The Longest Golf Drive and When Long is too Long

05 June 2018
The Longest Golf Drive and When Long is too Long

There has been much debate within the industry recently about the distance the golf ball can now travel. The modern game has been advancing through the years with technology providing golfers with the ability to hit the ball further and further and the longest golf drive getting longer and longer.

Technology

With the use of high speed cameras and devices such as Trackman, PGA Professionals now have factual data to provide instant feedback to their pupils during lessons. Such advancements in recent technology have increased the distance the golf ball travels especially with a driver. By reducing the spin rates at impact by moving the centre of gravity (C.G) and having greater control of the moment of inertia (M.O.I) the club and faces ability to reduce flex and twist during impact, this has resulted in lower spin rates and faster ball speeds. This allows the manufacturers to produce drivers that launch the ball at a higher launch angle (Dynamic Loft) and the ball maintains in the air for longer generating extra carry and therefor longer total distance travelled.

Longer golf courses?

As the PGA Tour previously had to ‘Tiger Proof’ golf courses in order to protect them, it will not be long before the first 8,000 yard PGA golf course. The debate for the ball or equipment to be changed to stop it going further is being mentioned within the industry, but for many amateur golfers they don’t have this problem and this is where the divide lies. Having an 8,000 yard golf course would actually put off most golfers as it would be simply be too long and too difficult.

Longest drives

The average amateur drive still travels at around 220 yards that’s still 65 yards short of the PGA Tour average. The Volvik Long Drive Competition in 2017 produced a winning drive, with the longest golf drive of 435 yards! These immense distances are a combination of the new technology along with the sports science element turning golfers into serious athletes. The average golf yardage for a local course was traditionally around 6,000 yards with a par of around 70. These traditional courses are no longer able to be professional golf venues as they are just too short for the modern golf professional, not to mention the infrastructure required to hold such an event.

The longest golf drive ever recorded in professional play was by Mike Austin at the Winterwood Golf course in Las Vegas in 1974. His shot went 65 yards past the flag!

Changes

With talk of the first 8,000 yard course almost upon us, this surely starts alarm bells ringing for the future of golf courses. There has to be a point where enough is enough as amateur golfers just can’t cope with the length of modern golf courses and the old traditional courses can no longer be extended and lengthened, so will they eventually be obsolete?

The thought of a ball that goes a shorter distance is one avenue that could be used to keep golf courses a true test of golf for amateurs and professionals alike. At the end of the day all amateur golfers love the idea of being able to play the same course as the pros but there has to be something done to bring amateur and professional golf closer together for the good of the game going forward, and to protect our older traditional courses.

The golf ball going further is great, but unfortunately it’s not always in the right direction! Protect yourself from errant drives with Golfplan today. Get a quote and buy online here.