On Wednesday, the USGA and R&A released a wide-ranging and detailed look at distance in the game of golf, and specifically, how it’s changed over the years. It’s part of the governing bodies’ years-long investigation into whether technology in golf needs to be reigned-in. In sharing the findings, the duo makes clear that their focus is on “the longest hitters,” and not “impacting hitting distances for shorter hitters at the recreational level.”
And along the way, the USGA and R&A make it a point to underline that distance at the recreational level is not a cause for concern, which they support with the following graph outlining the average driving distances by handicap, as measured by a sample of club golfers in the U.K. in 2019.
According to the findings:
Amateur male golfers of all levels average about 215 yards of driving distance.
Golfers with a handicap between 13 and 20 average 200 yards.
Golfers between the high single digits and low double digits average just shy of 220 yards.
Golfers with a handicap below six average just shy of 240 yards.
Recreational golfers of all levels average about 215 yards. USGA
As for female golfers?
The average overall driving distance is just shy of 147 yards.
Female golfers with a handicap between 13 and 20 average 155 yards.
Those with a handicap between six and 12 average just north of 177 yards.
The lowest handicap female amateur golfers average is just under 200 yards.
Low single-digit female handicaps average about 200 yards of driving distance. USGA
It also went on to show that driving distance in the recreational ranks is one of the clearest correlations with a golfer’s overall handicap. Put simply: You can probably predict how low a player’s handicap is based on how far they hit it.
If a player hits the ball long (or short), they’re probably a low (or high) handicap. USGA
Some interesting findings that ill hopefully helps you figure out where you stack up. And if you’re looking to add some swing speed, you’re in luck, because we’ve got a bunch of good content on the subject right here.