How Far Should Each Golf Club Hit?

By John Lindell
Knowing the range of each club in your bag will help you with shot selection on the course.
Knowing the range of each club in your bag will help you with shot selection on the course.

Golf clubs are designed to hit the golf ball different distances when struck correctly. Woods will drive the ball further than irons and the low numbered irons will hit a golf ball further than the high ones. The wedges are made so that when hit properly they send the ball high but not far. Knowing the distances that each club can go when you hit it is vital to knowing which club to select for a specific shot. It is important to realize how far you yourself can hit each club; don’t compare your abilities to those of the greatest players in the world. You may be disappointed not to hit the ball with each club as far as they can.


The clubs known as the woods are utilized to hit long shots. On holes that are par fours and fives a wood is typically used off of the tee to drive the ball well out into the fairway. The wood that hits the ball the furthest is known as the driver and is also called a one wood. The driver’s club face has the lowest loft of any golf club; the loft of a club is the key factor in determining how far it will hit the golf ball. While professional golfers can hit their drivers well over 300 yards, a typical male golfer will hit his driver anywhere from between 230 and 290 yards depending on his skill level. Women will hit the ball 230 yards on a great drive but most will hit it less than 200. The three wood and the five wood have more loft to them and will not hit the ball as far as the driver, with the distances being up to 265 yards and 240 yards respectively for men. Women will hit their higher numbered woods as far as 170 yards.


Men will usually pull out an iron for a shot that is less than 200 yards from the green. The irons are numbered one through nine, but most players do not carry a one or a two iron. The closer you are to the green, the higher numbered iron you will select since the loft on each club increases with its number. In general, each iron should hit a golf ball ten yards less as you progress from the lower numbers to the higher ones when you put the same swing into the ball. For instance, a five iron if hit correctly can hit the ball 170 yards, while a six iron hit the same way should only travel 160 yards. This is due to the fact that the ball will go higher with a higher numbered iron since the loft is increased. Professional men can hit a three iron almost 230 yards on the average. Amateur men will hit that same club some 30 yards less while women have a range with their three iron up to 170 yards. However, it is important to realize how far you can hit your average iron since this knowledge will allow you to correctly choose the right club for each occasion.


Wedges are irons but they are much more lofted. They are employed to get the ball up into the air and over hazards such as sand traps and trees. The pitching wedge normally has a loft of 48 degrees. Professional male golfers can easily hit the ball 130 yards with a pitching wedge, but a player rarely swings with all his or her might when using a club such as this. The wedges are finesse clubs that are used to loft the ball onto the green with backspin in some cases or pitch and run it up to the flag in others. Wedges are normally used when the ball is less than 100 yards from the hole. There are a number of different wedges on the market today, including sand wedges, gap wedges and lob wedges. The higher the degree of loft on a wedge, the less distance the ball will travel when it is hit.

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