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Carry Distance vs. Swing Speed Chart

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Per a suggestion in the comment section of my last article called “How Far Should You Hit Your Golf Clubs?“, the purpose of this post is to summarize all of the carry distance versus swing speed data that was being discussed in to a summarized reference chart.

Several things to note about the data in the chart below are:

  • The PGA Tour and LPGA Tour numbers were pulled from the Trackman website in 2010.
  • The Senior Tour numbers were calculated by taking the 2012 mean driving distance of 273.4 yards per drive on the Senior Tour and back-calculating the other numbers based on the PGA Tour’s average driving efficiency of 2.58 yards per mph of club head speed.
  • The average estimated PGA Tour club lofts were taken from 30 players by gathering 2010 club data listed on player websites, what’s in the bag articles and videos, and specifications numbers listed on manufacturer websites. It’s not listed on the chart, but for your interest, the average GW/SW was 53.9 degrees and average LW or highest lofted club was 59.7 degrees.
  • The 19.2 degrees that is listed for the 5-wood, hybrid, and 3-iron is an average of the club(s) each player used that was between the 3-wood and 4-iron.  This was done because there is such a large variance of wood/hybrid/iron club choice to fill this distance slot from player to player.
  • All remaining carry distance data (60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 130 and 140) was calculated based on the average PGA Tour carry distances.
  • The LPGA Tour Trackman data didn’t have numbers listed for a hybrid or 3-iron.  Rather they listed a 7-wood carry distance of 174 yards.
  • There are limitations to the data gathering, calculations, etc., listed here, so please just use it as a rough guide for yourself.

Here is the chart. For charts updated at the end of every season, visit SwingManGolf.com.

Carry Distance vs Swing Speed Chart

Carry Distance Swing Speed Chart

I hope you find it useful!

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Jaacob Bowden is a Professional Golfer, PGA of America Class A Member, Top 100 Most Popular Teacher, Swing Speed Trainer, the original founder of Swing Man Golf, the creator of Sterling Irons® single length irons, and has caddied on the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS. Two of his articles for GolfWRX are the two most viewed of all time. Formerly an average-length hitting 14-handicap computer engineer, Jaacob quit his job, took his savings and moved from Kansas to California to pursue a golf career at age 27. He has since won the Pinnacle Distance Challenge with a televised 381-yard drive, won multiple qualifiers for the World Long Drive Championships including a 421-yard grid record drive, made cuts in numerous tournaments around the world with rounds in the 60s and 70s, and finished fifth at the Speed Golf World Championships at Bandon Dunes. Jaacob also shot the championship record for golf score with a 72 in 55 minutes and 42 seconds using only 6 clubs. The Swing Man Golf website has helped millions of golfers and focuses primarily on swing speed training. Typically, Jaacob’s amateur golfers and tour players pick up 12-16 mph of driver swing speed in the first 30 days of basic speed training. You can learn more about Jaacob, Swing Man Golf, and Sterling Irons® here: Websites – JaacobBowden.com & SwingManGolf.com & SterlingIrons.com; Twitter - @JaacobBowden & @SwingManGolf & @SterlingIrons; Facebook – Facebook.com/JaacobBowdenGolf & Facebook.com/SwingManGolf & <Facebook.com/SterlingIronsGolf; Instagram - Instagram.com/JaacobBowden YouTube – YouTube.com/SwingManGolf – Millions of views!!!

101 Comments

101 Comments

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  4. Charles Christian

    Sep 15, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    I find this all very interesting and it seems pretty accurate first of all most people are not going to swing 120 mph and hit the ball 310ish yards. The pro’s can do it because they have been practicing most of their lives and have equipment that is exactly fitted to them. Plus, the fairways are in better condition and give them lots of roll.
    I can relate to one of the golfers who stated he can relate more to the LPGA golfers. I personally think they have more skill because the just do not smash the ball all over the course and over all the obstacles they actually play the course – but of course a lot better than any average player.
    Personally, according to this I swing 75-85 mph. I have never actually had my swing speed taken which I should but it seems to be about right with this. Sometimes I hit a driver 180 or 210 yards with a good roll etc. I often find myself in the fairway while the other golfers drive it further but into the woods and they have to hack their way out.
    I also had a playing lesson with my female professional and she could hit her 7 iron about 140 which is about the same as the LPGA players, so I am guessing her swing speed is 90-93 ish. I would believe that teaching pro’s have about the speed as a lot of touring pro’s do. Even though I could not hit it as far as her I found the distance not to be intimidating.
    A 9 foot put is equal in score to a 300 yard drive. I would say improve your putting !!

  5. Straightdriver235

    Jan 20, 2015 at 10:25 am

    I’m wondering what the lofts were for the senior and lpga? Why only give the PGA tour lofts? From this data it seems like s.s. efficiency is around x2.40 for carry, and x2.58 for total rollout, but many of us play on conditions that are far different from tour courses… this starts to show up clearly that many on the lpga really require some roll out. In my case there is no roll out, the course is carved through a swamp, so what I am after is maximum carry. I’m wondering what set ups on courses like that are for the pros? Do the pros switch out drivers based on the conditions, and if so, what do they do for that? According to this data, if they don’t switch out drivers for situations maxing out carry, or situations maxing out the value of roll they are losing strokes. Of course, drainage at many of the tour courses minimizes this issue, but not always. If they do switch, what switches do they make, and are these switches fairly universal? To me all of this data must take into consideration turf conditions, and hardness of fairways contrasted to how punitive is the rough; i.e., an old fashioned U.S. Open course where roll out is not really desired much. It would seem the need to switch would be particularly acute on the LPGA tour… if the fairways are wet for these gals they are going to play a very different course than when it is dry… considering for them follout constitutes 1/7th of total distance they must have numbers that will allow more carry, or more roll on the conditions. Same for you on long drive competitions. Correct?

  6. derek

    Jan 1, 2015 at 1:17 am

    Hey Jaacob, r u still using the 1 iron golf system? all clubs? I have a set and have had great shots but haven’t fully commitred yet. Your thoughts? Do u have the new pro line clubs?
    TIA
    Derek

  7. Ben

    Nov 8, 2014 at 2:44 am

    According to this, my speed is above 120 with my normal 295 carry. According to science and launch monitors and swing analyzers, I’m 117. I don’t think this chart takes into effect being perfect fit for a club. If you optimize, you can beat the chart. I’m living proof of that. Also I don’t fly my 7 iron 184. More like 177 to 180 range to be exact.

    • TJ Horton

      Mar 22, 2015 at 10:19 pm

      That’s funny, i carry my 8 175 but i cant carry a driver over 285… i need a fitting.

  8. JEFF

    Nov 5, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Why look at this? How will this help? STUPID!

  9. jed

    Sep 30, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I see this discussed all the time, but I have been playing golf since I was 5 yrs old with a cut-down 5 iron my dad gave me and am now 34 and my swing speed has not changed since I was on the high school golf team, which was 86mph. Now, I’m not sure if the equipment I’ve used over the years could be wrong but i’m always right around 86mph and carry the ball 260-270 yds on average. How is this possible with such a slow swing speed?

    • 1badbadger

      Nov 11, 2014 at 7:21 am

      Jed, I think one of two things is happening…either your swing speed is higher than you think it is, or you’re not hitting it that far. Mathematically, the ball can only go so far with a given swing speed. If things like elevation changes, wind and other atmospheric conditions are eliminated, an 86 mph swing speed with a driver will be right about 215 yds. Real-world distance is going to be approx. 10-15 yds longer, so 225-230 yds is realistic for an 86 mph swing speed. It’s possible to hit a 260 or 270 yd drive, but if you’re averaging that distance your clubhead speed would be over 100 mph.

