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The Average Distance for Golf Clubs

A golfer accurately measures the distance to the flag; the average distance for golf clubs varies.

When discussing the average distance for golf clubs, there are a few major contributing factors to go over. Depending on your skill level, swing speed, each club’s specifications, and the weather conditions in which you typically play, an overall average figure may be more or less useful for you.

We will give general average distances for short, medium, and long hitters of both genders to provide the answers that apply to the widest array of golfers. These figures will represent clean shots by amateur golfers, as tour pro numbers aren’t very useful for most golfers, and bad contact will bring about poor results.

Afterward, we’ll go over some of the ways these different contributing factors are going to affect drive distance and how to improve the ones that are under your control.

Average Distance for Golf Clubs

ClubShort Hitter
(High handicap)
Medium Hitter(Mid handicap)Long Hitter(Low handicap)
Driver205-220 yards230-250 yards260+ yards
3 Wood180-195 yards205-225 yards235+ yards
5 Wood170-185 yards195-205 yards220+ yards
7 Wood160-175 yards185-195 yards205+ yards
3 Hybrid160-175 yards190-200 yards205+ yards
3 Iron160-175 yards180-195 yards200+ yards
4 Iron150-165 yards170-185 yards190+ yards
5 Iron145-160 yards160-175 yards180+ yards
6 Iron130-150 yards150-165 yards170+ yards
7 Iron120-140 yards140-155 yards160+ yards
8 Iron110-130 yards130-145 yards145+ yards
9 Iron95-115 yards115-125 yards125+ yards
Pitching Wedge80-105 yards105-115 yards115+ yards
Sand Wedge75-90 yards90-110 yards110+ yards
Lob Wedge60-70 yards70-80 yards80+ yards
Women’s Golf Shot Averages
As a general rule of thumb for this table, women can typically subtract 50 yards for driver and woods, 40 yards for irons, and 30 yards for wedges. This should get them in the ballpark for women’s averages across the same three categories.

Contributing Factors to Shot Distance

As mentioned above, there are some primary contributing factors to shot distance:

  • Swing speed: The faster the clubhead is moving at impact, the more energy is transferred to the ball, resulting in a longer shot.
  • Ball contact: The position on the clubface where the ball makes contact can greatly affect the trajectory and distance of the shot.
  • Club specifications: The loft, shaft length, and other specifications of the club can impact shot distance.
  • Weather: The air density, wind speed, and other weather conditions can affect how far the ball travels through the air.
  • Temperature: The temperature of the air can also impact the ball’s flight, as warmer air is less dense and provides less resistance.
  • Time of day: The time of day can affect shot distance, as the air temperature and wind conditions can change throughout the day.

While the weather isn’t under one’s control, nor the effects of wind and precipitation, golfers should consider three factors when looking to extract more distance out of their golf shot.

Swing Speed and Ball Contact

Increasing swing speed will boost the range of a golf shot if all other factors remain the same or improve. This factor is why distance improves as golfers get more experienced: They learn how to swing the club faster while maintaining quality ball contact. If swing speed increases, but the ball isn’t struck near the center of the club face, golfers may not extract more distance from their shot. Even if they do, it may be a distance in the wrong direction, which won’t get them any closer to the pin than they would have been otherwise.

For newer golfers with higher handicaps, the best point of focus is improving the consistency of their ball contact. High-handicap golfers typically struggle with consistently striking with the center of the club face. If they don’t improve this part of their game, no amount of club speed increase will get their ball farther down the fairway outside of a few lucky shots.

For mid-handicap golfers, this judgment becomes more case-by-case. Some mid-handicap golfers have achieved pretty consistent ball contact. Thus, they should start working on increasing their swing speed. Others may already have decent swing speed but still struggle with slices or hooks that transfer too much of their ball’s momentum laterally. If your shot is typically straight, think about increasing swing speed. If you still have a significant hook or slice, focus on contact.

For low-handicap golfers, things usually come down to getting more speed in their swing. This can be achieved in several ways. If you rule out equipment-focused improvements and narrow in on improving distance with the clubs you have, increased swing speed is typically achieved by the following:

Club Specs

Club specs also affect the average distance for golf clubs. Three primary club specifications help golfers dial in their shots and consistently improve their range without hurting their accuracy:

  • Club loft
  • Shaft and head weight
  • Club length

Club loft affects range by directing the vertical path of the golf ball. It’s worth noting that the exact effect of loft on distance can vary depending on the individual player’s swing, the ball used, and other factors. Certain woods  will have an adjustable loft that allows golfers to tweak things to dial in their shot. It may seem like a no-brainer to go for the lowest loft possible. However, if you struggle to get the ball up in the air, increasing the loft on your driver may improve your carry distance. Largely, though, the lower the loft, the farther the ball will be carried by a solid shot.

Shaft and head weight mostly affect clubhead speed. Using a shaft that is too heavy can slow down your swing, lowering your effective range. Many club heads also carry extra weight distributed toward the rear to improve their forgiveness, but too much of this excess weight can also decrease speed. This factor is why you must find a club with the right balance of forgiveness and range for your individual swing.

Using a longer club will typically result in more distance, as it creates a flatter club angle that can better leverage the rotational power of your hips. This issue also makes it harder to keep a straight ball path, though, as the same rotation makes it easier to send the ball sideways than straight down the fairway or towards your target. Again, this is all about finding the right combination of these elements for your swing.

Find the Perfect Club for Your Swing with Worldwide Golf

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At Worldwide Golf Shops, we take pride in offering brands that we guarantee will provide the highest level of value to our diverse range of golfers. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you in finding the perfect golf gear. Find a store near you today!

Trevor Cigich

Trevor Cigich | Director of Retail Marketing |  Worldwide Golf Shops

I’ve been at Worldwide Golf Shops for 6 years, and I’ve been playing golf for 23 years. I have played a few mini tour events but now compete occasionally at the amateur level– currently a +2.1 handicap. I am a bit of a tinkerer when it comes to golf and golf clubs. I enjoy testing all aspects of different products, utilizing various fitting systems and learning about all the different club shafts, club lengths, golf balls, and putter styles. Not just for my game, but to help customers of all calibers.

For more content from me and our team, as well as our vast online store, go to www.worldwidegolfshops.com.