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20+ handicappers hitting 300 yards (mild rant)

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My two cents and rant, as I guess I am missing the point here, I am 39 and I consider myself a high handicapper, which seems to change constantly mostly due to inconsistency and only being able to get out once or twice a week. Last weekend I shot a 75 on a par 69 course and this Saturday I shot a 86 on the same course, all due to my very frustrating inconsistencies. My swing is the same, I just seem to leave out a few things like the same set-up or ball position or swing harder than I should resulting in a very fat shot, but it is all slowly coming together.

What you simply cannot do is use scorecard yardages to measure your shots. That is guaranteed to inflate the numbers. The 18th at my home course is a 420 yard par 4... I've had only 55 yards to the green, but I sure didn't hit a 360 yard drive. Doglegs, variances in tee placement, and simply wrong yardages on the card lead many players into believing that they hit farther that they really do. The only way to know for sure is to measure it with a laser or with the marking feature on a GPS. Otherwise you are just guessing based on questionable information.

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No lie, I can hit a few drives 300 yards a round. They're usually like 290-ish, but it's not a huge shock for me to hit a 300-yard dinger. Only problem is, it isn't rare for my second shot to end up off the green or in a greenside bunker.

Not calling you a liar, but in order to believe that I would have to see it.

I would love to see the look on some of you 300 yarders faces when you actually lasered or GPS'd your ball and found out your 290-300 is actually more like 250.

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I think the biggest thing is that I don't think that many people have seen and know what a 280-300 yard drive looks like.

One of my friends, who played Division II college golf averages 280, but I mean he has the same swing everytime he grabs a club. Earlier this year in January I was in Hawaii and I got to go watch the Mercedes-Benz Championship, and there I got to see some 300 yard drives. They were amazing, they seemed to stay in the air forever, and then you would loose them in the air, and then see them bouncing down the fairway. Begin Rant: And everyone who says they can hit it 300 yards (more then once every once in a while), but always blade the lob wedge over the green give me a break. In order to hit it 300 yards you need a swing speed of at least 110 to carry the ball 275 and that's with 25 yards of roll, and hitting it perfectly. Not hitting it perfectly you would need to be swinging even harder. But if you can hit it perfectly swinging that hard then there is no way you will always blade it over the green with a shorter, more controllable club. Okay, rant over.
Not calling you a liar, but in order to believe that I would have to see it.

Agreed, one of my not so god friends hits a really good tee shot on a par 5, he says "dude I killed that, it has to be like 300 yards out there." We get out to his ball and he tells me to laser it so he can know how far over 300 it is, and you know what? He hit it 260. He was like "No way, dude that this is off! Your not lasering the right thing." And I was like "It's pretty hard to miss a trash can." and he was pissed for the rest of the round.

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recently, i met up with a guy on my local course that i had been best friends with in elementary school. he said he'd only been playing about 18 months or thereabouts and generally shot in the mid 90s. so going up to the first box, i expected the classic top the ball, roll it about 50 yards maybe, or if he did hit it halfway decent, it'd be a banana ball. now, this particular hole is a par 4 that's marked as being 337 yards, and it's pretty much just a straight-ahead hole. so i hit my shot with a 5-wood up the fairway probably 210 yards or so and walk away feeling pretty good about myself. he walks up to the box with driver in hand and proceeds to practically drive the green - he was probably 15 yards short of being pin high and 20 yards at most to the left of the green. i gaped at him and asked "how did you do THAT?" i thought he'd just been yanking my crank about being a 20+ handicapper, but reality set in when he tried to pitch up onto the green - completely fat and goes about 10 yards. next attempt barely makes it onto the green, and then follows up with 3 putts to a pin that was maybe 25 feet away (so he ended up with a double bogey). next hole, he busts out another huge drive, but this one is so far off target that it doesn't even matter - it's off in the adjoining fairway somewhere, but once again, it carried close to, if not, 300 yards. over the next few holes, he has a mix of dead-straight 300+ yard drives, and drives so bad you can't even bear to watch the ball. and he had no short game or iron game to speak of, so by the end of the day, he was definitely approaching 100 on his score.

that sort of thing seems to be a big focus for people who've only been playing a short time - who cares about score, they just want to hit it as hard and far as they can, and in their mind, that somehow will equate to good scores. another friend of mine had that exact mindset, and i don't know how many times i heard him rant about "i had that BEAUTIFUL drive, and i still end up with a double bogey. wtf is that?" and i'd tell him, that's you putting too much focus on driving the ball. you need to work on the rest of your game and forget about hitting it into the next zip code. he didn't want to hear that, though.

