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Why do the pros hit it so far? Here's my take

post #1 of 138
Thread Starter 

Simply put, Jack Nicklaus said that he could carry about 260 swinging as hard as he could. He rarely hit over 300 unless he has a tailwind, downhill, and dry fairways. I'd say the same for pros nowadays. They don't carry 300 yards unless they're going downhill, downwind and on dry fairways. Most of them carry about 230 (estimate) and it rolls about 50 yards. These courses that  the pros play on are dried out hard and fast. No wonder they hit it so far! Also these courses have a lot of wind. If they have a headwind, they merely hit it lower. If they have a tailwind, look out there's going to be some bombs, especially if it's downhill and the fairways are hard. I hit my drives about 200 carry and if I had these conditions described here I could hit it 270 (maybe 250) No wonder it doesn't look like they're trying. They let the course take care of distance for them.

 

Also, Jack also said that a course he had a hand in designing called harbor town,  there was a hole in which there was a creek separating two fairways and he said that it carried about 230. But he also said that he couldn't carry that spot unless he hit his absolutely best shot. He said that if he hit it even just a bit thin, he wouldn't be able to carry, no matter how hard he swung. This makes sense because most of us only drive about 230 on average, but we play on slow courses and we don't swing very hard. I swing all out and I still can't get it past 220 on the range, but on a fast course I can get it to 280. So generally, this is my opinion on how the pros hit it so far.

 

Another factor though, is how strong these guys are; they swing so fast because of their strength. So if you want more distance, work out. Simple as that.

 

That's my opinion.

 

Sources: Jack Nicklaus' Book Golf My Way and my own logic

 

Comment freely. Thank you for your concern, and I appreciate your responses

 

Have a nice rest of your week,

 


Xerex250 (pastaman)

post #2 of 138

One other factor you didn't mention:  Elevation.

 

At the match play, they were all carrying it 280-310 on some holes, but that had a lot to do with the fact that they were up in the sky.  They were hitting their 8 irons 200 yards.

 

I think I even heard the announcers mention that they had to factor in 10% extra distance to all of their clubs right off the bat.

post #3 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by xerex250 View Post
 

Simply put, Jack Nicklaus said that he could carry about 260 swinging as hard as he could. He rarely hit over 300 unless he has a tailwind, downhill, and dry fairways. I'd say the same for pros nowadays. They don't carry 300 yards unless they're going downhill, downwind and on dry fairways. Most of them carry about 230 (estimate) and it rolls about 50 yards. These courses that  the pros play on are dried out hard and fast. No wonder they hit it so far! Also these courses have a lot of wind. If they have a headwind, they merely hit it lower. If they have a tailwind, look out there's going to be some bombs, especially if it's downhill and the fairways are hard. I hit my drives about 200 carry and if I had these conditions described here I could hit it 270 (maybe 250) No wonder it doesn't look like they're trying. They let the course take care of distance for them.

 

Also, Jack also said that a course he had a hand in designing called harbor town,  there was a hole in which there was a creek separating two fairways and he said that it carried about 230. But he also said that he couldn't carry that spot unless he hit his absolutely best shot. He said that if he hit it even just a bit thin, he wouldn't be able to carry, no matter how hard he swung. This makes sense because most of us only drive about 230 on average, but we play on slow courses and we don't swing very hard. I swing all out and I still can't get it past 220 on the range, but on a fast course I can get it to 280. So generally, this is my opinion on how the pros hit it so far.

 

Another factor though, is how strong these guys are; they swing so fast because of their strength. So if you want more distance, work out. Simple as that.

 

That's my opinion.

 

Sources: Jack Nicklaus' Book Golf My Way and my own logic

 

Comment freely. Thank you for your concern, and I appreciate your responses

 

Have a nice rest of your week,

 


Xerex250 (pastaman)

 

 

Sorry, but no.  Even I carry a driver 230ish.

 

Tiger was being interviewed last year and he made a remark that stuck with me.  He said that when he came out on tour, the "big carry" was 285 yards.  In other words, it was a big deal for someone to reach deep and take it over a hazard or cut a corner at 285.  Now, he said, the "big carry" is 315.  That's carry, and that, boys and girls is a long damn ways!

 

They hit it that far because they swing the driver with a much higher swing speed than most of us and hit it smack dab in the center of the club face.....almost every time.

post #4 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by xerex250 View Post
 

Simply put, Jack Nicklaus said that he could carry about 260 swinging as hard as he could. He rarely hit over 300 unless he has a tailwind, downhill, and dry fairways. I'd say the same for pros nowadays. They don't carry 300 yards unless they're going downhill, downwind and on dry fairways. Most of them carry about 230 (estimate) and it rolls about 50 yards. These courses that  the pros play on are dried out hard and fast. No wonder they hit it so far! Also these courses have a lot of wind. If they have a headwind, they merely hit it lower. If they have a tailwind, look out there's going to be some bombs, especially if it's downhill and the fairways are hard. I hit my drives about 200 carry and if I had these conditions described here I could hit it 270 (maybe 250) No wonder it doesn't look like they're trying. They let the course take care of distance for them.

