Professional golfers are often praised for their remarkable ability to strike the golf ball. But, to tell you for a fact, many players often neglect to learn the art of controlling the distance their shots travel. Knowing the distance of your golf strikes along with controlling them are simple yet very effective strategies for lowering your scores. So what is the golf club distance calculator?
It’s time to get to know how to calculate the yardages you’re responsible for achieving. And not just that, but also the average golf club distances. Along with some of the most frequently asked questions super-relevant to the topic of golf club distances.
So let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- 5 Most Important Factors That Impact Distance
- How Long Should You Hit Your Golf Clubs (Average Golf Club Distance Chart)
- Average Distance Achieved With Each Golf Club
- How to Calculate Your Average Distance?
- How to Determine How Much Distance Is Needed
- Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
5 Most Important Factors That Impact Distance
Golf Club Loft
Now you already know that the loft angle of every golf club isn’t the same. But not many golfers know that you can actually maximize your distance potential by increasing the loft of your club. This explains why drivers, mostly those for slower swing speeds i.e. beginners, seniors, high handicappers, and women golfers, have a higher loft.
Likewise, game improvement golf clubs, in general, feature a very strong loft for allowing you to launch more easily. In fact, some drivers come with an adjustable loft, which means you can select the most suitable setting based on your swing speed. Speaking of which…
It goes without saying that the faster the swing speed, the more yardages you can automatically achieve. Hence, the invention of technology in golf clubs to promote a faster swing speed.
But then you should understand that your swing speed doesn’t really matter in the case of shorter clubs. Such as 9-iron, pitching wedge, and sand wedge. It’s only when the length of the golf club gets longer that swing speed has a significant impact on distance.
Golf Club Weight
When the golf club is heavier, it certainly is more difficult to swing. And that’s a skill only an experienced golfer can boast of. The weight of the club is determined by the shaft material. For example, steel shafts are heavier, thus more fitting for better players.
On the other hand, lightweight graphite shafts are the best choice for slower swing speeds. So they’re easier to swing, thus promoting a faster swing speed and, ultimately, boosting distance.
Then even the shaft flex is a crucial factor here in terms of distance. If your swing speed is average or below average, you’re most likely to benefit from a more flexible shaft (Regular flex, Ladies flex, or Senior flex). And that is why Tour players almost always choose Stiff or Extra-Stiff steel-shafted golf clubs.
Golf Club Sweet Spot (Forgiveness)
Every golf club face has a sweet spot, which, when missed, compels the ball to deviate from the target line. As a result of which you end up losing yardages. So in order to automatically correct common mis-hits, golf club manufacturers came up with game improvement technology. In simple words, and to be more specific, designing golf clubs with a massive sweet spot.
So with this added forgiveness, even if you don’t strike the center of that clubface, your shot still travels LONG and STRAIGHT. The best news for golfers with a high handicap, slower swing speed, and other such limitations.
A simple question – how does wind affect golf ball distance?
There’s just no refuting that strong winds have a significant influence on the distance achieved. When traveling into a headwind, golf balls fly higher as well as land steeper. But that’s not the case with a tailwind. That’s when your shots have a lower ball flight and also land flatter.
One more thing – to be honest, the spin rate produced by the ball isn’t determined by the wind conditions. But you just can’t deny the fact that spin is bound to increase drag and lift in the case of headwinds.
How Long Should You Hit Your Golf Clubs (Average Golf Club Distance Chart)
How far should each shot travel? What are the average golf club distances? The answers here actually depend on multiple factors, as discussed above. Such as course/weather conditions (soft or hard fairway, windy or humid weather, etc.). Even the type of golf balls you’re using matters in case it happens to be one of these longest golf balls made for distance.
Then there are other factors too, like your swing speed, club weight, gender, age, physical fitness, and how solid is your connection with the golf ball. So now I’m going to share the average golf club distance chart for you below. But before I do that, let’s understand something very important…
Why Is There Such A Wide Difference In the Distances Achieved by Golfers?
The wide variation in average yardages exists because of the variation in golf clubs. Meaning your distance achieved by the 5-iron you’re using can be the same as that achieved by someone else’s 3-iron or 7-iron. Understood?
What does that tell you? To state it simply, this means there’s no wrong or incorrect golf club distance here. There’s only your distance. Once you know what your distance (in yardages) is. Then you can understand how far your every golf club ought to hit.
What I’m trying to say is that there is no point in comparing your distance with that of a professional golfer. Agreed that there are a few recreational golfers who can and have outperformed some of the best players in the world. Even so, this happens very rarely. So the chances are quite slim that you’re one of those rare exceptions.
