Average Golfer Data

What the latest research reveals about average golfer driving distances


Arccos, the GPS-sensor shot-tracking app, released its own annual distance report on average golfers, and while it reveals much, its biggest nugget also might be its most obvious: The USGA and R&A don’t need to be rolling back the ball for average golfers any time soon.

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Source: Arccos Golf

According to the company, the latest report reflects 20 million driver shots and tracks distance performance by handicap, age and sex. Any way you look at the numbers, there doesn’t appear to be a compelling need for every course in the world to start adding tee boxes to lengthen their layouts—although they might want to be adding a few shorter tees.

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Source: Arccos Golf

The average male golfer’s driving distance was about 226 yards in 2022, about a yard-and-a-half more than it was in 2021 but half-a-yard short of what it was in 2018. The average female driving distance for Arccos users in 2022 was down to 177 yards, four yards lower than it was in 2020.

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Source: Arccos Golf

Among the other not-so-surprising-but-still-disheartening revelations: As you age, you get shorter (much shorter). Also, the lower your handicap the farther you hit it. According to the data, the average 12-handicapper loses 32 yards of distance between his 20s and his 60s, 40 yards between his 30s and his 70s. It’s even worse for scratch players. They lose 37 yards between their 30s and their 60s. (Unless, of course, their name is Bernhard Langer. He’s actually gained 5 yards.) Across all handicaps, the average decrease in driving distance from your 20s to your 70s is 23 percent, which for those in their 70s, is much better than a potential decline of 100 percent.

For handicaps, the differences were even more stark. Example: The average scratch player, regardless of age, was about 50 yards longer than the average 22-handicapper. The biggest jump came once you moved out of single-digit handicaps. The average for those with a handicap under 10 was about 250 yards, while those with handicaps in their teens, the average driving distance was around 218 yards.

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Source: Arccos Golf

One piece of comfort the aged can hold over the heads of the young bucks: The Arccos findings suggest that as you age you get more accurate. Across nearly every handicap, Arccos golfers in their 60s and 70s hit more than 50 percent of their fairways. Other than scratch players, not one age group or handicap level in their teens, 20s, 30s or 40s hit more than half their fairways.


Source: Arccos Golf

Among women in the Arccos survey, much of the same held true. Women in their 50s were about 30 yards shorter than women in their 20s across all handicaps. Across all ages, low single-digit handicap women were about 60 yards longer on average than women with handicaps in the high 20s. According to the USGA, the average handicap index for a woman golfer is 28.0.

While the average Arccos user may be slightly better than the typical average golfer, the Arccos data presents the most vivid portrait of the statistical state of the recreational game. The USGA and R&A’s annual distance report focuses on elite professionals, and while it included data on average golfers’ distances in the early years, it has not tracked that information since 2019. That year it was recorded as 215.6 yards (for male golfers), or 15.6 yards longer than it was in 1996. Those numbers are based on approximately 2,000 shots. Meanwhile, Arccos, which reportedly tracks 650 million shots, has seen average male driving distance settle between a high of 226.4 yards in 2018 and a low of 224.3 yards in 2021. The average of 225.9 for 2022 is 0.8 yards longer than the average over the preceding four years.