The Most Used Golf Clubs: We Asked 17 Different Golfers

You’re allowed to carry 14 clubs in your bag, but is that really necessary? I was pretty curious to see what golf clubs most golfers use the most, so I went out and asked 17 different golfers.

According to most golfers, the putter, wedges, and driver, in that order, are the most used golf clubs. The putter is clearly the most used golf club and is used for roughly 53% of shots.

The numbers will be different for high handicappers and scratch golfers, but the stats we’ll be talking about were from average recreational golfers. You might have slightly different stats, but the numbers we got are averages across 17 golfers.

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I want to hear from you. In the comments below, let me know which club you use the most and least often.

What Golf Clubs Are Used The Most?

Golf ClubPercent Of Shots
7 Iron4%
The Rest7%

Over the past few rounds, I’ve been recording how many times I’ve hit each club. I knew the putter would obviously be the most used, but for everything else, I really had no idea.

For every golfer out there, the putter is the most used club in the bag. It’s used on every single hole and is probably the most important when it comes to improving scores. I use my putter on roughly 53% of shots.

Just think about how many times you finish a hole by sinking your first putt. It’s probably not that often. If you follow the “greens in regulation” stat then you’ll know that you should have 2 putts per hole in order to get par.

How many times do you putt more than 2 times though? For most people, it’s probably 2 or 3 times per round. That quickly adds up and is the reason the putter is the most used.

For me, my wedges are the second most used clubs and are taken out of my bag about 19% of the time. I have 3 wedges in my bag (pitching, gap, and sand wedge) so this wasn’t really a surprise.

Just think about how many times you actually hit the green on your approach (or tee) shot. Most of the time I’m either short, long, left or right. That’s why most golfers hit their wedges so often.

The third most used club in most golfer’s bag is the driver (17% of the time). There’s normally 14 par 4/5’s on a course and most of the time you’re hitting the driver. Everyone loves hitting the big stick, so this really isn’t that much of a surprise.

After the driver, there’s a big jump to the next club. Every other club in the bag is used much less, but for most golfers, the 7 iron is used quite a bit (4% of the time).

All other irons, fairway woods, and hybrids account for about 7% of shots. Most golfers barely use their longer irons, will hit their hybrid/wood a few times per round, and might only hit their irons once or twice each.

What Are The Most Important Golf Clubs To Own?

In total, 54 percent of golfers agreed that the putter is the most important club to have in the bag in order to lower scores. 20 percent of golfers said the driver was their most important club while 14 percent said their wedges.

These three clubs were clearly the winners but there were still a few people who said something else. Some golfers might have them in a slightly different order but I’m pretty positive that most people would agree.

The 3 most vital clubs are the driver, putter, and wedge, in that order.

Ben Hogan

If you were to look at pro golfers then I’d probably say that order is right. For the average recreational golfer, I think you could switch the putter and the driver. Would you agree?

Anyways, I asked 17 different golfers what they thought was the most important club in their bag (not necessarily the most used) and this is what they said:

Golf ClubPercent
8 Iron4
Fairway Woods3
5 Iron3
7 Iron2

I was pretty surprised actually that 54% of people said the putter was the most important. Nothing else was even close. I guess Bobby Locke was on the right track.

You drive for show, but putt for dough.

Bobby Locke

I don’t know about you, but I score my best rounds when I avoid the 3-putt at all costs. My best 9 hole score was 4 over par, and I couldn’t hit the fairway if my life depended on it.

My second shot was almost always from the rough, I’d hack the ball up to the green, and then sink pretty much everything. That made things really clear in my mind what the most important club was.

The second most important club is the driver. You’ll probably be using it around 14 times per round, and if it’s not working for you, your scorecard will definitely not like it.

Just think about how much easier the game would be if you were hitting your second shot from the middle of the fairway. Some of my best rounds have been when I benched the driver and just focused on hitting the ball 200 yards in the fairway.

It really does work, and just imagine how your scores would improve if your driver was more consistent. Nobody likes hitting shot after shot from the rough, and it’s not all that good for the mental game.

The third most important clubs are the wedges. This could be your pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, or lob wedge. Whatever combination you have, you’ll want to focus on dialing them in.

I don’t know about you but I miss the green more often than not on my approach shots. Wedges are my second most used clubs and that’s why they’re so important for recreational golfers.

88 percent of golfers said the putter, driver, and wedges are the most important clubs. That leaves 12 percent who tend to disagree.

Some people say their fairway woods are the most important, and I can see why. I hit more fairways with my woods compared to my drivers, and that’s pretty important.

