From amateur players with a high handicap to tour players, all golfers aspire to hit their balls further, especially the driver! Having a long driver shot distance can greatly improve your chances of approaching the green with fewer shots. But exactly how far do pro golfers hit their driver?
The average driver distance of professional golfers will vary among men and women. Ideally, PGA tour players will reach a distance of around 285 to 320 yards, while LPGA tour players are expected to hit their drivers with an average of around 250 yards.
If you want to find out more about the drive distance of pros and amateurs as well as tips to improve your driver shot distance, keep on reading this guide!
How Far Do Professional Golfers Hit Their Driver?
The distance at which a professional hits their drive shots will vary depending on various aspects, such as skill level, technique, and more.
Ideally, when it comes to driver distances, the numbers have been steadily improving over the years, even among professionals, and there are various reasons behind that, such as
- The advancement in technology helps in making better golfing equipment, including golf clubs
- Using data and scientific research to improve swing techniques and strength training for a more powerful shot.
In fact, according to data from the official PGA website, the average PGA golfer’s driving distance has increased from 256.89 yards in 1980 to 273.18 yards in 2000!
Currently, an average pro golfer is expected to hit a driver distance of anywhere between 285 to 320 yards. The PGA average sits at around 295.3 yards in 2021, with expectations for driving distances to break the 300 yard barrier by 2024!
On the other hand, LPGA tour players have a relatively shorter driving distance that has also improved consistently throughout the years.
The average driving distance of LPGA tour players is around 250 yards, with some players hitting as short as 230 yards and others who hit as far as 270 yards.
What is the World Record for the Longest Drive?
The current Guinness world record for the longest drive that is officially recognized is achieved by Mike Austin in 1974 at the U.S. Senior National Open Qualifier.
The shot was taken with a steel shafted wood driver and reached a distance of 515 yards, with the help of 27 mph wind speed.
The longest unofficial drive in history, however, was achieved by Carl Cooper in the 1992 Texas Open, when his ball reached a drive distance of 787 yards, setting an all-time world record that is yet to be broken to this day.
How Far Do Average Amateurs Hit Their Driver?
When it comes to amateurs, the driver shot distance will vary significantly, depending on a wide variety of aspects.
In fact, some amateurs may reach further with their drives than PGA Tour players, but that’s extremely rare.
Ideally, the average amateur, across all ages and handicap ratings, will hit their drive to reach a distance of around 220 yards. So here’s a quick breakdown depending on various aspects:
Average Driving Distance by Handicap
The lower the player’s handicap, the better the player’s driving technique, and therefore, they’re capable of reaching further on their tee shot. Here’s the average driver shot distance for different handicap levels:
|Handicap||Approximate Drive Distance (Yards)|
|30 or higher||180 or less|
|20 to 28||195|
|10 to 19||215|
|5 to 9||230|
|Less than 5||250|
|Scratch||260 or more|
Average Driving Distance by Age
Different age groups will also perform differently when it comes to the drive shot distance, and this may have an impact on pro golfers as well. Here’s the estimated drive distance for different age groups with average handicap:
|Age (years old)||Approximate Drive Distance (Yards)|
|20 to 30||233|
|30 to 40||230|
|40 to 50||225|
|50 to 60||215|
|60 to 70||205|
Tips to Improve Your Drive Distance
As you can see, there are plenty of factors that can affect your average drive distance. Luckily, there are a few tips that can help you improve your yardage. Here’s a quick look at some of them:
Invest in Better Equipment
Golf is one of the sports where your gear can make a huge impact on your performance. If you’re using old clubs and golf balls, they might hinder your improvement speed and put you at a disadvantage.
By investing in higher quality equipment, you’ll enjoy some of the latest technology used in golf clubs to improve your accuracy and shot power, achieving longer distances on your drives.
Hit the Gym
Although golf is a non-contact sport, you should never underestimate the importance of physical fitness when it comes to swings.
Besides technique, the power of your swing comes from your core muscles, so make sure that you work out these muscles in the gym to gain more power on your shots.
Widen Your Drive Stance
The Drivers are the longest clubs and have the largest swing arc among all other clubs in your bag.
As you swing the club faster, having a wide base to counterbalance the driver force is crucial. Luckily, you can simply achieve that by widening your stance while driving a golf ball.
Center Your Shots
Kicking the ball with the center of the clubface gives the maximum forward trajectory, and therefore improves the distance dramatically.
This trick is used by many golf coaches. Simply spray the clubface with some foot or paint spray before driving.
This will leave a mark where the clubface made contact with the ball. This way, you can practice and adjust your shots so that you hit balls towards the center of your
This wraps it up for today’s guide about driver distances in golf and how far pro golfers can go when compared to amateurs.
As you can see, the drive distance of PGA golfers is remarkably higher when compared to average golfers.
Not only that, but players with low handicaps as well as players of prime age are able to hit their drivers almost 30 to 40% further.