Distance

I have been a member of Golf Magic for some time now and have never really been involved in forums although I enjoy reading them. Main reason is that you get some real rude muppets that feel they have to insult you in replies..! So here we go for another 'attack'

Forgive me if this has been raised before. I am not the best golfer by a thousand miles, play of 6 and and regard myself as Joe Average. Average drives, iron play, chipping, bunker play. I am a very good putter ( thank god ) and that keeps me at 5 / 6 handicap.

On reading these forums I am truly astounded at some the yardages that people are claiming they get.

( looking a buying a new hybrid as I hit my five wood 230 - 240 )

( 7 iron I can usually get 180-190 )

Really ..? who is kidding who here guys. I play with an army of different blokes as low as + 3 and as high as 28 and none of them hit these yardages. In fact my pro who has a lot of sucess in pro-ams /  Scottish events hits nothing like these.

Yet here I am reading time and time again about a bloke of 13 looking to fill the gap between his 3 iron ( 195 ) and his 5 wood ( 230- 240 )

My suggestion - Buy a Skycaddie and start to measure your shots....!

Every considered that it might be your attitude that elicits the responses you get? Rather than ask a simple question "Do people really hit the distances they claim?" you insult anyone claiming to be a long hitter by saying in effect "All long hitters are liars. They should get a DMD. That'll show them what liars they are". And you expect people to play nice with you. Jeez. Strikes me you're actually the "real rude muppet" here. Personally, I play with people (3 that I can recall) who can hit their 7 irons 180 yards, their 5 iron over 200 yards and their drivers 270 yards plus. Only one of them brags about being a long hitter, the others are just very low handicappers. And yes, I have a Skycaddie and yes, I have measured them.  HTH

I'm certain there are people who can hit these yardages. If Harrington can hit his 5-wood 245 average (272 at Birkdale), it can't be physically impossible. They might even be Cat 2 golfers because, for instance, they have little touch around the greens or are poor putters.I don't think many amateurs hit these distances consistently and straight. But you can't assume those who claim to are mistaken or lying, unless you've seen them play.

There we go,I have never said "All long hitters are liars'' just find it all a bit funny how these people playing of 14 for example are hitting 280 + yard drivers.!!Take a look at tour average and you will find 280 yard drives  is common FOR A PRO ON TOUR ! But the amount of mid handicappers on this site that claim to hit these distances is frankly beyond believe. Also the ones that do probably have a very small % of fairways hit.Of course there are long hitters but I do not see many threads on this site that say for example ' I hit 7 iron 156 yards' they are all 175 - 180 so the very nature of this is bragging..? Me - I will get 150 -153 yards ( max - measured with skycaddie ) with my 7 iron, anyone else simliar or am I the shortest hitter in this site..?

Certainly not the shortest, W-b! Without wind, slope assistance or a big roll, I don't often get a 7-iron much beyond 130. But I'd rather at least know that and play for it...

There are guys around at amateur level who do hit the ball long, some of them really long, and occassionaly crazy long! I play with a couple of them, one of them crazy long (I have lasered his drives at 370+yds, his ball speed measured by a TM fitter on a Flitescope was up to189mph, and SS up to 138mph), and its amazing.  Its not that no-one hits the ball crazy long distance, its that so many people claim to, usually because of a lack of objectivity (environmental conditions) or wrongly measured (using course markers and hole yardages rather than a DMD). Thats usually the issue in these threads, the good old "I hit my 3W 300yds" type claims.There are low handicappers who hit it long, but many dont, but the one thing in common with the low handicappers is they seem to have a far better understanding and realism for how far they do hit it. You arent going to shoot low scores if every time you are 180yds you hit 7I short of the green cos you *think* you hit it that distance but dont. So my experience is there are recreational golfers who can hit the ball long, just not as many as those that claim they do!

Although even the pro over estimate how far they hit it.At the USPGA, they where always going on about how far Dustin Johnson hits the ball. But the amount of times he was a club short on his approach shots was unreal.

