There’s something I see every time that I go to the golf course: players leaving driving distance on the table. Whether it’s drives that balloon into the sky from too much spin or bullets that launch at 5 degrees, the average player has the potential to hit their drives much farther than they do. It led me to ask two questions: How much distance is the average player losing? How much can club fitting help?
Together with Club Champion, I was able to answer those questions.
Myth #1 – The average golfer can hit their driver much farther
Myth #2 – Club fitting will make golfers longer off the tee
Myth #3 – Club fitting will make golfers more accurate
How We Tested
Club Champion fits dozens of golfers every day. I randomly selected 25 golfers who had gone through full bag fittings and analyzed their data. I had access to the data they produced with their own clubs and with the clubs they were fit into.
Note: Because these fittings were randomly selected, some data points were missing. As a result, some of our statistics reflect a pool of 22 or 24 golfers, not 25.
Before I get into the data, let me clarify what we’re talking about. This is not meant as a hypothetical question wherein the average golfer trains like a PGA Tour pro and taps their inner Dustin Johnson. I simply looked at the current driver carry distances of our 24 golfers and compared that to the optimal distance they should carry their driver given their current club head speed.
Every golfer in our test was short of optimal, and 22 of 24 golfers are leaving over 10 yards of carry distance on the table. That means they’re consistently hitting one more club into the green than they need to be.
Ready for a more shocking stat? 17 of 24 golfers are missing out on 20 yards or more. 20 yards of carry not only changes the clubs you’re hitting into the green, it also changes the lines you can take off the tee.
I’m not done yet. 9 of 24 golfers, over 1 in 3, were over 40 yards short of optimal. 2 of our golfers were over 70 yards short of optimal. 70 yards! These players were carrying their drivers around 150 yards when they should be bombing it 225!
On average, the 24 golfers in our study were missing out on 34 yards off the tee. If you want to stop reading now and book an appointment with a fitter, I’ll understand.
Every one of the 25 golfers in this study gained driving distance through club fitting. Every. Single. One. If you want to hit the ball farther off the tee, don’t just go to the store and buy the newest driver. Don’t buy some junk from an infomercial. Book a fitting.
Of the 25 players in the study, 16 gained over 10 yards and 6 gained over 20. 2 golfers gained over 40 yards off the tee! On average, players who got fit drove the ball over 16 yards farther.
One final note of interest: three of the golfers in this study were able to go beyond their optimal driving numbers because their new fitted club helped them to add club head speed.
Distance is great, but driving it farther OB is not the goal. Luckily, club fitting was shown to improve accuracy as well. 15 of 22 players improved their accuracy, and the group as a whole hit the ball over 5 yards closer to the center line.
Of the seven who did not improve their accuracy, two had marginal changes (1 and 2 yards), and another traded 6 yards of accuracy for 48 yards of distance. I can’t speak for everyone, but I’d make that trade every day of the week.
You know that one drive that you absolutely crushed, the one that went way longer than you expected? It wasn’t a fluke; it was your potential showing itself. If you’re like the golfers in our study, you’re leaving 10, 20, maybe even 40 yards of driving distance on the table. The best part is that you don’t have to work out or practice to tap into that distance. All you need to do is get fit.
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