Learning Your Distance Yardages
Are you a short or long hitter? You can find out quite easily simply by playing your game. And then comparing yourself with your fellow golfers. But what if you do that and find out you’re a short hitter? In such a case, remind yourself that not having long-hitting golfing skills doesn’t mean you don’t possess the ability to lower your golf scores.
Also, remind yourself that hitting the golf ball far is a skill that doesn’t count if you can’t also hit the ball straight. Or maybe you still simply cannot get the golf ball onto that green despite being a long hitter.
If that’s a major worry for you, you may want to check out this very helpful video that teaches you how to drive long and STRAIGHT by Scratch Golf Academy…
And now here’s the Average Golf Club Distance Chart!
|Golf Club||Golf Club Loft||Distance For Men||Distance For Women|
|Driver||10 degrees||230 yards||200 yards|
|3-Wood||13 degrees||210 yards||175 yards|
|5-Wood||17 degrees||195 yards||165 yards|
|Hybrid||23 degrees||190 yards||165 yards|
|5-Iron||27 degrees||160 yards||140 yards|
|6-Iron||30 degrees||150 yards||130 yards|
|7-Iron||34 degrees||140 yards||120 yards|
|8-Iron||38 degrees||130 yards||110 yards|
|9-Iron||42 degrees||120 yards||100 yards|
|Pitching Wedge||17 degrees||195 yards||165 yards|
|Gap Wedge||46 degrees||110 yards||90 yards|
|Sand Wedge||56 degrees||80 yards||70 yards|
|Lob Wedge||60 degrees||65 yards||50 yards|
Average Distance Achieved With Each Golf Club
How Far to Hit Your Driver?
As far as you possibly can. Well, that’s easier said than done. Now let’s find out what the data says.
When talking about the distance you can achieve with your driver, a factor like accuracy should also be considered. Because when it comes to driver performance, accuracy and distance both go hand in hand. Just ask any experienced golfer and they’ll tell you the same.
But then distance gives you a greater direct advantage, no two ways about that. If you’re able to squeeze an extra 10 yards of driving distance, it’s bound to minimize your golf scores despite the loss of accuracy.
So does that mean aiming for 300 yards driving distance? Well, that can’t be possible unless you’re a PGA Tour champion with an average driving distance of above 300 yards. In that case, how far should you hit your driver? As a scratch golfer, that would be 250 yards. Now that’s a more reasonable and decent target indeed.
But please also bear in mind that gaining this kind of driving distance is only possible if you’re swing speed is, more or less, 100 mph. That means those with an average distance potential, which, based on the 2017 USGA distance report, is 208 yards for men and 146 yards for women, should look for ways to increase their swing speed in order to max out at 250 yards.
And many amateur golfers with absolutely no physical limitations have been able to reach 250 yards. This just means it is indeed a realistic, achievable target.
How Far to Hit Your Irons?
If driver means distance, what strategy should you adopt with irons? Much in the same vein, increasing your swing speed automatically increases the distance generated by irons. But then there are different-numbered irons. Longer irons, more often than not, are more challenging to hit. For instance, your 5-iron isn’t the most ideal from a distance of 150 yards.
But when your swing speed increases and reaches say around 100 mph, then you can certainly aim for 150 yards with your 7-iron itself. Thus, lowering your golf scores.
With irons, the most important thing isn’t distance as much as it’s a consistent swing speed. After all, maintaining the gapping, yardage-wise, between the irons is tantamount. If the 8-iron produces 140 yards, then you simply shouldn’t squeeze 170 yards from your 7-iron.
Normally, a gap of 8 to 10 yards is perfect between irons. And the difference, obviously, is because of the shaft length and club loft. So the level of effort you apply with your 9-iron is not as much as you do with your 6-iron. A wider arc and lower loft, when combined with a faster swing speed and longer shaft of course, makes the golf ball travel farther.
Based on the average driving distance generated by an average swing speed, here are the averages of irons…
- 4-Iron – 150 yards
- 5-Iron – 140 yards
- 6-Iron – 130 yards
- 7-Irons – 120 yards
- 8-Iron – 110 yards
- 9-Iron – 100 yards
How Far to Hit Your Wedges?
Moving on to wedges, the key factor here is control. With wedges, control outsmarts distance. Simply because wedges are specifically engineered for accuracy as well as scoring.
I mean how many times have you actually come across a golfer boasting about his pitching wedge shot traveling 145 yards long? It’s impressive no doubt, but rare nonetheless. And that’s because wedges aren’t distance-boosting golf clubs.
So if you’re an average golfer, then an average pitching wedge distance of 100 yards seems alright. Unless you’re maxing out at 250 yards off that tee; in that case, you can hit around 121 yards with your wedge.
