Golf Club Distances: How Far Should Golf Clubs Go

Hey there, I’m Nick Foy, a golf instructor here on the NickFoyGolf.com blog and today I’m excited to share information about golf club distances, including how far you should expect to hit the ball with different clubs.

However, the truthful answer to the question “How far should I hit my golf clubs” is that it depends on many different factors that combine together to produce an average golf club distance result.

These factors that affect club distance include:

  • Physical Factors – Male vs Female, Age, Fitness Level, Coordination, Flexibility & Athleticism
  • Swing Speed – measured in miles per hour (MPH), faster swings produce more distance
  • Ball Speed – how well swing speed transfers to ball based on contact & ball striking
  • Course Conditions – hard vs soft golf courses, grass length, weather conditions

As you can see, there are variables that will play a role in how far you hit your golf clubs. But I understand you’re also looking for a golf club distance chart that shares data about the average club distances for males and females, which I’ll share below as well.

If your golf club distances are below the average player, don’t feel discouraged. Golf is a game of improvement and you should find motivation to set goals and work towards achieving those goals. Have patience. Golf is a journey.

If you’re ready, let’s dive into this complete guide as we go club by club talking about distance and design of the golf club that affects distance like loft, for example.

Resource: Step by Step Golf Practice Routines + Training System

Golf Club Distances

Driver Distances

The first club in your golf bag to talk about will be your driver and how far it should hit the ball. Choosing the right driver to buy should be based on your swing speed. Do you have a slow, average, fast, or professional golf swing speed?

  • Slower Swing Speed – 60 to 80 mph swing speed is considered on the slower side compared to the average male golfer swing speed with the driver
  • Average Swing Speed – If you swing the driver 80 mph to 95 mph, then this is considered average. You should pick out a driver with more loft, such as 14 to 16 degrees. An 85 mph swing speed will likely hit your driver around 220-230 yards, which is the average driver distance of male golfers.
  • Faster Swing Speed – Golfers who swing 95 to 105 mph can usually hit the golf ball 250 to 270 yards and should pick out a driver with 10 or 11 degrees of loft.
  • Professional Swing Speed – Professional golfers who can swing the driver 110 mph and above can hit drivers over 300 yards and they require lower lofted drivers such as a 7, 8, or 9 degree loft.

Overall, the distance your driver should hit the ball will vary by the player depending on swing speed.

There are other factors of course like how purely you strike the ball on the face of the club as well as the loft / launch angle the driver hits the ball. But generally, the driver should hit the ball the farthest of all your golf clubs and it should be 200 yards to 300 yards depending on your swing speed.

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Fairway Woods Distances

Fairway woods are often numbered and the higher the number the more loft the wood has. Here’s a quick break down:

  • 3 Wood = 14 or 15 degrees loft
  • 4 Wood / 1 Iron = 16 degrees loft
  • 5 Wood / 2 Iron = 18 degrees loft
  • 7 Wood / 3 Iron = 22 degrees loft
  • 9 Wood / 4 Iron = 26 degrees loft

We highlighted what club a fairway wood could replace in your bag if you tend to hit better shots with woods instead of irons.

For example, I’m not as good with my 4 iron, so I often choose to hit a hybrid club but other golfers may choose a 9 wood or 4 iron instead.

As far as distances you should hit your fairway woods, it will vary. Most male golfers can hit a fairway wood between 180 yards and 250 yards on average.

  • 3 Wood Distance = 200-250 yards
  • 4 Wood Distance = 190-230 yards
  • 5 Wood Distance = 180-220 yards

Women average between 100 yards and 190 yards with their fairway woods and the LPGA & PGA Tour pro’s can hit woods 220 to 300+ yards.

It comes down to swing speed and ball striking. The faster you can swing the club and more center it hits the face, then the farther you should be able to hit your woods.

  • PGA Tour players can swing their fairway woods in excess of 100 mph
  • LPGA women golfers tend to swing in the 80’s90’s mph.
  • Average golfers may swing their fairway woods 80 mph to 95 mph.

If you want to set a distance goal, then aim to hit your 3 wood 240 yards with a smooth, controlled swing. Work on your swing fundamentals until you build your swing up to the point you’re hitting your 3 wood around 240 yards (male golfers) and 200 yards (female golfers).

Resource: Step by Step Practice Routines + Training System

Golf Irons Distances

Most golf iron sets start with a 4 iron and progress through a 9 iron. Some typical iron set brands you’ll hear about include Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, Ping, Cobra, Srixon, and Wilson.

There are iron sets made specifically for women, men, seniors, and kids. The variation usually comes by way of golf shaft used along with club weight. Women and senior clubs are lighter, for example.

