Analysis Finds Amateur Driving Distance Has Declined

By: Golfshake Editor | Fri 01 Jun 2018 | Comments


The R&A and USGA recently unveiled their 2017 Driving Distance Report that noted an "unusual and concerning increase of driving distance within the professional game, but Arccos 360, the on-course data tracking system, has found through detailed analysis that distances for amateur golfers have declined over the past year.

Using the brand’s worldwide dataset, Arccos (REVIEW) analysed more than 10 million drives taken by amateur golfers in more than 100 countries between 2015 and March 2018. The data revealed that driving distance across all handicaps and age groups has either remained flat or declined.

“The recent USGA and R&A Distance Report showed a significant average driving distance increase of 3.6 yards across the seven worldwide tours since 2016, so we wanted to see if the same were true among amateur players,” said Andrew Turner, Senior Director of Global Sales at Arccos Golf. “What we found was that even allowing for winter weather conditions, amateurs have struggled to gain distance on their drives and some age groups have gone backwards,” he added.

In 2015, the average distance for all drives by amateur players with a driver was 220.63 yards. Three years later that average has dropped to 217.07 yards, according to Arccos’ data analysis. The biggest drop came from golfers aged 50-59, who saw their average fall over nine yards across the three year analysis, leaving the average drive for that age group at 213.45 yards in 2018.

The average distance for all drives that finish on the fairway has suffered an even heavier slump, with the average going from 223.51 yards in 2015 to 218.81 yards in 2018. Golfers with a handicap of 16-20 had an average distance for drives ending on the fairway of 216.05 yards, yet the Arccos report shows the figure has fallen to 207.45 yards in 2018 within that handicap category.

More than 1 million rounds of golf have been played using Arccos since its introduction on over 40,000 courses worldwide. This makes it golf’s richest data set, having registered 418 million GPS course mapping data points, as well as collating 26 billion time-stamped, geotagged data points on golfer behaviours. Last year, Arccos users improved their handicap by an average of 3.55 strokes.


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