May 20, 2022
In which state do golfers hit the longest drives?  This diagram breaks it down

Through:

Dylan Dethier


December 12, 2021

Which states have the longest hitters in the game? This Arccos card gives some clues.

Lou Stagner / Twitter

The golf mini-offseason is just around the corner, meaning it’s time to dive into the burning questions of the game – and its random details too. Enter the Arccos Golf data team that decided to come up with the numbers of which state has the golfers with the longest drive.

Some of the numbers may surprise you. Some make a lot of sense. Either way, check them out and see if you live in the midst of some long bombers, short hitters, or somewhere in between.

The criterion

For the study, Arccos looked at low handicap golfers – those who played between 0 and 5. And they only looked at the summer drives – the rounds played between May 15th and September 15th.

The study was done on a whim by Lou Stagner, Arccos’ data insights lead, who handled data requests from readers and received multiple requests for a breakdown by state. He added that he didn’t control age or other factors.

That is fun!! 😀

Average tee shot distance with driver by state.

This is for 0-5 handicaps.

I had no control over things like age. These are simply all players in that handicap range.

Thanks for the question @Blurbzzzzzz

Any surprises?

** Data from @ArccosGolf pic.twitter.com/KvhU36SGLc

– Lou Stagner (Golf Stat Pro) (@LouStagner) December 11, 2021

The Shortest Hitters

You will find that the group of states here is largely concentrated on the east coast, where the states are lower on average and have a higher average age. This is how the shortest 10 are broken down:

242 meters – Florida

245 meters – South Carolina

245 meters – New Hampshire

245 meters – Hawaii

246 meters – Vermont

246 meters – Maine

247 meters – Delaware

247 meters – Virginia

247 meters – Iowa

247 meters – North Carolina

The longest drivers

The Wild West lives up to its reputation as the place of life for great and torrential drivers; the states are clustered at high altitude and west of the Mississippi. Here are the top 10:

267 meters – Utah

264 meters – Colorado

263 meters – Nevada

262 meters – Wyoming

262 meters – Montana

260 meters – Kentucky

259 meters – Arizona

259 meters – North Dakota

258 meters – Oklahoma

257 meters – Minnesota

257 meters – Nebraska

The takeaways

What do we do with these numbers? Here are a few related numbers:

1. Height helps

After looking at the top 10 list above, check out the list of states by average height. The top three states by average altitude – Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah – are in the top four for average driving distance. We have looked at the effects of altitude on the distance traveled in the past. Here is more evidence that if your plan is to hit the long haul, you’d better get high first.

2. Sea level hurts

The reverse is also true: Basically, all of Florida is at sea level, other low-lying states such as Delaware and South Carolina are on the list. There are also some relatively mountainous states like Hawaii or New Hampshire whose golf courses are closer to sea level. You’re doing yourself a disservice when it comes to distance.

3. Young bombers

Another interesting relationship is between distance and age. Take a look at the average youngest states: Utah is the youngest and also the longest at 31.3 years old. North Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Colorado also rank in the top 10 for both the youngest people and the longest low-handicapped people.

4. Old, crafty vets

Maine is the oldest state in the United States, with a median age of 45.0 years. Even players with a low handicap seem to make it a little less distance from the tee – perhaps signs of a mature game. That goes for other short-hitting states like New Hampshire (median age 43.1), Vermont (43.0), Florida (42.5), and Delaware (41.1), each of which makes the top 10 oldest residents and shortest hitter cracks.

5. The outliers

What’s wrong with Kentucky and Iowa? Both states would make sense as a middle class in the distance; they are relatively average in age, altitude and climate. But Kentucky is way above average at 260 yards per pop, the sixth longest, while Iowa is way below average at 150 yards. As it turns out, JB Holmes and Zach Johnson represent their respective states quite well.

Perhaps the biggest lesson here is that every participant involved has a handicap between 0 and 5; Think of this as another reminder that there are many ways to get the ball into the hole. And in the end, distance is relative.

Dylan Dethier

Dylan Dethier

Golf.com editor

Dylan Dethier is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine / GOLF.com. A native of Williamstown, Massachusetts, joined GOLF in 2017 after fiddling around on the mini tours for two years. A graduate of Williams College in 2014 where he majored in English, Dethier is the author of 18 in America describing the year he lived off his car when he was 18 and in each state played a round of golf.

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