Understanding Golf Club Distances.

One of the most common questions in golf is about golf club distances. There’s no one size fits all for calculating your specific yardages but we can help give you some average figures.

  • How far you should be hitting a particular club
  • Identifying what distance “gaps” are 
  • How to distance gap your bag
  • Average distances for kids, men, and ladies

How far should you be hitting each club?

Knowing your distances can be the difference between landing on the green and being 30 yards away.

One of the most important questions you can ask of your game is – how far do I hit the ball? Do you know the answer? Knowing what distance you hit the ball and how far each club carries can help you plan your way round the golf course and lower your score. A distance gap exercise could be one of the most important hour of your season. You can do this by either spending some time on the practice fairway or, considering the weather, a good option is to visit a golf coach who can measure your club distances using a TrackMan or Flightscope launch monitor which can measure to within a yard.

What Is Distance Gapping?

This is where a golfer measures how far they hit the ball with each club. Once a golfer knows each club’s yardage they can then asses the ‘gaps’ in distance between each club.

Why Is Distance Gapping Important For Your Game?

For most amateurs distance gapping helps in two ways. It sets a benchmark for how far you hit the golf ball and more importantly it highlights distance gaps in your game that none of your clubs cover. Some golfers may have big gaps in club distances between 190-240 yards and find it difficult reaching greens with long irons, finding themselves reaching for the fairway wood or hybrid a lot. For others it could be measuring the distances with wedges closer to the green.

This is the scoring zone in golf and a player might use a PW for a variety of distances rather than a SW or gap wedge to help control distance better. Another consideration, more common than you think, is that lofts on clubs might not always be correct. Most sets of golf clubs include a Driver, 3 Wood, 5 Wood 3-9 irons, PW, SW & Putter and numbers on golf clubs are not always as critical as the actual loft and how far its owner hits it.

Whilst the pros know their distances inside out (Ian Poulter was heard recently expressing his intention to hit the range to dial in the different swing feels of hitting the ball 117 yards and 114 yards) most amateurs would be hard-pressed to commit what the exact distance of their 9 iron is.

Effective Distance Gapping Starts Here

For amateurs, its never been so easy to access this knowledge. GPS devices, laser rangefinders and yardage markers all make it possible to do so on the course. For more accurate results you can follow the pros and use a radar launch monitor.

Trying to work out how far each club goes might not be ideal in windy or changeable conditions, having access to an indoor launch monitor can be of significant benefit – and comes with added extras too. Having an assisted practice session with The GolfSchool can establish more than just yardages for clubs. The GolfSchool can make recommendations based on your game, perhaps ensuring your yardage gaps look correct or maybe recommending adding additional clubs if appropriate and if lofts, lies, grips or shafts need changing then they can take a look at that too.

Knowing the yardages of each club and the distance gaps between them helps plan shots with greater confidence whether its hot, cold, raining, windy or uphill. Knowing you have the right club in your hands helps commit to encouraging confident swings every time. Make a good note of the information you get from this exercise and understand it, what were the differences between good shots and bad shots, what was the yardage that felt most comfortable and most consistent, do your yardage gaps make sense for your game?

For instance, during a recent assisted practice session with a 5 handicap golfer we noted that, while he carried four wedges in his bag, there was a significant 37 yard gap in distance between his PW and 52 degree ‘gap wedge’, highlighting the need for a rethink on his choice of wedges. But it doesn’t matter what level of golfer you are, keeping tabs on club distances, especially after you buy a new set can help empower your game. Visiting The GolfSchool can enable you to answer the fundamental question posed by every shot on the golf course with absolute confidence – what is the distance and which club should I use? For more information, or to book in an assisted practice session to work out your club distances, visit The GolfSchool or call us on 0161 478 5620 for a chat about YOUR golf game.

Golf Club Distances - The average distances golfer's are hitting.

If you’re wondering this then you’re probably interested in starting to play golf which is one of the best decisions you can ever make. Golf isn’t an easy sport, but the rewards are huge for those who put the time and effort in to learning the game and that starts with the clubs you’re using. This guide is for anyone who has absolutely no idea about the differences between golf clubs, which to use for different shots and which clubs you should definitely have in your bag. Top Tip – One of the craziest things about so many beginner golfers is that they have absolutely no idea how far they are hitting each club. Think about it, how do you expect to get the ball around the green consistently when you’re going in blind each time, guessing which club to use and what type of shot to take.


