When writing this newsletter, I make some basic assumptions. First is that the majority of readers are baby boomers, born roughly between 1946 and 1964. Second is that you love to play golf. Third is that you want to be a better golfer than you are now. And fourth is that the majority of you–not all, but the majority–are male.
The PGA Tour is great, but...
Very few of us can relate to the game that the PGA Tour players play. Cameron Champ hits a 7-iron 220 yards. As in, t w o h u n d r e d t w e n t y. When you say it slowly, it sounds even longer.
The average PGA Touring pro has a driver carry of 285 yards. That average includes the Tim Herrons, Zac Blairs and K.J. Choi’s of the world as well as the Dustin Johnsons and Brooks Koepkas. So even K.J., who averages around 260 carry and 275 total, still hits it miles past me, and probably you. And the only way I could relate to what Cameron Champ and DJ do is if I was hitting a super ball off the tee.
The LPGA Plays a Game We Can Relate To
Golf magazine contacted the Trackman company to get the averages of how far both the PGA and LPGA tour players hit each club in their bag. These are carry distances, so total distance will be more, especially for a driver. Still, the numbers are interesting.
Before I go there, let’s talk about the length of the courses the women play.
They just finished the Hugel-Air Primea LA Open at Wilshire Country Club in California. The course played at 6,450 yards. The previous week, the Lotte Championship in Oahu was played at the Ko Olina Golf Club at a distance of 6,397.
Most of the time, when I am playing, I try to play a course that is around 6,200 yards. Sometimes that means I play from the white tees, sometimes from a more forward set and sometimes from a set further back. But regardless, I’ve played plenty of courses at 6,400 yards. I can relate to a 6,400 course.
Now, back to the club distances.
If I were to ask you how far the average LPGA touring pro hits her driver, what would you answer be? Sure, there are the Brooke Hendersons and Lexi Thompsons who bomb it out there at 280 yards. But there are the Mo Martins and Juli Inksters who don’t.
According to the Trackman stats published by Golf, the average driver carry distance by an LPGA professional is…
Again, that is carry distance, so the total distance would be more, but 218 is probably a very comparable number to what you hit it.
Other club carry distances include 5-iron at 161 yards, and pitching wedge at 107 yards. You can see the complete chart at the end of this article.
There are a lot of other data points here also. For example the average attack angle for the women is 3 degrees for the driver, but negative, or down angles for all other clubs, which makes sense.
Clubhead speed is another similarity to our games. A 94 mph clubhead speed for a driver is something many of us can achieve even now.
So- next time you are watching golf, pay attention to the LPGA tour. Listen when Jerry Foltz says how far Jessica Korda has for her next shot, and what club she is hitting. You will learn it has a lot more in common with your game than you might have thought.
Thanks as always for reading, and enjoy Shooting Your Age!