Another important thing to discuss here is that wedges never demand a full swing, to begin with. Pro-level golfers can certainly yield longer distances with their wedges, but they don’t simply because there’s no full swing involved. PGA Tour players instead aim for low-flight spinner shots with wedges, which is the best approach to gaining more control.
How to Calculate Your Average Distance?
What is the fastest, easiest, and most effective approach to calculating golf club distance? That would be booking time on the launch monitor on your golf course. But what if you don’t have access to that launch monitor, for whatever reasons? Then what do you do?
All you need to do then is strike 10 golf shots on the practice ground. Either there or choose a time when the course is comparatively quieter and emptier. And hit 10 balls with your every golf club. Then with the help of a rangefinder, calculate your every strike’s distance.
Once you have those numbers in place, you can go online and use the golf distance calculator. You first enter your 10 shots. And the sheet then automatically calculates the average distance. Along with your average range with your consistency value.
But what is this consistency value? An added dimension that golfers can certainly utilize to their advantage. The value is actually a standard error or deviation of the 10 attempts. In simple words, the higher your consistency value, the less consistent is the distance control with that particular club. Meaning the more scope there exists for improvement.
The best part about consistency value is that it’s normalized throughout your golf clubs. Therefore, you get to pick out the golf clubs in the bag that demand refinement. Meaning those that have a greater standard error.
You can find out the carry distance on your own as well. But that’s only if you know your golf clubhead speed. In that case, clubhead speed multiplied by 3.16 is equal to X distance in yards. Then subtract 85.2 yards from the X distance in yards. And that gives you your approximate carry distance.
How to Determine How Much Distance Is Needed
With time, the effort of finding out how much distance is needed becomes instinctual. Nevertheless, it’s always an added benefit to know what’s in store for you more accurately. And this includes how much distance there is between you and the green, pin, and potential hazards.
One way to go about it is to make use of yardage markers. These are color-coded (red is 100 yards, white is 150 yards, and blue is 200 yards). So you can walk back and forth from the closest marker for determining your distance.
If not markers, then some golf courses provide you with yardage diagrams. These, no doubt, offer a more accurate distance in the case of each hole. Although handy, they do indeed slow down your pace.
Then there are golf rangefinders equipped with advanced technology and features that estimate distances for improving your game. The same can be achieved through a GPS device.
So, Now How to Find Out What Golf Club to Use for What Distance?
If you just head down to your nearest driving range, you can narrow down your specific average club distances. Find one particular target and then work your way through your club set. Using the 9-iron, if you’re able to fly over that target and end up short with the pitching wedge, then figure out the average distance of both golf clubs.
Change your target. Simply treat that driving range just like a real golf course. Only then can you achieve more accurate distance yardages.
And finally, just refer to the average golf club distance chart.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Why is Golf Club Distance So Important?
The more distance you achieve, the closer you get to the hole. Getting the golf ball into the hole quickly (as soon as possible) is what golf’s ultimately about. Obviously, every round of golf includes the long game and short game. And the latter, unlike the former, is more about accuracy than distance. So you have to factor that in as well.
But then hitting long ranks among the most effective ways for lowering your golf scores. So you can’t take away the power of distance, no matter what. For instance, let’s assume that par-4 is around 420 yards. At such times, if your driving distance is 200 yards, you have to hit another 220 yards for reaching the green.
On the other hand, if your average drive travels 260 yards long, then you only have 160 yards left to that green. And no doubt, hitting 160 yards closer to the green is surely much easier than hitting 220 yards. The most logical explanation indeed!
Why is There A Difference in Golf Club Distances Between Men and Women?
Generally, male golfers hit longer than women. And it’s all because of the faster swing speed and ball speed in the case of men.
Female golfers, the majority of them at least, because of their comparatively slower swing speed, cannot generate the same amount of distance. And some of them, in order to compensate for that, approach the ball aggressively. This should explain why the women with a higher swing speed produce a longer drive in comparison to men with a slower swing speed.
Another very important difference – length of golf clubs. For men, the shaft length is 1.5-2 inches longer. Once again, that’s because most female golfers are shorter than men.
Even the loft angle for ladies golf clubs is higher for extra lift, thus an easier launch.
Now you know all about the average distances generated by different golf clubs. Just keep in mind that your particular golf club distance is based more on your swing speed and less on the golf club you’re using.
On one hand, there’s the gap between shorter and longer hitting male golfers. On the other, there’s the gap between shorter and longer hitting female golfers. The latter is certainly greater than the former. And that’s mainly because better women golfers are significantly taller in comparison to their less competitive female counterparts.
As for men, one that achieves a distance of 110 yards can be just as tall as one who strikes 80 yards. This, however, is not that common among women golfers.