Understanding Your Golf Club Distances

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golf club distances

Great golfers are well aware of their limitations and capabilities at the golf course, be it their usual tendencies in difficult situations or the type of shots they can create.

Chances are, you don’t really know how far you can hit with each club. That’s nothing new, most golfers think they know how far they can hit but still fall short of their target every time. However, to elevate your golf game and lower your handicap, you need to know what you’re capable of as a golfer, and knowing your golf club distances is the first step. 

Below, you’ll see a detailed golf distance chart for men, women, and seniors of every skill level. Afterward, we’ll also explain why you shouldn’t compare yourself to the numbers on the chart, how knowing your club distances will accelerate your golf game, how to improve your club distance, and finally, how to accurately calculate your golf club distances.

Golf Club Distances Chart

This table shows the average golf club distance in yards for each player type and skill level. For men and women, we have the average distances from the lower performers, average performers, higher performers, and PGA/ LPGA Professionals. Also, please note that the level of performance is based on the golfer’s club distances, not their skill level. We also included average club distances for your daily senior golfers to Senior PGA Professionals.

Units in Yards (yd)Men’s Average Golf Club Distances(Low Performing | Medium | High | PGA)Women’s Average Golf Club Distances(Low Performing | Medium | High | LPGA) Senior’s Average Golf Club Distances(General Average | Senior PGA)
Driver200 | 230 | 260 | 294 (PGA)150 | 175 | 200 | 252 (LPGA)196 | 279 (Senior PGA)
3 Wood180 | 215 | 235 | 274 (PGA)125 | 150 | 180 | 206 (LPGA)173 | 240 (Senior PGA)
5 Wood170 | 195 | 210 | 250 (PGA)105 | 135 | 180 | 195 (LPGA)164 | 227 (Senior PGA)
3 Hybrid163 | 190 | 205100 | 125 |160160 | 222 (Senior PGA)
2 Iron156 | 217 (Senior PGA)
3 Iron160 |180 | 200 | 239 (PGA)100 | 125 | 160151 | 209 (Senior PGA)
4 Iron150 | 160 | 170 | 229 (PGA)90 | 120 | 150 | 176 (LPGA)145 | 200 (Senior PGA)
5 Iron140 | 160 | 170 | 219 (PGA)80 | 110 | 140 | 167 (LPGA)138 | 191 (Senior PGA)
6 Iron130 | 150 | 160 | 206 (PGA)70 | 100 | 130 | 158 (LPGA)130 | 180 (Senior PGA)
7 Iron120 | 140 | 150 | 194 (PGA)65 | 90 | 120 | 148 (LPGA)123 | 169 (Senior PGA)
8 Iron110 | 130 | 140 | 180 (PGA)60 | 80 | 110 | 137 (LPGA)114 | 157 (Senior PGA)
9 Iron95 | 115 | 130 | 167 (PGA)55 | 70 | 95 | 126 (LPGA)105 | 146 (Senior PGA)
Pitching Wedge80 | 105 | 120 | 153 (PGA)50 | 60 | 80 | 114 (LPGA)97 | 136 (Senior PGA)
Sand Wedge60 | 80 | 100 | 115 (PGA)40 | 50 | 6082 | 108 (Senior PGA)
Lob Wedge50 | 70 | 90 | 90 (PGA)35 | 45 | 5074 | 97 (Senior PGA)
Average Golf Club Distance for Men, Women, and Seniors

Wide Variation in Golfer’s Distances

As you can tell from the chart, there’s a wide variation in club distance for each category of golfers: men, women, and seniors. We want to remind you again that these numbers and their performance levels only represent the range of hitting distances in each category, not their skill level. In other words, a ‘lower performer’ does not necessarily represent golfers with higher handicaps but instead represents golfers with an overall shorter club distance.

On that note, use this chart as a reference for how far you should be hitting with each club. Even with that said, however, your focus should not be on what your own golf club distances are instead of how far each club is ‘supposed’ to go. Knowing what you’re capable of as a golfer and playing efficiently within your limits is what makes you get the lowest handicap possible. That’s the whole point!

Just a word of caution for the beginners reading this, don’t aim to hit as far as the Tour players right from the get go. We’ve seen many golfers annoyed when they’re not reaching the 270s to 280s yardages with their drivers, especially the gym rats.

Though you may admire how far these Tour players can hit, remember that they live and breath golf every day, and they’re able to reach these ridiculous distances with consistency and accuracy. 

So, unless you’re planning to become a professional golfer, it’s probably not worth the effort stressing about a 230-yard drive. Trust us, that’s still a really good driving distance! We know many scratch golfers who have far shorter club distances than some bogey golfers. What makes the scratch golfers better is their accuracy and knowledge of the game.

Key Factors To Improve Club Distance

Many factors contribute to how far your ball goes: your swing speed, your angle of attack, the club’s loft, the flex of your shaft, the length of your golf club, where you’re hitting on the clubface, the ball and tee you’re using, the type of surface you’re hitting on, the weather, your age and gender, your athleticism, and so on. 

