How Far Does an Average Golfer Drive the Ball?

The oldest question in golf: just how far can you drive the ball when you need to and how does it stack up? Check out just where the average lies for both amateurs and the pros.

Ask any golfer to guess what the average drive is and you'll get just as many answers. Anyone who is an avid watcher of the PGA Tour will probably tell you something incredible like well over 300 yards, but of course for the rest of us mere mortals the truth is quite a bit lower. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it may be something to consider when you are trying to decide what aspect of your game needs the most improvement. Join us as we break down the average across handicaps and genders (as well as a sneak peak at where the pros actually drive.)

To start, let's have a look at the average drive across all handicaps according to the USGA's 2021 Distance Report:

Average drive for a male golfer across all handicaps

Average Distance (Yards)239.2 ± 2.7219.8 ± 1.8200.0 ± 2.5176.6 ± 6.8215.6 ± 1.4
Longest Drive (Yards)335.3317.0321.3266.5335.3
Driver Usage (%)84.5%88.6%89.3%96.7%88.2%
No. Shots207499375601141

So what's the magic number here? You might think the overall average of is 216 yards is pretty achievable, but keep in mind that for handicaps of 6-12, the average is still just barely above this at 220. If your handicap is at the higher end of spectrum, 200 yards is an entirely appropriate target to start with (remember, consistency is king.)

You may be wondering what the difference is here for women as opposed to men?

Average drive for a female golfer across all handicaps

Average Distance (Yards)196.7 ± 2.6177.5 ± 1.3155.0 ± 1.1141.5 ± 1.0119.8 ± 1.9147.9 ± 0.7
Longest Drive (Yards)261.5254.2255.6227.1207.1261.5
Driver Usage (%)97.4%96.1%97.1%98.0%94.8%96.9%
No. Shots763568199373252513
Average drive for women
Average drive across handicaps for women

Predictably perhaps, there is a decrease in the average drive for women golfers. In this case, 200 yards is not a great goal unless you have a truly excellent handicap - instead, we recommend starting with hitting 150 yards consistently and going from there.

But how does all of this compare to the big leagues - exactly what is the average for the PGA Tour pros? Advancements in technology for equipment and training - as well as the upward trend of improvements in skill and technique - have resulted in considerable increases over the years:

Pro Driving Distance
Just how much the pros have improved over the years

As you can see, even 30 years ago, the average in the 1980s was a more than respectable 255 yards before climbing to an absolutely gargantuan 295 yards in 2020. Of course, we would expect no less from legends such as Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllroy, but it just goes to show just how impressive your results can be when you dedicate yourself to your passion.

And there you have it. We hope you found this glimpse into drive ranges informative but remember - comparing yourself to the best won't improve your results unless it inspires you to keep training. If you found this information helpful, you might be interested in our recommendation for drivers that will help you improve the distance of your drive.

Source: USGA 2021 Distance Report

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