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Average Driver Distance By Age (And How To Improve It)

The tee shot is the most important shot in golf, perhaps aside from the putt.

The drive has come to dominate the modern game in the wake of Tiger Woods and the dominance his early driving distance exhibited over courses, tournaments, and other golfers.

It’s an immovable fact that a drive that goes further massively improves your chances of hitting the par on a hole.

Driving is a confluence of technique and athleticism, meaning there is a huge amount of variance in driving distance according to various factors, with age being one of the most telling outside of handicap.

Beginners and even mid-handicap players will often wonder why their maximum driving distance is so much lower than other players, and agonize over how to increase this distance to knock strokes off their handicap.

In this guide, we’re going to look at just how much of an impact age can have on driving distance averages.

We’ll also see how much of a role handicap plays before taking a look at how you can immediately improve your driving distances and start chipping strokes off your next rounds.


What Is The Overall Average Driver Distance Across All Ages?

The overall driver distance across all ages is around 219 yards.

This may sound low, but it’s important to remember that most average golfers will struggle to get anywhere near the 300-yard mark, even after years of play, and as golfers age, swing speeds decrease considerably, which has a huge effect on driving distance in particular.

Typically younger players have a higher average distance, and this distance decreases by around 10 or so yards every decade as players slow down their swing speeds and start to lose athleticism.

However it’s important to note that this is simply the work of averages and statistics, and there are tons of players who drive considerable distances even into their 50’s.

Don’t write yourself off or hold yourself back, as it’s entirely possible to hit well above your average depending on your own personal athleticism and technique.

“How far should the average golfer hit it? (By Age, Gender, Handicap + Swingspeed!)” by Golfing Focus on YouTube.

Average Driver Distance Age 20-30

In the 20-30 age bracket, the average driver distance is 238 yards.

This is the highest average among all the age brackets and indicates just how important the relationship between age and swing speed is, as players are much more likely to be able to swing faster at this age bracket.

Man smashing a fairway shot with his Driver at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in summer.
“Man smashing a fairway shot with his Driver at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in summer”. Image source: Andrew Rice

Average Driver Distance Age 30-40

In the middle age bracket, the average driver distance is 231 yards, some 7 yards shorter than the younger age bracket.

This starts to indicate that swing speed may slow slightly, but that the difference isn’t too significant and other variables and factors can play a huge role in limiting any loss of driver distance for a lot of players with good technique and athleticism.

Many professional players are in this age category and they regularly hit 250 yards or more, so age is definitely not a limiting factor at this point.

Average Driver Distance Age 40-50

The average driver distance in this age range is some 220 yards, which is very close to the all-age average distance, making it a true middle ground in terms of tee shot performance.

220 yards is a respectable driver and if straight and accurate this is a sound distance to work with at most courses.

The difference between this distance and the prior age range is 11 yards, a marked loss in the distance that indicates swing speed starting to slow more significantly, and indicating a much slower swing speed than the youngest age bracket.

Average Driver Distance Age 50-60

In the 50 to 60 age bracket, the average driving distance is 211 yards, some 9 yards shorter than the prior age category, again indicating a fairly consistent drop in distance and swing speed as athleticism continues to decrease with age.

At this point, the average is considerably below the lowest age category indicating that most golfers will see a larger drop in performance between their youth and more senior years.

Average Driver Distance Age 60+

Finally, we have the senior age range of 60+ with the lowest average driver distance of 196 yards.

Considerably less than the average for younger players and some 15 yards less than the next youngest category, indicating just how important swing speed is to distance.


Averages Based On Handicap

The average driving distance for a player with a handicap of 5 or less is 250 yards, which may not sound anything like what professionals hit, but it’s considerable for amateur players who aren’t at the very highest level of play.

TaylorMade M3 Driver
TaylorMade M3 Driver

For 5 to 10 handicap players, the distance is around 231 yards, which is quite close to the average for most players regardless of age, showing just how solid this sort of distance really is.

For mid handicappers at 10 to 19, the average distance is 215 yards off the tee, which is lower than the all-age average but still pretty close to it, indicating that even mid-handicappers may not get close to the 250-yard mark.

Finally, for high handicappers at the 19 to 28 mark, the distance is 195 yards, indicating that a lot of work needs to be done on technique to unlock the sort of yardage that most players will be hitting at the higher handicaps.