      • don butler

        Dec 30, 2015 at 11:05 am

        there are a lot of comments stating my driver swing speed is this or that. My swing speed based on one of those ssr radar things ranges from mid 80’s to mid 90’s depending on how warmed up i am and i play at sea level. One thing is that a lot of courses one only uses his driver say 10 times so the 18th hole you’ve finally warmed up enough to max out your speed but by then if you’ve been walking and its warm out you might also be a little fatigued.
        When I have brought my radar thing with me to the course and max out my speed say about 93-95 I still do not get 235 or whatever, more like 225 and that’s with about 10 yards of roll. I’ve tried teeing higher and smacking it on the upswing but this causes some swing problems and not as consistent of a square hit. Of course around here there is always about a 10-15 mph wind and seems always either cross or in your face. When there is finally a downwind hole tend to get all juiced up and wind up popping it 200 yards

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  15. gregory suto

    Jun 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    110 swing speed
    285 carry

    8 inches

  16. Beneoo

    May 21, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Jaacob,

    Can you re-post the chart? I am not able to find any chart in this page.

    Thank you.

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jun 29, 2014 at 7:22 am

      Hi Beneoo, yes, I’m not sure where the chart went.

      I’ve sent the editor an email and asked him if he’ll get it re-posted.

  17. James

    Apr 2, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    I went in for a club fitting last week and I was hitting a 7 iron 177, 186 with roll, and had a club head speed of between 88-90 MPH.

    • gfds

      May 28, 2014 at 9:43 am

      haha no way, unless your topping your balls or have the most super strong frip in the world making that 7 iron a 1 iron lol.

      • CD

        Jun 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm

        That’s easily possible – 7i, 86mph, 175.9 carry, 183 total, smash 1.41 was me Saturday. 6″ tall and 80kgs

        • Uphill both ways

          Nov 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm

          How big are your hands if you are 6 inches tall? Are your clubs standard length, if so how flat are they?

      • louis

        Oct 29, 2014 at 5:50 pm

        how do you figure it is impossible?

    • Uphill both ways

      Nov 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Bullshism. if you swing hard enough to hit it 177 in the air, its not gonna roll anywhere let alone 9 yards. Get off the stupid computers and go play on grass. then you can actually see how far it goes, see “repair hallmarks”.

      • MHendon

        Nov 10, 2014 at 2:03 pm

        Yeah that’s launch monitor numbers for you. But it’s calculating based on a hit into a firm fairway not to a receptive green.

  18. Louis DeSantis

    Mar 7, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Although it’s fun to watch the guys on the pro tour hit the ball as far as they do, I find myself watching more and more of the LPGA tournaments as I can relate to the clubs they are hitting. And your chart confirms this as well as I’m just about exactly in line with their numbers and recently was averaged at 93 mph driver swing speed. I guess that in my mid 50’s that’s not too bad after playing only 3 years and if the ladies can shoot the low scores they do hitting the clubs they do, I should just concern myself with getting better and more accurate than worry about gaining distance as it seems many are preoccupied with. I also find it interesting that when I’m paired with other fellows at the course, there are often claims of being able to drive the ball 270 yards, and I often find I’m out driving these fellows with what I know are my 235-245 yard drives. Any way, great article and thanks so much for compiling and sharing this information. Louis

  19. jt

    Mar 1, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    The yardages on the chart are dead on for my SS of 112. I am within a yard of every stated yardage on every single club.

  20. Joey cosper

    Feb 25, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Jaacob,
    According to your chart my swing speed is 110. I was fitted a year ago with the 913d2 driver with a regular shaft. At the time i was a 26 handicap and much lower swing speed I am now down to a 10 handicap. My swing has changed a lot and my drives now ballon. I have a average swing tempo, what shaft would you recomend? A stiff flex or a x flex? I am currently looking at the fujikura fuel shaft beacuse it is a low launch and low spin shaft.

    • Cullan

      Mar 5, 2014 at 2:02 am

      110 is right on the line between stiff and extra stiff shafts. Some companies are set up stiffer than others, and it also depends on what type of feel you like in the shaft. I’m not as familiar with Fujukura shafts but I know that a swing speed of 110 would fall within the extra stiff category for Mitsubishi Rayon and would fall in the stiff category for Aldila shafts.

      If you enjoy your current shaft you could always have it tip trimmed for some extra stiffness.

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jun 29, 2014 at 7:25 am

      Hi Joey,

      My friend and fellow GolfWRX writer Tom Wishon maintains a list of reputable and qualified custom club fitters.

      http://wishongolf.com/find-a-clubfitter/

      See if you can find one close to you. They’ll be able to get you a much better recommendation with an in-person evaluation.

  21. nick rumpza

    Feb 14, 2014 at 4:17 am

    Jaacob.. 2 questions..1. I live in south dakota where its arctic tundra 6 months a year.. What can i do to keep my swing on point during winter months? 2. I was recently at a pro shop simulator that told me my club head speed was anywhere from 118 to 128.. I didnt feel like i was swinging hard but those numbers seem high.Im 6’4 if height matters, just wondering your thoughts on it..

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jun 29, 2014 at 7:33 am

      Hi Nick,

      There are a number of things you can do…for example, working in front of a mirror indoors, stepping outside briefly with a video camera to check-in on your swing, visualizing for a few minutes each day, hitting balls in to a net in your garage, etc. Perhaps there is an indoor range near you. Hitting balls on the pro shop simulator you mentioned is also an option.

      If you want to work on your swing speed, the winter time (or any time really) is a great time to do that. It seems like you already swing fast (typical amateurs are around 93 mph, Tour players average about 113, and top long drivers can average in the mid-140s), but it’s always nice to have more. Check out Swing Man Golf for more info on swing speed training.

      By chance do you know what kind of radar it was?

      Trackman and Flightscope X2s are generally considered quite accurate. The Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar is also a good at-home option (although they read slightly higher because they measure the fastest moving part of the club head verses having an additional algorithm to figure out speed at the center of the club). Those are available at Swing Man Golf as well.

      Hope that helps a bit!

    • ron bleau

      Dec 28, 2014 at 9:42 am

      Any relation to Gene?

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  23. ??????

    Oct 22, 2013 at 9:59 pm

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  24. David Burge

    Oct 22, 2013 at 6:33 am

    G’day Jaacob, from Sydney, Australia.

    We don’t seem to have the same freely available technology that you guys have in the States. We also use metres, but I’ll convert to yards.

    I reckon my carry distances are:
    Driver: 215m = 234 yards

    6 iron: 148m = 161 yards
    7 iron: 140m = 153 yards
    8 iron: 130m = 142 yards
    9 iron: 119m = 129 yards
    Wedge: 110m = 120 yards

    So I reckon my swing speed is probably high 90s according to your chart.

    I’m a fairly good golfer and play off very low single figures but don’t hit it far enough to be any better.

    Any idea what I should be looking for in terms of spin rates and launch angle and perhaps even the best equipment for my swing speed? I’m using a PingG15 driver with a stiff TFC149D shaft and irons are oldish – Taylor Made Tour Preferred with Dynamic Gold SL s300 shafts. Any shaft tips particularly would be much appreciated.

    Great blog by the way. Came across it by accident but I’ll check out your other articles too. The best thing here down under is that we get to play 12 months of the year!

    • Bob

      Oct 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      David,

      I think our games are similar and the numbers you listed were very close to mine so I thought I’d share what I’ve recently learned from a professional who is fitting me.

