Based on data provided by Game Golf -- you know, the folks who make that wearable shot-tracker gizmo -- here are the average distances gathered from typical amateurs during six months in 2016:
- Driver: 219.55 yards
- 3-wood: 186.89 yards
- 7-iron: 133.48 yards
- Pitching wedge: 73.97 yards
Golf Digest says this proves that the USGA fears of runaway distance are unfounded -- at least among amateurs -- but they offer no explanation for why these distances are so much lower than the pros. I can venture a guess.
I suspect it has something to do with the number of pros who are six feet or taller.
For example, I'm just under 5'10" and Tiger (at 6'1") is shorter than most of the longest hitters on Tour. Take the difference in arm length between us into account, and I suspect Tiger's arc is probably six inches or more wider than mine. That's gonna create several MPH difference in our club speeds, and just 4mph is good for maybe 30 more yards with a driver.
If you take a few minutes to look over the distance chart in that Golf Digest article, you may find that you're not doing so bad after all. And having realistic expectations for your golf game might help you make some New Year resolutions that you can actually reach.