Why knowing your golf club distances is more important than how far you should hit each club.
There is no set rule as to how far you should hit each of your golf clubs. But knowing your own golf club distances, is key to playing better golf and improving your handicap. How far you hit your clubs depends on swing speed, smash factor, loft, weather conditions and the golf ball you’re using.
How far does the average golfer hit the golf club
At some point we all ask ourselves “How far should I hit each club?” Yet the distance the average player will hit the golf ball with each club depends on the following factors.
How fast the club can be swung. How well the ball is struck. How well the club transmits energy to the ball and what golf ball you use.
All of these factors can be worked on by a golfer of any level. By using the right equipment and understanding how to swing properly. Any player can reasonably increase the distance that they hit the ball.
Average Distances for Men
Average distance of PGA Professional
Average distances for women
Average distance of LPGA Professional
Do all golf clubs hit the same distance?
No, even though two golf clubs may both be 7 irons. It does not mean you will hit the ball the same distance with both of them. That’s because as newer clubs are released, their lofts are getting stronger.
Everyone who plays golf wants to hit the ball further. However, rather than spend time learning how to do it. They want a short cut which involves less effort and that usually means buying new clubs.
My old Callaway Apex Pro 7 iron has a loft of 34 degrees. Yet the newer version of the same club, has a stronger loft of 31 degrees, meaning the new 8 iron is actually closer to my old 7 iron.
And when you compare different manufacturers, the gap in lofts can be even greater.
The new TaylorMade P790 7 iron, has a loft of 30 degrees. This is much more like my old 6 iron.
Do hybrid golf clubs hit further than irons?
Due to the Hybrid’s centre of gravity being lower and further back. A golfer will hit a hybrid further than the equivalent iron.
I have a collection of Callaway clubs within which I have both a 3 iron and a 4 hybrid. The 3 iron has a loft of 21 degrees, whilst the 4 hybrid has a loft of 22 degrees.
In the 3 years that I have owned these clubs, I prefer to play the 4 hybrid as I find it easier to hit. I can hit it further than the 3 iron and with a lot more confidence too.
Hybrid golf clubs can now be great alternatives for everything from 3 woods to 6 irons. And with them being designed with adjustable lofts, you can tweak them to your own requirements.
In my experience, playing hybrid clubs can help you increase your distance and control, and should certainly be an option if you want more distance.
How can I hit the ball further with each club?
The distance you hit the ball with each club is determined by the following factors. Should you want to hit the ball further, then you should be working to improve each one of these.
Improving the way you swing the club will automatically translate into a faster swing speed. This in turn will give you a faster ball speed and greater distance.
Swinging the club faster is not merely a case of trying harder. In fact this will usually result in poor results.
The golf swing is a collection of individual movements. So to swing faster, you have to firstly understand the correct sequencing of these movements.
The smash factor is the measure of how well the energy within the golf club is transmitted into the ball. It is calculated by dividing the ball speed by the swing speed.
A professional golfer will have a smash factor of 1.5 or greater. Whereas an average golfer will have a smash factor as low as 1.3.
A recent study by the manufacturer of launch monitors, Foresight. Highlighted that by improving this ratio, a player with a swing speed of 85mph, could increase their distance with a driver by almost 20 yards.
So delivering the club to the ball in the most efficient way, is better for increasing distance.
Choose the right golf club
In simple terms, as the golf club hits the ball, the club will want to twist due to the force being transmitted into the ball.
The more distance between the point at which the ball hits the clubface, and the centre of the club face, the greater the twisting force.
Clubs which better resist this twisting motion will have more of their mass, focused towards their edges. These are called cavity backed or perimeter weighted golf clubs.
Cavity backed golf clubs will help the ball fly straighter, despite off centre hits on the clubface.
Because beginners and high handicap golfers are more prone to hitting the ball off centre on the clubface. They are more suited to playing with these cavity backed style golf clubs.
Professional golfers and those with lower handicaps, who strike the ball out of the centre of the clubface. Will play a club design where its mass is more centred on the clubface as that is where they want all the energy to be focused.
By ensuring you are playing with the correct style of golf club. You can easily pick up more distance and more control. And improve your handicap.
Knowing your club distances is more important than how far you hit the ball
It doesn’t matter how far you hit the ball, just as long as you know how far you hit the ball.
I wrote an article about how course management can save you strokes and lower your handicap. You can read that article by clicking the link ‘here’.
Within the article I discussed at length about how knowing the distance you hit with every club, can aid you in putting a plan together to manage your game.
This in turn can lead to keeping out of trouble more often. Lowering your stress and anxiety whilst playing, and ultimately lowering your scores.
Taking the time to regularly track your club distances, will make you more confident throughout the round and give you a huge benefit over a player that doesn’t.
Whilst it’s great to drive the ball for miles. Yet distance is no good if you can’t control the direction and flight of the golf ball.
After all, being 50 yards past your opponent is useless if you’re in the rough with no shot to the green.
Golf clubs do not hit the ball on their own. You have to swing them.
So taking the time to be better at swinging the club and delivering it to the ball, will yield you more improvements than just trying to hit the ball harder.
I hope you have found this article useful. If you want to read more about how you can practice your swing better I have a couple of articles that will help.
I wrote about how to practice golf more effectively. You can read that ‘here’. I also wrote about how you can put together a useful practice station on the driving range. You can read that article ‘here’. And finally, I wrote about the 9 basic ball flights of a golf ball and how to shape your shots ‘here’.