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250 yards is a respectable carry distance

post #1 of 347
Thread Starter 
I was at the range today getting back into golf shape for the spring, and took some googleearth measurements prior to heading out. The back fence was at 260 and I think, though can't confirm empirically, that it was playing uphill a bit, though I don't think it would make it play more than 265. I sat there and watched a whole bunch of people for a couple of hours and not one of them even came anywhere near the back fence. It's crazy how short people actually hit the ball in reality. If you can really (not on the internet) carry 250+ (don't post and tell me, I don't care), that's pretty damn respectable. Distance is obviously not holding you back. What's really funny is that I heard a group behind me talking about how they were hitting a flag at 165 (actually 125) with a 5-iron when one guy said you should be using a 9-iron from 165. My buddy told me that on the Ray Romano version of the Haney project, Ray was hitting his driver about 220 and Hank Haney said he's got the distance to shoot in the 70s. I tend to think he was right.
post #2 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

It's easier to hit fairways and greens when you hit a shorter ball. As long as your course doesn't have a lot of forced carries you should be okay. Power applied incorrectly is a recipe for disaster.
post #3 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

How sure are you of google earth measurements? I would think a range finder would be the most accurate. Are you saying distances are greatly exaggerated, or most people hit the ball 50 yards shorter than they think they hit it?

I don't disagree with you - just trying to get clarification.
post #4 of 347
Thread Starter 

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Not sure. I assume it's a straight-line distance calculation, side-stepping elevation. The range features are clearly visible on the satellite imagery. Callaway uses a similar technique in their uPro, so I'm guessing it's to within a yard or so. You're right, a laser rangefinder with an elevation feature would be a good double-check. I guess I'm finally starting to realize that 250 is still a long ways out there. That, and people do greatly exaggerate their carry yardages... Nothing ground-breaking.
post #5 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

I agree, a touring pro can blow it 40 yards past 250 or a solid 3 or 4 index can probably get to 260 or 70 but most of the tools on the range are in never never land. And all you guys in Colorado with a 20 mph tail wind...shut up.
post #6 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Last season I played with a guy a few different times. First time we were paired up we had quite a wait to reach the first tee during a tournament. He was yakking away and mentioned how he carried his driver about 240 yards. Now... we're both in the same flight (16.0+ handicap) and I'm wondering how, if he's bashing his driver that far, he's not in a lower flight because the tees we played were fairly short and I'd figure a 240 yard carry with roll of another 10 yards or so would give him a wedge into the MAJORITY of the holes on this course.

Anyway... we get to the first tee and he has honors. He hits his tee shot and pulls it pretty far left... it kicks out into the fairway off an OB hill (lucky) and rolls out. Barely reached 200 yards. I hit my driver and got a typical shot for me... ended up about 220 after the roll. This guy starts goin' on about how I must carry the ball 260ish. SERIOUSLY delusional.

I wasn't using GPS at the time, or I'd have measured it for him to shut him the hell up... but, even using the course yardages... my drives were about 220 yards. EVERY hole I was 15-30 yards beyond him. After the round, he's in the clubhouse telling everybody about this 26.4 handicap (me) who hits the ball 270 yards from the tee. I acutally had to stop him at that point because then I was getting dirty looks. In round two... I got paired with one of the guys who heard about my 270 yard drives and we laughed when he and I both ended up in the same area (about 3 yards apart) off the first tee.

I don't know HOW people measure their shots... but there are SO many people who say they hit the ball 250+ and don't even get CLOSE to it. I think in my LIFE, I may have hit two drives that got to about 270 yards... and one was with a generous bounce off the cartpath. Right now, with the better driver, I'm averaging about 225-230... and I'm MORE than happy with that.

CY
post #7 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Most people overestimate their driving distance because they think everything is measured in 1 straight line from the tee to green.
post #8 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

At my former home course the 9th hole is a slight dogleg right downhill and 275 yards. I shot the flag with my laser and it was only 250 yards. I hit 3 wood to the front of the green. People I have played with think they hit the ball really far on that hole because they can put the ball by the green with their driver when really it only went about 230 downhill.
post #9 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Ranges are never a good indication of distance since ball quality varies so much from range to range. One place I go to regularly, they really dumb down their balls.