 

Also, Jack also said that a course he had a hand in designing called harbor town,  there was a hole in which there was a creek separating two fairways and he said that it carried about 230. But he also said that he couldn't carry that spot unless he hit his absolutely best shot. He said that if he hit it even just a bit thin, he wouldn't be able to carry, no matter how hard he swung. This makes sense because most of us only drive about 230 on average, but we play on slow courses and we don't swing very hard. I swing all out and I still can't get it past 220 on the range, but on a fast course I can get it to 280. So generally, this is my opinion on how the pros hit it so far.

 

Another factor though, is how strong these guys are; they swing so fast because of their strength. So if you want more distance, work out. Simple as that.

 

That's my opinion.

 

Sources: Jack Nicklaus' Book Golf My Way and my own logic

 

Comment freely. Thank you for your concern, and I appreciate your responses

 

Have a nice rest of your week,

 


Xerex250 (pastaman)

 

 

You have some points I agree with about rollout. Where I play there is no rollout (maybe a bounce or two if you are lucky). You are also way off on the carry distances the pros have.

 

Hell, I'm not even any good, and certainly not the in the top three in distance where I play, but 230 is a 5 wood for me all day long.

post #5 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xerex250 View Post
 

Simply put, Jack Nicklaus said that he could carry about 260 swinging as hard as he could. He rarely hit over 300 unless he has a tailwind, downhill, and dry fairways. I'd say the same for pros nowadays. They don't carry 300 yards unless they're going downhill, downwind and on dry fairways. Most of them carry about 230 (estimate) and it rolls about 50 yards. These courses that  the pros play on are dried out hard and fast. No wonder they hit it so far! Also these courses have a lot of wind. If they have a headwind, they merely hit it lower. If they have a tailwind, look out there's going to be some bombs, especially if it's downhill and the fairways are hard. I hit my drives about 200 carry and if I had these conditions described here I could hit it 270 (maybe 250) No wonder it doesn't look like they're trying. They let the course take care of distance for them.

 

Also, Jack also said that a course he had a hand in designing called harbor town,  there was a hole in which there was a creek separating two fairways and he said that it carried about 230. But he also said that he couldn't carry that spot unless he hit his absolutely best shot. He said that if he hit it even just a bit thin, he wouldn't be able to carry, no matter how hard he swung. This makes sense because most of us only drive about 230 on average, but we play on slow courses and we don't swing very hard. I swing all out and I still can't get it past 220 on the range, but on a fast course I can get it to 280. So generally, this is my opinion on how the pros hit it so far.

 

Another factor though, is how strong these guys are; they swing so fast because of their strength. So if you want more distance, work out. Simple as that.

 

That's my opinion.

 

Sources: Jack Nicklaus' Book Golf My Way and my own logic

 

Comment freely. Thank you for your concern, and I appreciate your responses

 

Have a nice rest of your week,

 


Xerex250 (pastaman)

 

 

Sorry, but no.  Even I carry a driver 230ish.

 

Tiger was being interviewed last year and he made a remark that stuck with me.  He said that when he came out on tour, the "big carry" was 285 yards.  In other words, it was a big deal for someone to reach deep and take it over a hazard or cut a corner at 285.  Now, he said, the "big carry" is 315.  That's carry, and that, boys and girls is a long damn ways!

 

They hit it that far because they swing the driver with a much higher swing speed than most of us and hit it smack dab in the center of the club face.....almost every time.

 

 

The 230 carry figure is too low for a pro, it's even a little too low for a scratch golfer (Not commenting on your distances, Dave).

 

The PGA average carry under all conditions last year was around 272 yards and the year before was 269.

 

http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02409.html

post #6 of 138
Remember, Jack Nicklaus didn't play with the same modern equipment that these pros today use. Jack was carrying 260 with a persimmon driver and balata ball. I believe in his prime his avg. drive was about 275-ish ( which was pretty much the longest on tour at the time).

Also... Strength does not make one hit the ball farther. Speed makes one hit the ball farther. I guarantee I'm stronger than pretty much every guy on the tour, but they all drive it much farther than me because they swing faster and make better contact.
post #7 of 138

Women carry 230 in CO, seriously. I played behind a few of the CU Lady Buffs last month and they hit 7i on a slightly uphill 180 something par 3. Pros hit it far and accurate because they are good and golf is their career, the dedication and practice that comes with it etc.

post #8 of 138

An interesting thread - based on a book first published in 1974.

post #9 of 138

So my curious question is ... Is Jack talking about in the olden days of persimmons woods and balatta balls?     if so then i could see how the pro's only hit it about 230.. cuz they probably not swinging 100% and just trying to hit the ball perfect everytime..