GVI Gary wrote (see)

Certainly not the shortest, W-b! Without wind, slope assistance or a big roll, I don't often get a 7-iron much beyond 130. But I'd rather at least know that and play for it...

Gary, I think you have a new 'bragging rights' post there. Cos I hit my 7i 125 yards, anyone beat that!! And we are talking averages here, no topping one off the tee and claiming 10ft..

You have to realise that there is a tendency for people to remember their best shots and quote those as their club distance. For most mid-cappers the reality of an average distance (based on similar conditions) would be significantly lower.

I don't doubt many of the claims are based on truths. I know that I can hit a driver 300 yards on occasion and would have no problem hitting a 7 iron 180 yards if the conditions were right. I also know that most of my drives will be closer to the 250 mark and my accuracy can go out of the window if I try and wind up on them too much.

This year I have been concentrating on understanding distance to the pin (aided by a Nikon laser DMD) and using a variety of clubs/shots to achieve it. There is little point in hitting a big 160 yard 8 iron into a concrete hard green and watching it bounce through. Instead I will bump a 6 iron and let it run on. Consequently I have become less and less interested in "what is the maximum distance that I can get out of a club?" If I am even asking this question it is usually a good sign that I should be taking one more club and not trying to hit the skin off it.

To OP: You make a fair point, but make it badly. Calling fellow members muppets, and inferring than many grossly exaggerate their distance claims (whether you meant to or not) is not the best way of starting a productive discussion. Welcome to the wonderful world of posting rather than lurking anyway

7I = 150-155 yards on a still day + or - 10 yards for wind. I can hood the feck out of it and swing in a draw planee and probably squeeze another 50 yards out of it but a) I may slip a disc, b) my left knee may need an op for the slipped cartiledge, c) it would be a huge uncontrollable hook .... etc. However my driver is 270yards including roll out - I use 2 different drivers for different conditions. 1 is 10.5 degree lofted G15 stiff shaft - good for 300yards when I chase it and the wind is non existent or behind. The other is 9.5 degree regular shaft Bridgestone J33r - I use this when the wind is more in the face, why, well it has a lower trajectory and because the shaft is soft, this promotes a low speed/ low spin shot giving more distance than the high flying thing. The 2nd driver is not as long on a still day but thats why I change over to the G15. All my distances are measured using my Sonocaddie and are averages under similar conditions.I think hitting a driver long now is more common because they are so easy to hit - I look at my driver of 20 years ago and it is smaller than some  hybrids. The large size allows people to thrash and get away with off centre hits and then leads to the huge distances. Also I think we would see a difference between pro and amatures with regards carry - I carry roughly 225-235 yards (I cannot measure accurately - all I know is an obstacle at 220y is cleared ) But the truth is distance is only relevant for the shot that is about to be taken. The point is course conditions and weather will dictate your length. I too am taken aback at the distance claims people make but if they manage it, well done, but the game is about the lowest amount of shots. By the way I can hit a putter 70 yards....................

The variability in my shots is amazing and conditions plays a big part of that (wind, air pressure, humidity, hardness of ground, my body).

This season I have hit my driver 290+ yds with good conditions (usually wind behind) on 2-3 occasions. Back in May when my swing was struggling, I was could barely make it past 200 yards.

Generally I drive about 240-250 yards in summer conditions. On one of our holes we have a ditch that is 180-190 yards off the tee. I can usually clear that by about 15-20 yards (so carry is about 210 yards) and then it's all down to run.

Guys Only claiming the people making rude comments are muppets not the majority, 'Main reason is that you get some real rude muppets that feel they have to insult you in replies..!'was my sentence that has caused some 'offence'  None meant to the majority but some blokes just wish to have a pop.Anyway nice to see some sensible replies. 

I think this comes down to a couple of things.

The 280 tour average you're quoting is an average, to give an example Dustbin Johnson "averages" 307.7 but at the PGA to quote Butch Harmon "cleared that 325 carry like it wasn't there".

