One of the things that will drive you nuts on the golf course is when one of the strangers you're playing with says, "Hey, what club did you just hit?" If your regular playing partners ask you this, you don't mind telling them 'cause they know how far you hit your clubs. But a stranger asking you this is akin to them asking you how much money you make or how big your dick is. First, it's none of their damn business. Second, it doesn't help them assess their situation in life at all. Tiger Woods just hit a 7-iron out of deep rough almost 200 yards dead across the Pacific Ocean to a tiny green yesterday at the U.S. Open. Had my ball been lying next to his in that rough, what good would it have been for me to ask, "What did you hit there, buddy?"

However, just for a general reference for those of you new to the golfing game, here is an approximate distance you should expect from each of your clubs. If you're hitting them further than this, perhaps you should try hitting them straighter! If you're hitting them much less than this, go get some lessons from a PGA Pro in your area.

  • Driver - 250 to 300 yards.
    Obviously, the bigger the stick, the bigger the differential in distances for folks.
  • 3-Wood - 210 to 240 yards.
  • 5-Wood - 190 to 220 yards.
  • 3-Iron - 180 to 200 yards.
  • 4-Iron - 180 to 190 yards.
  • 5-Iron - 170 to 180 yards.
  • 6-Iron - 160 to 170 yards.
  • 7-Iron - 150 to 160 yards.
  • 8-Iron - 140 to 150 yards.
  • 9-Iron - 120 to 140 yards.
  • Pitching Wedge - 110 to 130 yards.
  • Sand Wedge - 80 to 100 yards.
  • Lob Wedge - 60 to 70 yards.
Actually, if the stranger is an experienced golfer it's a perfectly reasonable question to ask(provided you are not in a tournament situation). But, then again, anyone who spends enough time playing golf can tell what a club is with just a glance, based on how it looks when set up. Back to the point, with experience, a total stranger can get a good feel for your distances very quickly. Generally, within 5 or 6 holes someone who plays a lot can figure out exactly how much longer or shorter someone hits the ball in relation to themselves. So yes, it help them assess the situation a great deal, provided they are reasonably skilled. However, you are under no obligation to answer his question and it is generally advisable not to in a non-casual situation. Telling someone what club you hit can be considered giving advice which results in a 2 stroke penalty in stroke play and loss of hole in match play.

The distances you gave would be fairly accurate for a player who has been around the game for a while but is not especially skilled. Distance depends on a variety of factors such as swing efficiency, strength, club-head speed and weight among other things.

I know new golfers whose distances are well above those and well below those provided. As you improve you will find that not only are your distances longer, but there is a much wider range for each club.

For example: here are my distances(I average ~+3 for 18 holes(course rating: 73.9, slope: 139)):

  • Driver: 280-325 yards
  • 3-wood: 245-275 yards
  • 2-iron: 225-255 yards
  • 3-iron: 205-235 yards
  • 4-iron: 190-215 yards
  • 5-iron: 180-205 yards
  • 6-iron: 170-190 yards
  • 7-iron: 155-175 yards
  • 8-iron: 140-160 yards
  • 9-iron: 125-150 yards
  • P-wedge: 115-135 yards
  • Gap wedge: 75-125 yards
  • Lob wedge: 60-95 yards

As you can see, there is quite a bit of overlapping in these distances. There will not be as much over-lap in a beginning golfers distances.

Once a beginning golfer obtains a solid swing(before that point you will need many lessons or there isn't a point in trying) he will then be fighting to correct errors in the swing causing slices, hooks and shanks. All of these will cause the ball flight to be very inconsistent. Given the differences in swings, experience, size and strength, it is impossible to create a general guide as to how far you will hit the ball and where it will go. If you have questions on the matter, contact your local PGA pro. S/he will be able to help you in the matter and give you lessons.

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