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post #55 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

just to throw some fuel into the fire...i don't believe handicap and driving distance have any correlation. i believe its all about athletic ability. I played with a good friend last week that comes from a hockey and lacrosse background and is roughly a 25-30 handicap. he has broken 90 exactly one time in his life and consistently shoots 100+. However, some of his shots are miraculous. He is 23 years old and very athletic...when he gets a piece of the ball it goes and it goes a long way. i've seen some balls 320+ with roll. most of my friends that i play with are 21 - 25 years old ranging from scratch to 30 handicap. we all hit the ball a long way because we all work out and swing hard. during the offseason we have swing speed competitions and usually 125 - 135 mph will win it. So...what does all this mean? DRIVING DISTANCE HAS NO CORRELATION WITH HANDICAP!! its all about driving accuracy and course management. my high handicap friends don't know when to keep the driver in the bag, and consequently it gets them in trouble. i would like to see statistics of the average golfer's age vs. driving distance. i think that would be an eye opening statistic. no offense
post #56 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Just to clarify, I am really athletic. I have played football throughout high school, and I have lifted a lot. I squat 320, and clean 220. I was a running back and free safety. I also have a lot of double joints and hyper flexibility. I hit PW 150, 7 iron 185, 3iron 225, and my hybrid is my 235. Like the deronsizemore said though, the game is won around the green. A perfectly read 28 foot eagle or birdie putt or sticking it to three feet from 100 yards can be a lot more exhilarating than any drive.
post #57 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Harp View Post
just to throw some fuel into the fire...i don't believe handicap and driving distance have any correlation. i believe its all about athletic ability. I played with a good friend last week that comes from a hockey and lacrosse background and is roughly a 25-30 handicap. he has broken 90 exactly one time in his life and consistently shoots 100+. However, some of his shots are miraculous. He is 23 years old and very athletic...when he gets a piece of the ball it goes and it goes a long way. i've seen some balls 320+ with roll. most of my friends that i play with are 21 - 25 years old ranging from scratch to 30 handicap. we all hit the ball a long way because we all work out and swing hard. during the offseason we have swing speed competitions and usually 125 - 135 mph will win it. So...what does all this mean? DRIVING DISTANCE HAS NO CORRELATION WITH HANDICAP!! its all about driving accuracy and course management. my high handicap friends don't know when to keep the driver in the bag, and consequently it gets them in trouble. i would like to see statistics of the average golfer's age vs. driving distance. i think that would be an eye opening statistic. no offense
I don't know about driving distance, but being long certainly hasn't helped me. Well, that's a lie -- It's helped quite a bit, but it won't bring me far under bogey or so without some major consistency and short game improvements. I'll put a three wood in the 230-240 range near the green and then; chunk, chip, putt, putt. It's a damn good shot to have in the bag, but... Well, I'm beginning at 35, be 36 next month. By the time I start getting a good feel for my short game I'll probably start losing yards off the tee.

In summary, I guess... I can put a boom on the ball, but it's fairly useless to me in terms of scoring/handicap correlation.
post #58 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Harp View Post
just to throw some fuel into the fire...i don't believe handicap and driving distance have any correlation. i believe its all about athletic ability. I played with a good friend last week that comes from a hockey and lacrosse background and is roughly a 25-30 handicap. he has broken 90 exactly one time in his life and consistently shoots 100+. However, some of his shots are miraculous. He is 23 years old and very athletic...when he gets a piece of the ball it goes and it goes a long way. i've seen some balls 320+ with roll. most of my friends that i play with are 21 - 25 years old ranging from scratch to 30 handicap. we all hit the ball a long way because we all work out and swing hard. during the offseason we have swing speed competitions and usually 125 - 135 mph will win it. So...what does all this mean? DRIVING DISTANCE HAS NO CORRELATION WITH HANDICAP!! its all about driving accuracy and course management. my high handicap friends don't know when to keep the driver in the bag, and consequently it gets them in trouble. i would like to see statistics of the average golfer's age vs. driving distance. i think that would be an eye opening statistic. no offense
I still say that handicap and distance are related. The thing is, most low handicap players are capable of hitting the ball much farther than they do on the course, but swinging out of their shoes is counter productive. It wears you out and you're more likely to mishit it. I'm perfectly capable of swinging all out and getting my swing up to 125 or so, but my normal controlled swing on the course is right around 109. The other point I wanted to make for the argument of handicap and distance being related is that when I was talking about it, I was referring to average driving distance. Sure, the super athletic guy that can't break 90 is definitely capable of going out and swinging as hard as he can, catching one good and hitting it a mile. I can tell you that the 90 shooter does not average that drive though, they are far to inconsistent to do it.
post #59 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by Fairway_CY View Post
I know what you're saying... and you're right. If you can hit a 1 iron with consistency, you MIGHT be able to hit 300 yard drives because that's what required (consistency with hitting the driver dead center)...

