Golf Ball Speed

How Hard Should You Hit Your Golf Ball Speed on Your Age?

One of the most common questions asked on the golf course, especially when playing with a new group, is “how far do you hit your driver?” While driving distance be prone to garner all the attention, golf ball speed, or clubhead speed, is a more helpful metric when assessing one’s ability. Golf ball speed indicates how fast the clubhead is moving when it makes impact with the ball, which directly correlates to distance. As we age, maintaining fast clubhead speed becomes more challenging. This article will explore the average golf ball speeds golfers can expect to achieve based on age group. Knowing these golf ball speed baselines can help golfers set reasonable expectations and training goals.

Average Golf Ball Speed for Juniors (6-13 years old)

Junior golfers aged 6-13 years old are still developing their athletic skills and learning proper golf swing mechanics. At these young ages, strength and flexibility have not fully matured either. As a result, average golf ball speeds for junior golfers tend to be quite low but do show a steady progression with age.

6-8 years old: An average 6-8-year-old golfer has very little muscle mass or refined motor skills. Golf ball speeds in this range average around 60 mph with drivers. Focus is still on making solid contact and playing for fun rather than distance.

9-11 years old: As young golfers approach ages 9-11, their golf ball speed begins creeping upward although distance remains very limited. These golfers average between 70-90 mph in terms of driver ball speed. Building repeatable swing mechanics is still imperative.

12-13 years old: Golfers at the top of the junior age bracket finally start generating some real speed. Average driver ball speed lands between 90-100 mph, allowing driving distance up to 180-210 yards. Core strength and flexibility training can help juniors maximize their emerging power.

Average Golf Ball Speed for High School Golfers (14-18 years old)

Once junior golfers enter high school, they experience rapid athletic development. Teenage male strength and speed often grows exponentially thanks to natural testosterone boosts. Golf ball and clubhead speed follow similar trajectories during this period. Female golfers also show impressive improvement but not at quite the same rate as males due to physiological differences.

14-15 years old males: Male golfers at 14 and 15 years old achieve average driver speeds between 105-115 mph if they play and practice regularly. Added yards off the tee up to 240+ yards comes from both swing speed improvements and optimized launch conditions.

16-18 years old males: By the time they reach 16-18 years old, talented male high school golfers can generate extremely fast clubhead speeds. Averages for 16-18-year-olds range from 115-125+ mph. Driving distances for 300 yards or more are possible. Collegiate golf coaches monitor this age group closely for rising stars.

14-18 years old females: While teenage male golfers chase ever-faster speeds, female golfers in high school exhibit more gradual gains. Average clubhead speed for females ranges between 80-95 mph across ages 14-18 as strength and technique develop. Average driving distance grows from 140-210+ yards during this five-year span.

Average Golf Ball Speed for Collegiate Golfers (18-22 years old)

Collegiate golf represents the pinnacle of performance for amateurs. Division 1 college golfers comprise the best players at this level. Athleticism peaks during this age range as young adults combine physical maturity with intensive practice and training. Both male and female collegiate golfers achieve notably faster club and ball speeds than their younger counterparts.

Males: Elite male college golfers average between 120-135+ mph in ball speed. Several of the very top collegiate players even exceed 140 mph. Thanks to maximized clubhead speed and dialed-in launch conditions, driving distance averages from 320-350+ yards are common amongst starting D1 males.

Females: Female collegiate golfers do not quite match their male peers in raw ball speed due to inherent physical differences. However, today’s best female collegiate players do produce very impressive numbers. Average ball speed for females at this level generally spans 100-115 mph, resulting in drives that carry 260-290 yards.

Average Golf Ball Speed for Professional Golfers

The top professional golf tours feature world-class athletes specializing in maximizing both golf swing speed and precision. Maintaining ultra-fast swing speed well into their 30s and 40s, professional golfers represent the pinnacle of power and performance. Average ball speed differs slightly between prominent tours.

