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Distance In Golf, Real Or A Myth?

There is a lot of talk about how golfers are hitting the ball longer now. They even say golf courses are now too short, especially for PGA Tour Players. However, are golfers really hitting the ball further than they use to? The simple answer is yes but it has nothing to do with the golf swing or players bulking up.


I always get asked why I only hit my golf clubs certain distances or why do some amateurs hit their clubs further than me when I hit my driver the same distance or longer?



First, let me say a key to playing better golf is to not worry about distance or if someone hits the ball further with the same club. The truth is golfers are not hitting the ball any further than they used to 5 or 6 years ago. The equipment has changed and club lofts are much stronger. This is where the myth of distance comes into play. That is why I could care less that someone can hit their 8-iron the same distance as my 7-iron. The loft is the same if not lower in most cases.


Here is a look at my current Taylormade clubs vs the newer models.

Taylormade

R9TP

Year 2010

Taylormade

P-790

Year 2021

Iron #

Loft

Carry Distances

Loft

Potential Carry Distance

Distance Difference

3

21.5°

210

19°

220

+10 yards

4

24°

200

21°

211

+11 yards

5

28°

190

23.5°

203

+13 yards

6

32°

180

26.5°

193

+13 yards

7

36°

170

30.5°

183

+13 yards

8

40°

160

35°

173

+13 yards

9

44°

150

40°

160

+10 yards

Pitching Wedge

48°

140

45଀଀°

145

+5 yards

As you can see from the graph above all I need to do to increase my distance is to go buy new clubs. No swing changes or fitness program is needed.



Yes, some golfers will always hit the ball further than others but as you can see the reason is not the golf swing. If golf club manufacturers kept more traditional lofts there would not be a need for longer golf courses.


This trend of golf club loft getting stronger has also caused golfer issues in the scoring area of 100-yards and into the green. Because a Pitching Wedge loft is so strong now it leaves a big gap to a golfers wedges. If a golfer's next club is a 52° gap wedge, that is a 13° loft difference and results in a gap in distance of approximately 20-25 yards. The majority of amateur golfers end up losing strokes when they end up in this void yardage on the golf course.



There is a difference when it comes to gaining distance with the driver. Even with newer technology, most golfers do not see a distance increase off the tee even with the newer technology. However, the Driver swing is one thing that golfers can work on to increase distance but it is not the main reason. Yes, you can increase clubhead speed, angle of attack, or make other physical changes that may result in more distance but the main thing is having golf clubs fit for your swing. That means the proper shaft length, shaft flex, and clubhead loft all have to be set at the proper specs for your golf swing.


If you are worried about hitting the ball longer keep in mind two things. Stronger lofts most likely will also equal a lower ball flight than you are used to with the same number club. The other thing is the best way to hit the ball longer is to work on your swing mechanics. To do this go see a professional for a lesson or go see our friends at Club Champion for a club fitting.



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