- How To Understand Your Golf Club Distances
- How Do I Work Out My Average Distance?
- How to Determine the Distance Needed
- Understand Lofts
- The Key Factors That Determine Golf Club Distance
- Final Thoughts
One has to become intimate with each club and understand their potential and effectiveness based on their style and swing. This will take some time and effort. Other factors such as the golf ball used, the course condition, and the weather, will also impact distance.
Read more: If you’re looking to get more distance from your irons, check out our full review of the best player’s distance irons.
How To Understand Your Golf Club Distances
The first step is to understand the basics of each club’s potential and then apply that knowledge to your own strength, style, and swing speed as well as the clubs you use.
But, how far does each club go?
As a starting point, this video will give you some insight into the value of understanding your average distance per golf club.
On average, men hit further than women so we do make a distinction. There are obviously exceptions and men are often outdriven by skilled lady golfers.
A golf club distance chart can offer a useful starting point for understanding how far we strike the ball. Regardless of whether you’re a humble Sunday hacker or Sunday Tiger Woods, we have golf club average distance charts below that should give you a rough idea about how far you might expect to hit each club on average.
Male Golfers: Golf Club Distance Chart
We have separated our golf club range chart for men by handicap and club. As a general guide– anything above 20 is considered a high handicap.
Between 10 and 20 might be a mid handicap and anything in single digits would be a low handicap.
|Club||Low Handicappers||Medium Handicappers||High Handicappers|
|Driver||270 yards||260 yards||200 yards|
|3-Wood||250 yards||240 yards||180 yards|
|5-Wood||240 yards||220 yards||170 yards|
|2-Iron||220 yards||200 yards||160 yards|
|3-Iron||200 yards||190 yards||150 yards|
|4-Iron||190 yards||180 yards||140 yards|
|5-Iron||180 yards||170 yards||130 yards|
|6-Iron||170 yards||160 yards||120 yards|
|7-Iron||160 yards||150 yards||110 yards|
|8-Iron||150 yards||140 yards||100 yards|
|9-Iron||140 yards||130 yards||90 yards|
|Pitching Wedge||130 yards||120 yards||80 yards|
|Gap Wedge||120 yards||110 yards||60 yards|
|Sand Wedge||110 yards||100 yards||50 yards|
|Lob Wedge||100 yards||80 yards||40 yards|
Female Golfers: Golf Club Distances
As with the men’s chart, golf clubs and distances are separated by handicap.
|Club||Low Handicappers||Medium Handicappers||High Handicappers|
|Driver||200 yards||170 yards||150 yards|
|3-Wood||170 yards||150 yards||140 yards|
|5-Wood||150 yards||140 yards||120 yards|
|2-Iron||130 yards||120 yards||100 yards|
|3-Iron||120 yards||100 yards||90 yards|
|4-Iron||110 yards||90 yards||80 yards|
|5-Iron||100 yards||80 yards||70 yards|
|6-Iron||90 yards||70 yards||60 yards|
|7-Iron||80 yards||60 yards||50 yards|
|8-Iron||70 yards||50 yards||55 yards|
|9-Iron||60 yards||55 yards||40 yards|
|Pitching Wedge||50 yards||40 yards||45 yards|
|Gap Wedge||55 yards||45 yards||40 yards|
|Sand Wedge||40 yards||40 yards||30 yards|
|Lob Wedge||30 yards||30 yards||30 yards|
The above golf club distance charts are based on averages. As noted, actual distances can vary depending on equipment, conditions, skill level and how many beers you have the night before!
In recent years, LIV golfer Bryson DeChambeau has been the biggest hitter on tour.
For fun, we looked at the 2022 averages of the top pros.
For PGA and LPGA players, the best data available tracks carry distance. This is the distance from the tee to the first bounce and does not include subsequent roll.
Their full shot distances are longer. For example, the average full driver distance on the PGA tour is roughly 320 yards. It’s safe to say that PGA pros drive the ball much further than the average golfer.
Let’s examine a driver, wedge, and iron distance chart for PGA and LPGA pros.
PGA Tour Players: Average Golf Club Distances
|Pitching Wedge||141 yards|
|Gap Wedge||135 yards|
|Sand Wedge||124 yards|
|Lob Wedge||105 yards|
Source: PGA Shotlink 2022
LPGA Tour Players: Average Golf Club Distances
|Pitching Wedge||107 yards|
Source: TrackMan 2022
Distance By Swing Speed
|Skill Level||Driver Distance||Swing Speed|
|220 yards||94 mph|
|PGA Tour Average||297 yards||114 mph|
|170 yards||77 mph|
|LPGA Tour Average||218 yards||94 mph|
Putters have been excluded from our golf club distance charts as they are not used for distance.
