.

    • Adam

      Oct 16, 2020 at 8:49 am

      “What? I’m hitting a nine iron here!”
      look in their bag and its a Sim MAX OS iron with a 9 iron loft of 36 degrees

    • A. Commoner

      Oct 18, 2020 at 7:18 pm

      Pardon me. What is your point?

  15. Not Gianni

    Oct 13, 2020 at 11:51 am

    My handicap is 16 and I drive it 255 on the carry. Get stronger you weak golfers! Play real sports in high school, not golf. Golf is for old guys not kids!

    • GolferLefty

      Oct 13, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      Haha!! I’m 54 and still carry the ball 300. I’ve always went after speed/distance. Won’t give up going after speed/distance so long as my body cooperates. ????

      • phizzy

        Oct 14, 2020 at 9:41 am

        Is that you Philly Mick? All jokes aside, men in their 40’s and 50’s should still be able to hit the ball pretty far provided that they maintain flexibility and strength train such as myself. Even some of the guys on the champions tour are making ball speeds in the 160’s which in it of itself is still impressive considering that most men in their 20’s and 30’s can’t.

        • Not gianni

          Oct 16, 2020 at 12:21 pm

          They’re also professional golfers on the champions tour… average men are average men… also, most “average men” didn’t even play golf in high school because even the average man is doing something more masculine than playing golf in high school!!

    • Boyo

      Oct 15, 2020 at 5:39 am

      What an idiot.

      • Boyah

        Oct 24, 2020 at 2:07 am

        Idiots play real sports? Lol sounds like you were on the jv golf team and were bullied heavily

  16. NoTalentLefty

    Oct 13, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Love it. Our eyes do exaggerate by 25 to 50 yards. Lol

  17. Jay

    Oct 12, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    All golfers 207. That’s like a 6 or 7 iron for a pro!

  18. Drev

    Oct 12, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    Not very useful information. Needs to be broken down by age bands please. Say 30’s, 40’s etc

  19. Mike C.

    Oct 12, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    They pegged me! I’m in the 21+ group, and my average drive IS 190!

  20. Alan Hersch

    Oct 12, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    This needs to be rated for age. I’m a 15 GHIN and only hit it 180. Cleveland wedges keep me happy.

  21. A. Commoner

    Oct 12, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Oh man, that fish was bigger than a house!!!

    • Adam

      Oct 16, 2020 at 8:52 am

      Interesting fact, the biggest fish are caught by the tale

  22. Mike

    Oct 12, 2020 at 7:08 pm

    I’m 63 with a 14.2 index and often carry it 260+

    • ED

      Oct 12, 2020 at 7:50 pm

      Those distances are a good guideline for your potential handicap if you have a good short game.

    • Genn Tomas

      Oct 13, 2020 at 1:18 pm

      Exactly! I’m 50+. 207 is a 6iron for me (not robo lofts either).

  23. Dave McCarthy

    Oct 12, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    What I think would be miles more revealing is showing the bandings split into 18-35 years old, 36-45, 45+ as well. I know plenty of older 5-10 handicappers who drive it 200 with roll in mid summer at absolute most. The same handicap range 18-35 years old get it out there 250-270 carry all day but suck at their short game in comparison.

  24. DJ McQueen

    Oct 12, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    We need to remember that these numbers are averages. There are guys in our local group that routinely hit 250+ drives but can’t break 80, while others hit 215-220 yd drives and are usually around par.

  25. gery s katona

    Oct 12, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    There can be a huge difference between carry distance and total distance as anyone knows who plays the game. So is this data carry or total? I’m 67 and carry my driver 225 yards and it is not unusual for my total distance on a 225 yd. carry to be 245 or more.

  26. JP

    Oct 12, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    This article totally missed one significant group of male golfers. WRX forum members!

    Male WRX member of any handicap – 362 yards CARRY! (and that is ballooning with 4000+ rpm of backspin!)

    • Michael

      Oct 12, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      One thing that is as confirmed as a day being 24 hours long is the BS claims of posters here when it comes to their handicaps, distance off the tee and talent.

      Great job confirming what I just said is 100% bankable.

      • NGL

        Oct 14, 2020 at 2:47 pm

        Like the dudes above with a 175 mph ball speed (significantly better than tour average) and the other with the 300+ carry, again better than most pros. LMAO

  27. SoonerSlim

    Oct 12, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Data Depends on age! I play to a 7/8 consistently, am 72, and I my driver distance is less than 200 yards. So, I believe your data is targeted at younger golfers. Also, it depends on which tees are being played. Therefore, your data does not fit me or many other senior golfers.

    • Boyo

      Oct 15, 2020 at 5:44 am

      What have the tee’s you play have to do with determining your driver distance?

