Average Golf Driving Distance By Age, Gender, Handicap (And How To Improve It)

Anybody who’s played golf before knows that distance is the most important thing when it comes to hitting your tee shot with a driver.

The average driver has an effective range of about 219 yards, and if you’re not able to hit those long shots consistently, then you’ll never be able to get up and down the fairway.

The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to improve your driving distance.

You don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on equipment, either. All you need is a set of clubs, a few balls, and a target.

In this guide, we’re taking a look at how age affects driver distance, what other factors might come into play, and how you can improve your driving distance on the course.

Table of Contents

Average Golf Driving Distance by Age

Now that you understand there are several factors that hinder or facilitate your average driver distance, it’s time to compare the average driving distance by age.

First and foremost, you should know that the average distance for all ages is 219 yards for amateurs.

A person between the ages of 20 and 30 hits an average distance of 238 yards.

Thirty to 40 year old’s tend to hit around 231 yards, on average.

On the other hand, the age bracket of 40 to 50 has an average driver distance of 220 yards.

The 50 to 60 age group usually hits around 211 yards.

The driving distance of individuals over the age of 60 is 196 yards.

Analyzing Age and Driving Range Statistics

As you can see, the average driving distances decreases throughout the years rather than increasing. One reason is that a person’s golf swing power is greatest when he or she is in his or her 20s.

When you’re comparing the driver difference between age brackets, there’s little change between the 20 to 30-year-old age group and the thirty to 40-year-old age group. There’s a good reason for this. Besides a person losing little power during those age brackets, people lose little flexibility during this time.

A loss in flexibility doesn’t tend to occur until a person is 50 or older. Additionally, a person’s hand speed doesn’t change much from when they’re in their 20s to 30s compared to when they’re in their 40s to 50s. This loss in hand speed starts to occur once a person enters the 50 to 60 age bracket.

You should also consider when health issues like arthritis become more prevalent. It’s possible for a person to develop osteoarthritis in their 20s. However, a person tends to have underlying health conditions or lifestyle habits that make them more susceptible.

driving distance by age

For instance, repetitive wear and tear or a joint injury could occur to induce it. The same applies when you’re in your 30s and 40s. Even in your 50s, arthritis doesn’t tend to set in or is only mild. It’s not until your 60s that osteoarthritis becomes more common.

Another health factor you should consider is that repetitive stress injuries like shoulder tendinitis are common in golfers, especially over time. Elbow tendinitis is commonly referred to as golfer’s tendinitis because it’s seen in golfers frequently. These issues will affect your total distance, in particular as you age.

average golfer driver distance

Average Golf Driving Distance by Gender

The aforementioned averages are for both sexes combined. Just like your technique, your gender also impacts how far you can hit the ball.

Collectively, women have a lower average driving distance than men. For instance, in 2019, men had an average driving distance of 223.4 while women had an average driving distance of 166.4 yards.

These statistics have remained steady throughout the last few years. In 2018, men hit an average distance of 225.1 yards. On the other hand, women were hitting an average driving distance of 168.5.

The average driving distance score for men was 226.1 yards in 2017. In the same year, women were hitting an average of 167.4 yards.

Average Golf Driving Distance by Handicap

Not only is there a difference in the average drive by age and gender, but there’s also a difference that varies by handicap. If you’re unsure what a handicap is in golf, it’s how your golf game compares to par.

Specifically, this number is used to help you find suitable opponents who have a similar handicap, so the competition is fair. You want to aim toward the lowest handicap possible when working on your golf score.

For someone with an average handicap of less than five, the average driver distance was 250 yards. Players with an average handicap of five to 10 have an average driver distance of 231 yards. A person with a handicap of 10 to 19 has an average driver distance of 215 yards.

A driving distance of 195 yards is average for someone with a handicap of 19 to 28 yards. The average for a player with a handicap of over 28 is 177 yards.

It’s difficult to compare the average driving distance from age bracket to age bracket alone. Gender and handicap play a role as well. Not to mention, technique, which doesn’t have much to do with age, has quite an impact.

golf club speed for avid golfer

Is Distance Everything?

In the PGA Tour, the average pro golfer hits a distance of 290 yards. While the average distance is a bit different for amateurs, you also have to consider that the professionals are aiming toward the fairway while also striving for distance, something that all golfers should strive for.

However, it’s easy to think just because you can hit 290 yards, too, that your game is impressive. It’s vital to take into account that you’re aiming toward the fairway with a shorter distance can often earn you a better score in the long run. Therefore, you may find that not all good golfers have a high distance average.

General Driving Statistics

You may be surprised to know that the percentage of people who can hit the ball above average is actually quite low.

In fact, only 56 percent of amateur golfers have the ability to drive the ball between 200 and 250 yards. In general, only 31 percent are capable of hitting the ball over 250 yards. Keep in mind that this isn’t taken into consideration the percentage of individuals who can drive the ball far and hit the fairway in general.

Amateur Golfers Average Driving Distance

Surprisingly, the percentage of amateur golfers who can drive the golf ball over 300 yards is four percent. The portion that can hit in the 275 to 299 range is only 11 percent. On average, only 16 percent of golfers are driving the ball between 250 and 274 yards.

