How far do you hit your 7 iron? The reply will inform you which tees to play


Your 7-iron distance is usually a useful information.

getty pictures

Right here’s a tip: You in all probability shouldn’t be enjoying from the ideas.

Deep down, you understand this. However for no matter cause — ego, peer strain, lack of higher choices — you wind up taking up extra course than you’ll be able to deal with.

You aren’t alone. In response to the USGA, in a survey of greater than 700 PGA and LPGA professionals, 92 % mentioned that it’s “extraordinarily widespread” or “considerably widespread” for golfers to peg it from too far again. And the proof isn’t merely anecdotal. Scoring knowledge exhibits that roughly 75 % of feminine golfers and 50 % of male golfers play from distances that exceed their skills. 

The results? Apart from greater scores, rounds develop into a grind, and golf turns into much less enjoyable.

Over time, a number of campaigns have been launched to handle this drawback (bear in mind these TV spots wherein Jack Nicklaus acknowledged that even he wanted to “Tee it Ahead“?). However relating to shifting up a field, the sport nonetheless has a methods to go. 

Which brings us to a brand new initiative, a data-driven providing from the USGA, aimed toward serving to golfers choose the right tees. It’s known as — anticipate it — Greatest Tees.

The gist is that this: if you know the way far you hit your 7-iron, the Greatest Tees system can inform you which containers you have to be enjoying. Trace: Should you’re a typical male golfer, you have to be enjoying from 6,100 yards; if you happen to’re a typical feminine golfer, you have to be enjoying from simply over 4,400 yards.

Extra on these numbers in a minute.

“Affordable” course lengths for “common” golfers, in keeping with the Greatest Tees system.


However first, some background on the methodology.

The Greatest Tees system arose from a number of years of analysis that included analyses of World Handicap System scores and hitting-distance knowledge, in addition to surveys of golfer preferences. (On this work, the USGA collaborated with the American Society of Golf Course Architects; the Nationwide Golf Course House owners Affiliation; the Golf Course Superintendents Affiliation of America; and the LPGA and PGA).

To reach at their suggestions, researchers outlined a set of tees as being an excellent match for a golfer’s skills when “it permits them to comfortably attain the golf green on par 4s and par 5s, attain the neighborhood of most greens in regulation, and permits them to hit a wide range of golf equipment on their method.” In surveys, in the meantime, golfers had been requested to point when holes felt “too lengthy”, “too quick” or “cheap.”

Bryons DeChambeau hits shot on driving range

These are Bryson DeChambeau’s ‘inventory yardages’ for every of his golf equipment


Luke Kerr-Dineen

That definition and people preferences had been then mixed to create a system that may advocate a course size based mostly on a single membership as reference: the 7-iron. The 7-iron was chosen as a result of most golfers have an honest deal with on how far they hit theirs, and since golf instructors typically use the 7 iron as a reference level in classes. It’s the Esperanto of irons, with a language round it that the majority of us can perceive. 

And that’s the purpose, actually. To speak necessary info clearly. Most golfers, in spite of everything, need to play the fitting tees; surveys present that. Course operators need that, too. However most say they lack an goal methodology for pointing golfers to the right field.

The Greatest Tees system gives that. It’s based mostly on averages. The typical male golfer hits his 7-iron 138 yards; the typical feminine golfer hits hers 100 yards. These numbers translate into par-72 course size suggestions of 6,100 and 4,437 yards, respectively. On common. However as a result of not all golfers or programs are created equal, the system is designed to be customizable to any participant at any property.

The system is presently being examined at 60 programs across the nation. Suggestions from that testing will probably be used to fine-tune the system earlier than a wider rollout after 2023. 

Josh Sens Contributor

A golf, meals and journey author, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Journal contributor since 2004 and now contributes throughout all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Greatest American Sportswriting. He’s additionally the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Enjoyable But: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.


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