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The growing gap: driving distances are skyrocketing on the PGA Tour. So why is the average golfer being left behind? Golf Digest, May, 2003 by Jaime Diaz Admit it. In the deepest recesses of your ego, you believe that with a $500 driver in your hands and the latest miracle ball on a tee, when you really catch one, it's out there with the tour pros. Nothing wrong with that feeling. Sport psychologist Bob Rotella might even say that's exactly how you should feel. In reality, you're nowhere near those guys--and losing ground. Everyone's talking about golf's distance revolution and how it's changing the game. But the sad reality is, if your name's not on your bag, you're almost certainly being left behind. A recent Golf Digest study confirmed that the gap between tour pros and average golfers is wider than ever. It all starts with talent. But tour pros also are maximizing their skills with the sophisticated technology of launch monitors (see page 142), the latest generation of bigger titanium drivers (page 146), and subtle changes to their technique (page 148). All of it is there for you, too. Applied intelligently, it can improve your game almost as much as it has revolutionized the game on tour. When pros play, the 400-yard drive is now part of the golf lexicon. And we're not just talking long-drive competitors, although four-time world champion Jason Zuback recently launched a 425-yard bomb. We mean the guys who have to play their foul balls, too. At The International last year, Hank Kuehne played the longest hole on the PGA Tour, the 644-yard par-5 first at Castle Pines, with a 465-yard drive and a 180-yard 9-iron. During a tour de force at Kapalua in January, Ernie Els, who led the tour in driving distance with a 320-yard average through March, provided the symbolic start to a new era by wowing a prime-time East Coast audience with effortless blasts--one rolling out to 398 yards. Two weeks later in Phoenix (where, by the way, the entire field averaged better than 300 yards), Phil Mickelson drove a 403-yard par 4. Victor Schwamkrug, whose 329-yard average made him Big Dog among the 15 players who averaged more than 300 yards on the Buy.com (now Nationwide) Tour last year, says in his calm Texas drawl, "If a hole is right around 400 yards and sets up so I can go ahead and hit it, well, I'm going to get to it. I'm not the only one out here like that." Basically, every player who wants to be competitive in that arena is hitting it farther. Take Rocco Mediate, whose 106-mph swing speed is one of the slowest on tour (an average 80s shooter swings about 89 mph). By getting more physically fit and taking advantage of every technological breakthrough in the golf industry the past few years, Mediate is averaging 289.6 yards, the highest of his career and an increase of more than 12 yards over last year. "It's a distance war on tour, and for me to stay in it I need to understand exactly what I'm doing with my swing, my equipment and my body," says Mediate. "Basically, I have to absolutely max out." That phrase could easily be the new motto in professional golf--the reason why these guys are good. Not only have tour players learned how to play at full throttle without fear, they're swinging at speeds and with a mind-set that average golfers can barely comprehend. And that's why the distance gap between today's tour pro and the average amateur is wider than it has ever been. "While most amateurs still either don't do--or don't know how to do--the things necessary to improve, the greater rewards and more intense competition has forced the pros to change," says teacher and CBS golf analyst Peter Kostis. "They have increased their work ethic and their knowledge of all areas of the game, and with their talent and technique, now the separation is a chasm." According to tests by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, the double-digit-handicapper added less than one yard to his average drive from 1996 to 2001. During the same period, tour pros added an average of 12 yards. Although definitive research is scarce, Golf Digest surveys show that the average golfer's driving distance increased from 193 to 205 yards in the last decade. In the same period, PGA Tour distances increased almost 30 yards. Even these numbers for average golfers may be generous because a test of Golf Digest Schools students in March still showed only a 195-yard average. "It doesn't seem like the average guy has caught on to how to hit it farther yet," says Joe DeBock, head professional at recently lengthened Torrey Pines. "Every good player I know is longer than he used to be, but it's not true for the masses. When I play a nassau against a 10-handicapper, it's tough for me to win giving him five a side from the white tees, but usually easy if I take him back to the blues, even if it means giving him seven a side. Distance remains the thing the average golfer can't handle." While the typical amateur is still struggling with the 200-yard standard (even if he thinks and says he hits it 250), the PGA Tour driving-distance average has jumped from 260.4 in 1993 to 279.8 in 2002 to 287.8 this year. Ask a veteran tour player and he'll say that in the last three years he's picked up yardage that previously wouldn't be gained in a decade.

That's page one, there are 5 more pages telling you that you guys are full of shit as well

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...g=artBody;col1 Take a look at what's in bold by the way. That means for those of you who average 300 yard drives, you need to hit your drives an average of 105 yards further than everyone you play with basically. That means, your shanks, misses, and block slices too.