These days, very few golfers, including many of the pros, do not use longer irons. Many use a hybrid in place of the 2, 3, and 4 irons. The average golf club distance should be similar but you should have more confidence at address, greater consistency, and better accuracy.
As a result, the average shot distance for hybrids is likely to be longer than the average distance for irons. Hybrids tend to come in a slightly wider range of lofts and this will impact the distance so take this into account when making distance calculations.
It is sometimes easier to consider the average ranges for each club. The below infographic summarizes driver, wood, wedge, and iron distances.
How Do I Work Out My Average Distance?
As we said above, this all-important understanding takes time and effort. Over time you will naturally become more familiar with your distance capabilities and average but in the early years, you will have to do a bit of homework.
The fastest way to do this is at the driving range. You will need to experiment with each club and keep track of the results. If you hit each club around 50 times and eliminate the 5 worst and 5 best, that will give you a fairly accurate idea of your average with that club.
This will need to be done with each club if you really want to be sure but initially, you can check your driver, woods, and 2 or 3 irons to get a faster idea.
The same can be done on the course but will not be as accurate and will take a lot longer. The best approach is to use both the range and the course and keep track of your averages as well as your progress.
This is an excellent exercise for beginner golfers.
So, as much as the above golf club distance charts are a useful guideline, the true average varies widely from player to player. It is important to work out your average. This should naturally increase over time as your skills and technique improve.
It is valuable to keep track of your distances from practice as well as on the course. This can be done manually however there are mobile phone apps that can also help.
How to Determine the Distance Needed
Over time this will become largely instinctual but all players, the pros included, will benefit from having an accurate idea of the distance to the green, the pin, and any potential hazards. The scorecard and tee box markers will give you the total distance of the hole.
Thereafter one will have to use yardage markers. These can vary from course to course but are generally color-coded markers displaying 200 (normally blue), 150 (normally white), and 100 yards (normally red). One can pace backward or forwards from the nearest marker to determine your golf club distance.
Some courses have yardage diagrams available that will give you more accurate distances for each hole. These can be handy but will slow play down a bit.
Technology can also help in this regard and there are many great rangefinders available. Some have multiple features and many are extremely accurate.
Golf is a highly competitive sport but the manufacturers are equally competitive with each trying to get a larger slice of the market. As golf club distance is something understandably important to most golfers, many manufacturers design new clubs to hit as far as possible.
One of the ways they achieve further distance is by reducing the loft. All other things being equal, a lower-lofted club will hit further than a higher-lofted club.
What this means is that a modern set will generally hit further than a comparable set made a few years back. One player’s 5 iron could have a different loft than the next so the potential is different. This is why it is important to understand your golf clubs and their distances. If you change or upgrade you will most likely have to factor in these changes after getting used to them for some time. Our article breaks down how many degrees of loft you can expect between your irons.
Most game improvement clubs will have a strong loft to help the player achieve an easier launch. This will mean sacrificing some of the distance potentials of a club designed for a better player that has less loft.
This applies to all clubs with the obvious exception of the putter. Drivers, woods, irons, and particularly wedges can vary in the loft from one set to another, sometimes quite dramatically. Some drivers offer an adjustable loft so you will need to determine the best setting for your swing speed and style.
The Key Factors That Determine Golf Club Distance
The distance your golf ball travels (hopefully) down the fairway is mainly determined by your:
- Swing speed
- Ball speed
- Smash factor
Swing speeds are the measurement of how quickly the clubhead moves through the air. Ball speed measures the velocity of the ball once it leaves the clubface. Smash factor is calculated by dividing ball speed by swing speed and serves as an indication of ball-striking skill level.
If you are ever lucky enough to get into a golf simulator, you can track these metrics and see where you might be able to beef up your drive. Alternatively, you can always hit the gym and eat Tomahawk steaks every day.
There are several things you can do to improve your golf and reduce your score but knowing your range of golf club distances well will help you make smart decisions on the course. It will take some time and effort but has the potential to dramatically improve your enjoyment of the game as well as your score.
Golf club distance charts with averages do not give the full picture as there are so many other factors to consider, but they do make for a useful starting point. . What it does illustrate is the relevant differences between the various clubs.
You will have to get to know your average for your swing and style and with your particular clubs. The saved yards and better lies will still have a positive impact on your results. Of course, it always helps to hit the sweet spot!
Do it, you won’t regret it.
Read more: For a step-by-step approach to getting more distance from your driver, check out our full article.
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.