PGA Tour: Male professionals playing on the PGA Tour deliver awe-inspuring clubhead speed and golf ball velocity numbers. The average driver swing speed on the PGA Tour checks in right around 113 mph currently. This translates into an average ball speed of 167 mph for drives measuring over 300 yards on average.

LPGA Tour: As with amateur levels, LPGA Tour stats reveal a gap between male and female professionals in pure ball speed capabilities. However, the LPGA Tour features by far the fastest female players globally. The average driver swing speed on the LPGA lands around 102 mph presently. This equates to about 146 mph average ball speed and drives that fly roughly 250 yards.

Champions Tour: Even veteran players on the over 50 Champions Tour generate impressive speed similar to collegiate athletes. Champions Tour professionals currently average 113 mph in driver swing speed – the exact same as PGA Tour average. However, slower swing speeds do exist on this tour for those in their 70s and 80s still competing.

Average Golf Ball Speed by Age Guide

If tracking your golf ball speed against age-based averages, refer to this general guide:

  • Ages 6-8 years old: Target approximately 50-60 mph average ball speed
  • Ages 9-11 years old: Expect averages around 70-90 mph
  • Ages 12-13 years old: Most golfers reach 90-100 mph
  • Ages 14-15 years old males: Speeds climb to 105-115 mph
  • Ages 16-18 years old males: Prime time for peak velocity of 115-125 mph
  • Ages 14-18 years old females: Steady improvement to 80-95 mph likely
  • Collegiate males: Top players exceed 130 mph, 120-135 mph common
  • Collegiate females 100-115 mph average among starting golfers
  • PGA Tour Average: Approximately 167 mph (113 mph swing speed)
  • LPGA Tour Average: Approximately 146 mph (102 mph swing)
  • Champions Tour Average: Similar to PGA Tour at 113 mph clubhead speed

Training to Achieve Your Peak Golf Ball Speed Potential

Every committed golfer should actively train to achieve their personal golf ball speed potential regardless of age. While baseline averages provide guidelines, optimizing speed involves specific physical and technical training. Follow this program to maximize your particular abilities:

Improve Athleticism – Develop golf-specific strength, speed, flexibility, and power through cross-training. Resistance training, plyometrics, speed drills, yoga, and other modalities help immensely. Enhance fitness baseline first before focusing directly on swing speed.

Incorporate Speed Training Aids – Employing purpose-made swing speed training aids teaches your body to move the club faster through impact. Speed stix, weighted clubs, overspeed training devices, and other equipment engrain faster tempo, sequencing, and release patterns. Use aids under guidance.

Refine Swing Technique for Speed – Professional instruction focused on generating maximum clubhead and ball speed provides the final step. Learn proper techniques regarding wide backswings, delayed releases, angled attack, optimal spin loft, centered strikes, mass displacement, and connected sequencing for best transfer of power.

Monitor Progress with Launch Monitors – Connecting your training efforts to tangible speed measurements keeps things accountable. Utilize launch monitors at the range or golf simulator bays to track mile per hour improvements over time. Compete against age-based averages.

Commit Fully to Ongoing Training – Reaching your golf ball speed ceiling at any age demands dedication year-round. Follow the program religiously including strength and technical upkeep during golf’s off-season for biggest velocity gains when returning.

Speed Will Naturally Decline With Age – Unfortunately, no matter how hard one trains, losing club and ball speed incrementally with age remains inevitable due to physiological changes. Expect to lose roughly 1% or more annually through your 70s and 80s. Mitigate drops through strategic maintenance programs.


In conclusion, monitoring golf ball speed against age norms provides useful indicators about one’s developmental pace and athletic proficiency. Junior golfers should focus on sound swing mechanics and consistent ball-striking over distance. Meanwhile, high school and college athletes peak regarding velocity as strength and technical skills culminate. 

Throughout adulthood into senior ages, average golf ball speed drops steadily but can be partially preserved through training. Competitive players chasing maximum speed should adopt specialized physical regimens combined with technical coaching to achieve full potential during their prime years. Setting goals informed by speed averages at different ages allows all golfers to benchmark seasonal progress in this vital metric indicative of driving power and prowess.

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