      We tested several drivers and shafts. At our swing speed a stiff shaft produces less distance. My pro says a player should use a shaft with as much flex as they can control. For me the best results come from a regular flex shaft and 10.5 degree loft. I went from 235 yards of carry with a stiff 9.5 degree to 250 yards of carry with a regular flex 10.5 degree (a used Nike SQ DYMO STR8-FIT 10.5° Driver ProForce AxivCore Regular Flex).

      Of course the only way to be sure is demo some clubs. I was able to do it with an assistant pro and a Trackman.

      I have the same distances on my irons but they are big soled Calloways, which were nice when I was a 17 handicap but 5 years later I’m a 7. The bigger the sole the higher the launch angles and as I’m improving I am hitting my irons really high, so I’m upgrading irons but again will go with regular flex.

      BTW I tested last year’s Taylor Made RBZ 3 wood and it was 15 yards longer than anything new. That club is going in my bag!

      Cheers!

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jun 29, 2014 at 7:42 am

      Hi David,

      I’ve never been to Sydney but I have been to Canberra and Melbourne. Australia is a great place.

      For club head speeds in the high 90s…

      – For maximum carry distance, I would target you at a 15-16 degree launch angle and 2500-2600 rpm for spin rate.
      – For maximum total distance, I would target you at a 12-13 degree launch angle and 1900-2000 rpm for spin rate.

      So what I’d tell you depends on how you want to optimize. Higher spin rates are generally more accurate, so that would be good for tight courses. If you need to carry trouble or not run through dogleg fairways, I’d favor the carry numbers. If you have hard fairways and an open course, perhaps going for total distance is better.

      For equipment recommendations, my friend and fellow GolfWRX writer Tom Wishon maintains a list of reputable club fitters here -> http://wishongolf.com/find-a-clubfitter/. See if you can find someone in your area. They’ll be able to work with you in-person to get you dialed in.

      Hope that helps!

  25. Aaron

    Sep 21, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Jacob, thank you for sharing this.
    I just came from Scheels where the simulator said I had a swing speed of 80mph. I don’t really know if I was doing a partial swing, but all my clubs play at a 110-113 mph swing speed distance (I hit my 9i 150yds all day, my 3W 250, and my driver over 270 if I don’t slice). I use 1995 knock-offs clubs, with oversize irons.
    Is this possible or did I happen to use a partial swing in the simulator?
    I am in the market for new irons and am debating shaft flex options.

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Sep 25, 2013 at 6:07 am

      Yup, no problem.

      Do you know what kind of simulator it is?

      Have you ever tested yourself before and got speed numbers closer to what you’d expect given your distances?

  26. Scott

    Jul 30, 2013 at 1:07 am

    Jaacob, do you have the distances for the gap and sand wedge for these different speeds?

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Aug 11, 2013 at 5:43 am

      Hi Scott, no I don’t have numbers for a gap or sand wedge…partly because there’s so much variance in the lofts for those clubs. Plus, a lot of guys don’t take full swings with gap or sand wedges.

      But if you want to play around with a little algebra and plot your numbers in Microsoft Excel, you could probably get a pretty good estimate though.

    • Matt

      Oct 19, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      Hey Scott, just to give you an idea I have a SS average of 101 and I’ll hit a 50 degree GW 105-110y; a 54 degree SW 90-95y and a 58 degree LW around 75 but I very rarely hit a full LW in a round.

  27. Gary

    Jul 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    My irons fall into the 113 category, but my driver and fairway woods fit in the 100 category. Any idea what could be causing that? Whenever I play I find myself being outdriven by my playing partners, but hitting less club off the tee on par 3’s and such.

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Aug 11, 2013 at 6:53 am

      Hi Gary, without knowing any other information, my first guess would be that you de-loft your clubs more than most. Possibly your ball position is too far back, your hands too far forward, or something related.

      Excessive de-loft is not necessarily a bad thing, but it could cause your irons to go farther by bringing down your trajectory.

      Similarly, your driver and wood trajectories might also be below your optimal launch angle for maximum carry and roll given your particular swing speed.

  28. Brian Copp

    May 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks a lot for the Chart!

    My irons are almost dead on the 100mph for distance, but my Driver is around the 90-93mph speed, which could be for a lot of reasons I’m sure.

    But, I’ve always been interested in knowing what my swing speed is and your chart at least gives me a rough idea. I’ve always wondered if I should be using a Stiff or Regular Flex shaft and I don’t really have any way to check my swing speed living in the middle of nowhere.

    I once asked the closest Fitting Center if they would let me hit 2 or 3 balls on their machine so I could find out my swing speed incase I should be using a Stiff shaft and they said they could, but it would cost me $150. I said forget it! My clubs are Regular Flex and if I’m between 90-100 I think they are probably fine.

  29. Brian Copp

    May 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks a lot for the Chart!

    My irons are almost dead on the 100mph for distance, but my Driver is around the 90-93mph speed, which could be for a lot of reasons I’m sure.

    But, I’ve always been interested in knowing what my swing speed is and your chart at least gives me a rough idea. I’ve always wondered if I should be using a Stiff or Regular Flex shaft and I don’t really have any way to check my swing speed living in the middle of nowhere.

    I once asked the closest Fitting Center if they would let me hit 2 or 3 balls on their machine so I could find out my swing speed incase I should be using a Regular or Stiff shaft and they said they could, but it would cost me $150. I said forget it! My clubs are Regular Flex and if I’m between 90-100 I think they are probably fine.

  30. Michael

    May 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    Hey. I have about a 115 mph driver swing speed and my clubs fit in between the 113 and 120 mph distances. My problem is I can carry my driver 280, but I get zero roll. There is always a ball mark and when soft my ball has spun backwards. I also hit the rest of my clubs much higher than normal. I swing up on the ball, rather than down which I guess doesn’t help. Any Ideas?

    • Jaacob Bowden

      May 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Hi Michael,

      If I have a driver with too much loft, I actually have that problem too.

      So my initial thought is that if you want to optimize your driver for distance, you’ll likely need a lower lofted driver.

      At 115 mph club head speed, to maximize carry and roll I would try to get you averaging around 12.1 launch angle and 2234 spin.

      Do you know your spin rate and the exact loft (not what’s stamped on it) of your driver?

      If you know those, you can do some algebra to estimate the theoretical loft you would need to get your spin to the 2234 mark. Then it would just be a matter of making some setup/swing tweaks to get your launch angle dialed in at that spin.

      • Michael

        May 18, 2013 at 9:23 am

        I have a Ping i15 8*, but it is actually 9* x-stiff proforce shaft. The driver is 45.5″ and my spin was 2574 and launch between 13-16*. I recently had cut ii down to 44″ and improved accuracy, but still hit it high.

        • Jaacob Bowden

          May 18, 2013 at 10:35 am

          Okay, yeah, that makes sense now. You’re launching it a little bit too high (which makes it land a little too steep) and you’ve also got a bit too much spin.

          I would recommend that you get exactly a 7.8* driver (some companies like Wishon Golf will hand select the lofts if you ask them). That should bring your spin down to 2234 which will help you get more roll.

          Also, with 1.2 degrees less in loft, your launch angle should come down to the 12-15* range, which is better for your swing speed than 13-16* but still a tiny bit high.

          From there, with the 7.8* head, you could move the ball back in your stance and tee it lower in very slight increments until you get to a point where you’re still swinging freely and hitting the ball solidly but launching it 11-14* or 10-13*…basically, whatever gets you averaging around 12.1*.

          Do that and you should get more roll and pick up some additional total distance. 🙂

  31. Gary Q

    May 13, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Hello. Has anyone ever heard of someone who can only carry their driver 215, can only carry their 3 iron 180-185, but carrys their 9 iron 155. I’m looking to buy al new gear soon, but don’t have a clue where to begin. I feel like I should be carrying a driver around 240-245, and a 3 iron around 195-200.

