How Far Should A Beginner Hit A Golf Ball

How far should a beginner hit a golf ball? As a beginner, it might be useful to know how far different types of golfers hit their clubs so you can see how you compare. When you first start out playing golf you may wonder whether you are hitting the ball far enough.

The whole golf industry is obsessed with distance and you will probably catch that bug!

If you don’t tend to play with too many different standards of player then you might not be too sure how you measure up. Let’s take a look at typical yardages for certain types of golfers and ways in which you could improve the distance that you hit each club.

How Far Should A Beginner Hit A Golf Ball

Golf Club Distance Chart

Here are some typical distances that you might expect players to achieve. These are carry yardages not total distance.

ClubMale Amateur (90 mph)Female Amateur (65 mph)LPGA TourPGA Tour
Driver222160246293
3-Wood196141195243
5-Wood186134185230
Hybrid181131225
3-Iron171124212
4-Iron163118169203
5-Iron155113161194
6-Iron146106152183
7-Iron137100141172
8-Iron12893130160
9-Iron11886119148
Pitching Wedge10979107136
Sand Wedge997296124
Golf club yardage chart

Why Does Distance Matter?

Mainly because if you can’t hit very far it is likely to limit the level of progress you are able to make. If your driver distance maxes out at 180 yards then it is going to make it quite difficult for you to get a handicap in single figures. You would need to be very accurate with your approach shots and have a pretty sharp short game to make up for your lack of distance off the tee.

Similarly, it is a lot easier to hit the green with a seven iron from 150 yards rather than having to use a four iron!

Why Do You Need To Know How Far You Can Hit The Ball?

If you know your yardages then you can plan your shots accordingly. If you need to clear a greenside bunker then you need to know which clubs in your bag will actually do the job. Knowing how far you can hit each club is an important part of improving your golf.

It’s also important to know your average distance with your clubs. Do you really carry your seven iron 150 yards almost every time or do you only really do it one time in 10?

How Do PGA Tour Professionals Hit The Ball So Far?

The main reason Tour Professionals can hit the ball prodigious distances is the high swing speed that they are able to create. They have honed their golf swing over thousands of hours of practice to be as repeatable as possible. Elite players have a much more functional impact than the majority of amateur golfers. They are able to find the sweet spot with regularity and use technology to its full benefit to analyze their faults.

Most pros work on improving their fitness and flexibility to maximize their clubhead speed. This means they can propel the ball sort of distances that most average players can only dream of.

How Does Swing Speed Affect Distance?

Assuming that the strike and swing path remain consistent then your swing speed will have a direct impact on how far you can hit the golf ball. With a driver, every 1 mph of extra club head speed equates to up to 1.5 mph of additional ball speed.

Every mph of ball speed will add around 2 yards of extra carry to your driver. So adding around 6-7 mph of clubhead speed should give you 15-20 extra yards off the tee.

If you know your club head speed then this calculator will give you a guide to how far you could hit each golf club.

How Does The Quality Of Strike Affect Distance?

Club manufacturers have become a lot better at reducing the amount of distance you lose when you don’t connect with the sweet spot. Despite this, you will still see a drop-off in carry distance if you strike the ball toward the heel or toe of the club. The same applies if you strike the ball low on the face.

Spin Rate (RPM)Distance (Yards)
-0.5” below center3,165243
-0.25” below center2,971247
-0.0” center hit2,564254
+0.25” above center2,098260
+0.50” above center1,862264
How strike affects distance

Does The Ball Affect Distance?

Yes, the ball does have an effect on how far you will hit your golf clubs. Older balls will not react the same as new ones.

Using balls you found in the bushes is likely to cost you a few yards. Using the wrong type of ball for your swing could also cost you both distance and accuracy.

If you already generate plenty of spin then using a really spinny ball is likely to make it balloon and cost you some distance. On the other hand, if you don’t generate a lot of spin and use a low compression, low spin ball then the ball is unlikely to fly as far as it could.

Try to be consistent with the balls you are using. This will allow you to learn how the ball reacts to your game in different situations.

Female beginner golfer
Female beginner golfer

What Is A Good Drive For A Beginner?

A lot depends on the physical abilities of the golfer. You wouldn’t expect a 70-year-old lady to hit the golf ball as far as a 30-year-old man for example. Depending on your swing speed and quality of strike you could use the distances below as a guide.

ClubMale Amateur (90 mph)Female Amateur (65 mph)
Driver222160
3-Wood196141
5-Wood186134
Hybrid181131
3-Iron171124
4-Iron163118
5-Iron155113
6-Iron146106
7-Iron137100
8-Iron12893
9-Iron11886
Pitching Wedge10979
Sand Wedge9972
Golf club yardage chart

What Is The Best Driver For A Beginner?

The majority of drivers these days are extremely forgiving so you probably wouldn’t notice massive differences between any of the established brands. If you’re looking to spend a lot of money on a driver then make sure you get custom fit so you have the best chance of profiting from your investment.

I think one of the most overlooked aspects when buying clubs is how the club looks and feels to the golfer. If the club inspires confidence then you are more likely to make a good swing and achieve a positive result. If you don’t like the look of a club then you are unlikely to be successful with it.

The Ping G425 Max driver is an excellent choice if you can afford the price tag. The PXG 0211 driver offers a great package at a more affordable price point. You could also look at some of the second-hand options on eBay or specialist golf retailers if you have a good idea of the specifications you require in terms of loft and driver flex.

Bear in mind that most average golfers don’t have enough loft on their drivers. Unless you have a high swing speed you want to have at least 10.5° of loft.

Picking a new driver is tricky so have a look at this guide.

Simple Ways To Hit The Ball Further

The best way of increasing the distance you hit is to improve the quality of strike. Use impact tape on your clubface or spray on shoe deodorant so you can clearly see where on the face you are connecting with the ball. Work on getting the clubface as square as possible at impact since this transfers maximum energy through to the golf ball.

With your driver try to strike the ball on an upward path so tee the ball up a little higher so you can catch the ball on the upswing.

When playing from the fairway you need to catch the ball with a slightly descending blow so work on impacting the ground just after the ball.

Make sure that your swing path comes from a little inside the ball rather than outside as this helps promote better contact.

You need to de-loft the clubs at impact to “compress” the golf ball and achieve a high-efficiency impact.

Once you have improved your ball striking you could try working on your speed. Try to work on your strength and flexibility. You could try speed drills using speed sticks type training aids.

How Far Should A Beginner Hit A Golf Ball: Conclusion

Hopefully, you now have a clear understanding of why you need to know your distances and why it’s important that you are able to hit a reasonable distance.

If you’re not currently hitting the ball that far then it will almost certainly limit your chances of lowering your handicap significantly.

Work on your strike and then your swing speed.

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