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I’m sure you’ve seen the people who walk up to a 150-yard par 3 and grab their pitching wedge. You’re probably a bit curious about how you actually stack up to people your own age, and in this post, I’m going to be showing you how far the majority of golfers hit their clubs.
Generally, you’ll hit the ball longer when you’re in your 20s and 30s, but your distances will slowly decrease as you get older. The reason is most likely that your swing speed isn’t as fast as before. It looks like distances decrease by 3% in your 30s, just about 5% in your 40s, 4% in your 50s, and 7% when you get over 60.
To figure out distances, I asked a number of different golfers from different age ranges how far they hit each club. Some of them were people I know and some of them were from online groups and forums. I recorded everything and then found the average across each age group.
Average Driver Distance By Age
The average driving distance for all golfers is 219 yards but typically ranges between 196 and 238 yards. Golfers in their 20s normally hit the ball the longest, and distances tend to decrease as the golfers get older.
Again, you might be a lot longer than this or you might be shorter. The numbers listed in the table below are averages across a number of different golfers. Here are the results:
|Age Range||Average Driver Distance|
|All Golfers||219 yards|
Typically, golfers in their 20s will have the fastest swing speeds and that’s why the average distance is higher. As you get older, your swing speed normally decreases. That being said, there are still older golfers who have incredibly high swing speeds.
If you’re able to drive the ball somewhere close to 220 yards, you’re pretty much average. I’d say anything lower than 210 yards and you’re less than average. More than 230 yards and you’re quite a bit better than average (which will be surprising to a lot of people).
Average Fairway Wood Distance By Age
The average fairway wood distance for all golfers is 203 yards, but the range varies between 182 and 220 yards. The distances will depend on what fairway wood you’re using, whether you’re using a tee, and your swing speed.
Some golfers have 3 wood, some have 5 wood, and some even have 7 wood. Off the tee, a 3 wood will be slightly longer than the others. Off the ground, they’ll all be very close for most golfers.
Here is how far the average golfer hits their fairway wood:
|Age Range||Average Fairway Wood Distance|
|All Golfers||203 yards|
Average Hybrid Distance By Age
The average distance people hit their hybrid is 180 yards, but the range tends to vary between 161 and 196 yards. The average distance will depend on your swing speed, what hybrid you’re using, and whether or not you’re hitting off a tee.
The majority of people have either a 4 or 5 hybrid in their bag. That’s what most of these numbers are based off, but there were a few golfers who had a 3 or 6 hybrid instead.
Here is how far the average golfer hits their hybrid:
|Age Range||Average Hybrid Distance|
|All Golfers||180 yards|
Average 5 Iron Distance By Age
The average golfer hits their 5 iron 164 yards, but the range tends to vary between 146 and 179 yards. The distance you hit the ball will depend on your swing speed and how well you can compress the golf ball.
Here is how far the average golfer hits their 5 iron:
|Age Range||Average 5 Iron Distance|
|All Golfers||164 yards|
Average 6 Iron Distance By Age
The average golfer hits their 6 iron 155 yards, but the average range varies between 138 and 169 yards. Your distance is determined by how fast you swing the club and how well you compress the ball.
Here is how far the average golfer hits their 6 iron:
|Age Range||Average 6 Iron Distance|
|All Golfers||155 yards|
Average 7 Iron Distance By Age
The average golfer hits their 7 iron 145 yards, but the average distances will vary between 128 and 160 yards. Golfers in their 20s typically hit the ball the longest, and the distance tends to decrease as the golfer gets older.
Here is how far the average golfer hits their 7 iron:
|Age Range||Average 7 Iron Distance|
|All Golfers||145 yards|
Average 8 Iron Distance By Age
The average distance golfers hit their 8 iron is 136 yards. Golfers in their 20s normally hit their 8 iron closer to 150 yards while golfers in their 60s are much closer to 120 yards.
Here is how far the average golfer hits their 8 iron:
|Age Range||Average 8 Iron Distance|
|All Golfers||136 yards|
Average 9 Iron Distance By Age
Golfers of all ages typically hit their 9 iron 126 yards. Golfers in their 20s typically will hit their 9 iron 139 yards while golfers over the age of 60 will be much closer to 110 yards.
This is how far the average golfer hits their 9 iron:
|Age Range||Average 9 Iron Distance|
|All Golfers||126 yards|
Average Pitching Wedge Distance By Age
The average distance golfers hit their pitching wedge is 116 yards, but the range varies between 102 and 127 yards. Younger golfers with faster swing speeds tend to hit their pitching wedge 130 yards while older golfers are much closer to 100 yards.
This is how far the average player hits their pitching wedge:
|Age Range||Average Pitching Wedge Distance|
|All Golfers||116 yards|
Average Sand Wedge Distance By Age
The average golfer tends to hit their sand wedge close to 85 yards on full shots. Your distance will depend on the loft of your sand wedge, how fast you swing the club, and whether or not you’re taking a full swing.