But the way I'm reading what you're saying (and others too, it seems) is that you're saying a 1 iron is easier to hit. It's simply not true. If it were, like others pointed out... tour pros would be doing it instead of playing drivers. Even a tour player (who has top-notch control) will tell you that the forgiveness outweighs the control of the 1 iron. THAT is what makes it easier to hit... KNOWING that a mishit will still produce a somewhat decent shot... whereas a 1 iron mishit could end up anywhere because of the lack of forgiveness.

Either way... I understand what you're saying. You're 100% correct. If a guy can hit a 1 iron with consistency... there's the POSSIBILITY he can average a 300 yard drive... but without hitting the center of the clubface EVERY time... there's no way someone is averaging 300 yards. Not gonna dispute that...

CY
Yeah, you got the point. A lot of people seemed to have a hard time grasping that.

Originally Posted by deronsizemore View Post
I still say that handicap and distance are related. The thing is, most low handicap players are capable of hitting the ball much farther than they do on the course, but swinging out of their shoes is counter productive. It wears you out and you're more likely to mishit it. I'm perfectly capable of swinging all out and getting my swing up to 125 or so, but my normal controlled swing on the course is right around 109. The other point I wanted to make for the argument of handicap and distance being related is that when I was talking about it, I was referring to average driving distance. Sure, the super athletic guy that can't break 90 is definitely capable of going out and swinging as hard as he can, catching one good and hitting it a mile. I can tell you that the 90 shooter does not average that drive though, they are far to inconsistent to do it.
This is quite true. Too many people refer to swing speed, but very few have grasped that swing speed only translates into ball speed with a good smash factor. You can swing a club 130 mph and still only hit it 200 yards. The fact of the matter is that you need to hit the center of the face to get that distance, and that point can never be made too much. A lot of young athletic people can swing out of their shoes and put up a 130 mph clubhead speed, and maybe once in a blue moon, they can make center contact with the ball. To be able to swing that hard and make center contact every time is extremely uncommon, and no matter how bad you putt, that kind of ball striking will put you on the green a lot. You'd have to 3 putt every other hole to be a 15 handicap with that kind of ballstriking ability.

Again, there's one simple solution, get a GPS and measure your drives, every single one, and average them. Prepare to be shocked.
post #60 of 353
Thread Starter 

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by deronsizemore View Post
I still say that handicap and distance are related. The thing is, most low handicap players are capable of hitting the ball much farther than they do on the course, but swinging out of their shoes is counter productive. It wears you out and you're more likely to mishit it. I'm perfectly capable of swinging all out and getting my swing up to 125 or so, but my normal controlled swing on the course is right around 109. The other point I wanted to make for the argument of handicap and distance being related is that when I was talking about it, I was referring to average driving distance. Sure, the super athletic guy that can't break 90 is definitely capable of going out and swinging as hard as he can, catching one good and hitting it a mile. I can tell you that the 90 shooter does not average that drive though, they are far to inconsistent to do it.
I agree. Anecdotal evidence doesn't disprove the stat. For one, low handicappers are low because of consistently hitting the ball in the proper way due to good fundamentals. These same fundamentals that bring consistency give longer than average distance. If I didn't have any data, I would tend to think they are not correlated like harp mentioned, based purely on my personal experience. Before I was sequencing my swing properly with the right amount of dynamic loft at impact in my late 20s, I could swing driver in the 120s pretty easily, and topped out in the low 130s. My drives were never over 290 and just flew straight up into the air, usually with a super-big slice or a lower pulled duck-hook. My son once told me "Dada, don't hit that airplane." to give you an idea of how high and spinny most of my shots were. My handicap was probably 25-ish. Now, 4 years latert, my SS is around 106, with a slightly shorter carry distance. But my handicap has dropped so much because I'm in a better spot at impact. So personally, I would think that it's inversely correlated, to give an extreme example. But those thoughts would be totally wrong.
post #61 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

I will say that I believe distance and handicap do correlate to some extent.

