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Golf Club Distances Guide

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golf club distances guide

How far should I hit my driver? What’s the maximum distance I should hit my pitching wedge? How far does Rory hit his driver? What about Tiger? Do these questions sound familiar? They should. Knowing your golf club distances and far you should hit each club is massively important to playing a good round of golf. It can be the difference between scoring low and having a bad round. In this article, we’ll take a look at what influences how far the ball is hit. We’ll also show you a chart that compares the pros (ladies and men), average golfers, and even seniors.

Influences on golf club distances

There are many factors that determine how far the ball should travel when you hit a golf shot. Golf is a challenging sport that involves forces, angles, and elevation. When you’re out on the golf course, you will never hit the same golf shot twice. Here are the major influencers on the distance you hit the ball.

Golf club types

A standard golf bag will contain a driver, fairway wood, a set of irons and wedges, and a putter. There might also be a hybrid in there as well depending on the course you are playing. The majority of these clubs also come with different styles that can have an effect on the distance you hit the ball. 

Blade style clubs

This type of golf club is designed for scratch golfers or very low-handicap golfers. You need a high level of skill and consistent ball striking to use blades. It’s easier to achieve maximum distance and they will allow for more shot-shaping. Any strikes on the toe or heel will result in shots going wildly astray.

Players’ distance clubs

These types of golf irons are made for golfers who want accuracy and touch but also need some distance from the clubs that they hit. Most golfers feel that a player distance iron is like a blade iron but with added distance and forgiveness.

Game improvement clubs

These styles of golf irons are designed to give golfers more distance but with lots of forgiveness. They usually have a cavity back style, with a larger club head and a bigger sweet spot. There is no guarantee that a game improvement iron will fix your golf game completely, but it can be very useful for lowering your golf scores and making your rounds that bit more enjoyable.

golf club distances guide

Loft

Golf club loft, or loft angle, is the measurement in degrees, of the angle at which the face of the club lies relative to a completely vertical face represented by the shaft. The loft on a golf club will indicate how far the ball will travel and the type of trajectory it will have. Apart from the putter, drivers have the least amount of loft. In contrast, your wedges will have the most amount of loft. If the golf club has more loft, the ball will have a much higher trajectory but travel a much shorter distance. On the flip side, if the golf club has less loft, the ball will have a much lower trajectory but travel a greater distance.

Swing speed and ball speed

Your swing speed or clubhead speed is how fast the club is moving when it strikes the ball. Whereas ball speed is how fast the ball is traveling just after impact. While a faster clubhead speed will generally result in faster ball speed, it isn’t an exact correlation. There are other factors that affect ball speed such as: 

  • How close to the center of the club face the ball is struck
  • Hitting up on the ball (driver) or hitting down on the ball (irons)
  • Ball first contact then ground when hitting an iron
  • A shot that results in a severe hook or slice.
golf club distances guide

Weather

The weather conditions can influence the distance your shot travels considerably. Hitting a ball into a strong wind will seriously affect distance, and a dry golf course will give you more roll on the fairways, and therefore more distance. On the flip side, a saturated course will stop the ball from traveling as far as normal.

Altitude

Altitude is another significant influencer on how far the ball will travel. With a driver, you can expect to gain an extra 2.5 yards or so per 1000 feet of altitude. Also, the optimal spin rate with a driver will increase from 2250 RPMs at sea level to about 3000 RPMs at 10,000 feet. This is because the air is less dense when you’re playing at an increased altitude.

Golf club distance chart

The Cut line

Knowing your distances is essential, you don’t want to send your approach shot miles over the green because you didn’t realize that you average 160 yards with your 7 iron, and not 140 yards.

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AUTHOR

Tommy is a confirmed golf fanatic. He's been playing golf for 20 years and just loves everything about the game. His dad used to play golf a lot and watch the PGA and European Tours, so Tommy started watching too. Now he knows a lot about golf and loves to coach people and help them play better.

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