That being said, I agree with what you said. The first time you get a GPS is an eye opening experience. Drives I thought I crushed only went 250-260. Most were 230-240. 300 yards is LONG ways.
post #10 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

I would say about 99% of golfers overestimate their distance. Google Earth's range measurement tool is very accurate, usually within one yard.

I have been criticized many times on this forum for insinuating that, perhaps some of the 15 handicaps here don't actually drive the ball 310. Even 250 is not hard to do with range balls if you have the swing speed, but very few do have both the speed and the ability to hit the center of the club face consistently. There's a range near me that uses terrible limited flight balls, and they don't carry anywhere near as far as regular balls, but I can still hit their back fence (240), but not every time, and not on the fly.

I'm not the longest hitter out there, but I do hit it a long way. I am, however, also an honest long hitter. I've been called a short hitter often on the internet because I average about 265. 265 is a very, very good average. That's Brian Gay distance, a guy who won twice last year on the PGA tour. But the mere fact that I'm not delusional enough to actually think I can hit a golf ball 300 yards regularly doesn't make me a short hitter. Indeed, I hit a 48° pitching wedge 130 yards. I do not, however, hit my 9.5° driver 300 yards. That's lunacy. Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods barely average 300, and they have extremely high swing speeds.

So, is 240 a good carry? You bet. I will take 240 carry any day. Have I driven it into a stream 280 from the tee? Yes. Does that mean I average 280? No. Most people I've played with hit their driver around 180-200 in the air, with some roll. If you are driving it 300, on a 6,500 yard course, you're hitting wedges to nearly every par 4, and 3 irons to every par 5.
post #11 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Shanks A Million View Post
I would say about 99% of golfers overestimate their distance.
I think you're underestimating that percentage.
post #12 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Just for fun, I've taken a 6,500 yard course, and used Google earth to measure a 300 yard drive on every hole.

Here's the distance (yards) you'll have into the green:

4 - 64
5 - 205
4 - 71
4 - 73
5 - 212
4 - 122
4 - 128

4 - 69
4 - 100
5 - 249
4 - 17
4 - 45
5 - 222
4 - 123

As you can see, every par 4 requires a pitching wedge or less. Hope all you 300 yard drivers are good at those 60 yard pitches.
post #13 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

I am not a long hitter by any means. I've measured my carry distance with my GPS unit many times; it's 245-250 for a well-struck drive with no wind. Depending on the softness of the fairway, I'll get 0-20 yards roll. I wish it was more, but it isn't. Playing in a dry climate like Arizona or Las Vegas will add to those distances, but here at sea level in muggy Florida, it's a carry of 250 max.

I've played a lot of golf over the years with a lot of different people. Many times as a single walk-on getting paired with 3 "avid golfers" on vacation. Through all this time, outside of tournament play, I don't think I have played with more than 10-15 people who hit it further than I did. Of those, I would guess that none had a handicap great than 5, based on what I observed of their overall game. So either I have been paired with hundred of short hitters, or the 250 yard carry drive is better than most.
post #14 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Randy4h View Post
I am not a long hitter by any means. I've measured my carry distance with my GPS unit many times; it's 245-250 for a well-struck drive with no wind. Depending on the softness of the fairway, I'll get 0-20 yards roll. I wish it was more, but it isn't. Playing in a dry climate like Arizona or Las Vegas will add to those distances, but here at sea level in muggy Florida, it's a carry of 250 max.

I've played a lot of golf over the years with a lot of different people. Many times as a single walk-on getting paired with 3 "avid golfers" on vacation. Through all this time, outside of tournament play, I don't think I have played with more than 10-15 people who hit it further than I did. Of those, I would guess that none had a handicap great than 5, based on what I observed of their overall game. So either I have been paired with hundred of short hitters, or the 250 yard carry drive is better than most.
Yeah, I guess I get all the short hitters too. All those 300 yard hitting double digit handicappers must just happen to never, ever get paried with me.
post #15 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

I've hit 3 drives in my life more than 270 yards and none of them were 250 in the air.

