Average Golf Club Distance: How Far Should You Hit Each Club

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Distance is one of the most discussed topics in the world of golf. 

While LIV Golf and the PGA Tour have taken over recent discussions, the distance debate is always happening in the background. The governing boards of golf are always trying to figure out how to make sure technology doesn’t make most golf courses obsolete. 

But for the everyday golfer, distance is important and makes the game more fun. We all love to hit drivers hard and brag to our friends about how far we hit any club on any given day. Luckily, technology is making it easier than ever to increase distance, even as you get older. 

If you’re like most golfers, chances are you’ve wondered, “How far should I hit each golf club?” 

This is a good question because more distance does make the game simpler. Don’t get me wrong, distance isn’t everything but it can have a big impact on your ability to shoot lower scores.

Keep reading to learn more about the average golf club distance for different types of golfers and a few ways to increase distance.  

Average Golf Club Distance  

Understanding average distance for each club isn’t quite as easy for amateurs as we don’t track every single shot we hit. So let’s start with the PGA and LPGA Tour first and work backward to understand average distances for amateur golfers.

Also Read: What Is The Average Golf Score & How To Improve It

PGA Tour Average Distances

So, how far do the best guys in the world hit the golf ball with each club in the bag? Here are the average distances for PGA Tour thanks to Trackman Golf

Trackman PGA tour stats

If you’re like a lot of golfers, these numbers might surprise you and seem lower than expected. 

For example, according to this data from Trackman, the average carry distance for a driver is only 275 yards. But when you watch golf on TV, it feels like every player hits it 300+ yards (or more) every single drive. 

To verify these results, I checked out the PGA Tour stats from their website in the 2021 season  and found the average driving distance was 296.2 yards

This includes both carry and roll for total driving distance so the distances from Trackman hold up. While Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy averaged more than 315 yards per drive, the majority of the Tour is under 300 yards. 

LPGA Tour Average Distances 

Next up is the LPGA Tour. 

Similar to the PGA Tour stats from above, these seem less than what you would expect or see on TV. But they check out and both sets of statistics give us a baseline to better understand how far amateur golfers should hit the ball. 

Amateur Golf Average Distances

Now that we have a benchmark with the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour averages, let’s get into how far the everyday, recreational golfer hits the ball. 

Average Driver Distance for Amateur Golfers 

Each year, the USGA releases its “Annual Distance Report” to better understand how distances are impacting the game. Here’s what the USGA report found when it comes to average driving distances for amateur golfers:  

“The average driving distance of a sample of amateur male golfers in the UK was measured to be 216 yards in 2019 with no data being collected in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This represents an increase of 16 yards over 24 years. 

Driver usage has increased amongst these players over this timeframe, particularly for the highest handicap golfers. An equivalent average driving distance for female average golfers between 2013 and 2019 was 148 yards.”

Below is an average driving distance chart for both males and females. 

Male Amateur Golfer Average Driving Distance 

Handicap <6 6-12 13-20 21+ Overall
Average Distance (yards)
239.2 ± 2.7
219.8 ± 1.8
200.0 ± 2.5
176.6 ± 6.8
215.6 ± 1.4
Longest Drive (yards)
335.3
317.0
321.3
266.5
335.3
Driver Usage (%)
84.5%
88.6%
89.3%
96.7%
88.2%
Number of shots
207
499
375
60
1141

Female Amateur Golfer Average Driving Distance 

Handicap <6 6-12 13-20 21-28 29+ Overall
Average Distance (yards)
196.7 ± 2.6
177.5 ± 1.3
155.0 ± 1.1
141.5 ± 1.0
119.8 ± 1.9
147.9 ± 0.7
Longest Drive (yards)
261.5
254.2
255.6
227.1
207.1
261.5
Driver Usage (%)
97.4
96.1
97.1
98.0
94.8
96.9
Number of shots
76
356
819
937
325
2513

Average Distances 

While the USGA provides plenty of data for total driving distance, the rest of the numbers for the average player is an educated guess. However, Golf Digest did reference an Arccos Golf study that found, “The overall 7-iron average was 143.3 yards, compared to 172 yards for a PGA Tour player as measured by Trackman.”

According to the USGA, the average handicap for men is 14.2 while the average for women is 27.5 We’ll use this data paired with handicap ranges to provide average golf club distance for men below. 

Average Golf Club Distances for Men 

Golf Club 17-25 handicap 8-16 handicap >7 handicap
Driver
205
219
239.0+
3-Wood
195
206
216
5-Wood
185
196
206
3-Iron
173
183
193
4-Iron
163
173
183
5-Iron
153
163
173
6-Iron
143
153
163
7-Iron
133
143
153
8-Iron
123
133
143
9-Iron
113
123
133
Pitching Wedge
103
113
123
Gap Wedge
93
103
113
Sand Wedge
83
93
103
Lob Wedge
103
83
93

Factors that Impact Distance

Now that you have a better understanding of average golf club distance, let’s talk about what impacts distance. 

Equipment

As the USGA report showed, the average male golfer has added 16 yards over the past 24 years. 

The biggest reason for the increase in distance?

Equipment. 