For handicappers at 28 or more the average distance is 177 yards, which means that you’re likely still a beginner or have a lot of work to do to improve your technique and athleticism for golfing.

Average Distance by Handicap

Handicap of 5 or less

250 yards

Handicap of 5 to 10

231 yards

Handicap of 10 to 19

215 yards

Handicap of 19 to 28

195 yards


How To Improve

In this section, we’re going to look at how to improve your driving distance to start improving your position on the fairway and your overall scores with every round.

“How to hit golf driver long & straight” by Rick Shields Golf

Aim For The Fairway

First and foremost, accuracy is the key to a quality tee shot.

While distance is important and can be impressive, it will land you in more trouble than necessary and provide marginal improvements to your score at an amateur level.

Instead, focus on getting the ball into a good position to get to the green cleanly, aiming to land in the center of the fairway.

It can be a massive help to slow down your swing speed to ensure your shots are straight enough to reliably land on the fairway, and you can also even try using smaller clubs such as woods or hybrids instead of a driver to help focus on technique and accuracy over getting the maximum distance possible.

Focus On Contact

If you are struggling for accuracy, it’s likely that your contact with the ball is inconsistent or incorrect.

Tee shots need to make clean contact with the ball and ideally, the face of the driver needs to hit the ball head-on and squarely to keep the ball moving in a straight line and avoid the dreaded fade or draw that can land your ball in the rough, in the drink or in the sand.

If you’re unsure about this, try spraying a little foot spray or powder onto the face of your club and hitting a drive as you normally would.

The mark that the ball leaves on the clubface and spray will show you where you’re making contact with the ball, and why your shots may be going wildly off track.

Getting consistency here is key to unlocking the accuracy and distance you need.

Use A Better Golf Ball

Another key tip to unlocking extra driving distance is to use a good golf ball!

Most beginner balls and range balls will be a single layer or double layer balls with a relatively simple design that doesn’t give you the maximum distance possible.

Upgrading your main balls to something like a Titleist Pro V1 will add considerable distance and consistency to your drive as the ball uses a high-quality three layer design.

Our Top Pick
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09/25/2022 12:10 am GMT
Editors Choice
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09/25/2022 12:30 am GMT
Best Value
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Use A Full Size Driver

If you’re able to, using a full-size 460c driver will give you a considerable boost to your distance as well as allow you to achieve this without needing to swing quite as hard.

This type of driver is the heaviest and biggest that is allowed in competitive golf, and while there are larger drivers that can give you even more distance, these clubs aren’t legal and can’t be used for competitive play.

Editors Choice
Cobra Golf F-Max

Cobra Golf F-Max

Pros:
  • You can select between two different flexes and loft angles to get a club that works for you
  • Weighted heel for more control over your shots
  • Lightweight design makes faster swings easier to execute
Cons:
  • Doesn’t come with a protective cover for the head
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Our Top Pick
PGX Offset

PGX Offset

$53.53
Pros:
  • Offset head with anti-slice technology to prevent your ball veering to the right
  • Large sweet spots help you hit straight shots every time
  • Stylish black and green aesthetic
  • Comes with a head cover to protect your club from scratches
Cons:
  • Not the most durable
  • The left-handed version of this club costs double the price of the right-handed one
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09/25/2022 12:11 am GMT
Best Value
PING G425 Max

PING G425 Max

Pros:
  • Tungsten weight in the heel that can be adjusted to alter the center of gravity
  • Highly customizable
  • This driver has a very high MOI for reducing twist
Cons:
  • The wide range of shafts may make it difficult for amateurs to choose the right one for them
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Frequently Asked Questons about Average Driver Distance

What is the average driver distance if you are 20-30 years old?

In the 20-30 age bracket, the average driver distance is 238 yards.

What is the average driver distance if you are 30-40 years old?

For 30-40 year olds, the average driver distance is 231 yards.

What is the average driver distance if you are 40-50 years old?

The average driver distance in this age range is around 220 yards.

What is the top thing to think about to improve my driver distance?

First and foremost, accuracy is the key to a quality tee shot. You can also use better golf balls, or use a full size driver.

By Naomi Hagen

Hi! I'm Naomi Hagen, the Lead Editor of Golftlink. Me and Andrew met during a casual game of golf at Seminole in Florida. I've got a hcp of 5, one of my key achievements in life apart from raising four beautiful children (one is a scratch golfer!). I live with my family outside Florida and absolutely love the game of golf.