    Is their something fundamentally wrong with my swing, or do I have the wrong technology?

    • Jaacob Bowden

      May 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Gary, it sounds like you de-loft your clubs at impact more than most people.

      This could be from having your hands too far forward at impact, having the ball too far back in your stance, hitting the balls a little too much on the downswing, etc.

      It’s not necessarily wrong and it’s not a problem if you can hold greens with mid/long irons or you play courses where long carries with woods/driver aren’t necessary. But if that’s not your situation, it might be worth changing…be aware that you would probably give up distance with your short irons and hit them higher though (also not necessarily bad).

      How fast is your swing speed with your driver?

      Also, do you have a rough estimate on your launch angle and spin rate?

  32. Steve Smith

    May 1, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    The only other distance charts on the web (where you can put in your driver carry, or 5i distance, and they output the rest of the clubs) were just way too volatile, and seemed to have exponential differences in there, i.e. if I put in a 250 carry drive / 185 5i, which puts me right around the Sr. Tour distances, they would always have my PW around 100 yards instead of the ~130 I actually hit, which is just silly. It’s good to know that my distances are actually consistent with what they should be.

    Great chart and thank you.

  33. dennis

    Feb 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Do you have a reference table also for “ideal” launch angle & spin rates?

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Mar 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

      I do! Perhaps I’ll do a future article about this.

      Shoot me an email through one of my websites and I can send them to you.

      • dennis

        Mar 9, 2013 at 5:40 am

        I will today. Thanks. I don’t think John Q Public knows as much about it as we shoule. One example is you explaining why we should move the driver ball forward & raise the tee height so we have a slight ascending swing. it sure pays off.

  34. Jim

    Feb 13, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Help. I have my first club fitting today with my Taylormade RBZ driver. I had always wondered why it hit differently than my last regular shaft TM driver. We put it on the flex machine . . .and I find out that my regular shaft is really an
    Xflex. Wow. I guess Joe Public hasn’t figured out that club manufacturers mismark clubs with regularity. And it doesn’t seem to be just a comparison from mfr vs mfr either. The same clubs don’t seem to be the uh, same clubs.

    I also figured out that I need two inches to be cut off the club but if I do that, the swing weight will change.

    What do I do? Give TM a bunch sh. . t about it?

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Feb 14, 2013 at 5:11 am

      Hi Jim, you might look in to the clubs made by a friend of mine named Tom Wishon, who is also one of the other Featured Writers here on the GolfWRX site.

      His entire club lineup at Wishon Golf is geared towards custom fitting. If you work with one of his fitters, they can usually hand-select a particular loft to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need. He also designs the heads with multiple weight ports in the head and hosel to accommodate building drivers of various lengths at whatever swing weight you like.

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  36. Kris

    Jan 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Thanks for the reply Jaacob. Good to know the spin/launch numbers I should be aiming for. Some day when I can afford lessons I’ll be sure to talk to them about my issue and the D Plane (interesting concepts). For the record, I tee it low (<1/3 of ball above driver face), about level with my front big toe, and hit it sweet or a bit high. I've tried teeing it further forward, to get the upswing, but inevitably slice when I do. My normal shot is low or a low draw. Miss is a weak slice when I don't release the club (usually hits on the toe too).
    P.S. Any sign of new Srixon balls being released? Have heard nothing about the new Zstars despite then being on tour for over 6 months :(. Love my Zs, though thinking of going XV once I run out of stock.

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jan 29, 2013 at 7:35 am

      Sure thing, glad to help.

      Don’t know anything about the Srixon balls.

      When you say you slice…where is the ball starting off? Left of target, at target, or right of target?

      Most of where the ball starts off is where the club face was aimed at impact…then assuming a center face hit, the ball curves right due to the club face being open to the path.

      So for a pull slice, the face would be left of target and swing path even further left (path and club face issue). A slice that starts out at the target would have a face near the target but path too far left (path issue). A push slice would have the club face pointed right of the target and path at or near the target (club face issue).

      In any case, the face-to-path relationship would be what’s causing the curve. There are any number of ways to fix get the face-to-path more closed…one that you might try would be turning your left hand grip a little clockwise on the grip.

      • Kris

        Jan 29, 2013 at 10:59 am

        When it’s my normal weak slice miss, It’s a push slice (I should add for my ego that this miss occurs only about once a round with driver, and maybe twice with irons. Too much, but not constant, and usually when trouble is left). When I move the tee up with my driver trying for the higher launch angle, it’s a pull slice. My left hand is neutral, but my right hand is very strong (to the point I can see all my fingernails easily). My grip is the first thing I’ll be working on once the snow clears up, I’ll keep the left hand in mind too (tend to ignore it). I’m thinking of switching from interlocking to overlapping because I’ve tried fixing my grip repeatedly and it never sticks with me long. Thanks 🙂

        • Jaacob Bowden

          Jan 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm

          If that push slice is mostly when trouble is left, that sounds more like a mental thing. There’s multiple ways you can address that but just for starters I would make sure to consciously recognize when you think that situation might arise and just simply remind yourself right beforehand to make your normal swing. It may take a number of tries to have the courage to make the normal swing under the danger-left circumstances, but the fact that you are recognizing what is happening is a good start to changing how you respond.

          While you’re waiting for the snow to clear, look up the d-plane. Since golfers swing on a tilted arc it’s normal for some people to have a path that ends up too far left when trying to catch the ball on the upswing. You either have to adjust for that by setting up a little more aimed right, forcing your swing path more to the right, or something along those lines. Basically, something that works for you that gets your driver path more rightward (which can be somewhat counter intuitive). Again, look up the d-plane and that might make a little more sense.

          As for the face-to-path, making that left hand grip a little stronger might be enough to do the trick. Whether you interlock or overlap should be fine.

          • Kris

            Feb 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

            Bought a covert today. Have been working on my grip, setup and swinging [very] lightly inside. Only change I’ve tried so far is lowering my back shoulder (so that I can almost touch my knee with my hand). However, when in store today (almost 2hrs!) I started hitting my old gamer, and while my ss was still ~103, and my spin ~2900, my angle was about 13°! Was amazing. And carrying almost 270. Hit literally every new driver, and the Cell, XHot and covert were all giving me ~108 ss, but all nearly 4000 spin 🙁 . About to give up and forget a new driver when the fitter brought me a Covert Performance head with 60g X silver shaft from the Tour head. Immediately noticed huge improvement. Launching 13-14, about 3000 spin, but every shot dead straight and carrying 280-285 (set 10.5° open). I’ll still be researching D-plane, but thought you’d be curious to hear my experience. Looking forward to spring! Cheers.

          • Steve Davis

            Mar 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

            Jacob, I am asking cause I am always trying to learn this game. Do you think Kris should work on fixing his swing path? I am a scratch golfer and I get the best ideas by asking questions

        • Steve Davis

          Mar 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm

          Kris, May be none of my business, but it sound like your swing path is off bad, Should be In to In, Sounds like yours is getting outside, which is a common problem, Not to argue with what Jacob says, cause grip is an issue too, Somewhere along the way you have compensated for this swing path with a strong right hand grip, I bet your stance is closed also. This set=up leads to a low draw, or high weak slice on a miss. My suggestion would be to work to correct the swing path some at least, If you do you will find you can hit the ball further and with less misses, Do you hit short irons lower than normal? Jacob is right about what causes the curve and proper grip help that, but until you correct that swing path, you will be compensating for it in your swing,

  37. Pingback: Carry Distance vs. Swing Speed Chart | MattiTours

  38. Justin Greene

    Jan 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Great article…..thank you

  39. Augustine

    Jan 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    AWESOME! My numbers have always been 1 more club than PGA average and now that there is a Champions Tour average as well they are exactly my numbers!

