Golf Club Distances: How Far Should You Be Hitting Your Clubs?

The Golf Club Distance Chart—and Why You Shouldn't Worry About It

Golf driving range
Harry Engels / Getty Images

How far are you supposed to hit each of your golf clubs? What is the golf club distance for each of your clubs? These are among the most-asked questions from newbies to golf. But the only completely honest answer is: It depends.

It depends on a lot of factors: the clubs you are using, the balls you are using, the conditions under which you play (hard fairway or soft fairway? windy or calm? humid or dry?

etc.), your gender and age, your physical fitness, coordination and athleticism, your swing speed, how solidly you are connecting with the ball, and so on.

We'll share a golf club yardage chart below, but first, let's explain why you really shouldn't pay much attention to it or to others showing golf club distances that you can find on the Web.

Wide Variation in Golfers' Distances

The average yardages for each golf club depends, and it varies widely from golfer to golfer. One person's 5-iron distance is another person's 3-iron distance is another person's 7-iron distance.

This is the most important fact to take away from this article: There is no wrong golf club distance, there is only your distance. And knowing your distances (also known as "knowing your yardages") is much more important than knowing how far each club is "supposed" to go.

Here's an interesting fact: While PGA Tour pros hit their drives anywhere from 280 yards to 320 yards on average, and LPGA Tour pros hit their drives from 230 to 270 yards on average, most recreational golfers, according to Golf Digest, average somewhere around 195-205 yards with their drivers.

The moral of that story? Don't compare yourself with the world's best players. Although some recreational players do outhit the pros, they are rare and you probably aren't one of them.

Learning Your Yardages

You'll quickly get an idea of whether you are a "long" hitter or "short" hitter by simply playing golf and comparing yourself to those you play with.

(There's also an easy but time-consuming method of calculating your own, personal golf club yardages.) There's no shame in being a short hitter, and being a long hitter doesn't guarantee anything, and certainly not a lower score.

And of course, hitting the ball far doesn't matter at all if you can't also hit it straight or then get the ball onto the green.

But you didn't click on this topic to read all this, did you? You want that distance chart! OK, we'll give you a distance chart, but consider everything you've read to this point to be caveats on this subject.

Golf Club Distance Chart

The yardages listed in the chart below show a range for average amateurs, both male and female. As you'll see, the ranges are quite large and represent short hitters, medium hitters, and long hitters. (There are, of course, people who hit it longer, just as there are people who hit it shorter.)

ClubMenWomen
Driver200-230-260150-175-200
3-wood180-215-235125-150-180
5-wood170-195-210105-135-170
2-iron170-195-210105-135-170
3-iron160-180-200100-125-160
4-iron150-170-18590-120-150
5-iron140-160-17080-110-140
6-iron130-150-16070-100-130
7-iron120-140-15065-90-120
8-iron110-130-14060-80-110
9-iron95-115-13055-70-95
PW80-105-12050-60-80
SW60-80-10040-50-60

What About Hybrids?

Hybrids are numbered based on the iron they are intended to replace in your bag. A 4-hybrid, for example, is numbered thusly because the manufacturer is saying it replaces a 4-iron. A 5-hybrid is equivalent to a 5-iron, and so on.

Men and Women

There is a greater gap, percentage-wise, between the longer- and shorter-hitting women golfers than there is between the longer- and shorter-hitting men golfers because better women players tend to be significantly longer than weaker women players. A male player who shoots 110 might be just as long as a guy who shoots 80. That is much less common among female golfers, however.

Final Caveat

A final caveat: You can find charts such as this one on other sites around the Web. And if you do, one thing you'll notice is that the numbers rarely, if ever, match up.

Because golf club distance depends more on the player than on the clubs.