I can (and about once per round) hit drives out to about 305 (gps and google maps confirmed) however once you take into account the fact I put between 3 and 8 in the trees or on a different fairway I'd be surprised if I averaged 240! On forums I think people are normally talking about their Sunday best with the mind blanking out how the odd sh**k, top, duff etc affect their "average"

I play off 19 and hit a 7 iron 155-165 (a bit closer to an average this time ) my putting is poor and while I have alot of different shots around the green I'm pretty inconsistent at getting close enough to get up and down.

I only get about 10 rounds and 20 range sessions a year but I'm in my 20's and hit the gym 3 times a week so I should be able to hit a long ball! the fact it ends up in the woods as often as on the green is (I hope) down to practise

Agree with Nick and others, the key thing is "average if I hit it properly". I've hit a lifetime-best 270-yard drive (with tons of roll), but last weekend I measured my drives with my new GPS and I averaged under 210 - and not one of the drives on the outbound 9 (mostly uphill and into a breeze) made 200 yards!Mtp, you have me bested! I used to  allow 125 for my 7I but seem to have found 5 extra yards from somewhere this year, dammit. As for 180? More like a 7 wood!

The other thing to remember when we talk about 280-yard tour averages for driving is that those aren't just with drivers, sometimes it'll be a 3-wood (or even irons).

Not sure whether they count par-3s on those stats and whether it is only balls that end up on the fairway?

I'm sure my drives average about 220 once you take into account the duffed, skyed, topped monsters - but on average it's closer to 260 (pretty much all carry) with my best being around 300 (GPS).As for irons, if i'm swinging well I have been know to hit a 9iron from 150 but only when my timing is spot on and i'm hitting a little draw, but then if im not hitting it well i'd go with a 7iron or even a 6i if there was water to clear etc.But at the end of the day none of that matters, I may reach a 500 yard par 5 in 2 but then 3 putt and enter the exact same score as the old boy who takes 4 to reach the green and 1 putts  Golf is all about getting the ball in the hole in the least shots, I would take a max distance of 190 yards if it was always straight where I am aiming!!

Starting from the tee box and taking into account playing conditions, direction (oops), and finishing point (carry & roll can be subjective depending the course you are playing). I used to think my average length was in the region of 240/250. After using the skycaddie I found I averaged 220  and came to the conclusion I preferred it when I could hit 240/250

Agree with the more enlightened GM regular posters above. I regularly play with guys who hit it's as long as the longest PGA Tour players. One had the highest recorded SS on the Titleist UK launch monitor. I played in the Scratch Team with him and it was an experience I & our opponents won't forget in a hurry. LOL

There are a plethora of threads on this. Bottom line is Tour Players are not track and field athletes. The only difference is they hit the ball with incredible precision and consistency compared to us mere mortals. If you want a real mans challenge try flinging an adult male hammer over 40yds The best throwers fxxk it out well over twice that far.

I certainly can't claim to be a big hitter but I did win a longest drive at The Renaissance course recently. Mainly because I managed to stay on the correct fairway when some of the "big hitters" sprayed the ball into the rough or adjoining fairways.I would say that I usually hit my driver about 220 yards, sometimes a bit more, more often a bit less. I would say my best drive went around 270 yards going by the hole length on the scorecard (425) and the fact I was at the 150 yard marker but there was a lot of roll on that one.   My 7 iron distance is around 135 yards going by my Skycaddie. It's certainly the club I hit when faced with a 135-140 yard shot to the centre of the green. 

In the same boat as Chris Tandy, long driver but average irons. Really worked hard on my driving last winter, and its actually nice to have an easy wedge into greens now. Far better than a long iron......

Bagz - definitely. I added about 30 yards to my drive a few weeks ago.

On the long par 4s where I was out at 190 yards to a protected green and thinking I'd have to use my 24deg hybrid; suddenly I was almost down at the 150-yd marker trying to decide whether to go with the 6-iron or 7-iron. You've got a good chance of making par rather than having to lay up short and rely on getting up&down.

Now I'm the complete opposite, good distance with irons, will average 150 with my 8 iron, 200 ish with my 4 iron (hybrid), but give me a driver and I'm screwed. No pun intended. Have been using a 5 wood with some success past few rounds, drove 2 short par 4s with it yesterday. Why aint I on the tour ??? NO skill between 20 and 90 yards if a pitch is req'd.