Not only that but woods can also be hit from the fairway on par 5’s. Sure, you could try hitting the driver, but good luck having much success.

Everyone else said one of their irons was the most important. I don’t really agree, but you can use an iron for pretty much all shots (tee shots, from the fairway, chips, pitches). The versatility is there but I don’t see them impacting the score as much as the others.

Which Irons Are Used The Most?

In total, 43% of golfers agreed that their 7 iron was the most used iron in their bag. 37% of golfers said their sand wedge was their most-used club while 18% said they use the pitching wedge the most.

I don’t know if I’d agree with that order but these three irons are definitely used the most in my bag. The reason is that most iron shots are from either 150 or 100 yards out or are greenside chips. For most golfers:

  • 150-yard shot = 7 iron.
  • 100-yard shot = pitching wedge.
  • Short chip = sand wedge.

After asking 17 different golfers what their most-used irons were, what I thought going in was right. Here were the responses:

Golf ClubPercent
7 Iron43
Sand Wedge37
Pitching Wedge18

43% of golfers said their 7 iron was the most used. You can use it on a lot of par 3’s, you can hit it from 150 yards out, and you can even use it for bump and run shots. It’s one of the most versatile clubs out there.

37% of golfers said their sand wedge was the most used iron in their bag. Think about how often you miss the green. For me, it’s pretty often.

Maybe you ended up left or right, maybe you hit the green and rolled off, or maybe you’re just in a bunker. These are all situations where you’ll hit a sand wedge.

The third most used iron is a pitching wedge. Again, it’s pretty versatile and can be used from the fairway, in the rough, or even for chipping the ball. I use mine quite a bit and it’s actually one of the more consistent clubs for me.

What Are The Least Used Golf Clubs?

In total, 45% of golfers said their longer irons and hybrids were the least used clubs in their bag. 27% of golfers said their lob wedge was used the least while 18% said their fairway woods were barely used.

I don’t think this would be the case if you asked scratch or pro golfers, but for recreational players like you and me, I think this is pretty accurate. Of the golfers we asked this question, here were the results:

Golf ClubPercent
3-5 Iron/Hybrids45
Lob Wedge27
Fairway Woods18

45% of people said their 3, 4, and 5 irons/hybrids were taken out of the bag the least. I use my hybrid quite often actually, but before I got it I rarely used my 3-5 iron because they were hard to hit.

For the average player, I really don’t think you need a 3-5 iron in your bag. Get yourself a 4 hybrid and be on your way. You don’t need that many clubs and a hybrid will be way easier to hit.

27% of golfers said their lob wedge was the least used. If you don’t know, a lob wedge is anything above 58 degrees. The most common lob wedge is a 60 degree.

I used to have one and I did like it at times, but it was only useful in a few situations. It worked well for chipping the ball over things but it was terrible on full shots. I just use a sand wedge now.

18% of golfers said their fairway woods were barely used. Most people hit driver off the tee and might only use their wood on a long par 5. A lot of people use hybrids instead now.

This is actually one I disagree with. I use my fairway woods quite a bit, especially when my driver isn’t behaving. I find more fairways with my woods and sometimes that’s what I need to get my game back on track.

The last club that some people barely used was the driver. Some beginners and high handicaps slice the driver three fairways over, so I can understand why it might stay in the bag.

What Is The Most Difficult Golf Club To Hit?

The most difficult golf club to hit for most golfers is the 3, 4, and 5 iron. The small club size and the lower loft decrease the forgiveness and will result in short, low golf shots.

If you read the previous section you’ll know that the 3, 4, and 5 iron/hybrid are the least used clubs for most people. Wondering why that’s the case? Well, now you know.

I don’t know about you, but I could probably throw the ball farther than I could hit it with a 3 iron. That’s why I got rid of them all together and got myself a hybrid instead. I suggest you do the same.

The reason they’re so hard to hit is because of the longer shaft, small head size, and low loft. You really need a good amount of club speed to launch the ball up in the air.

Other than the longer irons, the lob wedge is probably the second hardest club to hit consistently. This club has a huge amount of loft (58+ degrees) and is really tough to control the distance.

As I said before, it was perfectly fine for short little chips, but when it came to full shots I really had no idea where it was going to end up. Sometimes I’d duff it well short. Sometimes I’d top the ball and have it fly 20 yards long.

Again, that’s probably why so many golfers said they rarely bring the lob wedge out. That’s why my shortest club is now a sand wedge.

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Hey, I'm Jon. I started Out Of Bounds Golf to share my findings after testing golf gear for the past 10+ years. My goal is to make the game a little easier to understand, whether that's with finding the right product or answering common questions. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest.

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