Golf Club Distances: Factors and Averages
How far you can hit a golf ball can depend on a multitude of factors: your height, weight, age, skill, training, physical strength, etc. In some circumstances, a few of these factors might not even matter at all. Depending on the individual, some of these factors will have more influence than others.
What is for certain, though, is that the golf club you’re using plays a major role in how far you can hit. In this guide, we’ll go over the various types of golf clubs a golfer has at their disposal, and study the average golf club distances of each. Don’t let your skill go to waste on the wrong golf club!
For more information on how to golf like a pro, check out this course on mastering the perfect golf swing.
Golf Club Types
Because the type of golf club you use is so important to your golf club distance, you should familiarize yourself with the different kinds, and their advantages. There are four types of golf clubs in golf: putters, woods, irons, and wedges.
No matter what type of golf club you’re using, though, your skill depends partially on practice, and your ability to focus. Learn how to focus on your goal during golf with this course on the psychology of aiming.
Putters are the most used golf club in the game. With a loft usually around 3-5 degrees, but never more than 10, and grooves sometimes on the face, putters are designed to smoothly roll golf balls over the turf with minimal bouncing or skidding.
Golfers generally use putters for short-distance hits, as its name suggests, where they simply need to putt the ball across the putting green and into the hole. Because of its very useful, and very specific purpose, putters are the only golf clubs allowed to have certain modifications and special designs. These include a bent shaft for stability, two striking faces, and grip cross-sections that are not rounded.
Standard putters are generally about 32 to 36 inches long.
Contrary to their name, most woods are no longer made with wood at all, but metal, which became popular in the 1980s. Woods are built for long-distance hitting, and because of this they are the longest of the golf clubs, with large, rounded clubheads. They come in two variations: drivers and fairway woods.
Drivers (or 1-wood) are usually about 45 inches long, making them one of the most difficult clubs to control and master, but also one of the strongest. They have the lowest loft, ranging from 9 to 13 degrees.
Fairway woods (sometimes called fairway metals) are also meant for long-distance hitting, with their clubhead designed to lift the ball up and over shallow obstacles. They are easier to control than drivers.
Irons are named after their all-metal clubheads, and designed with angled, flat, and grooved faces to make the golf ball spin after a hit. They are meant for all kinds of distance hitting, from short to long range.
Unlike woods, irons have smaller clubheads and much shorter shafts. They are one of the most common golf clubs next to putters. 1-9 irons have higher lofts than woods. For longer distance hitting, 1-3 irons should be used as they have the least loft. 4-6 irons are referred to as middle irons, and 7-9 irons are referred to as short irons.
Wedges are a type of iron, designed to launch golf balls high into the air upon striking, and as such they have very high lofts. A pitching wedge, for example, would have a loft of about 50 degrees, give or take a few.
There are sub-types of wedges that are used for very specific purposes, such as the lob wedge, which is good for a scenario where the golf ball needs to project high into the air, but not fly very far.
Golf Club Distances
Below is a list of estimates on golf club distances, depending on what kind of golf club you’re using.
Woods – Beginner
- 1-wood: 170 yards
- 3-wood: 160 to 170 yards
- 5-wood: 150 to 160 yards
Woods – Average
- 1-wood: 220 yards
- 3-wood: 200 to 220 yards
- 5-wood: 180 to 200 yards
Woods – Professional
- 1-wood: 250 yards
- 3-wood: 220 to 240 yards
- 5-wood: 200 to 220 yards
Irons – Beginner
- 9-iron: 80 to 90 yards
- 8-iron: 90 to 100 yards
- 7-iron: 100 to 110 yards
- 6-iron: 110 to 120 yards
- 5-iron: 120 to 130 yards
- 4-iron: 130 to 140 yards
- 3-iron: 140 to 150 yards
- 2-iron: 150 to 160 yards
- 1-iron: 160 to 170 yards
Irons – Average
- 9-iron: 125 to 135 yards
- 8-iron: 135 to 145 yards
- 7-iron: 145 to 155 yards
- 6-iron: 155 to 165 yards
- 5-iron: 165 to 175 yards
- 4-iron: 175 to 185 yards
- 3-iron: 185 to 195 yards
- 2-iron: 195 to 205 yards
- 1-iron: 205 to 215 yards
Irons – Professional
- 9-iron: 135 to 145 yards
- 8-iron: 145 to 155 yards
- 7-iron: 155 to 165 yards
- 6-iron: 165 to 175 yards
- 5-iron: 175 to 185 yards
- 4-iron: 185 to 195 yards
- 3-iron: 195 to 205 yards
- 2-iron: 215 to 225 yards
- 1-iron: 235 to 245 yards
Wedges – Beginners
- Pitching Wedge: 60 to 80 yards
- Sand Wedge: 40 to 60 yards
Wedges – Average
- Pitching Wedge: 100 to 125 yards
- Sand Wedge: 80 to 100 yards
Wedges – Professional
- Pitching Wedge: 115 to 135 yards
- Sand Wedge: 90 to 115 yards
Golf Club Distance: Personal Factors
As mentioned before, there are a number of other, personal and biological factors that can determine how hard and far you can hit a golf ball. Weight, skill, strength… but how do you calculate all of this?
You can calculate your golf club distance on this website, which requires a range of data input to determine its estimation.
For instance, let’s say you’re physically female, aged 30-49, an average height and heavier than average weight, with a skilled, aggressive play style, very good golf mechanics that comes from frequent training and practice, with an average distance of 170 yards for your typical 5-iron shot.
According to this calculator, you’d be hitting 260-265 yard driver shots, 119-122 yard 9-iron shots, and 220-223 yard 3-wood shots. This is only a brief overview – there are various shot statistics this calculator can provide. Check out the calculator here and calculate your golf club distance!
Being a good golfer is more about being strong. It’s about precision, focus, and knowing your sport. Learn how to train your brain to be the perfect athlete in this course.
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