May 03, 2023
POSTED BY: Nicholas Venditti

How Far Should a Beginner Hit a Golf Ball?

Comparison is inevitable in life, and with golf, it’s even unavoidable! In the game of golf, the focus is often on how far a player can hit the ball. 

But while comparing yourself to your course buddies or the pros is unhelpful, it’s easy to be influenced by what they’re doing and the clubs they choose

Thankfully, the USGA has brought some sense into the conversation and published some valuable stats on the average drive for a beginner golfer.

Why not focus on your own level and work on improving your technique? Here’s everything you need to know about increasing distance as a beginner golfer.

What Is the Average Distance for a Beginner Golfer?

According to statistics compiled by the United States Golf Association (USGA), the average driving distance for a male beginner golfer is 176.6 yards. 

A handicap of 21 or higher defines a male beginner golfer. In comparison, the average distance for all male amateur golfers is 215.6 yards.

Female golfers across all abilities have an average drive distance of 147.9 yards. Beginner female golfers hit their drives 119.8 yards.

However, the National Golf Foundation is a little more cautious. They give the average driving distance for female golf beginners at around 100 yards and for men, 150 yards.

Why Does Distance Matter?

It’s human nature to care if we’re striving to achieve a goal. Distance does matter in golf - especially for beginners. Learners likely envision a great swing with a golf ball hurtling high and far through the air.

If you can already hit the ball a reasonable distance, then it’s probably not something you worry about!

However, distance is not the only factor determining golfing skill and ability. Many pros and coaches will tell beginners to forget about distance and concentrate instead on technique, from which good yardage will surely follow.

Which Factors Influence How Far a Beginner Golfer Can Hit a Ball?

Numerous factors influence how far a beginner can hit a ball. Below are some of the most critical to the game.

Golf Clubs

The clue’s in the name! Choose a driver for long-distance shots rather than an iron. A driver is designed to send the ball on its way with a longer shaft and clubhead to generate more speed and distance.

Golf Balls

Golf balls are their own world, and hundreds of brands make all levels of bold claims, including having you play like a pro in no time.

Soft-covered golf balls spin more and increase the distance traveled, but they are more challenging for beginners to control. There are other considerations when choosing a golf ball than just how far you can make it travel. 

We recommend aiming for a middle-of-the-road make; don’t spend top dollar on golf balls as a beginner. It's likely you’ll lose a fair few - and it's all part of the process.


A player’s technique is one of the most important factors to impact distance. A golf swing technique is complicated and may take a while to perfect. 

A correct grip on the club and stability through the feet is crucial. Balance and stance also affect the shot direction and influence power and control.

A good backswing, downswing sequence, and follow-through will maximize a shot’s distance.

Physical Fitness

Golf is a surprisingly demanding and athletic sport. Put simply, your current physical state is one of those factors which will determine how far you can hit a ball.

A golf swing requires strength, flexibility, and endurance, so a player who is fit and perhaps plays other sports is likely to hit the ball further than someone in poor shape.

Environmental Conditions

Beginners often feel they need all the help they can get. An experienced golfer won’t be affected by weather changes, but a beginner golfer may well feel the difference.

Humidity, wind speed, temperature, and altitude may all affect the ball’s flight and, therefore, distance traveled.

Warmer temperatures encourage a ball to travel further, so the obverse is that cooler temperatures can shorten the range a little. A high altitude will encourage a ball to travel further because there’s less air resistance.

Skilled golfers learn to use wind speed and direction to enhance their game.

What Can a Beginner Do To Increase Their Distance? 

Use the Right Type of Golf Ball

Some golf balls are designed specifically for distance with lower compression. However, don’t sacrifice distance on the altar of accuracy, as this, too, is important. Beginners should choose a combination ball that offers speed and control.

Review your Grip

An effective grip is essential to a good swing, which dictates how well and solidly a player hits the ball. 

Check the golf club grips; they should be well-padded and secure. Loose or frayed grips encourage a tighter hold, restricting the length and speed of the swing.

The other key element of grip is the stability of your golf shoes. Secure footing on the ground is essential for achieving longer distances.

Try to Tee the Ball Higher

A more upward strike on the ball increases the launch angle, reduces backspin, and sends the ball further along the fairway. This is where a ball that offers control and distance is a perfect choice.

Take Lessons

Spending time with a coach helps to highlight problems and will improve technique. Most beginners use their hands and arms when hitting the ball, but the real power comes from a player’s shoulders and hips.

A good coach can help hone technique so players learn to use their shoulders and hips. The force comes from the twist of the body, and power ultimately dictates distance.

Your coach can help you avoid that age-old beginner problem of trying too hard and send your energies and enthusiasm in the right direction. 

You’ll receive feedback on your technique, helpful advice on equipment, and recommendations for physical fitness workouts that help core strength and flexibility.

Start Training

A player’s overall strength and core fitness are relevant to how far they can hit the ball. Strength, flexibility, and endurance all influence the quality of swing and drive.

Specific strength training can help to develop power during the swing, and flexibility increases the range of motion. Endurance training helps a player maintain the necessary strength and power throughout an entire round.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 200 Yards a Good Drive for a Beginner?

Two hundred yards is a good average for an amateur recreational golfer and an outstanding beginner achievement.

However, most early distances vary quite considerably until a player begins to hone their skill and achieve consistent results.

Just Starting Out? Shop Stitch Golf For Your Golf Accessories & Apparel!

Having the correct golf equipment is essential to an enjoyable and successful game. 

For beginners keen to improve their skill set and build confidence, using decent clubs, suitable balls, and the correct apparel collectively impact that all-important swing.

Shop Stitch Golf, where every item of gear and apparel is hand-picked to help you ace your game - whether you’re a beginner, serious amateur, or semi-professional.