Willie-Bear wrote (see)

Only claiming the people making rude comments are muppets not the majority, 'Main reason is that you get some real rude muppets that feel they have to insult you in replies..!'was my sentence that has caused some 'offence'  None meant to the majority but some blokes just wish to have a pop.

What's up Willie,Not getting the response you expected....So you re-post your thoughts about the rude muppet's...So transparent....

I thought Willie was right the first time  Gary - hey, we hit the same distance!

How you doing McS,I've been reading about your new piece....chuffed for you, pal....

Mac1 wrote (see)

How you doing McS,I've been reading about your new piece....chuffed for you, pal....

Doing away, Mac.... doing away. The "piece" is fine, long game much better, short game turned to sh*t though....

Splendid. Mufter. And a whole lot of other excellent Feherty clips there too that I didn't know about. Thanks

niblick wrote (see)

Splendid. Mufter. 

And he's about right too.I've played a lot of golf this Summer. With a good variety of handicapped players. One in particular plays off 6 and stonks the ball miles.And do you know how many drives I have seen that have gone over 300 yards?A total of about 3 or 4.

The thing is it's just the hard pan that flatters. 6 years ago I played some little marketing thing on the Indianapolis Brickyard - It's a nice course and in places quite long. On this day they had watered the fairways, geez that was a massive affect the drivers were just hiting and hopping  8 ft forward and that was it. I did win the longest drive comp that day, but because I was an employee I wasn't allowed to win. All I did was cut the corner of the dog leg and give it a bit of wrist roll (yeah that could go anywhere) - but I don't think it was a particularly massive number, less than 300yds for sure, possibly in the 250yds region maybe less.  

Chris Tandy wrote (see)

The thing is it's just the hard pan that flatters.

Correct!I played with a 22 handicapper on Friday at Cooden, fairways were very firm and the wind was blowing (as it usually does at Cooden!).Par 5, elevated tee, downwind. He hit a good drive. But it was one of them where you know it's going to bounce a long way. He caught it slightly heavy and put a lot of top spin on it with a bit of draw (he didn't mean to!). The ideal recipe for a long drive. It's first bounce looked like it had come up off a cart path or something (but there wasn't a cart path there!). It just kept bouncing, and bouncing and bouncing. Measured it on the old SkyCaddie....313 yards.It was in the air for about 200 of them, the other 113 were bounce.

Over this past year I've played with 3 guys who I could honestly say were big hitters ... well inside the 150-yd marker on 420+ yd par 4s.

One of them was about a 6-handicap who didn't play often. I saw him hit a straight driver on a 380-yd par 4 to within about 60 yards of the green - so roughly 320 on that one.

On the back nine, on the par 4, 420 yarder he nailed one some distance beyond the 150-yard post and he wasn't using his driver. He only hit his 3-wood.

That said, on the final hole his ball was about 10-15 yards behind me on our approach to the green and he took a 5-iron while I took a 6-iron so we were hitting our irons very similarly. Perhaps I just need to get more into going all out on my drives as I can hit the odd 280-290 yarder if I get it right (and conditions allow)!

I have just tried out and bought a new driver, not I may say in order to get any more distance but to get the same sort of distance with consistency. Now I seem be getting the consistency and, surprise surprise, a little more distance too. An unexpected but welcome bonus. But consistency was the real requirement: there seemed little point in booming away some long (for me) drives when at least twice a round a drive would boom its way in to the boondocks far right and another twice would duck hook into the nearest bush. (Yes, McStumpy, you have seen all three varieties).

So now I can look forward to consistently straight 300+ yard drives ..... in my dreams

Straight and 220 will do me fine.

Or should that be straight and 200.

Let's be honest: straight will be just fine.