I'd have a lot of 240 yard drives if I counted the 40 yards left or right.
post #16 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

I think I got a pretty realistic look at my driver today (Working on some things from the Push Fade thread and had a relatively successful day). I'd put my average carry at around 220, with a handful of roll yards. I really pumped into a couple drives that got into the 250-260 range, but those had little to no roll. Sadly, I'm an inconsistent second-year player and that's been absolutely useless to me. Additionally, it's helped me find all sorts of new hazards I didn't even think were in play when I started, hah.

Ever notice how when that stream is at 280, THAT'S the one hole you'll hit 280? I've gotten to where I'm usually the long hitter in the group, but I've also gotten to where I don't bother to pull out the driver on most holes -- Because my wedge game is rancid. I'm more confident in the 120-150 range than I am at, say, 80 yards. So... I'm usually taking a hybrid or 3w off the tee. I've become quite good friends with my 4h. It's come to be a pretty consistent, straight 200 off the tee. I could pull the driver, sure, but it's a fifty-fifty shot I'm going to be hitting three off the tee with the only payoff being that I might be 40 or 50 yards closer to the green and probably taking a less reliable shot.

(Of course, "Reliable" in high-handicap language means just "Less likely to chunk it twenty feet in some random direction".)

Couple of my regular golf buds talk about their 280-300 yard drives, though I've yet to see one hit. It's kinda entertaining to me, as I fully expect to be shorter off the tee than many people -- I'm Mike Weir sized.
post #17 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Fatphil View Post
I agree, a touring pro can blow it 40 yards past 250 or a solid 3 or 4 index can probably get to 260 or 70 but most of the tools on the range are in never never land. And all you guys in Colorado with a 20 mph tail wind...shut up.
handicap doesn't correlate with driving distance. i'm nowhere near a pro golfer with respect to consistency, but i can drive a ball quite a bit farther than 250. it's all about momentum and impact. i've had plenty rounds where i've hit 300 yard drives and sucked it up with my iron play, short game, etc.
post #18 of 347

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Shanks A Million View Post
I would say about 99% of golfers overestimate their distance. Google Earth's range measurement tool is very accurate, usually within one yard.

I have been criticized many times on this forum for insinuating that, perhaps some of the 15 handicaps here don't actually drive the ball 310. Even 250 is not hard to do with range balls if you have the swing speed, but very few do have both the speed and the ability to hit the center of the club face consistently. There's a range near me that uses terrible limited flight balls, and they don't carry anywhere near as far as regular balls, but I can still hit their back fence (240), but not every time, and not on the fly.

I'm not the longest hitter out there, but I do hit it a long way. I am, however, also an honest long hitter. I've been called a short hitter often on the internet because I average about 265. 265 is a very, very good average. That's Brian Gay distance, a guy who won twice last year on the PGA tour. But the mere fact that I'm not delusional enough to actually think I can hit a golf ball 300 yards regularly doesn't make me a short hitter. Indeed, I hit a 48° pitching wedge 130 yards. I do not, however, hit my 9.5° driver 300 yards. That's lunacy. Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods barely average 300, and they have extremely high swing speeds.

So, is 240 a good carry? You bet. I will take 240 carry any day. Have I driven it into a stream 280 from the tee? Yes. Does that mean I average 280? No. Most people I've played with hit their driver around 180-200 in the air, with some roll. If you are driving it 300, on a 6,500 yard course, you're hitting wedges to nearly every par 4, and 3 irons to every par 5.
Good, logical post.
And to be honest I tend to be more concerned with how far I can hit my irons than my driver.

I think I've achieve 260-70yds (carry and roll) maybe once or twice a round and I'm guessing I average a lot less than that when you add up all the distances of my drivers-per-round!

If the pros get it 280-310 with swing-speeds of 115-120mph or so, then your average weekend player gets it to maybe 70-80% of that distance.
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