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I am probably one of the bad players that are blamed for lying, so this is what I have to say in my (our) defense:

- The only time I measured my swing, it was 103~108 MPH with a Callaway Hyper X driver and 115~125 MPH with a TaylorMade Burner driver. Of course, I was trying to hit it hard and I don't know where the balls would end, but I have worked a lot in my swing, so I think that I should be in the 105~110 MPH range.
- I definitely do not average 300 yds, not even 250; but I can certainly hit it 270 yds.
- For me it is normally safer to aim for a good hit and fail short than aim for my average distance and end in somebody's living room.
- The last statement is true for all of my clubs, so I record my distances with good hits, not averages.


Again, I do not average 270 yds with my driver, but with a good hit, that it is my carry distance. Neither do I believe that any rookie player can average 300 yds, but to me it is logical to use a good hit as a reference, so it might be logical for somebody else.

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I'm a relatively long hitter and have been known to surpass 300 yds but I now know my drives are not as far as I once thought. Many times the yardages written on the scorecards are inaccurate. I used to see how far I had left into the green and subtract from the total yardage written on the scorecard to figure my driving distance. Well, I recently got the Skycaddie and it has a button where it can measure the distance of your shots. Just press it where you take the shot and press it again when you get to your ball. This seems much more accurate and often my drive is actually shorter than I thought it was. Like myself, I bet many high hanicappers are not being dishonest, just inaccurate in their measurements.

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I'm a relatively long hitter and have been known to surpass 300 yds but I now know my drives are not as far as I once thought. Many times the yardages written on the scorecards are inaccurate. I used to see how far I had left into the green and subtract from the total yardage written on the scorecard to figure my driving distance. Well, I recently got the Skycaddie and it has a button where it can measure the distance of your shots. Just press it where you take the shot and press it again when you get to your ball. This seems much more accurate and often my drive is actually shorter than I thought it was. Like myself, I bet many high hanicappers are not being dishonest, just inaccurate in their measurements.

Yeah, I really wish courses would take more time/update more, their yardages, it would make it a bit easier. I do think that a lot of 20 handicappers truly don't know what a 300 driver comes close to looking like. I've played with people that hit a 210 yard drive and say its 300. It's crazy. So I'm driving it 350 being 15 years old and 120 pounds when I'm 50 yards past them?

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They say about 1% of all players ever score even par on a round.

I would guess that even less than that will ever hit a 300 yard drive that isn't down hill or downwind.

I take lessons from Rob Noel who has taught some tour pro. They all have near on perfects swings and none of them average 300 yards.

I can count on one hand the people that I have personally seen hit a 300 yard drive ONCE.

I can count on two hands the people that I have been told can hit it 300 that I actually find believable.

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how far are scorecards usually off?

for instance the 1st hole where i play claims to be a 315 yd par 4 and ive driven it 3 times so is it actually more like a 270 yd hole?

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how far are scorecards usually off?

Well, depending on where they put the actual tee markers on any given day the you can add or subtract about 15-30 yards from the scorecard.

That's just for starters. Now lets say they decide to rebuild the green, add on to the green, build a new teebox, or do any of a number of other things which can effect the yardage. They aren't going to print up all new scorecards, they are just going to leave them the same. Believe me, they can be way off.

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how far are scorecards usually off?

There is no consistency to how far the scorecards are off, the best thing to do would be to take a laser and try and get the yardage that way, or take a sky-caddie or a different GPS and find the yardage through that.

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I don't think many high handicappers can average 300 yards but its possible to hit it that far and still shoot a high score.

i've got 3 friends that i've seen hit it over 300 yards. they don't average it if you count duffs or bad hooks but yes they can hit it 300 yards fairly regularly. One was even measured at 340 in a long drive compitition and came in 2'nd or 3rd place. the same kid can hit his pw 150. he shot a 95 last time we played but was an 8 handicap when he played HS golf. When we went it was only his 3rd time on the course all year and it showed.

The other one ive seen gps verified dives 290 and he was hitting his 5 iron 200-205. Again thats with a gps. He is a big, strong kid that played minor league baseball and is just starting to take golf serously now that he is done with baseball and doesn't have to worry about messing up his swing. Now i think his high handicap is coming down.

I've seen my third friend drive it past a 325 yard green. That is according to the scorecard but it was still a bomb. And on a couple of holes, he out drove friend number 1. he too, shot in the 90's but is supposed to be a single digit handicaper. Just doesn't play much now because of school and his short game shows it.

ive played with all of them and seen then do everything i just said. when they get ahold of the ball they can all crush it but they don't have the time to really work on their whole game.