Male Golf Iron Distances

Here is a chart break down of the typical loft angle you’ll find on most iron sets and about how far you should hit each iron:

  • 4 iron = 26 degrees (180-210 yards)
  • 5 iron = 28 degrees (160 to 190 yards)
  • 6 iron = 31 degrees (140 to 180 yards)
  • 7 iron = 34 degrees (130 to 170 yards)
  • 8 iron = 37 degrees (120 to 160 yards)
  • 9 iron = 41 degrees (110 to 150 yards)

Women Golf Iron Distances

For women golfer’s the distance chart might look more like the following with irons:

  • 4 iron = 120-150 yards
  • 5 iron = 110-140 yards
  • 6 iron = 100-130 yards
  • 7 iron = 90-120 yards
  • 8 iron = 80-110 yards
  • 9 iron = 70-100 yards

Again, these are example loft angles each of your golf irons might have but each set of clubs can vary. For example, here are the lofts you’ll find on the M2 Ladies Iron Set by TaylorMade.

m2 ladies irons loft

Don’t forget to download our 10 best short game golf drills to practice.

Golf Wedge Distances

While it’s important to still find out the max distance you can hit each of your wedges, these distances shouldn’t matter as much because these are your scoring clubs that need to get the ball on the green and close to the flagstick.

Your goal is to master hitting your wedges precise distances between 5 feet (chip shots) and 120 yards (full swing pitch shots).

You may be able to hit a pitching wedge 120 yards max, but when you face a 70 yard wedge shot, you’ll have to learn how to hit a half swing pitch shot more so than learning to hit it maximum distance.

Spend lots of time learning how to hit the same wedge different distances so you can score lower from hitting shots onto the green accurately.

Here’s a quick summary chart:

  • Pitching Wedge = 45 degrees loft (100-120 yards)
  • Gap Wedge = 50 degrees loft (90-110 yards)
  • Sand Wedge = 55 degrees loft (70-100 yards)
  • Flop Wedge = 60 degrees loft (40-80 yards)

Most golf club sets will include a pitching wedge (P) and gap wedge (G) to cover the 100-130 yard distance for men and the 60-100 yard distance for women. You may also see an “A” wedge in a golf iron set instead of “G” in some cases.

After that, you’ll select one or more chipping wedges to add to your bag, such as the Titleist Vokey 56 degree or the 60 degree wedge for flop shots.

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How to Find Your Golf Club Distances

Finding your golf club’s average distances is quite simple. You hit golf shots and you measure how far they go. You can either track club distances manually or using technology to help speed things up.

Here are 3 methods we recommend to find out how far you hit the golf ball on average.

  1. Complete the Trackman Skills Test
  2. Buy Arccos Club Distance Technology
  3. Manual Distance Tracking

TrackMan Club Distance Test

The best way to calculate your average club distances for all your golf clubs is using a Trackman. This piece of technology isn’t cheap however. It can run upwards of $25,000 to $50,000 to build out a simulator room in your house.

Instead, find local golf shops that own this technology and pay to rent it for the day. Most golf shops have it today so they can help golfers with club fitting and for private swing lessons.

Once you get on the Trackman, there is the Test Center mode where you can choose the club you are swinging and it will track all kinds of data including distance. You can hit 10 shots with each club and rotate through all the golf clubs in your bag.

At the end, send the report to your email and review it to see your golf shot dispersion chart as well as data like average club distance.

Trackman also has a skills test mode where you’ll hit 3 shots with every club, twice, but it breaks it up so you don’t hit all 6 shots in a row.

The goal of the skills test is to test your accuracy, rather than your max distance. Trackman will flash a distance on the screen and you’ll try to hit the ball exactly that distance while also hitting it as straight as possible. You’ll get scored 0-100 on each shot.

Overall, Trackman is a fast and easy way to hit a high volume of golf shots with your clubs to gather data on how far you hit them as well as swing speed, ball speed, launch angle, and other relevant data.

Then compare your average club distances to other golfers by looking at the data Trackman has compiled in their system.

Arccos Golf Systems

Another great way to find out how far you hit the golf ball with each club, is using a golf system like Arccos 360 Golf Tracking System.

These are sensor systems that get plugged into the butt end of your golf club and connect to an app on your smart phone via bluetooth connection.

Every golf shot you hit out on the golf course is tracked via these sensors and logged in the app so you can track your golf club distances.

You’ll be able to learn your tendencies with each of your clubs, seeing how far you thought you were hitting vs how far you actually do hit them.

Click to learn more about Arccos 360 Golf Tracking System

Manual Club Distance Tracking

The final method and old school method for finding your club distance averages is tracking data manually out on the golf course.

You’ll need about 10 golf balls and some open area where you can freely hit your balls and go find them to measure distances.

This could be an open field nearby your home, or maybe your golf course has open space somewhere you can use to set up this system.

Next, you’ll hit 10 balls with your club.

Mark where you hit from by setting down your golf bag on the spot. Grab a laser range finder and walk out to your golf balls with a pen and notepad.

Fire the rangefinder back at the golf bag so you have an object to hit with the laser and write down these distances.

If you don’t have a range finder to track your club distances, then use “strides” with each “stride” being about 1 yard. Count how many strides you take walking out to the golf ball.

Factors that Determine Your Golf Clubs Distances

If you’re trying to hit the golf ball further, you’ll need to understand how multiple things work together to achieve the outcome you see on the golf course.