 

 

I mean I am a high teen handicap golfer and i know i hit the ball with carry 230..  as for roll i think it depends on the course.. probably 95% of all public courses, you might get 5 to 10 yards of roll, unless you always hit a low shot...  why?  because the fairways are so soft..

 

I mean depending on the tournament and course and weather... yes the pro's are going to average 300+ in just carry... and then you have roll...  which is why you see a lot of pro's hit their 3 wood.. cuz they are going so far with their driver, they end up in that " in between " 2nd shot to the green...   

 

Plus with some of the tournaments like last years British Open, you had guys hitting their 5 iron 200 yards and then with roll they was going 300+  cuz the fairways were so dry...  

post #10 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by David L Yskes View Post
 

So my curious question is ... Is Jack talking about in the olden days of persimmons woods and balatta balls?     if so then i could see how the pro's only hit it about 230.. cuz they probably not swinging 100% and just trying to hit the ball perfect everytime..

 

 

I mean I am a high teen handicap golfer and i know i hit the ball with carry 230..  as for roll i think it depends on the course.. probably 95% of all public courses, you might get 5 to 10 yards of roll, unless you always hit a low shot...  why?  because the fairways are so soft..

 

I mean depending on the tournament and course and weather... yes the pro's are going to average 300+ in just carry... and then you have roll...  which is why you see a lot of pro's hit their 3 wood.. cuz they are going so far with their driver, they end up in that " in between " 2nd shot to the green...  

 

Plus with some of the tournaments like last years British Open, you had guys hitting their 5 iron 200 yards and then with roll they was going 300+  cuz the fairways were so dry...

 

The OP is referencing a book that Jack wrote 40 years ago.  That's why the numbers bear little relation to current day......

post #11 of 138

some pros carry it farther than others.  of course, the fairway conditions help, as i have seen balls bound and roll 40 yards sometimes at these tour courses.  even in the middle of the summer, we get a 5 foot bounce on our drives up here in NY.

 

also, they hit the sweet spot practically every time.  better contact will usually out-distance a faster swing with worse contact.

post #12 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by xerex250 View Post
 

Simply put, Jack Nicklaus said that he could carry about 260 swinging as hard as he could. He rarely hit over 300 unless he has a tailwind, downhill, and dry fairways. I'd say the same for pros nowadays. They don't carry 300 yards unless they're going downhill, downwind and on dry fairways. Most of them carry about 230 (estimate) and it rolls about 50 yards. These courses that  the pros play on are dried out hard and fast. No wonder they hit it so far! Also these courses have a lot of wind. If they have a headwind, they merely hit it lower. If they have a tailwind, look out there's going to be some bombs, especially if it's downhill and the fairways are hard. I hit my drives about 200 carry and if I had these conditions described here I could hit it 270 (maybe 250) No wonder it doesn't look like they're trying. They let the course take care of distance for them.

 

Also, Jack also said that a course he had a hand in designing called harbor town,  there was a hole in which there was a creek separating two fairways and he said that it carried about 230. But he also said that he couldn't carry that spot unless he hit his absolutely best shot. He said that if he hit it even just a bit thin, he wouldn't be able to carry, no matter how hard he swung. This makes sense because most of us only drive about 230 on average, but we play on slow courses and we don't swing very hard. I swing all out and I still can't get it past 220 on the range, but on a fast course I can get it to 280. So generally, this is my opinion on how the pros hit it so far.

 

Another factor though, is how strong these guys are; they swing so fast because of their strength. So if you want more distance, work out. Simple as that.

 

That's my opinion.

 

Sources: Jack Nicklaus' Book Golf My Way and my own logic

 

Comment freely. Thank you for your concern, and I appreciate your responses

 

Have a nice rest of your week,

 


Xerex250 (pastaman)

 

Colt Knost was ranked dead last in carry distance for 2013 and his average carry distance was 251.9 yards. The longest was Nicolas Colsaerts at 302.1 yards.

 

Sure, there's some courses where these guys get 50 yards of roll, but even then, they're carrying it far past 230. At my home course there's a bunker on one of the Par 5's that is 250 to carry. I can carry it when I'm hitting the ball well. When I'm not, I have to aim away from the bunker. It cuts 20-30 yards off the 2nd shot if you carry the bunker. 

post #13 of 138

Agreed.  Today's pro's carry the ball way further then 40 years ago.  New technology.  New fittness routines.  New game.  My million dollar question is how to "learn" to swing faster?  I asked my teaching pro at my last lesson and he wouldn't give me a direct answer.  The hook to keep me coming back.

