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20+ handicappers hitting 300 yards (mild rant)


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On 08/09/2017 at 1:28 PM, onthehunt526 said:

A few of the scratch players at my home course have been working with me on various things.

One of those things was helping me take the club back more to the inside so my trailing elbow is closer to my right side on the downswing creating "lag". My somewhat wild 250 could be a straight 275-280 by spring if I continue to work on it.

Yes, I feel I should wallop the ball. But I techinically average far enough to get to scratch... Would I like a little more distance? Sure. But I would rather be reasonably straight than try to pick up 25-30 yards and lose 1-2° of accuracy... Do I hit every fairway at 250? No. 

A bogey golfer, while theoretically could hit a drive 300 yards, it's not likely to happen with any kind of consistency. I'll take a consistent 250 over trying to overpower it for 300... 

Hilariously, (or factually), I actually hit some of my longest drives with a maybe 75-80% effort swing. Why? Because I feel more relaxed. My 106 mph clubhead speed might go down to 100-102, but my ball speed goes up when I swing at 75-80%. I just make better contact.

I bought the new Ping G400 with extra stiff shaft and 9 deg loft... WOW, my previous wild drives have halved and although the distance is about the same as my old Ping K15 the drop in wild shots has been simply amazing. The guys at Ping say it's designed to correct fade and add distance through lower trajectory and it does exactly that, The lower trajectory now that the course has dried out since the wet summer has added 30-50 metres on each shot just through the roll on the hard ground. If any of you can get a chance to test drive it, do so, you will be amazed.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Okay, Game golf has me down for a median drive of 303 yards today, and I shot a pretty inglorious 56 on 11 holes. I guess I'm that 20+ handicap with a 300+ yard drive. :-D

Two of my playing partners were kind of laughing, and my long time partner who I started golf with was kind of feeling oomphed even though our scores were the same. We had fun, but I hooked past the pin to the right on a par 5 on my second shot after hitting the tree from my tee shot. Choked up on the 3W to account for the 3-4" lie difference.

So, I'm not finding fairways because I'm using the full length of the standard 45.75" length club instead of choking up 3" these days. Longer, but way more wild. Probably should go get fit again. :-P

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9 hours ago, Lihu said:

Okay, Game golf has me down for a median drive of 303 yards today, and I shot a pretty inglorious 56 on 11 holes. I guess I'm that 20+ handicap with a 300+ yard drive. :-D

Two of my playing partners were kind of laughing, and my long time partner who I started golf with was kind of feeling oomphed even though our scores were the same. We had fun, but I hooked past the pin to the right on a par 5 on my second shot after hitting the tree from my tee shot. Choked up on the 3W to account for the 3-4" lie difference.

So, I'm not finding fairways because I'm using the full length of the standard 45.75" length club instead of choking up 3" these days. Longer, but way more wild. Probably should go get fit again. :-P

Correction, 57, I forgot to mark a putt. I didn't remember any birdies. :-P

So, my differential is even higher. . . :whistle:

Edited by Lihu
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Played with a young guy who hit the ball over 300 yards a few times from the tees and still a 20 handicap 

His putting was astronomical bad and wasn’t consistent off the tee (some OBs) 

He had a couple of impressive drives but that was about it. 

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My oldest grandson hits  300 + yard drives consistently. Most are even playable after landing. His problem is that he has no intermediate, or short game. Nothing. A 3' putt will go 10 feet.......up hill. His divots for a 50 yard pitch shot look like the start of a house footing trench. 

If I gave a guess, I'd say his hndcp is some where around 20,  plus a bunch. 

We once teamed up for a best ball round about 10 years ago. We shot a 68  (-4) for 18 holes. We used all his long, swing for the fence shots, and my shorter games. 

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Just two weeks ago we played a course that has on cart GPS, so there's no lying possible! My buddy is one of these guys who over-estimate how far they hit Driver. Not 300 yards, but he thinks he hits it 250-260 consistently, which he does not. When the GPS tells him he hit it 220-225 he refuses to believe it. Figures there's something wrong with it!

Anyway, on one par 4, at the tee my GPS read 399 yards. I hit my drive and, quite by accident, caught it dead, solid, perfect! Tip of the visor to Dan Jenkins. We drive to my buddy's ball which turned out to be at least 70 yards behind mine, and I can see my ball up ahead in a part of the fairway I have never visited before!

When I drove up to play my shot the GPS read 100 yards. So I hit that drive 299! Do I run around telling people I hit my drives 3 hundy? Heck, no! I'm 65 years old, with a driver swing in the low 90's, and too firmly grounded in reality to fool myself into that. It was a fluke! I'm still glad it happened. It's nice to know I can knock one out there like that once in a while.