However, the portion of amateur golfers who can drive the golf ball 225 to 249 yards is 24 percent. Driving distances of 200 and 224 are the most common compared to any other average. In fact, 32 percent of golfers are hitting in that range. Interestingly enough, thirty percent of players are hitting at less than 200 yards on average.

When you realize that most golfers are in a younger age bracket — which we’ll discuss below — these percentages are a bit shocking.

tee shots for better golfers

What Affects the Driving Distance

After discussing the average drive by age, you should understand that your age isn’t the only factor that affects your golf driving distance. Much of what impacts the distance is your technique.

Swing Speed combined with Sweet Spot

First and foremost, where you strike the golf ball will alter the distance. As a general rule, when you hit the ball as close to the sweet spot as possible, you’ll propel the ball further. When you practice this skill, you enhance the distance your ball will fly. In fact, you can increase distance in this manner without changing your swing speed in any way.

Maximize Driver Distance

Your stance will also play a role in how far your ball travels. When you widen your stance a bit, you’ll change the resistance of your backswing.

average driving distance by age

The angle you approach the ball partially controls the span of the hit. Ideally, if you’re not hitting up on the ball, your ball won’t travel as far. For example, if you hit the ball at a downward angle, your ball will fly closer to the ground.  

Ultimately, you’re robbing yourself of distance when you do this. This issue is even worse if you have a slower swing speed. Once you discover that you must hit up on the ball, the ball will propel into the air and be able to travel further. In fact, you could possibly add up to 20 yards to your driving distance by hitting up on the golf ball with a good launch angle.

You want to focus on swinging your club faster rather than harder, generating a higher swing speed with your golf club. Although it’s debatable, swinging faster is the best way to send the ball soaring in the air. Unfortunately, speed and oomph are often confused with one another when someone is trying to perfect their game.

Average Amateur Golfer Club Speed

Instead of trying to swing harder, which could result in an injury or harming your swing’s mechanics. To give you an idea of how speed improves your game, when a person hits the ball at 75 miles per hour, the ball speed could be anywhere between 104 and 108 miles per hour. The total number of yards you hit tends to range from 166 to 187 at this speed.

low handicap making contact

On the other hand, if your swing speed at 95 miles per hour, your ball’s speed will be between 137 and 140. The end result is the ball traveling 243 to 256 yards.

Drive the ball for the most distance

Sometimes, a lack of distance from a swing is from a tee placed at an improper height. If the tee is too low or too high, you can’t hit the ball at the angle you need. By experimenting with different tee heights, a golfer can determine the ideal height to hit the ball the furthest with an upward angle strike.

Finally, you should also consider if you’re using the correct driver. It can make all the difference in how much more distance you have on your tee shots.

Where do you fit in the averages?  Do you find yourself above, below or right at the average mark. 

Why Does Age Affect Driver Distance?

Average Driver Distance By Age (And How To Improve It)

As with pretty much any sport, a person’s golf ability will tend to decrease as they get older.

As you grow older, your muscles get weaker, and you lose some physical prowess you once might have had.

There’s nothing wrong with this happening, it’s a simple art of life. That’s why many golf tournaments are categorized by age brackets.

If you want to play in one of these events, you’ll probably have to prove yourself against younger players.

If you aren’t used to playing against people younger and stronger than you, you could find yourself struggling to keep up.

This isn’t necessarily bad, though. In fact, it’s actually a great way for you to learn more about the game.

When you play against someone else, you’ll be forced to adapt your game to their strengths and weaknesses.

This means that you’ll learn new techniques, develop new strategies, and even start to understand the subtleties of the game better.

It also helps you build confidence. When you know you can compete against others, you’ll feel like you belong out there on the course.

And if you’re confident enough to play well against others, you’ll likely be able to play well against anyone else.

Other Factors That Affect Driver Distance

Of course, age isn’t the only thing that will tell you how far a golfer can probably hit a drive.

There are several other factors that come into play that you can easily improve, so don’t be disheartened if it feels like age is working against you.

Height

The first factor is height. Taller people generally have longer arms, meaning they can swing farther without losing control.

This is especially true when it comes to putting too.

Think of a golf swing like a pendulum. The clubhead will travel at a higher speed when it has a longer arc to build up this speed.

Therefore, taller golfers tend to have longer drives.

Grip Strength

Another important factor is grip strength. Grip strength is something that most people never really think about until they need to use it.

However, grip strength is an extremely important part of a good golf swing.

When you grip the club correctly, you should be able to hold onto it throughout the entire swing.

If you can’t do this, then you won’t be able to generate power from your wrists.

Your hands should be gripping the club firmly, but not so tightly that you’re straining them.

Also, make sure that you’re holding the club properly. You shouldn’t be using your fingers to help guide the club through the air.

Instead, you should be focusing on keeping your wrists straight and letting the club follow its natural path.

Weight Distribution

Another important consideration is weight distribution, which plays a big role in determining how far a driver travels.

As you may already know, the center of gravity is located directly behind the ball.