  40. Dusty

    Jan 22, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Its nice to see there is someone that knows about golf, keep up the good work.

  41. rich

    Jan 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    I swing at about 108-110. All my iron swing speeds are about 5-10 yards longer then the average but my driver comes in at about 5-10 yards shorter. anyone else got that problem?

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jan 22, 2013 at 8:56 am

      Rich, it sounds like you hit the ball lower than a typical Tour player would in proportion to your swing speed. This could cause the irons to carry farther from the lower trajectory…but also cause the driver to carry shorter from having too low of a trajectory.

      Perhaps you are catching the ball fairly steeply on the downswing and/or having your hands excessively forward at impact. Neither is necessarily a bad thing. However, it could cause the situation that you are describing.

      By chance do you know your launch angle and spin rate with your driver?

      • Tom

        Jan 22, 2013 at 10:57 am

        I actually have a somewhat similar problem, according the the golf galaxy simulators my driver swing speed is about 107-108 but on the course I launch it low get only about 240 carry. On the other hand, the rest of my yardage numbers are right in line with the PGA tour average of 113mph club head speed but I hit my irons between 30-35 yards high at the apex. I’m a high spin player, but no ballooning.

        • Tom

          Jan 22, 2013 at 11:01 am

          scratch that, last time I hit on a simulator the apex was hovering around 40 yards

          • Jaacob Bowden

            Jan 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm

            Tom, do you know your launch angle and spin rate with your driver?

            At 107-108 mph, I would target you somewhere around 13 degrees on the launch angle and about 2400 rpm spin for optimizing overall distance.

      • Kris

        Jan 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm

        Wow Jaacob, I read your reply and said ‘that’s me’. I normally get about 270 drives on the course with my Superfast 1.0 Stiff 9.5, but it goes low, as do my irons. Using your chart I get above average short/mid iron distance, but lower driver. I hit a bunch of shots at my local GolfTown sim, and with my driver I was averaging 8-9 launch, and 2900-3000 spin, and 260-280 total. I came home and looked it up and I’m thinking I should be trying some higher lofts or high launching shaft (poor-ish supply teacher so using stock lol). Cheers.
        P.S. Hit every new driver but TM and Nike (super pumped to try Covert), and every driver from last year, all in stiff 9.5 and 10.5, and none came close to my 4+ yr old driver. All gave near or over 4000 spin, not as straight, and sub 10 launch.

        • Kris

          Jan 27, 2013 at 7:21 pm

          Oh, and 102-104 ss

          • Jaacob Bowden

            Jan 28, 2013 at 4:39 am

            Kris, for you at 103’ish, to optimize your distance efficiency I would try to get you around 13.5-14.0 degrees launch and about 2500 spin.

            It would require changes to accomplish…which you’d have to decide whether or not it’s worth it.

            But assuming you already hit the center of the face (hitting low on the face can raise the spin), it would probably mean going to a lower lofted driver (to bring down the spin)…and moving the ball more forward in your stance and teeing the ball up a little higher (to catch it on the upswing and get the higher launch).

            If you don’t understand the D-plane (there’s quite a bit of info about it on YouTube, Google, etc), it may help to find an instructor that understands the concept to help you with the changes because when you catch the ball on the upswing with a driver it typically requires swinging a little bit more out.

            Hope that helps. Let me know if you need any further assistance or guidance.

    • Steve Davis

      Mar 2, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      All distances have to do with set-up, grip, attack angle, and many other factors, I am a scratch golfer, and swing at 115 mph. Several years ago I could hit a 7-iron 215 yards with good height, I was playing my irons way back in my stance and really pinching the ball, thus de-lofting the club to a 3-iron, The discrepancy in your distance are probably due to ball position. a little far back on irons, a little far forward on driver; Find the club that you hit the right distance for you, set up to as usual, place a club along your toe line then 1 next to the ball 90 degrees with the other. After finding that position, position all other clubs in relation to it, ball moves a little far forward as clubs get longer, This should help you get consistency all the way to your driver

  42. Barrie Taylor

    Jan 21, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    The great mystery of driving figures is what shafts were used when looking at swing spoeeds. I dont mean R S or other I would like to see golf Shaft manufacturers and people like yourself produce figures by brands giving us distances for swing speeds on the shafts produced for comparison.

    I have swing speed of 105 ,the only way to test shafts is to buy them. If manufactures list swing speed with Distance then this would help the Club golfer choose more acuratly the right shaft for his/her swing speed.

    What can you offer us !!!!!

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jan 22, 2013 at 9:05 am

      Barrie, you might check out some of my friend Tom Wishon’s GolfWRX articles. His profile link is http://www.golfwrx.com/author/tomwishon/.

      He’s written several pieces about shafts and shaft fitting and is as knowledgeable about equipment as anyone I’ve ever met in the golf world.

      On his Wishon Golf website, there’s also a shaft selection tool that you might find useful…his S2S (Shaft to Swing) Shaft Fitting System.

  43. bo

    Jan 21, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    was there a tempture gague used to compile these stats?

  44. G

    Jan 20, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Thank you for this! You’re awesome.

  45. Tom Allinder

    Jan 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Jaacob, thank you for including Senior stats too. As I mention in a previous comment, this is an area of interest for me.

    One of the items you covered before and in this article is the PGA Tour Average Driving Efficiency (2.58 yards per mph of club head speed). It is clear, and you point it out that LPGA driving efficiency as well as long drivers is higher.

    It would strongly suggest that the men on the PGA Tour have yards to burn in the distance department for the sake of accuracy or what “fits their eye” with regard to trajectory. Items that increase driver distance (less spin, higher launch, hitting the ball on the upswing) are of less importance when your swing speed is 110+. Getting the ball into tight fairways and the ability to work the ball is more important.

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jan 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Hi Tom, I saw your other comment, thanks. Glad you are finding the numbers useful.

      I agree that this is certainly the case in some instances on the PGA Tour. A lot of these guys have been playing a certain way for a very long time.

      Even with all this new technology that is coming out these days to help assess how efficient guys are with their driving distances, it doesn’t mean it’s worth making swing changes and risking losing their tour card just for a few extra yards. Like you say, if a certain flight “fits their eye” or is comfortable and the idea is to score as low as possible, you don’t need to be the most efficient driver…provided you have “enough” speed and distance. Although it’s not an absolute, guys are showing that 104 or 105 is an adequate amount of swing speed to play on the big Tours.

      I would expect the driving efficiency for the men at the pro level will improve with the upcoming generation, though. With teachers and kids having access to this kind of information, they can get all those swing changes engrained early on.

      • Tom Allinder

        Jan 19, 2013 at 5:25 pm

        Jaacob, Absolutely agree that the younger generation is getting more out of the equipment. They learn all about equipment at an early age and they learn what numbers mean, what center of gravity means and all sorts of other terms that did not even “exist” (they did, I just wasn’t aware of them) 20 years ago.

        Match that up with fitness and you have really long and accurate players… hard to argue with that combo!

        I am really enjoying your articles. Thanks so much for your contribution to the golf community!

  46. d.chu27

    Jan 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I swing around 120 mph with my driver. The numbers seem accurate. But my irons are similar to the 113mph distances. Is that normal and does anyone else have this problem.

    • Jaacob Bowden

      Jan 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Hi d.chu27, I actually experience a similar thing. For me, it’s from having a little bit of a flip-type of release (even with the lead wrist being flat at impact) combined with a somewhat vertical shaft at impact.