Here is how far the average golfer hits their sand wedge:
|Age Range||Average Sand Wedge Distance|
|All Golfers||85 yards|
How We Came Up With These Numbers
Figuring out the average distance people hit each club isn’t the easiest thing to do. Everything swings the club differently and everyone will hit the ball at different distances.
I know someone that will hit a pitching wedge from 160 yards out. I know someone else who would hit 6 iron from this distance. Both of them shoot in the low to mid-80s.
I’ve seen case studies from shot tracking companies that list out a bunch of averages. If you don’t know, there are shot tracking gadgets such as the Arccos Caddie or Garmin S40 that will track how far you hit the ball.
The only problem with these numbers is that golfers who wear these are probably better than average. I don’t know many high handicaps who have a $300+ golf watch.
On the other hand, you’ll see a bunch of articles that all list the same general info. They’ll say that the average 6 iron distance is 150 yards. Then, each club will be 10 yards more or less.
I think the only true way to figure out how far people hit each club is to find 5-10 people in each age group and make sure their skill level is different. We’ll add up their yardages to get an average number for each age group. Then we’ll average out each age group to get the real average.
It’s probably not a perfect way to do things but I think it’s better than anything else out there. It took a long time to get all the info, so I hope it was useful.
What Factors Impact Distance
There are a number of different factors that go into how far you hit the golf ball. You can have the same loft on your club and the same swing speed, but your distances could still be different. These are the factors that influence distance:
- Swing speed
- Smash factor
Loft: This is just the loft of the club. Your driver might have 10-11 degrees of loft while your sand wedge could have 54-56 degrees of loft. More loft will give you less distance (most of the time).
Does your 7 iron go farther than your pitching wedge? It probably does, and the reason is that your pitching wedge has more loft and will hit the ball higher.
There are certain times when more loft can help you out though. Take your driver for example. An average person with an average swing speed will likely have a tough time hitting an 8-degree driver. They’ll probably get a lot more distance with a driver that’s 11+ degrees.
Swing speed: The second factor is how fast you swing the club. All things equal, more speed equals more distance. Faster swinging players will normally hit the ball longer than slower swinging players.
That being said, this is only the case if you actually hit the ball properly. Let’s say you swing the club as fast as a long drive champ. If you slice the ball off the planet, you probably have more distance to the pin than someone who took a nice and easy swing and ended up in the middle of the fairway.
Weather: Where you live has a big impact on distance. The ball will travel a lot farther when you’re in the desert or somewhere the air is light. Your distance will be a lot less in a humid area, which is the case for me.
Smash factor: This is ball speed divided by club speed. It basically calculates the amount of energy transferred from the club to the ball. I like to think of this as how much you compress the ball.
If you’re in the desert and swing the club at 120 MPH, you’re still not going to get the greatest distance if you don’t compress the ball. This is why a lot of people slice the ball.
You’ll get straighter shots when you compress the ball, which will add distance. We’ll talk a bit more about this in the next section.
How To Improve Your Distances
Everybody wants to hit the ball longer. Most people try swinging the club faster. You probably already know what the result is. Yeah, the ball flies off the planet in the wrong direction.
There are a few things you can try to improve your distances. They might not all work for you, but they’re definitely worth trying.
The first thing I’d recommend is playing a ball that’s suited for your swing. Most people play the wrong golf ball and it’s just going to make things tougher.
All balls are different. Some of them are built for slower swing speeds while others are built for fast speeds. For beginner and high handicaps, having a ball that’s easy to compress and flies straight is super important.
If you’re a mid handicapper (normally shoot in the 80s), you probably want a similar ball with a bit more greenside spin. This is to dial in your short game and to get the ball to stop a bit quicker.
RELATED: Best golf balls for mid handicappers.
If you’re a scratch or low handicapper, you probably don’t care a whole lot about distance and straightness. You’ll want more control over the ball, and there’s a specific ball for you. Here are some resources to check out:
RELATED: Golf ball comparison table.
The next thing you should check is where you’re making contact with the clubface. Are you hitting it in the sweet spot or are you hitting too much towards the heel or toe?
If you aren’t hitting the sweet spot, you probably aren’t hitting the ball that straight. Hitting the ball straighter will give you a bunch more distance.
Put some green masking tape or some foot spray and the face and take a shot. It’ll quickly show you where you’re making contact. Work on hitting the center of the face and you’ll add quite a bit of distance.
The final thing to work on is properly compressing the ball. My golf game struggled until I really started working on this. Here is a video from Saguto Golf that goes over a few things to check:
Really working to stay over the ball, not lifting your arms, and not flipping at the ball will add massive distance to your shots. I always had a weak little fade until I started working on these things.
Keeping things as simple as possible and working on the fundamentals is the best way to add distance. You don’t need to go to the gym and you don’t need to swing harder. Get the right ball, focus on hitting the sweet spot, and doing a few key moves are the only things you need to focus on to add distance to every club in the bag.
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