We’ll cover some of the important ones in more detail now.

The Best Angle of Attack and The Sweet Spot

A faster clubhead speed generally means more distance. If you’re looking to improve your clubhead speed, you should start with your golf swing and consider implementing some golf exercises into your game as it’s often the lack of the fundamentals and athleticism to hinder’s a golfer’s swing speed. 

Keep in mind that It is pointless to have a fast clubhead speed or a beautiful golf swing if your attack angle is off and you can’t hit the sweet spot consistently.

Attack Angle Simplified

The attack angle is the measurement of the clubhead alignment on impact compared to the horizon. For reference, a perpendicular club head on impact relative to the ground is 0 degrees, and the more the clubface tilts towards the sky, the more positive your attack angle is and vice versa. 

For the driver, most bogey golfers (handicap of roughly 16 – 24) tend to have a -2.1 degree attack angle, while scratch golfers (handicap of 0) and professionals have their attack angle close to 0 degrees. Most of the time, a wrong attack angle is due to an improper idea of where the low point of the golf swing is.

The Sweet Spot

The sweet spot is a specific area on a clubface where a golf ball should be hit for optimal results. If you have a fast swing but can’t hit the sweet spot of your clubface, you’ll end up with less distance against someone who nails the sweet spot with a slower golf swing. 

For the driver, the sweet spot is often believed to be at the center of the clubface, but it’s actually located slightly towards the toe and slightly up from the center of the face. Hitting here creates a winning ball pattern with lower spin, higher launch, and a slight draw, resulting in the most carry.

Other Things That Help Improve Distance

A club’s loft and shaft flex will also influence your hitting distance significantly.

Loft

Each club has its own unique loft, and generally speaking, the steeper the loft, the more distance it’s supposed to generate. 

For instance, the driver has the steepest loft of all your golf clubs (except for the putter). For beginners, that loft is usually with a 10.5 to 11.5 degrees driver while for more experienced golfers, that loft can be anywhere from 8.5 to 9.5 degrees. 

What’s the difference?

The difference between, let’s say 10.5 degrees and 9.5 degrees driver, is that a 10.5 degree sacrifices more distance for more forgiveness due to its shallower loft. While a 9.5 degrees driver has a steeper loft, but as a result, if hit on the sweet spot, creates more carry and more rolling distance when the ball lands.

Shaft Flex

Every player has a shaft flex that’s best for their golf swing. The shaft flex refers to a golf shaft’s ability to bend as force is applied to it during the golf swing. There are five types of shaft available for golfers: Extra Stiff, Stiff, Regular, Senior, and Ladies. 

Most of the time, a stiffer shaft is best suited for those with a faster clubhead speed through impact. Therefore, a stiffer shaft is often best for more athletic and experienced golfers.

It’s also ideal that every golfer invests the time to find the best shaft flex that fits his swing style. The worst thing you can do is to stick with the stiffest golf club just to hit the ball far. It doesn’t work that way. Stiffer shafts are not easy to hit with, especially if you don’t have a consistent and fast golf swing. 

Weather and Surface

How far your golf ball goes will be affected by the weather. For example, if you’re hitting into strong wind or while it’s raining, your shots will go a lot shorter than if you were to hit during a sunny day.

Besides the weather, the type of ground you’re hitting off from will also affect your golf club distance. Hitting off the fairway compared to hitting off the rough (surfaces with taller grass) will result in two very different outcomes. 

How to find your golf club distance

There are many ways to calculate your golf club distance such as using a rangefinder or the TrackMan simulator. However, the quickest and cheapest way is to go to a practice range with accurate yardages posted on their flags. Of course, you can still figure out your distance on the course as you go, but a good driving range is by far the best method.

Once you’re at the right practice range, grab a bucket of 20 balls per club and hit them as far and as straight as you can. From there, remove the 4 worst shots and calculate the average distance of the other 16. Once you got an average for that golf club, write it down!

Repeat these steps for all 14 clubs in your golf bag (except for the putter) and you’ll have a good idea as to how far you can get with each club. Of course, split this testing period up into multiple practice sessions. We’d recommend 3 to 4 clubs per practice session.

It’s not over yet! Once you’ve got your club distances ready, test them out at a golf course to see if you’re right!

Final Thoughts and What’s Next?

Knowing your club distance is the first step to becoming a great golfer, someone who acknowledges and can play within their capabilities. If you’re a beginner or a golfer who hasn’t incorporated their golf club distances into their game, having these numbers down will significantly lower your handicap. 

Though distance is an advantage, don’t stress it if your club distances are nowhere close to the higher performers or PGA professionals. Like we said, distance is nothing without accuracy and consistency as there are many scratch golfers with far shorter club distances than bogey golfers. 

And that’s it! Now, go to your nearest practice range and test out your golf club distances if you haven’t already! Feel free to contact us if you’ve got any questions!

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Author
Mark has been an avid golfer for more than 15 years and has reviewed golf clubs since 2015. He is also the founder of the Golf Leap Blog site.

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