 

Club manufacturers are promoting LAUNCH as the medicine for carry.  But if my swing creates undue backspin, then high launch will balloon and my ball will go nowhere.  So many elements at play, but how would one train to swing faster AND under control, with the driver?

post #14 of 138

@xerex250 - A genuine curiosity question: why don't you ever seem to respond to the threads you start?

 

At least this one's not about how you just need to clear your mind of clutter and swing instruction and you'll suddenly shoot 67, but still, the pattern seems to repeat with you: you post something, people disagree or point out flaws, or share their opinions on what you've shared, at least - and you go away.

 

Why? Why on earth would you claim that modern PGA Tour pros carry the ball 230 yards when you can just look that stat up: http://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.02409.2013.html ?

post #15 of 138
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 

 

 

You have some points I agree with about rollout. Where I play there is no rollout (maybe a bounce or two if you are lucky). You are also way off on the carry distances the pros have.

 

Hell, I'm not even any good, and certainly not the in the top three in distance where I play, but 230 is a 5 wood for me all day long.


Maybe I am off on the carry. Still, I think that most of the distance they get comes from roll and tailwind, elevation (as someone here said) and dry, downhill fairways. Maybe they do carry at least 260, not 230. maybe even 270. But rarely does someone carry 300. But most of the time they hit the ball extraordinarily far. This was just my views on it. I guess they do carry a little longer than I said, for example maybe 270, which of course, is impossible for most of us (not all of us though) Though we can increase our distance by having these factors. I don't know, but before I wrote this thread I had looked up the average carry of pros on multiple sites and it averaged about 230-240 carry. Guess I was mislead. Still, I'm probably the shortest hitter on the planet, averaging 190 on my drives to 210. My longest carry was 250. What's the average distance someone like me should have with driver? I'm 17 and been playing for about 3 years. also, I have about a 18 handicap and I don't swing too hard. any ideas?

 

Xerex

post #16 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by xerex250 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 

 

 

You have some points I agree with about rollout. Where I play there is no rollout (maybe a bounce or two if you are lucky). You are also way off on the carry distances the pros have.

 

Hell, I'm not even any good, and certainly not the in the top three in distance where I play, but 230 is a 5 wood for me all day long.


Maybe I am off on the carry. Still, I think that most of the distance they get comes from roll and tailwind, elevation (as someone here said) and dry, downhill fairways. Maybe they do carry at least 260, not 230. maybe even 270. But rarely does someone carry 300. But most of the time they hit the ball extraordinarily far. This was just my views on it. I guess they do carry a little longer than I said, for example maybe 270, which of course, is impossible for most of us (not all of us though) Though we can increase our distance by having these factors. I don't know, but before I wrote this thread I had looked up the average carry of pros on multiple sites and it averaged about 230-240 carry. Guess I was mislead. Still, I'm probably the shortest hitter on the planet, averaging 190 on my drives to 210. My longest carry was 250. What's the average distance someone like me should have with driver? I'm 17 and been playing for about 3 years. also, I have about a 18 handicap and I don't swing too hard. any ideas?

 

Xerex

 

You need to also take into account that the pros hit with 80% effort. I'm sure on the driving range any of them could hit close to or more than 300 carry.

 

Look up this thread: http://thesandtrap.com/t/64681/handicap-versus-clubhead-speed-driving-distance

post #17 of 138
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post
 

 

You need to also take into account that the pros hit with 80% effort. I'm sure on the driving range any of them could hit close to or more than 300 carry.


True I guess for some. Jack Nicklaus said he went full out on every shot and could carry 260. That was with the old equipment, though I don't see much difference between the old clubs and balls as compared to the modern stuff. If the pros are using 80%, then they must be some huge guys. On tv they look small, but I've seen Bubba Watson's arms and they are larger than most. He also uses leverage very well. Most of these guys are huge, like 6' and 240 pounds. I'm only about 170 pounds and 5'4". Any other ideas on how they hit the ball so far?

 

Thank you for your concern,

 

Xerex

post #18 of 138
Quote:
Originally Posted by xerex250 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post
 

 

You need to also take into account that the pros hit with 80% effort. I'm sure on the driving range any of them could hit close to or more than 300 carry.


True I guess for some. Jack Nicklaus said he went full out on every shot and could carry 260. That was with the old equipment, though I don't see much difference between the old clubs and balls as compared to the modern stuff. If the pros are using 80%, then they must be some huge guys. On tv they look small, but I've seen Bubba Watson's arms and they are larger than most. He also uses leverage very well. Most of these guys are huge, like 6' and 240 pounds. I'm only about 170 pounds and 5'4". Any other ideas on how they hit the ball so far?

 

Thank you for your concern,

 

Xerex

 

As for your second question,

Look up this thread: http://thesandtrap.com/t/64681/handicap-versus-clubhead-speed-driving-distance

 

There's a plot from R&A that shows driving distance versus handicap.

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