So, if you put too much weight on your front foot, you’ll end up hitting the ball further forward.

But if you put too much pressure on your back foot, you’ll end with a shorter shot.

So what does all of this mean? Well, it means that you’ll need to pay attention to where you place your feet during the swing.

If you’re standing perfectly still, you’ll want to focus on having your weight evenly distributed between both feet.

But as soon as you begin swinging, you’ll want to shift your weight towards whichever foot is closest to the target line.

In fact, it’s actually easier to move your weight than it is to keep it steady.

So, if you find yourself struggling to maintain balance while swinging, try moving your weight around instead of trying to stay perfectly still.

Experience

Another important factor is experience, which shouldn’t be confused with age.

For example, if two 25-year-olds have different levels of golfing experience, the more experienced player will be able to drive further.

Technique is such an important part of golf, but it often gets forgotten when talking about driving.

As much as you need sheer strength and power to hit the ball far with a driver, it’s just as important to have a good technique.

The best way to improve your technique is by practicing. When you practice, you’ll notice things that you weren’t aware of before.

And once you become conscious of these things, you’ll be able to correct them.

How To Improve Your Driver Distance

Now that we’ve covered some of the factors that affect distance, let’s take a look at how you can improve it.

Strength

You can start by improving your strength. This includes increasing your upper body strength and making sure that you’re lifting weights for your legs.

You can also work on your core muscles, which are responsible for maintaining proper posture.

Once you’ve improved your strength, you’ll be able to develop a better understanding of how to apply force to the clubhead.

This will allow you to use your lower body strength effectively.

Finally, you’ll want to learn how to control your body movements. This will give you greater confidence when hitting the ball.

Hitting Straighter Drives

One of the most common mistakes people make when they’re learning how to drive is that they tend to focus too much on power and forget to aim their shots accurately.

In a real round of golf, there’s no point being able to hit the ball a great distance if it ends up way off the fairway.

Instead of thinking about hitting the drive far, start by thinking about your technique and make it muscle memory to hit your shots straight every time.

Once you’ve mastered this, you can work on hitting these shots harder to build up more and more distance over time.

Using The Right Ball

Average Driver Distance By Age (And How To Improve It)

This is another aspect of golf that many people overlook.

Regardless of your technique and upper body strength, if you’re using the wrong ball, you could be holding yourself back.

Different types of golf balls are better suited to players with a slow or fast swing speed.

For example, two players with completely different swing speeds could end up hitting the same average drive if they use the appropriate ball for them.

If you’re having trouble deciding what type of ball to use, consider the following:

• If you’re a beginner, choose a softer ball. Soft balls don’t fly very far, so they won’t help you gain any distance. However, they do provide a forgiving feel, which makes it easier to play consistently well.

• If you’re a medium swing speed golfer, go for a mid-range. Mid-ranges are designed for players who have a moderate swing speed. They offer a bit of forgiveness, but not enough to cause problems.

• If you have a high swing speed, opt for a hard ball. Hard balls are designed for players who hit the ball extremely quickly. They offer excellent spin and carry, which helps you get the ball airborne.

• Finally, if you’re an advanced player, select a premium ball. Premiums offer excellent performance characteristics such as low compression, soft covers, and long-lasting durability.

How Do Seniors Get More Distance With A Driver?

Many seniors find that they need to adjust their driving techniques in order to maintain their fitness levels.

As we age, our bodies become less flexible and our muscles lose some of their strength.

However, you can still improve your game by working on your technique. Here are three ways to increase your distance with a driver:

1. Use Your Legs

The best way to add additional power to your drives is by using your legs. When you stand behind the ball, you should be standing tall and balanced.

2. Keep Your Body In Line

You should always keep your head down and your shoulders square to the target line.

Doing this will ensure that your arms stay relaxed during the swing and allow you to concentrate on keeping your body aligned.

3. Focus On Your Grip

Your grip shouldn’t be tight. Instead, you want to hold the club loosely and naturally. This allows you to relax and release the club at just the right moment.

Average Driving Distance FAQ’s

How far does the average 70 year old drive a golf ball?

The average 70 year old golfers will have a drive in the 170-190 yards range. This will vary depending on their strength and ability. But the average will be between those two distances. The excellent thing for golfers in this age bracket is that the improvements in equipment over the last 20 years have increased their average driving distance.

How far does the average 60 year old drive a golf ball?

A 60 year old golfer has an average driving distance between 190-210 yards. Their swing speeds are slower than they used to be, but they can still hit the ball about 20 yards longer than their 10 year older counterparts mentioned above.

How far does the average 50 year old drive a golf ball?

The average driving distance for a 50 year old golfer is in the 200-220 yards range. Depending on handicap levels and overall health.

How far does the average 12 year old drive a golf ball?

190 yards is the average driving distance for a 12 year old golfer. You will find some who are much longer and some who are much shorter. At this age there is a very wide range of distances. But the average is around 190 yards.

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s no one perfect solution when it comes to increasing your distance with a driver.

You’ll need to experiment with various methods until you find something that works for you.

Remember, though, that the most important thing is consistency, regardless of your age. Once you’ve found a method that works for you, stick with it!

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