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What is the average ball speed for a 20 handicapper golfer?


If you are a 20 handicapper golfer, you might be wondering how fast your golf ball travels when you hit it with your driver. Ball speed is one of the most important factors that determines how far your ball will go, along with launch angle, spin rate and aerodynamics. In this article, we will explain what ball speed is, why it matters, and what the average ball speed is for a 20 handicapper golfer.


Ball speed is the speed of the golf ball immediately after impact with the club face. It is measured in miles per hour (mph) and depends on two main factors: club head speed and smash factor. Club head speed is the speed of the club head at the moment of impact, and smash factor is the ratio of ball speed to club head speed. A higher smash factor means a more efficient transfer of energy from the club to the ball.

The average club head speed for a 20 handicapper golfer is approximately 92 mph, according to Trackman statistics. This means that if they have a smash factor of 1.5, which is considered optimal for a driver, their average ball speed would be 138 mph (92 x 1.5). However, most amateur golfers do not achieve a smash factor of 1.5, due to factors such as swing path, face angle, impact location and quality of contact. A more realistic smash factor for a 20 handicapper golfer would be around 1.4, which would result in an average ball speed of 129 mph (92 x 1.4).


How does this compare to other golfers? According to the PGA and LPGA websites, the average ball speeds by the pros on tour are:

  • PGA Tour: 170 mph

  • LPGA Tour: 148 mph


According to HankHaney.com, these are the average ball speeds for male amateurs with their driver:

  • Scratch or Better: 161 mph

  • 5 HCP: 147 mph

  • 10 HCP: 138 mph

  • Average Golfer (14.5): 133 mph

  • Bogey Golfer: 131 mph


As you can see, there is a significant gap between the average ball speed for a 20 handicapper golfer and the average ball speed for a pro or a low handicapper golfer. This means that there is a lot of room for improvement for a 20 handicapper golfer to increase their distance and lower their scores.


How can you increase your ball speed? There are several ways to increase your ball speed, such as:

  • Improving your swing technique and mechanics

  • Increasing your club head speed through fitness and training

  • Choosing the right equipment for your swing and skill level

  • Optimising your launch conditions and spin rate

  • Practicing with a launch monitor or a radar device to measure your ball speed and other metrics


One of the easiest ways to increase your ball speed is to choose the right golf ball for your swing speed and skill level. The best golf balls for a 20 handicapper golfer are those that offer a balance of distance, feel and control. They should also match your swing speed range, which is between 84 and 96 mph for a 20 handicapper golfer.


Some examples of golf balls that are suitable for a 20 handicapper golfer are:


  • Titleist Tour Soft: This golf ball offers a soft feel, low spin and long distance. It has a large core that generates high ball speed and low compression that reduces driver spin.

  • Callaway Supersoft: This golf ball offers a super soft feel, low spin and high launch. It has a low compression core that enhances energy transfer and increases ball speed.

  • Srixon Q-Star Tour: This golf ball offers a tour-level performance with a soft feel, low spin and high launch. It has a fast layer core that increases ball speed and reduces driver spin.

  • Bridgestone e12 Speed: This golf ball offers a fast feel, low spin and long distance. It has an active acceleration mantle that increases thrust and initial velocity.


By choosing one of these golf balls, you could expect to see an increase in your ball speed and distance, as well as an improvement in your feel and control around the greens.


To summarise, the average ball speed for a 20 handicapper golfer is around 129 mph with their driver.


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