Do you remember when you first picked up a golf club, looked out over that sprawling expanse of green and thought, “Blimey, how on earth am I supposed to get this tiny ball all the way to that distant flag?” Well, that’s where understanding your club distances comes into play. It’s like the satnav for your golf game.
Knowing how far you can hit with each club is a key factor in choosing the right club for each shot. It’s not just about power, it’s about precision.
NOTE: at the bottom of this article is a golf club hitting distances guide that you can save, print and keep in your golf bag or golf scorecard holder.
Golf club hitting distances explained
Imagine being a painter but not knowing the difference between your brushes, or a chef who can’t tell a paring knife from a cleaver. Golf is no different. Your clubs are your tools, and each one serves a unique purpose. Understanding the range of each club not only improves your decision-making on the course but also significantly boosts your confidence at address.
This, my friends, is the art of club selection. Aiming to swing as hard as possible with every club may sound exciting, but it’s not the way to improve your game.
Your goal isn’t to be the strongest; it’s to be the smartest. Distance control, along with accuracy, is what separates the top players from the Sunday hackers. Now that we’ve set the stage, let’s meet the stars of the show—your golf clubs.
How to measure your golf club distances
It is worth noting before we start that we have got these average distances from speaking with a golf coach. We sat down with them and he gave us the distances based on the people that he has taught over the years. These distances are also based on a handicap range of around 15-22.
As well as using the below list of average distances as a guide, you can do your own research. Most driving ranges have distance guides on the range. Some modern driving ranges also have tools like “trackman” that allow you to accurately measure how far you are hitting each club.
If you are just starting out and seem to be hitting certain grounds of clubs a similar length, don’t be too disheartened. The golf pro that we speak to here at GolfTimes.co.uk mentioned this can happen when you are a beginner. For example, you can expect your 7 and 8 Iron to go similar lengths, and the same with your 5 and 6 Irons. It was only when my handicap dropped to below 20 that I began to even notice the difference in distance between my Pitching and Sand Wedges.
How far should you hit your gap wedge? Up to 50 yards
First up is the Gap Wedge, your trusty companion for when the green is only a short chip away. The gap wedge is often overlooked, but it plays a vital role in filling the ‘gap’ between the sand wedge and the pitching wedge. For shots up to 50 yards, this is your go-to club. Just a nice, easy swing should do the trick, providing the control you need to get the ball up and over any potential obstacles. Trust the Gap Wedge, and you’ll be looking at a birdie putt in no time.
How far should you hit your Sand Wedge? 50-80 yards
The Sand Wedge, your best mate for 50 to 80 yards, is up next. As the name suggests, this club is an absolute life-saver when you find yourself in a sandy situation. However, its abilities extend far beyond the bunkers. A well-struck shot can loft the ball high into the air, allowing it to land softly on the green and stop dead close to the flag. With a bit of practice, the Sand Wedge can become your secret weapon for those tricky approach shots.
How far should you hit your Pitching Wedge? 80 to 110 yards
Let’s move on to the Pitching Wedge, a club that is all about finesse and control. For those 80 to 110-yard shots, the Pitching Wedge is your ticket to golfing glory. This club is the ultimate utility player, ideal for those middle-distance shots where you need a higher trajectory and softer landing. Remember, it’s not all about power here; precision is key. The better you get with your Pitching Wedge, the more likely you are to find yourself in birdie territory.
How far shold you hit your 9 Iron? 110 to 130 yards
As we get a bit more distance under our belts, it’s time to bring out the 9 Iron. This club, perfect for shots between 110 to 130 yards, is a staple in any golfer’s bag. The 9 Iron offers a bit more distance than the wedges but still provides an impressive level of control. When you’re a fair old distance from the flag, but still need that high loft and soft landing, the 9 Iron steps up to the tee.
How far should you hit your 8 Iron? 130 to 150 yards
Now, let’s talk about the 8 Iron, a versatile club that’s perfect for those 130 to 150-yard shots. The 8 Iron is a fantastic choice when you’re looking to hit the ball high and let it land soft. This is the club you’ll likely use for a fair chunk of your approach shots, so it’s worth getting well acquainted with it. It’s a club that rewards good contact with a satisfyingly crisp ‘click’ and a beautiful, arcing ball flight.