Everyone that I've played with that is solidly below a 10hcp was a long hitter, 250+ off the tee. The best guy I've played with is a 2hcp and is solidly 265+ off the tee. I don't think it's as much to do with athletic ability, it's just that he has a nice consistent swing and I'd say around 100-105mph SS, same easy consistent swing lets him find a lot of fairways, and his distance translates into very short irons into the green.

In the "mid handicap" ranks I will say that it doesn't matter, guys hitting it 200yds off the tee with a 13hcp are just as prevalent as long hitters that are a bit wild off the tee with no shortgame.
post #62 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

I think there are too many people that when the watch golf and see guys on tour hitting there 9 irons from 175 or something crazy like that aren't taking into consideration the fact that these guys have the abillity to control the loft so when they make contact there pitching wedge which is suppose to be 48* will actually be closer to 40* so they can hit these clubs so many different distances. Some people may be wondering why try to hit a hard wedge 150 when you could hit an easy 8. For most of us it's not a good idea but for the skilled golfer you can swing harder and get more spin. I agree with most of these post that when you get a gps it is amazing how far off some golf courses yardage markers are and how far 300 yards really is.
post #63 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by chilly View Post
I will say that I believe distance and handicap do correlate to some extent.

Everyone that I've played with that is solidly below a 10hcp was a long hitter, 250+ off the tee. The best guy I've played with is a 2hcp and is solidly 265+ off the tee. I don't think it's as much to do with athletic ability, it's just that he has a nice consistent swing and I'd say around 100-105mph SS, same easy consistent swing lets him find a lot of fairways, and his distance translates into very short irons into the green.

In the "mid handicap" ranks I will say that it doesn't matter, guys hitting it 200yds off the tee with a 13hcp are just as prevalent as long hitters that are a bit wild off the tee with no shortgame.
I agree, there's some correlation, but it's not 1:1. To get some idea that there's correlation, look no further than the USGA definitions of bogey and scratch golfers: the bogey golfer, by definition, averages (IIRC) 200 yards off the tee and the scratch golfer averages 250 yards. While that doesn't necessarily correspond exactly to the averages of golfers who have bogey/scratch handicaps, it gives a good idea of how courses are designed and rated. If you can't reach 250 yards, you're likely to encounter situations where reaching the green in regulation is essentially impossible, and your score will suffer. Some guys may be able to recover somewhat through a stellar short game, but on average, I'd expect a good short game plus GIR to beat a stellar short game scrambling every time.

However, I don't think this disagrees much with those who say there's no correlation, because it's a lot more subtle. I think it plays out that the shortest scratch golfers are longer off the tee than the average bogey golfers, even though there are plenty of bogey golfers who hit farther. The shortest bogey golfers are probably longer than the typical high-handicapper. Of course, there are outliers---the super-athletic ex-baseball player who has the raw swing speed to bust even a mis-hit drive 3/4 of a mile, but has no touch. But most bogey and probably even scratch golfers are fairly typical athletically-speaking. For these guys, the skills it takes to control the ball will also add some length compared to a similar athlete who can't strike cleanly.

So in sum, I'd love to be able to carry the ball 250.
post #64 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Was watching a tournament the golf channel last week and I happen to turn it on when Jim Furyk and Robert Allenby were teeing off. On both tee shots they displayed the players swing speed and carry distance. Both guys were using driver. Furyk was first and his swing speed was 106mph. He didn't hit a good one and left it out to the right. His carry was 228 yards. Robert Allenby on the other hand had a 112mph swing speed with a carry distance of 265 yards (if I remember correctly). So again, to make the point, a 250 yard carry is one heck of a carry.
post #65 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

According to Trackman data, the average carry distance on Tour is 269 yards.So if you can carry it 250 you're not far off, very respectable indeed.
post #66 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Please don't think I'm trying to brag at all here, because I'm certain that most of you would beat the crap out of me if we played a round together. I just wanted to comment on my own personal experience as it relates to this topic. I can attest to the fact that low handicap and long drives don't always correlate, although I agree that most of the time they do. It's certainly possible to have a low handicap without hitting 300 yard drives, and it's possible to drive 300 and have a high handicap.

Like some have mentioned, an athletic swing from a guy with good hand/eye coordination can result in lots of 300 yard drives. That doesn't necessarily translate into low scores by itself though. Low handicap results from a good short game more than anything else, and strength and/or swing speed has little to do with that. Touch, feel, proper reading of the green.....all of that kind of thing can be mastered without ever hitting the ball 300 yards.

