Golf Club Distance Calculator
There aren’t many better feelings in golf than smashing the ball straight down the fairway with your driver. Even better if you manage to knock it past your playing companions!
I’ve put together a simple swing speed distance calculator to give you an idea of your yardages for each club based on your swing speed.
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Golf Club Distance Calculator
Enter your driver clubhead speed (or the clubhead speed you’d like) and click calculate to see the sort of carry distances you would be achieving with this golf distance calculator.
The distance shown assumes you are hitting the ball reasonably efficiently. If you aren’t then your carry yardage will be a little shorter than this.Driver Clubhead Speed in mph
|Club||Carry Distance (yards)|
Ball Speed Distance Calculator
If you happen to know your ball speed with your driver then divide it by 1.5 to get your driver clubhead speed to use in the calculator above.
This assumes you are striking the ball solidly. You could try dividing by 1.4 to give yourself a more realistic figure if you don’t strike the ball quite so well.
Ball To Swing Speed Calculator
If you happen to know your swing speed then you can calculate an approximate figure for your clubhead speed.
If you strike with maximum efficiency with your driver then your ball speed will be 1.5 times your club speed. So someone with a ball speed of 150 mph has a clubhead speed of around 100 mph.
Because of shaft length and other parameters the relationship between clubhead and ball speed reduces as you move down your set to higher lofted clubs.
For example, with a 6-iron a good smash factor might be 1.39 so if you could swing a 6-iron at 100 mph then your ball speed would be 139 mph.
That’s just one reason why Rory McIlroy carries his 6-iron as far as I carry my driver!
How Do I Hit The Ball Further?
The following factors will affect the actual distance you are actually able to achieve for your given clubhead speed.
Quality of Strike
Despite increasing driver head size, one of the most important aspects of achieving distance is striking the ball from the sweet spot.
Yes, the sweet spot on a 460cc driver will be much larger than you would have found 30 or 40 years ago on a persimmon driver but the effect is still the same.
If you can strike the ball consistently from the sweet spot then that will help you achieve your distance goals.
Although increasing use of launch monitors shows that in fact you probably want to strike the ball a fraction higher than the sweet spot. Also, a fraction towards the toe since this helps you get a reduced spin rate and a touch of draw.
For example, this data from Hot Stix Golf shows that hitting higher on the face can give you around 20 yards extra compared with a shot hit low on the face.
|Spin Rate (RPM)||Distance (Yards)|
|-0.5” below center||3,165||243|
|-0.25” below center||2,971||247|
|-0.0” center hit||2,564||254|
|+0.25” above center||2,098||260|
|+0.50” above center||1,862||264|
Angle of Attack
Launch monitors have shown that the best way to maximize distance with modern drivers and balls is to have an upward angle of attack off the tee.
Many amateurs will be hitting the ball with a downward blow, as you might with an iron. This will produce a lower launch angle and excessive spin both of which will hurt your total distance.
While you don’t want to eliminate backspin entirely you do need to avoid too much. How much is too much you may ask?
If you have more than 3000 rpm of backspin with your driver then you are getting into a range where it is too high. You need to make adjustments to your swing or equipment.
Sidespin will also rob you of distance. If you are striking the ball such that you generate fade spin then that will tend to land softer than a ball hit with draw-spin. You will tend to get more run out from a draw than a fade.
Probably won’t have as much of an effect as you may think. If you’re using a ball on the conforming list of golf balls from the USGA/R&A then I doubt you’ll see more than a few yards difference with the majority of them.
There are some balls available that aren’t on the conforming list which might give you some extra distance. If you can’t use them in a competition then there is probably not much point!
Here are a couple of well-known non-conforming balls that you could try just for fun or to wind up your mates!
Having the wrong driver flex, kick point or grip size could all affect your ability to achieve greater distance.
Someone with an 85 mph driver swing is probably not going to reap many benefits from trying to swing a driver with a tour stiff shaft. Conversely, someone with a 115 mph swing is likely to struggle with regular flex shafts.
It is also important to have the correct loft on your driver to maximize your distance. A large number of amateur golfers have a driver with insufficient loft. This means they will struggle to launch the ball at the correct angle.
Lighter shafts will often lead to a few extra m.p.h of clubhead speed although you may find that you can’t “feel” lighter shafts as well as heavier ones.
The same issues apply to all your clubs. Having the correct shaft, loft, et cetera is important if you are going to maximize your distance.
If you’ve ever played at a significant altitude or have watched events played at altitude you should realize how much it can affect distance.
You could be looking at an improvement of around 10% on your normal yardages depending on exactly how high an altitude you are playing at.
The weather will also affect the distance the ball travels in two significant ways:
- Wind – shots into the wind won’t go as far, downwind shots will usually go further
- Temperature – The ball simply will not react the same at 0°C as it would at 20°C and distance is reduced
The most important component, although it can be quite difficult to improve.
There are many factors that will affect your swing speed including:
Taller players, in general, should generate greater club speed because of their longer levers.
Being able to make as full a shoulder turn as possible is going to directly impact the speed at which you swing the club. Leading to generally faster swings.
Player Fitness and Strength
Fitter and stronger players should again be able to achieve greater distance due to their ability to swing faster.
Players that have a poor grip, or bad synchronization are going to struggle to maximize their distance.
One way that has proved to be successful for many golfers is the use of some sort of speed stick to train the body to swing faster.
Golf Club Distance Calculator: Conclusion
The calculator should show you what is achievable for your given clubhead speed. If you’re not achieving those sorts of distances on the course then you may need to address some of the points mentioned above.
If you’re really committed to improving your clubhead speed then you will need to seek out some in-person lessons. A qualified pro can help to sort out any technical inefficiencies in your swing.
A switched-on modern professional should also be able to point you in the right direction with regard to fitness or flexibility.
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Other Golf Calculators
Want to work out your handicap? Here is a free golf handicap calculator.
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
What are Average Swing Speeds?
Here are typical swing speeds for different types of golfers.
|Player Type||Clubhead Speed (mph)|
|Long Driving Specialists||135|
|Elite Male Amateur (eg +5 handicap)||110|
|Male Amateurs (15 handicap)||90|
What are Average Golf Club Distances?
The golf club distance chart below lists some typical distances for each club for an ‘average’ amateur and for PGA and LPGA players.
If you would like to know how far different types of players manage to hit their driver then this guide to driver distance by age and handicap might interest you.
|Club||Male Amateur (90 mph)||Female Amateur (65 mph)||LPGA Tour||PGA Tour|