      To use the kinesiologic terms, a flip-release would mean a dorsiflexion of the lead hand through impact and a palmar flexion of the rear hand.

      It’s not necessarily a bad thing or something that is critical to change.

      Flip-releases are generally pretty good for hitting the ball with some pop and yet with less deviance in ball flight curvature. For me, this release combined with the more vertical shaft causes some extra spin and a higher shot height (can be good or bad depending on the person) from the increased spin loft. The downside is the ball speed and smash factor can go down a bit. Depending on your trajectory, that could possibly mean some carry distance loss.

      Does this sound like what happens for you?

      Alternatively, what device are you using to get the 120 mph number?

      For example, in my testing Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radars (SSR) tend to run 5-12% higher (depending on how you move the club through the hitting area) because the Doppler radar measures the fastest moving part of the club versus a Trackman or X2 which has an additional algorithm to calculate the center face speed. If you were using something like an SSR, your actual Trackman speed would be a little bit slower…which could also explain part of the discrepancy.

      • Alex Hom

        Apr 6, 2013 at 12:49 am

        Jaacob,

        I also have a flip type of release/swing. That’s also probably why I use 2 gloves. It does give me a high ball flight, but also a great degree of accuracy. It’s hard, because the golf instructors always try to change my grip to get rid of the flip.

    • Mike

      Jun 29, 2013 at 10:48 am

      It’s not a problem – it’s normal – check out this link: http://www.andrewricegolf.com/tag/clubhead-speed-on-pga-tour/ – on average on the tour clubhead speed drops 2 mph with each club.

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Opinion & Analysis

2023 Ras Al Khaimah Championship: Betting Tips & Selections

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The conclusion to last week’s Dubai Desert Classic was almost perfection.

The scant amount of viewers on a Monday morning would have been treated to a surely scripted play-off between world number one Rory McIlroy and his LIV nemesis Patrick Reed, bar that damned 13-foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole. It was, of course, a fitting start to the year for the world number one, and an ending that the week deserved after ‘Tee Gate to Tree Gate,’.

With our main man, Lucas Herbert, playing some sublime golf in behind and finishing strongly in third despite the absence of luck on the Saturday greens, it showed the DP World Tour in a cracking light.

It’s a shame this week doesn’t.

We move from the quality of Dubai to a standard DPWT field and, while favourite Adrian Meronk is improving fast and now up to 52nd in the rankings, the long,wide, forgiving nature of Al Hamra makes this nothing more than a bosh-it, find it, hit it, putt it, competition. Links-like it may be, but with no wind forecast, this won’t hit anywhere near the heights of the previous two weeks.

Previous DPWT winners here – Ryan Fox and Nicolai Hojgaard – suggest length is the one factor that separates the medalists from the also-rans and is the key factor behind high-level tee-to-green numbers, certainly rather than accuracy.

There isn’t really any option but to look at the handful of true links players at the top and it’s only narrowly that Victor Perez gets the vote.

Splitting last year’s winners (for there were two Al Hamra events in 2022) Ryan Fox and Nicolai Hojgaard is tough but I’ve always felt the Frenchman is capable of a higher level of play and he is the selection in front of favourite Meronk, even if they both have similar course and recent form.

I rarely get him right – backing him twice over the last six months – even if he has won two titles in the space of seven months.

Still, this is another day for the Frenchman (and me) and for a winner of the Dunhill Links, the Dutch Open and three weeks ago in Abu Dhabi, he may actually be overpriced at 16/1.

It’s tough to find any better ‘standard level’ links form lines than beating the likes of Matt Southgate, Joakim Lagergren, Tommy Fleetwood, Tom Lewis and pals in Scotland, and beating Fox in a play-off at Bernadus Golf. However, he was at it again at Yas Links, leaving behind the names Min Woo Lee, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren and Tyrrell Hatton – all synonymous with the test he faces this week, on the same paspalum greens and with opposition of higher class than three-quarters of this week’s field.

Perez looks to have produced evidence that a golfer is at their peak at 30-years of age producing an outstanding bunker shot to win his latest trophy, with a sound coming off the club reminiscent of his play at Wentworth in 2020, when splitting Hatton and Patrick Reed.

Watch Perez trophy-winning shot here!

Although this is his first outing here on the DPWT, he has a seventh and second place from two outings on the Challenge Tour and he is in the right form to take those figures one better.

Third for total driving over the last six months, Perez ranks in the top-10 for ball-striking over the same period (11th over three months) and arrives here in confident mood, telling reporters:

“I’m looking forward to playing at the Ras Al Khaimah Championship for the first time. I got the season off to a great start at the Hero Cup followed by my first Rolex Series win in Abu Dhabi, so this is a great chance to keep the momentum going and secure more Race to Dubai and Ryder Cup points,” before adding:

“I’m playing great golf at the moment, and I’m hoping it continues in Ras Al Khaimah.”

Perez is a confident selection, but back him up with another proven rip-it merchant in Callum Shinkwin, who has come in a few points since the market opened but justifies the move after an excellent top five in Dubai.

First thing we know about the three-time winner is he hits it a mile, ranking in the top-10 for off-the-tee ten times since the start of the 2022 season, including being in the top three in the two events 12 months ago. That itself is worth noting, as are his best efforts away from the victories- at Fairmont, the Dunhill Links and last week in Dubai, all with pointers to this week’s test.

There was nothing wrong with mid-20 finishes here last year, the first just a couple of days after destroying the course in a fun Texas Scramble pairs, and he will surely take comfort in lying up there with Rory McIlroy last Monday, matching those final two birdies.

Another around that ‘magic’ age, this is a course that will give Shinks every opportunity to play shorter irons into the targets and, with last week’s top-10 ranking for putting, this may be the time to go with the Moor Park magician.

I can’t see a shock result here this week – the top lot have perfect conditions in which to show their class – but I’ll be looking at the top-10/20 markets for the following:

Tapio Pulkkanen – Trilby-wearing Finn that hits the ball a country mile. Trouble is, half the time he does not know in which direction it’s travelling. Here, with accuracy not a factor, he can take inspiration from last season’s seventh place in the first of the back-to-back events, when a three-over back-nine cost him a place in the medals.

20th just seven days later shows he can play the track, whilst best efforts over the last 12 months include a third place at the Czech Masters, 10th at the Dunhill Links and third in Portugal, again all events with a leaning to the type he’ll take part in this week. Given his tied-second in Prague a year earlier, we can surmise he repeats form at tracks that suit.

It isn’t impossible he suddenly finds his form on tour, and with an inkling he’ll ‘do a JB Hansen’ and go crackers for a spell. This would seem the perfect place to start.

Julien Guerrier – Third at Hillside and Celtic Manor last season show the former winner of The Amateur Championship (at Royal St. George’s) still has what it takes to compete at this slightly lower level. Add top-15 finishes at Denmark, Spain, Germany and Mauritius – all with front-rank putting stats – and it’s easy to see the two-time Challenge Tour winner having some effect in the top-20 market.

A sixth and eighth-placed finish at the Rocco Forte in Sicily behind Lagergren and Alvaro Quiros (both who turn up when they sniff links from a mile away) reads well, and his repeat performances at his home country, Portugal, Spain and Prague show he performs where he has good memories.

With four outings here, split between the Challenge Tour and the DPWT, the Frenchman can continue an improving course record of 19/13/9.

Jack Senior – I’m convinced that 34-year-old Senior is a better player than his current ranking outside of the top-500 in the world, and although it has been a while since his win at Galgorm Castle in 2019, he has racked up top-10 finishes at Gran Canaria, the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club (behind Min Woo Lee, Thomas Detry and Matt Fitzpatrick), Mallorca and on the Spanish mainland.