I am just getting back into playing regularly after 4-5 years of only playing once or twice per year, and my short game is currently non-existent - especially my wedge play. Even when I was playing regularly before, my wedges were always the weakest part of my game. But I have always been able to hit a ball a long ways. I'm 43 now, but I can still hit it as far as I ever could before. I work out regularly and haven't gotten too large around the middle yet (certainly wearing a different belt size than I did 20 years ago though!). I'm sure that helps some. I'm 6' tall and weigh 215. Not a huge guy, but not small either. Just average sized, I guess.

I just downloaded Google Earth and measured a few drives from this past weekend as best I could trying to put the little dot as close to where the ball ended up as I could remember. If my margin of error on that is +/- 20 yards, the vast majority of the balls hit with a driver were 300 yards or a little more. Now that is with roll, and I'm in West Texas in the winter with dead grass. The ball rolls more here right now than it does on lush PGA courses in the tropics. We actually had very light winds this weekend, so wind wasn't a factor either way. Measuring a couple that I knew about where they carried to, carrying over a tree or a bunker or a creek, etc....the carries were 250-275. I wasn't always in the fairway with the drives, and 2 or 3 of them were well out of the fairway. I'm no pro-level ball striker at all. It just goes far - not always at my target.

On the first 2 or 3 holes, my brother-in-law who has played with me a lot before, kept telling me to wait on the group ahead of us to move off the green before hitting. My father-in-law, who I haven't played with much, kept saying, "Go ahead and hit. There's no way you can hit them from here." I waited. After #3, he quit saying that I should go ahead and hit.

Abilene Country Club is a short course - only about 6,300 yards (par 71), so on every par 4 I had a wedge shot that was much less than a full swing - the worst part of my game. Same thing for the 3rd shots on the par 5s. On some of the shorter par 4s, I was even with the green, just off to the side. Twice I was on the frog hair. I shot an 87 - I even bogeyed one of those par 4s where I drove to the frog hair. On probably 3 out of 4 of those holes, I pitched and chipped at least twice - sometimes 3 times. My putting wasn't bad, but my wedge play was horrible. Again, I'm not at all trying to toot my own horn here. I'm just saying all of this to show that it's possible for a sucky golfer to, in fact, consistently drive the ball fairly long and still end up with a crappy score.

Like some have said, there is a LOT more to golf than length, and I am a long ways from being a good golfer even though I usually knock the little ball a good ways down there off the tee box.
post #67 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by The Hacker View Post
Please don't think I'm trying to brag at all here,. Measuring a couple that I knew about where they carried to, carrying over a tree or a bunker or a creek, etc....the carries were 250-275. I wasn't always in the fairway with the drives, and 2 or 3 of them were well out of the fairway. I'm no pro-level ball striker at all. It just goes far - not always at my target.
Yeh you are bragging (but from Texas it's allowed) however, you are correct to differentiate btw carry and total distance. For a guy who is moderatly athletic on occasion to carry the ball 250 in calm conditions is a swing speed in the mid to high 90's. About what an average-long LPGA player achieves. Very possible.

The nonsense begins when some guy who plays once a week says he carries the ball 280...that's a swing speed over 110 AND a good smash. Maybe once every 14 swings, but that's not golf that's exercise.
post #68 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Pffft. There are twice that many guys on this site alone that can carry 300+, many of them still in high school...
Originally Posted by allin View Post
the number of guys on tour who can consistently carry the ball over 300 yards is probably 25 or less.
post #69 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

Originally Posted by whetstone View Post
Pffft. There are twice that many guys on this site alone that can carry 300+, many of them still in high school...
250 sure, but the only way I could carry the ball 300+ is by landing it in a passing vehicle.
post #70 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

I hope it's respectable.

Just went through and measured my drives at my home course to my most common landing zones:

Avg. around 250. Low of 240 and a high of 290 (significantly elevated tee) but most seem to land consistently between 245 and 255.
post #71 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

I'm not too sure what my carry is. I dont have enough drives where I could see the ball mark in the fairway. Im a tall larger guy (6'3 275lbs) and my longest drive....ever was 317. I have every drive measured with a GPS from August 09 to now. Total: a little over 1100 drives and the longest with roll was 317. Typically Ill get to the ball and it rolled anywhere from 240-275. Recently I have seen 260 a lot after roll. Not sure how much my ball rolls out, but I can carry it 250, once or twice in 18 holes. My fault is my iron play into the greens.
post #72 of 353

Re: 250 yards is a respectable carry distance

that is defo respectable
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