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I think the general consensus here is that the good golfers on here have hit a 300 yard drive,heck I even hit one once,downwind the wind was funnelling through a tree lined 355 yard hole with a slope downhill.I caught it sweet out of the middle and ended up with a pitch of less than 50 yards.

On the other hand at the range I will struggle ot hit the 250 marker with regularity on a calm day.The pro measured it with his range finder and says it's actually 262.It's a hell of a way,and the back hedge is another 30 yards or so away,the owner says only in the summer does he find balls nestled in the back hedge line,and it's a handful at best.

the pro drives on average 292 for last year and he is the only one I've seen that gets to that little white flag at the back.I know my driving average is low and won't deny it but it is possible to absolutely catch one sweet and make it.

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but it is possible to absolutely catch one sweet and make it.

theres no doubt about that, but this thread is basically based on the high capper who says he averages 300yds on his drive.....no way shape or form that's possible for the 20+ capper imho.

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Considering the average drive carry is about 190 yards, I doubt many here whatever their hcp can carry it 250 yards on flat ground. The average carry on the PGA Tour was only 265 just a few years ago, now it may be about 275 by now No question the great competitive young players coming up today are hitting way longer than ever before, we see 16 year olds in competitions at our club hitting 300 yard par 4s in one but these guys are also very very good.

Anybody who can consistently hit a 300 yard drive (in play) can also nail the easy wedge or 9 iron to the green consistently to play to low single digit or scratch. That is just the obvious truth, which many internet users may not realize, as they just do not play enough to know.

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I truly don't think people realize how far 300 yards is.

They hit a lot of balls that they think really passes the eyeball test for 300 yards but unless you mark it with your GPS or laser it you have no idea how truly far it is.

I'm longer off the tee and with every club than 75% of the people I play with.

I literally smashed a ball this morning and it rolled out to 270, now it was early with plenty of dew so I had maybe 280 in it but that is absolutely postiively the best ball I can hit. I'm a huge guy with a huge wingspan that works out daily and is still flexible and I can literally swing as hard as I want to and I won't get NEAR 300.


So lets do a little math:


In order for someone to be able to AVERAGE 300 yards they have to be pretty damn accurate and be hitting them everywhere from 280-320. The mechanics and technique required to do this means that they will pretty much be good with irons by default.

Figure a course has 4 par 5's, 4 par 3's, and 10 par 4's (that seems to be about the average).

That means that every par 3 they obviously reach in 1, lets say they miss every green, they chip on, then they 3 putt every single one.

That's 20 strokes.

Now with 300 yard drives they should be hitting a driver/3 wood and a 8 iron to wedge into every single par 4. Lets say 2 strokes to every green missing every single green, chip onto the green, then 3 putt each one.

That's 60 strokes.

So that leaves 4 par 5's which they can obviously reach in two. So 2 shots to the green missing every one, chip on, then 3 putt every single one.

That's 24 strokes.


So that would leave you shooting 104 and having a 30 or so handicap.

Are you starting to see how astronomically ridiculous this sounds? You guys are basically describing Happy Gilmore who can drive every hole yet on every hole it takes 4 to 5 shots from at the green to get in the cup.

For the guys who you are describing to be that bad you would literally have to average a 3 putt on every single hole. That means some days you actually 4 putt all these holes.


Are you seeing the light yet?

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I'm basically a 20 handicap (bogey golfer) and in all honesty I'm probably lucky to be averaging 230yds with my driver. Now there are a lot of bad drives in that figure pulling the average down. If you averaged my decent drives that number would probably move up somewhere between 250-260yds. A couple of times a round I'll tag one 275yds on a flat level fairway. On a couple of the holes where I usually play the shape of the hole plays to my strenghts and on those lately I've been putting my drive out there around 290yds. But I'm forced to conclude that it's probably a 275yrd shot, but that on those holes I'm getting a good 10-15yds of extra roll due to gravity and my shot shape (fade).

Earlier this summer I made this post:
I hit a 340yd drive yesterday...

I did hit that shot and it was on a level fairway with no wind helping me out, but on reconsidering everything I bet the shot was closer to 300 than 340. The hole is a slight dogleg left and I bet the way they measure the hole (398yds) makes the hole play shorter if you drive over the dogleg which is what I basically did. It was still a career shot for me, but I don't think it went as far as I initially thought it did. It did stop about 50yds oiff the green but I bet if measured as the crow flies it wasn't what the score card and yardage markers made it out to be.

Personally I've given up on the hope of being a long ball hitter and instead am striving to be a consistant 250yd driver but with the ball always staying in play. My driving has begun to slowly improve (and sometimes the distance I get is surprising: i.e. 275yds) with me staying in the fairway or just off it a lot more often.

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