Back at Galgorm, he was tied-13th last year, a repeat result that sits nicely with his 23rd in Mallorca, and top-20s in Prague and Denmark, courses already highlighted as associates to Al Hamra.

I’m happy to ignore last week’s missed cut as it was his first outing since October, and he’s of enough interest back on a course on which he has a sixth, 11th and 19th place finish in three tries at the lower level.

I’m expecting one of the top eight or 10 to prove too good, but these events often throw up names on a surprise leaderboard, and it will take just one hotter-than-normal week with the putter for that to happen.

Recommended Bets:

Victor Perez – WIN

Callum Shinkwin – WIN/TOP-5

Julien Guerrier – TOP-10 TOP-20

Tapio Pulkkanen – TOP-10 TOP-20

Jack Senior – TOP-10 TOP-20

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Opinion & Analysis

2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Betting Tips & Selections

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Here we go again.

After the multi-course American Express and the two-track Farmers, the PGA Tour arrives at the legendary Pebble Beach for this week’s AT&T.

Shorter than the average tour event, the coastline course/s deliver a reasonably simple test for the high-level celebrities and their professional playing partners, but this changes dramatically should any of the famed coastal weather arrive.

Bad enough for those paid to hit a dimpled ball, it can turn an amateur’s enjoyable (and expensive) round into something horrendous like this.

Three players clearly stand head-and-shoulders above the rest, both in terms of quality and world ranking, and they do have figures that justify that – in spades.

Favourite Jordan Spieth is the King of Pebble. His record here is unsurpassed, and he relishes the challenges of this seaside terrain.

However, with no serious turn in conditions, I’m not sure his current game is much to go on. The 29-year-old has missed the cut in two of his last six starts, the best results coming in limited field events at two of the FedEx play-off events and the Tournament of Champions.Not as if Spieth needs to be in form – he won the RBC Heritage last year after a run of mc/35/35/mc, but even a win, runner-up, third , fourth, seventh and ninth, it always feels as if you take your life in your own hands when backing him at 10/1 and less.

Matt Fitzpatrick and Viktor Hovland make up the elite trio, all residing in the top-16 of the world rankings.

Both justify being alongside the Texan at the top of the market, although until last season’s closing sixth place finish, only Fitz’s 12th at the 2019 U.S Open was worth noting from an event formline of missed-cut and 60th.

Interestingly, the Norwegian matched that finish three years ago, becoming low amateur for the second major in a row, and both are hard to argue against.

With combined wins in Mayakoba, Puerto Rico and Dubai, as well as top finishes at various Open championships, conditions suit both equally well. Choosing between them is tough enough, but with home players winning 27 of the last 30 events held here (17 of the last 18) and with doubts about the motivation for playing this week, they can all be left alone at combined odds of around 9/4.

The draw is probably as crucial here as any other event, with Pebble Beach having some of the smallest greens on tour and Spyglass Hill being affected occasionally by similar winds. Make the score at Monterey Peninsula, if at all possible.

Despite the quality up front, the section that includes defending champion Tom Hoge, Maverick McNealey, Andrew Putnam and Seamus Power has equally strong credentials for the title.

Hoge aims to become only the second player to defend this title since 2000 and, whilst playing as well as ever, is no Dustin Johnson, whilst it’s hard to put McNealey in front of the Irishman given the latter’s 2-0 lead in PGA Tour wins, and 3-zip if you count the KFT.

Power ranks in the top echelons of players with form at short courses and is easy to make a case for in an event at which he opened up a five shot lead at one point last year, before finishing in ninth.

The 35-year-old has never been better, now ranked inside the top-30 after a season that included that top-10 here and again at Southern Hills, a top-12 behind Fitz at Brookline, third at Mayakoba and fifth at the RSM. The highlight, of course, was the victory in Bermuda, sitting nicely with his first victory at the Barbasol, that Kentucky event showing links to proven coastal/short course player Kelly Kraft (runner-up here to Spieth in 2019) and Aaron Baddeley and Kevin Streelman, with six top-10 finishes between them at the AT&T.

Rather like the player he beat in that Barbasol play-off (J.T Poston) Power is fairly easy to read, and although the very nature of pro-ams doesn’t suit everyone, the course make-up suits perfectly.

Usually consistent and in the top echelons for tee-to-green, greens-in regulation, and for up-and-down, Power comes here looking to recover from an unusually poor performance on the large Abu Dhabi putting floors. Certainly the figures look awry compared with his 10 strokes gained for tee-to-green and 12th for around-the-green, and it’s easy to see improvement in California, where in 2022 he lay in fourth place into Sunday at the pro-am at La Quinta, as well as a previous ninth place finish at the Barracuda (fifth into Sunday).

He’s the best of the week but I’m also including:

Alex Smalley – We were on 26-year-old Smalley for the American Express a few weeks ago and he was going well until the PGA West (Nicklaus) caught him out, causing a drop into 62nd from 21st place, and close to two of the other three selections this week, as well as Garrick Higgo, who just missed out due to lack of experience here.

The recovery into a place just outside the top-20 was impressive, though, with a final round 63 comprising 10 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation, as well as making all his putts under 10 feet.

Those sorts of figures have been expected from the outstanding Duke graduate, who made his PGA Tour debut as an amateur at the 2017 U.S Open. Since then, it hasn’t been plain sailing, indeed he has yet to win an event despite an excellent return to this level in 2022.

Starting with a best-of-Sunday 65 to finish tied runner-up at Corales, he then finished in the top six behind Jon Rahm and co in Mexico, 10th at the Scottish Open and 13th at Sedgefield.

Since October, Smalley has made seven of nine cuts, highlights being 11th at Bermuda and a pair of top-five finishes at the RSM and Houston, all contributors to the tee-to-green stats that see him rank 1/2/6/11/13 for his ball-striking and significant given the test this week..

He couldn’t get it going at Waialae for the Sony but followed up the La Quinta effort with a top-40 at Torrey Pines, when his tee-to-green game was again perfectly respectably ranked in 33rd given the strength of the field.

Runner-up in the Dominican Republic, fourth and 15th in Houston, and with form at Colonial and Bermuda, this looks the prefect test for a player that at least had a look last year, and that the bookmakers simply cannot make their mind up about.

Robby Shelton – Makes his event debut here this week in his second time at the top level, but the former Walker Cup player has enough relevant form to make him of interest, particularly after a sixth place at the multi-course American Express a few weeks ago, his best finish in California so far.

Shelton included Scottie Scheffler and Ben Griffin as play-off victims when winning two of a total of four KFT events in 2019 and 2022, coming here after making eight out of ten cats (yeah, I know) since arriving back on tour in September.

Best efforts are 15th at the Shriners and a top-10 at the RSM, but let’s also throw in a sixth at Mayakoba, 11th at the Honda and a top-20 in Texas.

This is a drop in class, and significantly in distance, from Torrey Pines and I’d expect to see more advantage taken here.

Harrison Endycott – One of the Player To Follow for this season, it’s hard to work out exactly what the 26-year-old Aussie wants in terms of course set-up, but given his heritage and junior career, it’s fairly certain he can play well in the wind.

Having made his way through the grades including a win, two top-10s and two top-20s on the KFT, he wasted little time making his mark at the highest level, finishing tied-12th at the Fortinet in California, a joint best-of-the-day 65 launching him up the board on day three.A month later, Endycott started the Bermuda Championship with a pair of double-bogeys before signing for an opening nine-under 62, the catalyst for another career top-10, and in November he overcame a poor opening round at his home PGA Championship (111th) before flying through the field as the event progressed, finishing a never-nearer 18th behind Cam Smith.

