Tag Archives: driving distance

By Paul Myers

We all can get nervous on the golf course – it is nothing to be ashamed of. Whether you are playing in a big tournament of just a weekend round with your friends, it is not uncommon to feel some nerves as you try to play your best. In fact, feeling that nervous energy can be addicting, and is one of the things that keeps some golfers coming back time after time. While you may think about nerves coming into play when you face a short putt or delicate chip shot, they can actually affect your full swing just as much. If you are feeling the nerves before a particular tee shot, expect that your driving distance can be negatively affected as a result.

Why Do Nerves Cost You Yards?

There is an important difference between adrenaline and nerves. When your adrenaline is flowing, you can actually increase your swing speed and potentially hit the ball farther. However, nerves can cause you to tighten up, engage opposing muscles, and swing slower as a result. A good, powerful golf swing is one that is relaxed and flowing – and that is the opposite of what you may produce when you are nervous.

It would be bad enough it the nerves only cost you a few yards off the tee, but they will likely cost you accuracy as well. Your technique tends to suffer when you tighten up before hitting a shot, and the results can be ugly. In order to play your best no matter the circumstance, it will help to learn how to manage the nerves effectively.

A Fixable Problem

You don’t have to just accept the fact that you will hit shorter drives when you get nervous. One thing you can do is get your mind off of the round or tournament as a whole, and onto the shot at hand. When you break it down into just a single shot, the task can start to feel much more manageable. Take a look down the fairway and picture a shot that you are confident in hitting landing right in the middle of the short grass. A positive mental image can be a great way to prepare for the shot.

Another way to conquer your nerves is to simply make yourself nervous more often. Enter more tournaments. Play more competitive rounds with your friends. The more you put yourself in the position to feel nervous, the better you will understand how your body responds and what you can do about it. As the experience starts to accumulate, you will feel less nervous because you have ‘been there, done that’. Soon it will become clear that you are capable of hitting good shots even when you are nervous – and that confidence will only lead to more and more good shots.

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Use the tool below to find out a.) how fast your swing speed should be and b.) how fast you COULD swing it soon:



…based on gender, age, handicap and average driving distance? Use this tool to find out:

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By Paul Myers

In general, the distance that you are going to be able to get out of your tee shots is up to you. You are the one swinging the club, and you are the one giving the power to the shot. If you are able to unload with a fast golf swing speed and make good contact with the ball, you should be able to get a nice, long drive as a result. If you don’t have much golf swing speed, or you make poor contact, you can expect less than stellar results.

However, there is a little bit more to it than that. In order to maximize the return you get from your golf swing speed, you need to have the right golf club shaft length in your driver. Think about it like the engine of a car. If you had a beautiful new sports car ready for a spin around the race track, but swapped out the engine for one from a little economy hatchback, you won’t go very fast at all around the track. Even though you are driving a sports car, all of the power has been stripped away.

The Heart of Your Driver

In much the same way, the golf club shaft in your driver could be considered the engine that drives you down the fairway. You might have a great club head that is used by some of the best golfers in the world, but if you don’t have the right golf club shaft length, it will all be wasted and your drives will fall short of their potential.

It is important to understand that the ‘right golf club shaft length’ doesn’t have to be expensive, or even customized at all. It could be the stock shaft that come with the club right off the rack. The important thing is that it works for your game, and for your swing. One shaft might be perfectly suited to hit long drives for another golfer, but could perform poorly with your swing. Only when the right combination of swing and golf club shaft is found can maximum distance be achieved.

It’s All about Flex

One difference from one golf shaft to another is the flex of the steel or graphite itself. Sure, there are other factors like weight, kick point, and more, but flex is one that has a big impact on the results of the shot. When you have the right flex in the shaft in your driver for your specific swing, impressive results quickly become possible.

With the wrong flex in your club, all sorts of bad results can creep into play. Consider the two possible problems below –

  • Shaft too stiff. If you are swinging a club that is too stiff for you to bend as you come down into the ball, you are likely to lose distance. In order to maximize distance, the shaft needs to ‘load’ and ‘unload’ into the ball. When the shaft is too stiff for you to really load it up on the downswing, there won’t be much energy stored up to release, and your shots will fly shorter than they should. Also, you might find that you push the ball frequently as well, since the club isn’t releasing aggressively through the ball.
  • Shaft too soft. Conversely, a shaft that is too soft may be difficult for you to control, and could lead to shots that fly all over the course. Additionally, swings made with a shaft that is too weak for your swing will frequently fly very high – higher than you want from a driver. What you are left with are drives that are hard to control and don’t go very far – not a good combination.

Getting it Just Right

To make sure you are swinging the right shaft for your personal swing and ability level, work with a professional club fitter who can analyze your swing and make recommendations as to which shafts would be right for you. While you will likely have to pay for a session with a club fitter, many will reimburse the fee if you wind up purchasing a new club from their shop. A club fitting may only take around an hour to complete, but can lead to some of the best drives of your life.


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How far should you be driving it, based on gender, age, handicap and average driving distance? Use this tool to find out:

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by Jaacob Bowden

When it comes to hitting the ball off the tee, remember to take driving distances with a grain of salt.  You might be only averaging 210 yards (190 m) per drive at one course…and you hear of a friend that tells you he’s averaging 250 yards (227 m) per drive at his home course.  However, when you play each other on the same course – you hit the same distance.  What gives?  You might think your friend is not telling you the truth about his distances…however, when you take in to consideration the various playing conditions of different courses around the country (and world), you might discover that your friend is actually being completely honest.

Take a look at the average driving distances by tournament his year so far on the PGA TOUR and you’ll see what I mean:

Mercedes-Benz Championship    252 (228 m)
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am    268 (243 m)
PODS Championship    271 (246 m)
Verizon Hertiage    276 (250 m)
Buick Invitational    277 (251 m)
Zurich Classic of New Orleans    279 (253 m)
Honda Classic    281 (255 m)
Arnold Palmer Invitational    282 (256 m)
AT&T Classic    283 (257 m)
The Players Championship    285 (258 m)
EDS Byron Nelson     286 (259 m)
Shell Houston Open    290 (263 m)
Northern Trust Open    291 (264 m)
Bob Hope Chrysler Classic    292 (265 m)
FBR Open    293 (266 m)
Sony Open    295 (267 m)
Mayakoba Golf Classic    297 (269 m)
Wachovia Championship    297 (269 m)

Average = 283 (257 m)

If you play different courses, these differences are also useful to know for your iron play.  Granted that you know how far you hit your clubs, within a few good shots of the first time you play a new course, you should be able to tell for the rest of the round approximately how much to add or subtract for your average shot.  For example, if you regularly play TPC Scottsdale in Arizona and are planning a trip to play Pebble Beach in California, you should expect that your irons will go about 8-9% less at Pebble Beach.

Remember that this doesn’t only apply to courses in different cities.  Even within your local area, different courses play different distances.

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