Here’s a quick list:

  • Golf Swing Speed
  • Golf Ball Speed
  • Launch Trajectory
  • Backspin Rate
  • Course Conditions
  • Golf Ball Design
  • Golf Club Design

Resource: Step by Step Golf Practice Routines + Training System

Golf Swing Speed:

Pro golfers swing in excess of 100 mph, and often closer to 120 mph with the driver. Average golfers swing 70-90 mph with the driver. This results in a huge difference in distance potential.

Golf Ball Speed:

This data piece is known as “Smash Factor” and it’s how pure you hit the golf ball. The more pure you hit the ball on the face, the more energy the club will transfer to the ball and the faster it will rocket off the club face, known as ball speed.

Launch Trajectory:

Every golf club has a different loft angle which produces different launch angles and ball flight trajectories.

One reason you may not be hitting the ball as far is if your launch angle isn’t high enough. This can result in the ball not flying as far through the air before hitting the ground, costing you lost distance potential.

Backspin Rate:

On the flip side of launch is back spin. Lower ball flight shots tend to have less back spin allowing them to roll more upon landing, getting you additional distance.

Higher ball flight shots like irons and wedges have much more backspin to help them stop sooner so they hold greens and don’t roll off. Driver shots should achieve a great mix of ball launch trajectory and backspin rate to hit the ball further.

Course Conditions:

Is it a windy day? Is the course wet and damp or dry and hard? Certain golf course conditions can influence how the golf ball reacts and impacts your club distances.

Golf Ball Design:

Golf balls have layers and consist of a core, cover, and in between layers. Different cover designs and dimple patterns can affect spin rates while different core designs can impact energy transfer from the club face to the golf ball.

Golf Club Design:

Club manufacturers work endlessly to enhance drivers, woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and putters to make them perform better for us on the golf course.

New technology can help increase your swing speed and energy transfer, control spin rates, and enhance launch angles for better ball flight trajectories.

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Loft vs Club Distance

Your loft is important because it determines the launch angle of your golf ball. The higher the loft, the higher the ball should launch into the air and the shorter distance it will travel overall.

A 60 degree wedge has the highest loft and travels much shorter than any other club in your bag. Like your driver, which has the lowest loft and travels the farthest distance of all clubs.

Irons typically are standard in terms of loft angle but you can adjust the shaft type to either extra stiff, stiff, regular, senior, or ladies.

If you have a slower swing speed, you typically need more help launching the golf ball which means you should find drivers and woods with higher degrees of loft to help you hit the ball farther. Change from a 9 degree driver to a 10.5 or 12 degree driver.

And technique is also important. Swinging with proper form, like the swing sequence video above, can help you make better contact and hit the ball farther. Increase your swing speed, and improve your ball striking to hit farther.

Golf Training Aids We Recommend:

Why Accurate Club Distances Improves Your Score

Having accurate data on hand can help you make better club selection choices when standing over your golf shots.

In fact, Trackman did a study and found out that by adding an extra 10 yards onto all shots an average mid-handicapper increased the number of greens in regulation hit.

Trackman data showed that “the percentage of shots that would hit the green increases from 38.5% to 44.0% and the average distance from the target decreases from 71.8 feet to 60.6 feet.”

This demonstrates most golfers could lower their scores, with no changes to their golfing technique, or skill level. They just require a better understanding of their golf club distances.

And it’s true. Think of how many golf shots you mishit and end up short as a result. If you get in the habit of taking more club and hitting a 6 iron instead of a 7 iron, you’ll find yourself on more greens more frequently.

Taking extra club, to give you those extra 10 yards, will help you swing smoother and thus hit the ball more pure compared to the golfer trying to swing 110% with the wrong club to get it to go further.

I love taking extra club and swinging smoother with more control. My golf shots are more accurate and the ball travels the right distance, leaving more shots pin high.

Additionally, we often over-estimate how far we hit each club. You may think you can hit your 7 iron 150 yards but if you tested it on a simulator like Trackman you may discover that your “average” shot only flies 140 yards, leaving you 10 yards short frequently.

So instead of having a 30+ foot putt, you may find yourself with more birdie chances from 10-15 feet by learning your true club distances and adjusting your club selection as a result.

Final Words

Overall, review these club distance charts for each of the different golf club types (Driver, Woods, Irons, Wedges) to get a general idea of the loft on the club and the distance that men and women golfers should hit each club.

Before worrying how you stack up against other golfers, you need to realize that there is no correct distance to hit the golf ball. You can still achieve low golf scores whether you hit your 7 iron 180 yards or you hit it 135 yards.

Golf Apps and Golf Systems can collect data from millions of golf rounds worldwide to share averages with us, but your personal averages are most important to track and be accurate with.

Thanks for reading and make sure to check out our resources below. We’ve helped thousands of golfers and look forward to helping you too!

Golf Practice System for Lower Scores

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Follow these step by step practice plans and watch video lessons to learn how to improve your golf swing, chipping, and putting fundamentals.

Get access to hundreds of golf drills to practice as well as content on the mental side of golf, fitness plans, worksheets, and many more resources. This is a complete golf practice system.

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Work hard,

Nick Foy, Instructor

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