Even the missed-cut at the Australian Open was not devoid of promise, an opening 68 seeing him start the second round in 7th place.

With a pedigree in Australia and a residence in Scottsdale, I’ll take the chance he will find something back in California, scene of the best of three events in 2023 – 22nd at the American Express – when his game showed the all-round prowess it did in Scottsdale – top-11 in approach and top-15 tee-to-green.

Recommended Bets:

  • Seamus Power – WIN
  • Alex Smalley – WIN/TOP-5
  • Robby Shelton – WIN-TOP-10
  • Harrison Endycott – WIN/TOP-20
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Opinion & Analysis

2023 Farmers Insurance Open: Betting Tips & Selections

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Get your bets on earlier than usual this week as the Farmers Insurance Open runs Wednesday to Saturday, the advancement of a day avoiding a clash with the NFL Conference Championship games.

We raise the bar a notch as the tour reaches Torrey Pines, a course used for this (and related) events since 1968, although the current set-up on the South Course now measures almost 1000 yards than the one seen 55 years ago.

Now utilising the easier North Course for one round, players will still need to have their grinding game as the weekend progresses over a course re-configured for the 2021 U.S Open – won by this week’s hot favourite Jon Rahm – and one that has seen the last three winners score no better than 15-under.

As my learned GolfWRX colleague says:

While last year’s winner Luke List was a shock, beaten play-off rival Will Zalatoris certainly fits the bill in becoming the last of a long line of contenders at Torrey that have challenged at the majors.

Patrick Reed, Marc Leishman, Justin Rose and, of course, seven times Torrey winner Tiger Woods, would all be seen as elite in their time, and you can confidently add the likes of runners-up Tony Finau, Adam Scott and Xander Schauffele to those.

Greens change to Poa Anna this week, and with the home course possessing suitably tough greens, players need solid tee-to-green games to remain with a chance down the back-stretch on Saturday afternoon. Forget the pitch and putt of La Quinta and friends, this week is far from a repeat.

You would be forgiven for thinking this is the Woods era, a solid 4/1 shot heading the market.

Tiger he is not, but having won four of his last five events and winning the Farmers here in 2017 and the U.S Open four years later, Jon Rahm carries almost unbeatable status into this week. However, much depends on getting the right draw over the first two days – at the price he can be left alone.

With the trophy likely to go to one of the better fancied players, here’s a chance to select two or three from the next half-dozen and still look at a better return than backing the favourite – and, for me, Tony Finau and Jason Day fit the bill.

Unlike someone like J.T Poston, I can’t seem to call Tony Finau right, but if he is ever going to repay the faith, it is here.

Having raised his game to another level in winning back-to-back at Minnesota and Detroit, the 33-year-old was fancied to go well in Mayakoba. Naturally, he missed his first cut since the US Open in June, subsequently gagging up in Houston, making it three wins in seven starts – not Rahm (or Scheffler of early ’22) but not far behind.

Fancied to do another back-to-back special, Finau then withdrew from the RSM Classic before probably needing the run-out when 7th at the Hero World Challenge. – extremely frustrating but, on face value, continuing a career-best run.

2023 has seen encouragement in both starts, with eight rounds in the 60s leading to a seventh place at Kapalua and a most recent 16th at last week’s pro-am jolly, where he came from outside the top 60 on Thursday and from 34th at the cut mark.

Finau’s tee-to-green game remains of the highest class, ranking ninth in ball-striking over three months and third over six, but it’s now matched by a putting prowess that takes advantage of his constant green finding.

Events may be limited, but over the last 14 rounds or so, Big Tone leads the tour in putting average, beating even the likes of flying Jon Rahm. Sure, you can regard that as a skewed stat, so take it over another 12 weeks and he is in third – remarkable for someone that just a year ago was known for missing the vital ones.

Take the 2021 U.S Open away and Finau has four top-six finishes and a pair of top-20s here, and ignore last year’s missed weekend too – he was in the top-10 after the first round and was simply not at the races on day two.

Finau’s record on poa greens reads well enough – he won the Rocket Mortgage, and has top-10s at Riviera, Winged Foot and Olympia Fields, the latter pair giving credence to the Torrey/majors connection, whilst connecting Memorial form sees him record two top-10s and two top-15 finishes.

Being unconvinced that either Zalatoris’ or Justin Thomas’ games are pitch perfect, TF looks the best challenge to the favourite.

The favourite’s record in California is almost too good to be true, with four wins, seven top-5s and three top-10s but if anyone can challenge that, it’s surely Jason Day, who looks as if he is now fully recovered from injury and personal tragedy.

Winner here in 2015 and 2018, the Aussie also boasts a runner-up, third and fifth place around tough Torrey and an average position of 15th from 14 Pebble Beach outings. He loves California.

Having dropped from world number one to outside of the top-100 in five seasons, the 35-year-old has fought back from adversity to make his way back up the rankings, helped by a pair of top-10 finishes at, no surprise, Pebble and Torrey.

In order to protect what has been a fragile back, the 16-time major top-10 star reached out to swing coach Chris Como, formally an aide of Tiger Woods.

“Going into this year I did some swing changes with my coach, and I feel like those are slowly cementing themselves in there,” Day said on Golf Channel.

“I’m shallowing it out,” Day continued. “The swing has changed dramatically. It took me about a year and half to get the body correct, and the body movement correct until I could actually get into shallowing it out correctly.”

Judged on the latest figures, it seems to be coming together nicely.

Day ended 2022 with four cuts from five, including 8th at Shriners, 11th at the CJ Cup, 21st at Mayakoba and 16t in Houston, and last weekend finished in the top 20 at La Quinta having been third after two rounds.

16th for ball-striking over the last three months, slightly better over six, his top-30 for driving accuracy has led to a similar ranking for greens found. Take that, and any improvement, into an event he enjoys more than most, and we have a winning formula.

Away from the top, it’s hard to get excited about the chances of many.

Having nabbed a big-priced second last week with one of the 12 Players-to-Watch 2023, it is tempting to go back in again on Davis Thompson on a course that may suit even better. However, hitting 14 out of 18 greens at the Stadium Course is a far cry from a debut at Torrey Pines and he may just need the sighter.

Taylor Montgomery calls himself after his fourth top-five in just nine full-time starts on the PGA, particularly after a debut 11th as a sponsor’s invite last year. Prices in the 20s don’t appeal at all against proven and regular winners though, so take a chance on another top finish from the defending champion Luke List.

For someone that believes List is Dye-positive, his first win on the poa greens of Torrey Pines was a bit of a shocker.

I put the 38-year-old up as a lively top-10 bet last week, when the thought process was that this long driver should only need to drive and flip to the greens, but sadly his game was all over the place. However, I’ll take another chance in conditions that clearly suit last year’s play-off victor, a win that came off four straight cuts here that included a 10th and 12th placed finish.

Since the start of the 2022 season, List has 11 top-25 rankings for driving, five for approaches and seven for tee-to-green, whilst it was only a couple of starts ago that he matched the best at Kapalua.

As for the fabled short stick, it’s a case of being with him when he just works better than field average – 6th at Bethpage Black, in two of his four completions at Riviera and in three of five outings at Silverado, all of a  similar grass type.

Players constantly repeat form here at Torrey, so whilst he may not do a 1-2 or, indeed, a 2-1 on the lines of Mickelson, Day, Snedeker and Leishman to name a few, List is very capable of pulling out a finish on the first two pages of the board.

Recommended Bets:

  • Tony Finau Win 
  • Jason Day Win-Top-5 
  • Luke List Top-10 
  • Luke List Top-20 
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