Woods are probably the most exciting clubs in the bag because they offer the most distance. When you’re taking your first shot from the tee box on Par 5’s and Par 4’s then it’s often wise to use a driver to get the maximum distance possible for that hole. Unless you suck with the driver. In this case, you’re best off using a 3 wood, and if you’re still not comfortable with that then use a low iron. A low iron will probably be easier to hit and as you’re using them on the fairway this should help you become more comfortable with them.And if you’re asking why are they called woods? It’s not after Tiger, way back a long time ago they actually used to be made of wood.

1 Wood - AKA The Driver
180 - 250+ Yards
9° - 11°

This is called the driver because you’re driving the ball down the fairway and you’ll only be using this club off the tee. The driver is probably the most feared club in the bag. It’s unforgiving and can be difficult to use for beginners which often leads to it not getting used. Which is weird because the driver is so big, it should be easy to hit right? Well, it is easy to hit but it’s hard to hit right in the centre (the sweet spot) which is where you want you’re ball to be striking consistently Most drivers are around 10 degree mark plus or minus a degree. This keeps the ball lower and make’s it go further than another club in the bag. You’ll probably notice the price of the driver is incredibly high and if you find yourself asking should I be spending £400 on a new driver to improve my game when you’re shooting over 100 on a regular basis? The answer is no, if you’re struggling to hit the driver you’ve currently got then you’re realistically going to suffer with the new one.

3 Wood
160 - 230 Yards
15° - 18 °

The 3 wood is different to the driver because it’s not just all about power. Often beginner golfers prefer to use a 3 wood because it’s easier to hit that the driver. The degree of the club is about 4 to 6 degrees higher than the driver which gets your ball more flight with sacrificing a little bit of distance.

5 Wood
140 - 210 Yards
20° - 22°

The 5 Wood is carried by some golfers as an alternative to the 1 or 3 or as a club to use on the fairway. Because there’s more loft, it’s easier than a 3 wood and certainly a lot easier than trying to drive off the fairway. The 5 wood can also be great for those long par 3’s.


Iron’s are incredibly important as these are what you’re using on the fairway or in the rough if that’s where your balls end up. Traditionally, there was a 2 iron, through to a 9 iron, then your set will have included or offered extra a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. If you’re a beginner golfer who’s just trying golf out then you don’t need to go spending hundreds and hundreds, sometimes even thousands on your golf set. Yes, there’s a lot of golf clubs out there but you don’t need to be having them all. Ideally you need to have a 3 iron, 5, 7, and 9. Those 4 irons are the most commonly used from the irons sets, ( ok now the 3 iron maybe being replaced by some hybrids, but if you’re focus is on getting some bargain clubs then you don’t need to worry about getting some hybrids at first.

3 Iron
160 - 200 Yards
19° - 21 °

4 Iron
150 - 190 Yards
24° - 26 °

5 Iron
140 - 180 Yards
27° - 29 °

6 Iron
130 - 160 Yards
30° - 32 °

Shorter Irons Golf Club Distances

The higher numbered irons are used when approaching the green from distance. Calculating the distance from the ball to the hole is vital to scoring well. But knowing how far your short irons are going will enable you to make easier puts. Instead of being 30ft from the hole, imagine if you were just 15 foot, or even closer. Understanding the way your clubs are gapped will improve your game.

7 Iron
120 - 150 Yards
33° - 35 °

8 Iron
110 - 140 Yards
36° - 38 °

9 Iron
90 - 130 Yards
40° - 42 °


The wedges are the clubs with the most loft so are designed for approach play to the green. Traditionally, wedges were the pitching wedge and the sand wedge were included in the iron set, now, it’s more common for golfers to have their irons and then buy wedges separately, perhaps even a different brand.

Pitching Wedge 80 - 120 Yards 44° - 46 °

The pitching wedge is what you’ll use to approach the green. As it’s name suggests, this club is designed to pitch the ball offering height and control to get your ball on the green.

Gap Wedge
60 - 100 Yards
49° - 51 °

Sand Wedge
60 - 100 Yards
54° - 56 °

If you have to use the sand wedge, then you’ve found yourself in the bunker and that’s not ideal. But if you’re a good golfer, you’ll learn the skills necessary to get your ball up and out and you’ll quickly notice how useful the sand wedge is. Just because it’s called the sand wedge though doesn’t you can only use it in the sand. It can also be used for chipping, getting the ball out of the rough or general pitching.

Lob Wedge
60 - 100 Yards
59° - 61°

The lob wedge is the ideal club for flop shots and when your ball is buried in the rough. If you’re not sure what a flop shot is, it’s where you take a proper full golf swing and the ball goes really high and not very far. The lob wedge can get you out of some very sticky situations.

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The Golf School

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