Smufter 12Fantastic clip from David Feherty and could not put my whole point across any better. I practiced last night and decided after the replies on this thread to measure my 7 iron, so after warming up :- Hit six balls with a decent swing and they measured between 146- 151 yards.Hit three balls hard and measured between 155 - 167 ! Hit three balls with a big hook draw and managed between 163 - 178You would never use the last six swings in competion as the dispersion and distance control was rubbish. For a bit of fun with the guys of course but this is not how I hit a 7 iron..? I can therefore state with some conviction that my 7 iron is around 148 yards !  Not 178 Yards as I beleive many others would state even although I can certainly hit it that far ( just no control ) That is a 20% gain from my average to my longest.Joe Average for a 6 handicap ? I beleive this is about correct bearing in mind I am over 50 years old.

So I think that we have established that, if nothing else, there is a huge variation in the distance people can hit the ball.That's not really surprising as I doubt any two people have identical builds and swings (not to mention the courses that they play). DMD's have changed the reality of distance claims. It's often a bit disheartening to find that you are actually hitting your best shots 10% less then you had thought. Having said all that, as has been pointed out on numerous occasions, it's the score on the card that matters, not the individual shots. The tour pros always play a hole backwards. They want to be hitting their approach shot from their preferred distance, position and club. Too many of us are guilty of trying to whack it as far as we can off the tee when we should probably be thinking of positional play first. I hit most of my irons really well when I can take a full shot, but my percentages drop when I need to finesse a shot (largely due to lack of practice). Therefore, playing my second shot from 75 yards is not as likely to produce a result as from 100. Sounds perverse but that's the strengths and weaknesses of my current game.  Equally, a well designed course has traps placed for those that don't utilise good course management. I've often played with guys who see a line of bunkers at 220 yards as a challenge. Because they are fixating on the bunkers it's amazing how often they stick their ball straight in them (assuming they didn't spray it out to the right whilst trying to smash it).These days I take a mix of Driver, 3 wood, 21 deg Mizuno MP hydrid, and even 4 irons off the tee to try and make sure that I have a good chance with my 2nd. My mid irons are the best part of my game so I might as well try and give them a chance off the fairway.I can hit the ball a long way when I catch it right. I'm one of those chaps who likes hitting balls over the back netting at the range. However I don't do it often as the necessary coil puts a huge amount of strain on my lower back and I don't do the conditioning work required to do this safely. I did once put the ball on the front of the green at the 18th at Cleeve Hill. 378 yards tee to centre of the green, but downhill all the way, wind howling behind me and a hard summer fairway. Naturally I three putted!

I play off 13 and I am roughly your 148 yards with my 9 iron.  This is not me bragging (i play off 13 for a reason) it just is the distances i hit.

Ian H I have no doubt about your 9 iron but am interested in why you play of 13 for a reason..? I can hit my 9 iron a similar distance but risk injury...!  but as all decent golfers will tell you you have to gain control and swing at a sensible repeatable pace which is why I am a 7 iron at around 150 yards.The amount of guys I see trying to smash the cover from a golf ball is beyond beleive while the sensible guys concentrate in presenting the club head to the ball in the correct manner. I have a mate I have nicknamed 'bigdog' because every hole apart from a par 3 he just pulls out the driver and smashes it then brags about putting it past me with my five wood.!He then says he would love to get to a single figure handicap but cannot understand why not...! Course management is very understated.

I also think we are missing another point, and that is arc length, so the boys with a bigger arc length do gain some distance (not a huge amount, but some!). Also these game improvement irons have strong lofts I think there is about a club difference sometimes between percieved players clubs.... I use a mixed  bag in that I have MX200 4 and 5 irons and the rest are MP52s but I think mine are quite nicely matched in or feel like they are.

i reckon my 13 comes from a couple pretty simple factors , i dont practise at all really or play often enough and my putting is woeful.

Willie - there is a difference between those that appear to be trying to smash the ball due to a fast tempo swing and those that are just out of control. Look at the way Tiger hits a driver (well, used to anyway).

They even use Smash Factor as a measure of ball hitting efficiency.

So looks can be deceiving. Base everything on results and that's a pretty good place to start.