Just wish I could remember how I did it so I could do it more often!

Edited by Buckeyebowman
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On 10/15/2017 at 3:14 PM, Patch said:

My oldest grandson hits  300 + yard drives consistently. Most are even playable after landing. His problem is that he has no intermediate, or short game. Nothing. A 3' putt will go 10 feet.......up hill. His divots for a 50 yard pitch shot look like the start of a house footing trench. 

If I gave a guess, I'd say his hndcp is some where around 20,  plus a bunch. 

We once teamed up for a best ball round about 10 years ago. We shot a 68  (-4) for 18 holes. We used all his long, swing for the fence shots, and my shorter games. 

As a responsible grandfather, it's your duty to make sure he hits approach shots on the green and keep him from taking beaver pelts from the fairways. You now have 6 months to get him into the single digits! Time's ticking away. . .

OTOH, regarding the large beaver pelts he takes out, at least you can plant them again without worrying about the roots being damaged because they're so deep. :-D

 

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9 hours ago, Lihu said:

As a responsible grandfather, it's your duty to make sure he hits approach shots on the green and keep him from taking beaver pelts from the fairways. You now have 6 months to get him into the single digits! Time's ticking away. . .

OTOH, regarding the large beaver pelts he takes out, at least you can plant them again without worrying about the roots being damaged because they're so deep. :-D

 

That, or get him interested in a "Long Drive Competition" some where. 

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I am living proof that size and strength have little to do with how far you can hit the ball. As a 6'1" 308lb competitive powerlifter, I average 230-240 carry yards on a drive. I am a 25-30 handicap. I shoot regularly in the mid 90's to low 100's. My good friend, and coach is 5'8" 165lbs soaking wet. He can out drive me any day of the week. I have had some drives that carried 270ish.. but they are far and few.  

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  • 9 months later...

I believe the key to this topic is consistency. There are plenty of 20+ handicappers who can hit 300yd plus drives, I'm sure many long drivers have high handicaps simply because their focus is on the driver itself, not to say they're incapable of reducing their handicap with time and effort on other aspects of the game. However, many amateurs who have the capability and swing speed to produce a 300 yard drive do lack consistency in terms of keeping the ball in play whether it be lack of experience, practice, etc. But I have personally witnessed 20+ handicappers hit the ball to or past the 300 yard mark, but again taking a 20 ball average might present a different average versus what they know they are capable of.

On 10/15/2017 at 6:15 PM, Buckeyebowman said:

Just two weeks ago we played a course that has on cart GPS, so there's no lying possible! My buddy is one of these guys who over-estimate how far they hit Driver. Not 300 yards, but he thinks he hits it 250-260 consistently, which he does not. When the GPS tells him he hit it 220-225 he refuses to believe it. Figures there's something wrong with it!

Anyway, on one par 4, at the tee my GPS read 399 yards. I hit my drive and, quite by accident, caught it dead, solid, perfect! Tip of the visor to Dan Jenkins. We drive to my buddy's ball which turned out to be at least 70 yards behind mine, and I can see my ball up ahead in a part of the fairway I have never visited before!

When I drove up to play my shot the GPS read 100 yards. So I hit that drive 299! Do I run around telling people I hit my drives 3 hundy? Heck, no! I'm 65 years old, with a driver swing in the low 90's, and too firmly grounded in reality to fool myself into that. It was a fluke! I'm still glad it happened. It's nice to know I can knock one out there like that once in a while.

Just wish I could remember how I did it so I could do it more often!

I agree sometimes reality hurts especially when it comes to distance off the tee. There are so many variables to consider, to include temperature, wind, hole layout(doglegs) that can make it seem like a person hits it further than they do on a consistent basis. The biggest thing is that a 300 yard drive ob is not as effective as a 250 yard fairway finder. 

On 10/25/2017 at 9:52 AM, EasyJ86 said:

I am living proof that size and strength have little to do with how far you can hit the ball. As a 6'1" 308lb competitive powerlifter, I average 230-240 carry yards on a drive. I am a 25-30 handicap. I shoot regularly in the mid 90's to low 100's. My good friend, and coach is 5'8" 165lbs soaking wet. He can out drive me any day of the week. I have had some drives that carried 270ish.. but they are far and few.  

Yeah, size has little to do with it. Swing technique, flexibility, width of arc, length of arc, centerdness of contact and ultimately hitting the ball with a square club-face relative to the swing path all effect how well any swing speed produces a quality shot.

