I have a young friend that I love to play golf with. Let’s call him Mark. He is immensely talented and plays off of scratch. I on the other hand am twenty years older, not nearly as talented and play off a handicap factor of 13.3. We have tons of fun, and have played all over the golf world. The distance between our drives is about 70 yards. We joke that you can build a Walmart parking lot in the space between them. I have seen him reduce many fine golf courses to pitch and putts. Bombing drivers and throwing lob wedges while we mortals are toiling with 4 woods and hybrids into greens. At times I have had the strong suspicion that this game of golf is much tougher for me than it is for my friend Mark.
Here is a comparison of how far we hit our clubs:
Driver – 220 yards
4W – 200 yards
7W – 185 yards
4 Hybrid – 175 yards
5 Hybrid – 165 yards
6 iron – 150 yards
7 iron – 140 yards
8 iron – 130 yards
9 iron – 120 yards
P Wedge – 110 yards
Gap Wedge – 100 yards
Driver – 290 yards
3 Wood – 260 yards
Hybrid – 230 yards
4 iron – 210 yards
5 iron – 200 yards
6 iron – 190 yards
7 iron – 180 yards
8 iron – 170 yards
9 iron – 160 yards
P wedge – 150 yards
Gap wedge – 140 yards
Quite a difference! Also he is a superior wedge player and putter and that is why he plays off scratch. Great player.
There has been much made recently of golfers playing off the tees that are suitable for their game. This speeds up play and makes the game more enjoyable for most mid and high handicaps, as they have a chance of getting on greens in regulation and hitting clubs with sufficient loft into greens to hold them. Moving forward a set of blocks is not without some trepidation for the male ego, but as you will see from my study, this in and of itself is only a minor equalizing factor in the game. In other words, distance supremacy by far is the single most devastating advantage a golfer can have in his arsenal. I could move up almost 2000 yards before Mark’s distance advantage was equalized.
COMPARISON – Your Everyday Golf Course From the Blue Tees, 6651 Yards
I thought it would be interesting to see what clubs I would have to use to get from tee to green, and then compare how long the hole would have to be if my friend Mark had to play the same clubs.
Taking chipping and putting out of the equation, I am working with a basic generalization that golf is easier tee to green if you have shorter clubs in your hand…
Hole 1: 454 yards – for me driver, 4 wood and then 34 yard pitch if Mark was to play this hole with driver, 3 wood and 34 yard pitch the hole would be 570 yards long!
Hole 2: 198 yard par 3 – I use a 4 wood, Mark’s equivalent club would require a 260 yard par three.
Hole 5: 534 yard par 5 – I would need driver, 4 wood, pitching wedge. Mark would need driver, 3 wood, pitch for a hole of 700 yards…and so on…
I think you get the metric here. He would have to play a much longer golf course… In fact, after doing the math for all 18 holes, for me to play a 6651 yard blue tee, he would have to play a course 8505 yards long, which is way longer than any course currently on this planet. He has almost a 2000 yard advantage over me because of how far he hits the ball.
Distance is a crushing advantage in making golf easier, assuming we do better with a wedge in our hand than a 4 hybrid. Thought you might find this interesting.
– Robert Armes