I completely agree with you re the control and repeatability of a swing. There is no point being able to consistently put your 8 iron pin high if it's 20 yards either side of the flag. Especially if the guy you are playing is running his 7 iron onto the front of the green everytime. Unless you are the scramble king they you will be coming second.

I have to say I am a fan of Golf Magic as on many other forums threads started like this decend rapidly into insults!

Aces_up1504 wrote (see)

Although even the pro over estimate how far they hit it.At the USPGA, they where always going on about how far Dustin Johnson hits the ball. But the amount of times he was a club short on his approach shots was unreal.

100% agree with the above, the BBC team are guilty of this, they talked of DJ regularly putting the ball out there at over 200mph not even close and rather irritating for anyone that may (Fastest for the year at the time was 184mph) .They very rarely draw your attention to the crazy amounts of roll on PGA tour courses which probably skews perception of power and distance also. There is a lot of poor info on this, Creo has a good point when he suggests low handicappers are more realistic as they hit it closer more often so the 180 yard 7 iron (Because you did it once) coming up 25 yards short is less likely from a scratch player than a 20.GOLF IS DIFFICULT and hitting the ball hard is not that hard relatively with the big headed drivers, getting it in the hole is where the skill is.

Willie got it right in the OP. It's hilarious, annoying or just boring.

"But you can't assume those who claim to are mistaken or lying, unless you've seen them play."

You can, with 99% accuracy

7 iron = 150yds for me. Working up and down 10yds per club from that median suits me fine.May not be long but it's pretty much 150 everytime give or take 5 yds as opposed to the sem-pro "hammerers" who can hit an 8 iron 170yds but they can also hit it 110yds too (and frequently do).60yd shot dispersion for the occasional 170-er. Nah, I'll stick to being a shorty off the tee cheers.

bah and btw TP you have seen me play, once about 5 or 6 years ago!

Oh really? The username doesn't ring a bell to be honest, apologies, but I'll but you in the 1% bracket just in case you know where I live

i must be a muppethit 5 x 8 irons tonight which ended up in a nice tight group @ 168yds (gps measured)over the summer i hit over a dozen 300+ yd tee shots which were in the fairway and was safely averaging 270/280 most roundsi play off 14 but i am shocking from 100yds to 30yds from the green, something im working very hard on

cobra4 wrote (see)

hit 5 x 8 irons tonight which ended up in a nice tight group @ 168yds (gps measured)

Did they carry 185 yards and backspin or did they carry 140 yards and bounce the other 28???

Smufter 12 wrote (see)

cobra4 wrote (see)

hit 5 x 8 irons tonight which ended up in a nice tight group @ 168yds (gps measured)

Did they carry 185 yards and backspin or did they carry 140 yards and bounce the other 28???

dunnoit was pretty murky out there

cobra4 wrote (see)

i must be a muppethit 5 x 8 irons tonight which ended up in a nice tight group @ 168yds (gps measured)over the summer i hit over a dozen 300+ yd tee shots which were in the fairway and was safely averaging 270/280 most roundsi play off 14 but i am shocking from 100yds to 30yds from the green, something im working very hard on

Agree - You are a muppet,  if I had the ability to hit those distances as accurate as you and I play from 6 then I would easy take a minimum of two from my handicap..! Minimum Best get your short game sorted and you handicap will soar down or just keep bombing away and tell us your average 'drive' if that floats you boat. You know 8 iron average 168  and driver 270 -280 average with 300 + on occasions is very good, well done. However, I guess you would rather be a lower handicap player and hitting 8 irons in a nice tight dispersion 168 is damm good. Course management - Hit your tee shots ( not your driver ) to leave you 168 yards and then just slap your 8 iron on the green ... Handicap reduced...?

cobra4 wrote (see)

over the summer i hit over a dozen 300+ yd tee shots which were in the fairway and was safely averaging 270/280 most rounds

Oh come on! This is exactly what the OP was talking about. I have little doubt you can hit the odd ball over 300 yards, and maybe even regularly drive it 270/280, but to say you have safely averaged those distances puts you only 30 yards behind Bubba Watson's PGA Tour average last year.

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