Advancing Players

Research Request: How Coaches Can Provide More Meaningful Learning Experiences for Players

11th Jan 2023

New PING G430 Family Delivers Speed and Distance (and Forgiveness, of Course)

10th Jan 2023

IGPN 68 Goes Live – Spheres of Influence: The Value of the PGA & the Pro

22nd Nov 2022

EDUGOLF Partners Make Progress in Poland

9th Nov 2022

Golf Genius Launches Golf Shop Product for PGA Professionals

3rd Nov 2022

PING Advances Popular i Series With New i230 Irons and iCrossover

26th Oct 2022

Keeping Junior Engagement at the Front of the Mind

15th Oct 2022

Golf Genius Selected to Power GolfSixes League Software Solution

11th Oct 2022

CPG Virtual Series Returns This Winter – 4 Rounds, 4 Months, 4 Ryder Cup Venues

5th Oct 2022

Set Up Your Golf Event the Right Way

30th Sep 2022

PGA of Holland Dr Mark Bull Seminar – Open to All PGA Members

23rd Sep 2022

PGA of Belgium Paul Kaster & Co Coaching Work & Services Seminar – Open to All PGA Members

23rd Sep 2022

PGA of Finland Speed Production Seminar – Open to All PGA Members

21st Sep 2022

New PING Putters Offer a Model to Fit Every Golfer

13th Sep 2022

Personalisation & Tournament Management – How to Boost Your Event Experience

30th Aug 2022

Golf Genius Software helping to sustain and facilitate thriving golf events market

5th Aug 2022

PING Apparel show commitment to the Women’s game with new SS23 range

5th Aug 2022

PING Apparel seek heritage inspiration for Men’s SS23 collection

5th Aug 2022

New PING ChipR is part wedge, part putter and all performance

5th Aug 2022

PING extends agreement with Viktor Hovland

5th Aug 2022
load more

The R&A and the USGA Publish Research On Driving Distance in Golf2 min read

The R&AAuthor: The R&A


Posted on: 16th Feb 2017

The R&A and the USGA have published their annual review of driving distance, a research document that reports important findings on driving distance in golf.

Introduced last year, the review examines driving distance data from seven of the major professional golf tours, based on approximately 285,000 drives per year. Data from studies of male and female amateur golfers has also been included for the first time.

Key facts noted in the paper include:

  • Between 2003 and the end of the 2016 season, average driving distance on five of the seven tours has increased by approximately 1.2%, around 0.2 yards per year.
  • For the same time period, average driving distance on the other two tours studied decreased by approximately 1.5%.
  • Looking at all of the players who are ranked for distance on the PGA TOUR and PGA European Tour, the amount by which players are “long” or “short” has not changed – for instance, since 2003 the 10 shortest players in that group are about 6% shorter than average, while the 10 longest players in the group are about 7% longer than average. The statistics are not skewed toward either longer or shorter players.
  • The average launch conditions on the PGA TOUR – clubhead speed, launch angle, ball speed and ball backspin – have been relatively stable since 2007. The 90th-percentile clubhead speed coupled with the average launch angle and spin rate are very close to the conditions that The R&A and the USGA, golf’s governing bodies, use to test golf balls under the Overall Distance Standard.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “In the interests of good governance and transparency it is important that we continue to provide reliable data and facts about driving distance in golf.

“Driving distance remains a topic of discussion within the game and the review provides accurate data to help inform the debate.”

Mike Davis, Executive Director/CEO of the USGA, said, “We appreciate the collaboration we have received, industry-wide, to access and review this data to benefit the entire golf community, which can be used to both educate golfers and advance the game.”

The 2016 report can be viewed at www.RandA.org and www.usga.org or downloaded here 2016 Distance Report.pdf

The R&A and the USGA published the Joint Statement of Principles in May 2002, which confirmed their commitment to the fundamental notion that skill, not technology, should be the primary determinant of success in the game. The Joint Statement acknowledged the benefits of equipment technology for golf but noted that any further significant increases in hitting distances at the highest level were undesirable.

Since then, The R&A and the USGA have continued to monitor equipment technology’s effect on the game, and considered the effects of other factors, such as course set-up, athleticism and coaching. When appropriate, new Rules have been introduced after discussions with equipment manufacturers and other stakeholders, in accordance with the Equipment Rulemaking Procedures produced in 2011.

Click Here to Download the 2016 Distance Report [PDF]

The R&AAuthor: The R&A
Read more by

Based in St Andrews, The R&A organises The Open, major amateur events and international matches. Together with the United States Golf Association, The R&A governs the sport worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The R&A’s working jurisdiction is global, excluding the United States and Mexico.

The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the sport internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. The R&A operates with the consent of 152 organisations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in 138 countries.

For more information visit www.randa.org.