How Far Do Average Golfers Actually Hit It?

These statistics show that average golfers probably aren't hitting it as far as you may think...

How Far Do Average Golfers Actually Hit It
(Image credit: Getty Images)

These statistics show that average golfers probably aren't hitting it as far as you may think...

How Far Do Average Golfers Actually Hit It?

Driving distance in the professional game is longer than it has ever been, but what about the amateur side of things?

A long drive for a man is probably considered to be some 280-300 yards but in reality golfers aren't getting anywhere near that figure.

Driving distance figures from the R&A and USGA's most recent Distance Report show that the average hit by an amateur male club golfer is 215 yards.

Five handicaps and below average 240 yards, 6-12 handicaps average 220 yards, 13-20 handicaps average 204 yards and 21 and overs average 187 yards.

Graph: 2018 Driving Distance Report

Note: These figures are based on 87% of shots being hit with a driver.

The average of 215 yards is up 15 yards on the 2000 figure recorded of 200 yards, although it is down 2 yards on 2005, perhaps evidence that not much distance has been gained since 460cc drivers were released in the early 00's.

How far do amateur female golfers hit the ball on average?

The Distance Report also looks at the female game and the numbers show that the average hit by a woman is 148 yards, with handicaps of 5 and under averaging 196 yards.

Graph: 2018 Driving Distance Report

Six-12 handicaps average 178 yards, 13-20s average 153 yards, 21-28s average 138 yards and 29s and overs average 118 yards.

Related: 10 ways to hit the ball further

How Far Do Average Golfers Actually Hit It? - 2016 data

How Far Do Average Golfers Actually Hit It?

These statistics on average driving distance are between April and September 2016, and note that they are calculated on total distance, not carry.

The average below-five handicapper hits it 250.93 yards with run, 65 yards shorter than the PGA Tour's biggest hitter on average.

Whilst the average driving distance for all golfers using Game Golf is just under 220 yards.

The average 3 wood goes just under 190 yards and the average 7 iron flies 133 yards.

With technology constantly improving in golf clubs and balls, the common conception is that golfers are hitting the ball further than ever before which is therefore making our courses obsolete.

However, if the average driving distance of four handicappers and below just tops the 250 yard mark then this argument is surely quashed, at an amateur level anyway.

The realistic picture is that nearly all club golfers don't come anywhere near the 300 yard mark - after all, professional golfers do specific work in the gym to add power and speed, and a perfect technique will always produce long hits.

Remember, as well, that on the PGA Tour it is usually 20-30°C and when you add that to gym work, perfect technique, custom-fit fine-tuned clubs and a bit of adrenaline, it is no surprise that we see the pros hit the numbers that they do.

An interesting number from Game Golf is that golfers find 46% of fairways - far below the 76% that Chez Reavie and Ryan Moore have managed in the 2018/19 PGA Tour season.

Forget distance, 76% of fairways is a number that amateurs should aspire to.

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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x