Education Technology

Driving Further

Published on 08/13/2018

Activity Overview

Golf driving distances have increased as technology, player athleticism and technique have improved. If the trend continues this will cause problems for golf courses as some holes become easier. Students use data to see how much driving distances have changed for PGA and LPGA players. The data is then used to make and check predictions and consider the consequences. Should new reduced distance golf balls be introduced?


  • Fitting a linear model to data by using the equation of a line fitted by eye.
  • Interpretation of the parameters of a linear model and its use to make predictions, including the issues of interpolation and extrapolation
  • Construction of a linear model to represent a practical situation including domain of application.


  • Linear
  • Model
  • Extrapolation
  • Regression

About the Lesson

Students use golf driving distances from PGA and LPGA records to explore correlation between year and distance. The relationship shows a relatively strong positive correlation over a period of almost 20 years. Students then use the relationship to predict driving distances into the future and compare the accuracy of these predictions against more recent data.