If you’re confused about the ‘Distance Report’ debate, here’s the skinny: One party believes the golf balls are going too far, thereby making historic golf courses (and scoring records) obsolete, while the other side thinks it’s all being overblown.
In 2003, the average drive was 285.9. In 2017, it stood at 292.5 – an increase of 6.6 yards or about a foot per year.
The PGA Tour and golf equipment makers are on the side of doing nothing. The historians and course designers are on the side of something needs to be done now (i.e. new golf balls). The USGA and R&A are sort of in between.
However, as Ian Poulter notes in his post you can’t analyze the topline numbers without looking at the details. If you compare say the top 50 players in the world today versus 2003, it’s night and day in terms of swing speed and technique, along with overall size and strength (and youth).
Players in that time period had to rely more on raw strength, whereas today, they all have access to all the science, conditioning, technology, and analytics to perfect their golf swing.
For example the LPGA has gained only 3 yards in 15 years, because the female golfer has generally stayed the same size, if not smaller with the influx of Asian players.
Very very interesting details that will be released later today by the R&A and USGA about the distance in golf. And how that has increased in the last number of years… read below to see what really has happened… What makes me laugh is certain manufacturers claiming there product on release goes 12 yards longer than the previous driver and then the next time a driver goes 10 yards longer than that one then 8 yards longer than old one……?????? marketing BS. I think this detailed analysis puts all of that nonsense to bed…. The facts are 2003-2016 club head speed has increased by 1.5 MPH which is about 5 yards of distance and distance has jumped 6.6 Yards… So that tells you why… 2016-2017 an increase of 2.5 yards now that is a gain but remember the average age on your is younger than it was in 2003. Players are taller than 2003, We are being fitted for the perfect launch conditions to maximize our potential, Guys are more athletic than 2003 which means guys are in better physical shape and able to hit the ball harder that’s why the distance’s has gone up… Most players on tour are working to increase club head speed to hit it further Just thought I would let you all know know… enjoy the read…