English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm wondering if "for" is the correct word to use in the phrase, "I shot for 200 yards".

This is in relation to a golf video game I'm working on. After the shot, the computer tells you, "You shot for 200 yards!" to inform you how far the ball went.

share|improve this question
Omitting the word changes the meaning of the sentence. What do you want it to mean? – Andrew Leach Mar 12 '14 at 13:09
Maybe you can also try asking at sports.stackexchange.com – GEdgar Mar 12 '14 at 13:40
sounds like something an American teenager might say. How about, "Your shot went 200 yards." or "You hit a 200 yard drive." or "You drove 200 yards." – Jodrell Mar 12 '14 at 16:03
I think it would sound more natural to say, "You hit the ball 200 yards", or "You hit it 200 yards". – Bob Jarvis Mar 12 '14 at 16:48
Not unless he's a liar. – B. Clay Shannon Mar 12 '14 at 22:09
up vote 7 down vote accepted

To "Shoot for X" is an idiomatic expression meaning that you are trying to achieve a specific goal, X. Thus if the computer tells me "you shot for 200 yards", I would expect the follow-up to be "and came within 10 yards of it" or "but overshot by 50 yards" or some such measure of how successful I was at achieving the desired goal.

I doubt that this is your intended meaning, so I'd have to say that "You hit the shot 200 yards" or "Your drive went 200 yards" would be better expressions.

share|improve this answer

Here are a few written instances showing that a golfer is often said to...

drive 200 yards
(or hit a 200 yard drive)

The past tense might sound slightly odd to non-golfers, but they drove 200 yards too. There wouldn't normally be a preposition though (for implies driving a car or golf cart/buggy).

share|improve this answer
Would it be acceptable to say "I hit a shot for 200 yards?" wrt golf. – Matt E. Эллен Mar 12 '14 at 13:25
@Matt: I suppose it's "acceptable", but it sounds a bit "busy" to me by comparison with "I drove/hit 200 yards". Also I'm not sure golfers normally use "shot" like that - it's a drive (long distance), or a putt (short distance). – FumbleFingers Mar 12 '14 at 13:31
@Matt: No, I've never heard that. It's hit or drive 200 yards. Though it'd rather be hit since 200 yards is rather short for a drive (no pun intended). – okiharaherbst Mar 12 '14 at 14:02
@okiharaherbst: That just shows how much I know about golf! I see now I'd have got far more results on the links in my answer if I'd changed it to 300 yards! (Not so many can make 400 yards though! :) – FumbleFingers Mar 12 '14 at 14:08
@FumbleFingers: golfers communicate mostly in a very, very rich lingo (and politically incorrect jokes) that is only comparable in depth to that of Wall Street's stock brokers. Actually, another noteworthy point is that you may only say drive if you're referring the first shot (the tee-off). Otherwise it's always hit, irrespective of the distance. Take a look at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_golf. – okiharaherbst Mar 12 '14 at 14:29

A golfer says "I shot a (score)". (Score) being their score for the round. They do not "shot" a distance. For that you can say:

I drove the ball about 200 yards today.

I had a drive (or shot but less common) that went 200 yards.

I hit the ball over 200 yards.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for additional info. :) – Almo Mar 12 '14 at 17:30

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.