Playing the right golf clubs has a huge impact on total distance. Drivers specifically are a club you should update frequently to not lose out on precious distance. Not to mention, newer drivers are also more forgiving and usually provide more accuracy too. 

The same goes for fairway wood and hybrids as well. Using hybrids vs. long irons can also impact distance as the clubs might have the same loft but hybrids tend to go further. 

Plus, irons are longer than ever now thanks to cavity back designs. If you want to hit your irons further, make sure you play more forgiving irons as they’re built for distance. While you might lose some shot making capabilities, they’re easier to hit and will go further.

Even wedges are easier to hit now thanks to more forgiving designs too. If you want to hit any club further, always check your current equipment and don’t be afraid to test out new gear. 

Related: Golf Wedge Buying Guide 

Start Speed Training 

While equipment has contributed greatly to total distance, never forget that distance comes from speed. The more speed you create, the longer the ball will travel. 

Speed training is one of the best ways to add distance to your game. This has become more common in the past 5-10 years thanks to social media, long drive competitions, golfers paying more attention to fitness routines, and the obsession with distance.

SuperSpeed Golf is one of the leaders in helping players swing the club faster. Here’s how speed training works

“OverSpeed Training takes a known motion like the golf swing and speeds up the reaction speed of your muscles when you make the motion. This works by using clubs slightly lighter than your driver, reducing the dynamic resistance of your swing, and allowing your body to move much faster than normal.” 

To learn more about speed training and increasing speed in your swing, check out our full guide here.

Golf Swing Mechanics

While equipment and speed play big roles in total distance, we can’t forget to mention mechanics either. The more fundamentally sound of swing you have, the easier it will be to increase distance with any club in the bag.

For example, if you scoop the ball instead of hitting down and through it, you will lose distance. But if you work on your swing on the driving range and start to compress the golf ball, you can increase distance. 

Here are some of our most popular posts to help you master the fundamentals of the golf swing:

Weather

Another component that impacts distance on any given round is the weather. If you’re playing in cold or wet weather, the air is heavier and the ball won’t travel as far. Conversely, if you’re playing in hot weather the air is thinner and the ball will travel further.  

Age 

Finally, it’s important to not forget about age either. In general, the older you get, the less distance you will have thanks to lower swings speeds. However, it’s not as much of a factor thanks to easy to hit equipment but something to consider for the long run. 

Next Step – Start Tracking Your Distances

While these stats should give you an estimate of average distances, the most important thing you can do is start tracking distances. Once you know how far you hit each club in the bag, you can see how different balls, clubs, weather, and more impact your distances. 

Plus, knowing how far you hit each club will give you a lot more confidence on the golf course. It’ll make it easier to speed up play and stand confidently over the ball knowing you have the right club for the shot. 

Top Questions About Distance

Do you have more questions about average distances for every club in the bag? If so, keep reading to find answers so you can learn more about your distances to play better golf. 

What club is best for distance?

Your driver is the club that will go the longest in your bag. Thanks to shaft length and low loft, this club is built for distance. Plus, new equipment from golf club manufacturers each year makes it easier than even to add distance to your game. 

How far should I hit a 7-iron? 

This is another good question as your 7-iron is one of the most popular clubs in the bag. According to the Arccos study mentioned above, the average male hits his 7-iron about 143 yards. While professionals are more than 170 yards. 

How do golf clubs affect distance?

Each club goes a different distance thanks to loft and shaft length. The loft is less with longer clubs and more with shorter clubs.

For example, a driver is typically between 8-12 degrees for most golfers and even lower for PGA Tour pros. Not to mention, a driver has the longest shaft at about 45 inches. Low loft, plus the long shaft means it will go further than any other club in your bag. 

But since a driver is long and doesn’t have much loft, it’s also the hardest to control. As you go down in the bag, club shafts get shorter and easier to control. Plus, they have more loft to help with shorter shots where you need the ball to go up in the air and stop quickly. 

How far should an average golfer hit each club? 

As you can tell from the information above, there are a ton of factors to consider for total distance. 

My biggest advice is to only compare your swing distances to your former distances. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else as no two golfers have the same swing, equipment, mechanics, height/weight, and speed. 

Track your distances regularly to see how things change and so you have a baseline for every club in the bag. 

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, you have a much better understanding of the average golf club distance for all types of players. 

Distance is very important when it comes to shooting lower scores, especially with a driver off the tee. The longer you can hit your tee ball, the shorter your approach shot into the green, which should lead to more scoring opportunities. 

As a quick recap:

  • Track your distances regularly on the range.
  • Only compare your distances to your past distances.
  • Lower handicap players on average hit the ball farther.
  • Longer clubs have longer shafts and less loft which equals more distance.
  • There are tons of factors when it comes to total distance including age, speed, equipment, swing mechanics, and more. 

What’s your biggest tip with adding more distance to every club in the bag?

Let us know in the comments below. 

Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard is a full-time writer, author, creator of Wicked Smart Golf and +1 handicap amateur golfer. He left his corporate, national sales career in 2017 to pursue entrepreneurship and professional golf; since then, he’s competed in 160+ tournament days and went to Q-school in 2019.

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