  28. Shane T Quimby

    Oct 12, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Those numbers are hot garbage. I might believe them for higher caps because they hit it good so infrequently, but the lower hdcp numbers are garbage. I am a 5 hdcp and 47 years old, and I hit it further than ever, probably 265 on average, and over 280 with good contact (swing speed about 105). Those numbers are put out to help the USGA cover up the fact that the ball goes too damn far. The only way they are legit is if every guy from the survey is 55 years old or more. I played with two young guys this weekend who were both 10 yards longer than me and 10-12 hdcps.

  29. Al Samsa

    Oct 12, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Right bang on.

  30. Osnola Kinnard

    Oct 12, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Is that distance measured by only drives that land and stay in the fairway or all drives?

    I play to an 8, and hit the ball considerably further than
    THE AVERAGE but I hit the a lot of drives that do not hit and stay in the fairway.

    Just curious.

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19th Hole

Ian Poulter on how the Europeans have embraced Ryder Cup underdog mentality



Ahead of next week’s 43rd Ryder Cup matches, Ian Poulter hopped on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio with Michael Breed to discuss the European team’s chances.

When Breed asked the 12-time European Tour winner about the team’s underdog mentality, Poulter chuckled,

“You know that’s our advantage, I guess, in a way, right? That we have delivered when perhaps we shouldn’t have delivered. And that is the magical question that gets asked all the time. That’s what has the American press scratching their head. That’s what has the American team scratching their heads at times, right? On paper, on paper, on paper, on paper, the U.S. team should have delivered. It’s for us to enjoy and for the American team to figure out, right?”

It’s hard to knock Poulter’s confidence. The European side has won four out of the last five, seven of the last nine, and nine of the last 12 Ryder Cups. Poulter is a six-time Ryder Cup veteran, and the European team is 4-2 when he plays. He holds a lifetime 14-6-2 record, and he has yet to record a loss in Sunday singles.

Nothing about Ian Poulter’s statistical profile jumps out “on paper.” In fact, out of the 24 players competing at Whistling Straits next week, Poulter ranks 21st in data golf’s true strokes gained metric over the last year. With that being said, the U.S. team always has the advantage “on paper,” and that appears to be just the way the Europeans like it.

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19th Hole

Kevin Na: Should have paired me with Bryson at Ryder Cup



Kevin Na is in action at the PGA Tour’s 2021-22 season opener in Napa this week, fresh off the disappointment of not receiving a Ryder Cup Captain’s pick he felt he might get.

Following an opening round of 3 under par, the American told Golfweek’s Adam Schupak about receiving the bad news from Steve Stricker and explained how he’d have been an ideal partner for Bryson DeChambeau.

“If I had Bryson DeChambeau as my partner hitting driver, I’d be stuffing wedge in there or short irons. I’m a good putter, a good chipper.

“I mean, so all these years you’re telling me that the U.S. team has been struggling because they had lack of length? No, if anything it has been putting, guys able to make putts under the gun. But it’s over.”

Na has been one of the best wedge players and putters consistently over the past few years, and his argument that he could have capitalized on Bryson’s monstrous drives in foursomes action – a format the American side have always struggled with – certainly has plenty of merit.

The 38-year-old looked to have made himself hard not to pick after East Lake, where he had tied the lowest score after four rounds but revealed to Schupak that he felt Stricker had his mind made up before the event.

“It didn’t matter what happened at the Tour Championship. (Stricker) already had his mind set. That’s my personal opinion. I think it would have been great if I played for the team. I think I could have really brought some good energy and I could’ve really contributed and disappointing that I won’t get the chance to do that.”

Safe to say, Na isn’t too pleased with the decision, but he’s ready to work even harder to make the next U.S. team

“It’s a captain’s call. I respect his decision. Do I disagree? Yeah, I disagree. I just have to play better.”

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19th Hole

Phil Mickelson shares theory for Europe’s Ryder Cup success



For the first time in over 25 years, Phil Mickelson will not be competing for the United States Ryder Cup team. He will, however, be in the team room as an assistant captain to Steve Stricker.

No one is more experienced in the Ryder Cup than the six-time major champion, who holds the record for most appearances with 12. With that being said, the United States only holds a 3-9 record in those last 12 matches.

On the debut episode of 5 Clubs with Gary Williams, Mickelson shared his theory for why the European team has been so dominant. When asked if he had a theory why Team Europe was so much more successful, Mickelson responded with a laugh, “Yes I do.”

The reigning PGA Championship winner elaborated, “I see the way they support each other, and I see the way that they have this foundation of support amongst each other to lift each other up. I see them walking side-by-side in the fairways and with a vision of solidarity, if you will. I see them helping each other get the best out of each other.”

That description falls in stark contrast to the countless instances of drama and chemistry issues surrounding the U.S. side. With that being said, Mickelson does believe the U.S. side is improving in that respect.

Referring to the European’s strategy and team effort, the 45-time PGA Tour winner stated, “I see the U.S. starting to do that. We’ve been doing that, and I think we’re going to start to play some of our best golf in the coming years, I really do.”

The 43rd edition of the Ryder Cup kicks off on Friday, September 24th at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin.

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