Golf Iron Distance

Knowing Your Golf Iron Distances is Key…

How far does a 5 iron go? How about a 9 iron? That’s a tough question. It honestly depends more on your ability and skill level than the club itself. That’s why it varies so much from golfer to golfer.

One player’s 7-iron distance might be what another golfer hits his 5-iron or a professional hits a 9 iron. The yardages given for certain clubs are always an estimate for how far a specific club should go. Think of it as a guide, but what’s more important is knowing exactly how far each of YOUR irons will travel.

It is also crucial that you have a realistic expectation of your golf iron distance. Don’t whip a 7 iron out the bag when you are 160 yards out because you have hit it that far 1 time. You are far more likely to hit the green when you aren’t stretching a clubs limit. Take out a longer club and give it a nice easy full swing.

What Golf Irons Should You Carry?

Since the invention of hybrid golf clubs, the lowest iron I currently carry in my bag is a 5 iron. Hybrid clubs are so much easier to hit than a 3 or 4 iron, but it really depends on you.

Some players love their 3 and 4 irons and don’t want to trade them in for hybrids and that is just fine. It just comes down to finding the clubs that work best for you.

Golf Iron Distance Guide

The yardages for golf iron distances listed in the chart below show a range for what I would call average amateur handicap golfers. This is much more realistic than golf iron distance charts which shot how far scratch players and pros hit each golf iron.

Iron Yardage Chart:

Golf Iron distance3-iron – 160-180-200 yards

4-iron – 150-170-190 yards

5-iron – 140-160-175 yards

6-iron – 130-150-165 yards

7-iron – 120-140-155 yards

8-iron – 110-130-140 yards

9-iron – 95-115-135 yards

PW     – 80-105-120 yards

SW     – 60-80-105 yards

Professionals Know Their Iron Distances

I have a few professional golfer friends I play with a few times per month and the thing they harp on the most is knowing how far you actually hit each of your clubs.

Knowing your golf iron distance could save you a lot of strokes per round. They are amazed that most handicap golfers have no idea (or a very hopeful idea of) how far each of their clubs, irons specifically, actually goes.

Does your 7 iron go 146 yards or do you think it goes 155 yards, maybe that’s why you always end up in the front bunker and it costs you 2 extra strokes on that par 3 hole at your course.

My pro friends know their irons go a specific yardage, they tell me their 7 iron goes 172 or a 7 iron goes 148 yards (it’s that exact). 

If you’re playing golf for a living you better know exactly how far each club carries for a given shot or you’ll be eaten alive against other pros.

I know that when faced with a 150 yard shot, most handicap golfers I play with will pull out a 7 iron (usually because of a chart like the one above).

But what if there’s wind helping or hurting, is it uphill do you have a flyer lie? There are many things for you to consider before you pull out that 7 iron. Pro’s will often use an 8 or 9 iron for a 150 yard shot.

Last time I checked I wasn’t a pro yet, and if you are reading this you probably aren’t either, so leave your ego in the car, get a realistic idea of your golf iron distance, and play the iron you know you can hit a specific yardage.

If your 7 iron goes 145 yards don’t use an 8 iron it’ll just cost you strokes. If you want to get more distance out of a club practice that on the range not on the course (it’ll make golf a lot more fun). So know your yardages for each club in the bag especially your short irons and wedges.

If your pitching wedge goes 110 yards don’t attempt a SW for that shot it’ll just cause undue frustration.

Dial In Your Golf Iron Distance

practice to learn the yardage for all you clubsSo, next time you’re on the range take out your 9 iron and hit 10 balls to the flag marked 120 yards.

If you hit 8 of 10 balls near the flag, make a mental note your 9 iron should be used for 120 yard shots on the course. Do this for all your clubs.

I would recommend going to a nearby park to figure out your wedge distances, because you need to be more accurate than the usual marking intervals at the range allow for.

Walk off certain yardages say 60 – 80 – 100 yards and hit a shag bag filled with 50 balls to those targets. Knowing how far your LW – SW – GW (gap wedge) truly go will save you a ton of strokes during a round of golf.

Now get out there and dial in your golf iron distances you’ll be glad you did. Your playing partners will pay the price when you start to take all the skins.

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