How far should you hit your 7 Iron? 145 to 170 yards
Next in line is the 7 Iron, a real workhorse in your bag. Ideal for those shots ranging between 145 to 170 yards, this club offers a great blend of distance and control. The 7 Iron is all about balance; it gives you enough loft to clear any mid-course obstacles, but also enough distance to keep you progressing down the fairway. It’s a trusted companion in any golfer’s journey, always reliable, always steady.
How far should you hit your 6 Iron? 170 to 190 yards
Moving into the longer distances, we encounter the 6 Iron. This club, ideal for shots between 170 and 190 yards, starts to trade a bit of that loft for some extra distance. The 6 Iron is the perfect choice when you need a bit more oomph in your shot but still want to maintain a decent level of control. It’s a club that demands respect and rewards those who take the time to master it.
How far should you hit your 5 Iron? Around 200 yards
Next, we have the 5 Iron, your go-to club for those big 200-yard shots. The 5 Iron is a big hitter in the golf world, and with good reason. It’s a club that requires a bit more skill and strength to use effectively, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it can be a game-changer. When you’re out on the course and see that flag fluttering in the distance, the 5 Iron can be your best friend.
How far should you hit your Rescue or Hybrid Club? 200 to 220 yards
Then we have the Rescue or Hybrid club, perfect for those 200 to 220-yard shots. This is a versatile club, often used as a substitute for long irons or fairway woods. Hybrids offer a combination of the distance of a wood and the easier striking ability of an iron. When the fairway starts to get a bit lengthy, the Rescue club is your saviour.
How far should you hit your 3 wood? 200 to 220 yards
As we near the end of our club exploration, we encounter the mighty 3 Wood. For those long 200 to 220-yard shots, the 3 Wood provides the distance you need. It’s a club that requires a solid swing and a good bit of technique, but when struck well, it can send the ball soaring down the fairway. It’s a big club for big moments, a real game-changer in the right hands.
How far should you hit your Driver or One Wood? 210 or more!
And finally, we arrive at the big daddy of the golf world—the Driver, or 1 Wood. This club is your go-to for those big 210 to 240-yard shots. The Driver is all about raw power and distance. It’s the club you pull out when you need to make a statement, to really get that ball moving. But remember, it’s not just about how far you can hit; it’s about controlling that power.
Overlapping distances can help with club selection
You will notice that some of your target distances overlap. This is where you need to understand how each club performs for you. For example, I probably get roughly the same distances with my 5 Iron as I do with my Hybrid or Rescue golf club. I know that my hybrid usually stays quite low, so if I wanted to reach that 200 yard mark but I had to go over an obstacle, I would probably choose my 5 Iron instead of my Hybrid or Rescue.
Before we go, here is a handy guide that you can print and keep in your golf bag! I really needed something like this when I first started out and I hope that it comes in handy for you too!
Printable Golf Club Distance Guide
Right click the below image, click “Open image in new tab”, then save it and print it to keep in your wallet or golf bag. These distances are based on an average golfer. I would say a 15-23 handicap. Remember though, it all depends on size, swing, skill and practice. This is just a rough guide to give you an idea of what you should be aimed for when thinking about club distances and how far you should be hitting it.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get this distance every time. There are so many varying factors. For example, if you are in the rough, you won’t hit it as far. Also, consistency is very hard to achieve when it comes to how far you can hit your ball. My trusty Ping Rescue club is my go to on most Par 5’s and when I hit a short drive on a Par 4, and on a good day it goes 210 but that is rare. Most of the time it goes around 170-190.
And there you have it, a comprehensive guide to your golf clubs and their hitting distances. Remember, these are just averages, and real distances can vary based on numerous factors, such as swing speed, ball type, weather conditions, and more. But with this knowledge in your bag, you’re well on your way to mastering the art of club selection. So, take a swing, watch that ball fly, and most importantly, have fun out there on the greens!