How far should you hit your golf driver is a question most golfers are seeking answers for. To answer it, you need to understand the three components of distance.
- Launch angle
- Ball speed
- Spin rate
With all these optimized, you’ll be able to find out how far your driver can hit the ball based on your swing speed.
But the short answer to this question is 250-270 yards for males and 210-230 yards for females. Those are average distances of above average players.
So if you want to break into the top 10% of golfers worldwide, increasing the distance you hit your driver is a start.
It can make the golf course shorter and easier, leaving more wedge and short iron shots, thus you’ll hit more greens and have more pars / birdie chances.
First, let’s talk about spin rate.
What is the Ideal Spin Rate for a Driver?
There is a general rule of thumb in golf that says if you have a lower golf club speed and ball speed, then you need to launch the ball higher with more spin to still achieve longer distances with the driver.
To give you an example, Trackman logged data from PGA Tour players and found their average swing produced vertical launch angle of 11.2 degrees with a spin rate of 2,685 rpm.
Dustin Johnson, for example, launches his golf ball high and with low spin helping him achieve long carry distances as well as roll out once the ball lands due to a lower back spin rate.
Ideally, aim for 2,400 to 2,800 rpm spin rate with your driver but everyone has a unique golf swing and should be fitted with a driver that achieves optimal performance of launch angle and spin based on their club speed they swing with.
Golf Swing Speed Limits
Now that we mentioned spin rates above as a contributing factor to driver distance, let’s talk about swing speed which is what has the biggest impact on how far you can hit your driver.
The more speed that one can produce with one’s spin rate, launch angle, and strike optimized, then the further the golf ball will fly.
Under normal conditions you’ll never carry a ball 300 yards with a clubhead speed of only 90 mph. Speed is the limiting factor and needs to be very high to achieve very long distances with your driver.
So, how far you can hit the ball when everything is optimized according to your swing speed?
The table below answers this question.
Note: The table is deduced from an estimated carry distance at sea level. With a different launch and spin, you are likely to get different total distances. The content is also optimal carry yardage.
Remember, these are the main components you want to focus on optimizing:
- Swing Speed
- Launch Angle
- Spin Rate
- Ball Speed
Swing speed can be increased by improving your swing mechanics. Taking swing lessons to learn how to twist the body on the turn back to build torque (leverage for power). Then learning how to start the down swing, shifting your weight and unwinding to produce a fast swing. The hands releasing the club into impact generating speed (from club head lag).
Launch angle can be adjusted by making tweaks to your driver head. There are different settings that allow you to adjust loft on the club to promote higher launching golf shots. Another method would be adjusting your swing so that you hit up on the ball with your drive, launching it higher.
Just like with launch angle, you can adjust equipment (your club) and swing mechanics to promote lower spin rates but an easier method might be to use golf balls made for lower spin rates. However, sacrificing spin rate to get longer tee shots could be countered when you face short game shots and need lots of spin around the green.
Ball speed is a factor of ball striking and contact between the club face and golf ball at impact. The better your contact is, the more speed is transferred to the golf ball. An optimal ball speed is 1.5X club speed. So if you analyze the chart above you’ll notice the ball speed is perfectly 1.5 X the club speed for all rows. This is known as “Smash Factor” if you work on a simulator like Trackman.
5 Tips to Hit the Golf Ball Farther
It is not easy to hit optimal launching drives (not too high and not too low). Chances are that you’re not hitting with optimal launch yet since not many golfers get it right unless they put more effort in and look at data.
Therefore, you should put more effort on improving launch conditions making this a focus of your golf practice for awhile and using a device like a swing monitor.
Majority of golfers including professionals hit sub-optimal shots. This is not a big problem to pro golfers since they have high swing speed and can easily escape still with long distances, but amateurs need some help.
A good launch monitor is the best device you can use to measure the club and ball interaction. This is a good way to help you know how close you are to the optimal and if by any chance you’re losing distance.
The device can tell you about the factors that contribute to your swing condition like how far you’re launching the ball and your swing speed.
With this information, you can quickly rectify any mistakes and improve your performance.
How to Become Optimal
You need learn how to increase your launch and ball speed and reduce your spin to get close to your optimal distance with your driver.
You will also need to improve your accuracy and consistency because of the lateral gear effect as a result of off-center hits. Track ball striking on a device or simulator like Trackman and look at the smash factor metric to see 1.5 x club speed as your optimal ball speed.
Increase Your Swing Speed
You need to improve your swing speed with a Superspeed golf training system. Over-weighted and under-weighted clubs will help you get an incredible amount of swing speed that will help you in your game hence improve distance.
A combination of Superspeed golf training system with an improved golfing technique will work wonders in improving the distance of your golf driver.
So How Far Should You Hit Your Driver?
You now understand that hitting your desired yardage with your driver will be a result of improving your swing speed and optimizing launch angle, spin rate, and ball speeds. The closer you can get your swing to achieving optimal numbers in these areas, the farther the ball will fly for your specific swing speed you hit a golf ball.
Rather than compare yourself to others, focus on improving your swing based around these factors. Not everyone is gifted with ability to generate 120 mph club speed. Work with what you have and optimize it to produce longer distances.
Golf Practice System for Lower Scores
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Nick Foy, Instructor