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Ok, maybe it is the semi-literate mathematician in me, but the use of average and median as meaning the same is driving me crazy. I am a high handicap golfer and while I have had maybe 3 great booming drives this week, I would never use either term to describe my efforts. Pros seem not to average 300+ all that often either as the course defines how it is hit.  I am dubious as well of some of the claims.

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24 minutes ago, DrMJG said:

Ok, maybe it is the semi-literate mathematician in me, but the use of average and median as meaning the same is driving me crazy. I am a high handicap golfer and while I have had maybe 3 great booming drives this week, I would never use either term to describe my efforts. Pros seem not to average 300+ all that often either as the course defines how it is hit.  I am dubious as well of some of the claims.

 

The use of the word average comes from what the PGA uses to track all of the Tour players. Currently, there are 40 Tour players above the 300-yard average drive mark. The overall PGA Tour driving average is 295.3 overall. No that still doesn't make every drive over 300 yards but gives you an idea of why everyone uses the word average.

https://www.pgatour.com/stats/stat.101.2017.html

 

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I can accept that more from the tour and tour players than 20+ HCpers such as me.  At least the Tour keeps very accurate numbers.

 

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53 minutes ago, DrMJG said:

Ok, maybe it is the semi-literate mathematician in me, but the use of average and median as meaning the same is driving me crazy. I am a high handicap golfer and while I have had maybe 3 great booming drives this week, I would never use either term to describe my efforts. Pros seem not to average 300+ all that often either as the course defines how it is hit.  I am dubious as well of some of the claims.

(Hopefully I'm not too far off-topic here.)

I agree @DrMJG, but I don't use the term literally when describing my distances for each club. I think it's important to know what a decent or likely strike will bring.

I can't use 300 yards even for an example, so I'll stick with realistic numbers. Let's say I struggle making great contact with my driver. A good drive without a lot of angled spin might get me 210 - 220 carry while I'll struggle to hit 200 yards total with a slice. Factor in the occasional duff or pop up and my actual driver average is lower than I'm likely to hit.

While I absolutely should factor in the possibility of a 200 yard slice because of how often it occurs, I wouldn't factor in the tops or popups when facing a 190 yard forced carry.

Likewise with other clubs.

If I consider my 7i distance to be 140 yards, that would be longer than my actual average when counting every duff, shank, hit tree, shot from bad lies, etc. But because those shots are relatively infrequent or irrelevant, I don't feel those should be considered when selecting a club. IMO, my "average" or "normal" or "stock" distances really need to be accurate to what normal contact will bring.

For the courses I play, hitting too long can often be worse than hitting it too short. So if my exact average with a 7i was 130 yds and the center of the green at 130 yds, there's a good chance slightly better than normal contact sends the ball into the swamp behind the green. 

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I was 2 holes behind a group of 19-20 year old college kids and one of them flew the green on a short par 4 coming back towards me (275-ish to the green). His ball landed on the 2nd tee box, which I had just hit from, probably right around 300 yards total distance. He couldn't believe it when I pointed to it. These guys were not "good" golfers by any stretch. 

There's a lot to be said for being young and limber. 

Edited by Kalnoky
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  • Moderator
On 7/29/2018 at 5:37 PM, Hefdy said:

I believe the key to this topic is consistency. There are plenty of 20+ handicappers who can hit 300yd plus drives, I'm sure many long drivers have high handicaps simply because their focus is on the driver itself, not to say they're incapable of reducing their handicap with time and effort on other aspects of the game. However, many amateurs who have the capability and swing speed to produce a 300 yard drive do lack consistency in terms of keeping the ball in play whether it be lack of experience, practice, etc.

I agree with this. Just because a 20 can hit one 300, doesn't mean he averages 300. Not even close.

But it's asinine for people to assume just because someone isn't very good at golf that he's not capable of swinging the club fast.

On 7/29/2018 at 5:37 PM, Hefdy said:

The biggest thing is that a 300 yard drive ob is not as effective as a 250 yard fairway finder. 

Anyone who is capable of hitting the ball 300 yards OB is capable of hitting the ball 300 yards down the fairway.

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I agree with the OP. For a 20 handicapper to claim he "averages" 300 yards with a drive is pure BS. If he could average 300 yards, he wouldn't be a 20 handicapper.  I know if i could average 300 yards off the tee, i wouldn't be a 20 handicapper. If you hit the ball consistently good enough to average 300 yards of the tee, you can hit the ball good enough to hit a green with  a 9 iron or a wedge. You can probably chip and putt good enough to make a putt or get the ball up and down. 

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