What Does Carry Mean In Golf?

In this article, I’ll explore what ‘carry’ means, so whether you’re just getting started or have been playing for years, you can feel like part of the club!

What Does Carry Mean In Golf

Definition Of Carry Distance

Carry refers to how far a golfer can hit the ball with their club before it lands. It’s different from total distance, which is measured once the golf ball stops rolling. Carry distance might range between 50-300 yards depending on skill level and conditions!

The conditions created at launch will determine the amount of carry. The higher your clubhead speed the further the ball will go generally. The loft angle of the club and the spin you impart will also affect the carry distance of your shots.

Why Do You Need To Know Your Carry Distances?

Knowing how far you can carry the ball with each club is an important part of becoming a better golfer. If you need to clear a water hazard or bunker then you will need to know which clubs can get you to safety or which ones you can use to lay up short of trouble.

Avoiding obstacles is a happy knack to acquire on the golf course even if you don’t always hit your target.

If the greens are really firm then you might decide to play less club so that the ball lands at the front and then rolls out more than normal.

What Is The Difference Between Total And Carry Distance

If you are watching golf on TV you might hear the commentators say that such and such a player has just hit the ball 350 yards off the tee. They will almost always be referring to the total distance hit – carry and roll. On firm, fast fairways, you could easily see 50 yards of run with your driver. Knowing your likely total distance is as important as knowing your carry with each club. It’s no good hitting driver off the tee if it will run into the stream that cuts across the fairway!

Effect Of Weather Conditions On Carry

How far a golf ball is able to travel through the air can be greatly affected by the weather. A tailwind or headwind can greatly affect how far the ball flies even crosswinds will have an impact. Air temperature and humidity can also have an effect on how the ball performs. Playing at altitude will also increase the distance the ball will travel due to the thinner air.

Being able to judge the effect of the environmental conditions on your shots is another aspect of golf that you will need to master. A good rule of thumb is that for every 10 mph of windspeed, you will need one more/less club.

If you are playing on a windy day then you may decide to reduce the time the ball is in the air by playing punch shots that fly lower and are less affected by the wind. These will usually fly a little shorter but may run out more.

Effect Of Uphill And Downhill Shots On Carry

When most people talk about carry they are referring to “flat carry”. The distance the ball will fly assuming there is no change in height between the player and target.

If you are playing a shot uphill then your shot won’t carry as far but might roll out a bit more. Downhill shots will probably carry a bit further but roll out less.

How much of an effect will depend on your launch conditions to some extent.

Factors Influencing Driving Distance

Modern golf is all about the drive. How far you hit your golf ball off the tee box, can make or break your game, particularly for tour players. That’s why it’s important to understand what factors influence driving distance on a golf course.

The most important factor in determining driving distance is the technique of the golfer. This will greatly determine their clubhead speed and quality of strike.  These are going to be the two biggest factors that will affect your carry distance with any club.

By using launch monitors like TrackMan you can get instant feedback on your launch conditions so you can learn to optimize your launch angle and spin rate to maximize carry for your swing speed.

Average Golf Club Yardage

Typical amateur golfers will probably be able to carry their driver around 225 yards with a seven iron going around the 140 mark. Players with faster swings and better technique will achieve much better results.

Players on the PGA tour will probably average nearer 300 yards from the tee and will probably be looking at around 180 yards or more with a seven-iron. LPGA Tour players are often better role models for male amateur golfers as most of them don’t have the power to dominate a course they have to rely on timing and technique to generate distance.

What Does Carry Mean In Golf: Conclusion

In golf, carry distance is the total distance a ball travels through the air before it hits the ground.

It’s important to know how far you can hit your shots and calculate your average club distances.

Conditions such as wind, temperature, altitude and humidity can also affect carry distance.

Make sure you work out how far you can carry the ball with your clubs!

Want to know how to hit the ball further?

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

How far should I carry my driver?

How far you can carry your driver will depend on your clubhead speed, launch angle, spin rate and where you strike on the face. A male 18-handicapper might carry the ball around 200 yards, a single figure golfer would be nearer 225 yards and a scratch golfer would probably hit their driver nearer 250 yards.

What Is The Difference Between Carry And Total In Golf?

Carry is the distance the ball travels through the air. Total distance is the carry plus any roll.

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