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How To Hit Every Golf Club In The Bag (Shot Types & Shapes)

Having a full understanding of every golf club in your bag is extremely important. If you want to improve your game, and feel more confident on the golf course, you need to have complete understanding for every club. Not only how you feel with each club, but how far each club goes, shot shapes with each club, what shot types you have with each club, etc. So how do you hit every golf club in your bag? The answer might be easier then you think.

To hit every golf club in your bag successfully, it’s all about practice. Practicing with every club, learning how it functions, and your capabilities with each club. Golf clubs are all slightly unique, in how to swing and your shot capabilities with them. However, majority of golf clubs require the same methods applied to them for success.

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How Far Should You Hit Each Golf Club?

Golf club distance is impossible to completely pin point in terms of there being a specific “average number”. Average distance numbers depend on a variety of aspects; whether it be age, fitness level, weather, humidity, experience, or physical attributes. With that in mind, let’s breakdown each club in a common golf bag and the range of distances those clubs can go to. We’ll categorize it by the average amateur golfer, for men and woman. Keep in mind these numbers will be laid out based on whether you are a short hitter, medium hitter, or a long hitter. These numbers may differ from what you hit, but these are number ranges for the average golfer.

Average Golf Club Distances For Men:

ClubShort HitterMedium HitterLong Hitter
Driver200-210 yards230-240 yards260-270 yards
3 Wood185 yards220 yards240 yards
5 Wood170 yards205 yards220 yards
Hybrid/3 Iron165 yards190 yards205 yards
4 Iron155 yards180 yards195 yards
5 Iron145 yards170 yards185 yards
6 Iron135 yards160 yards175 yards
7 Iron120 yards140 yards165 yards
8 Iron110 yards130 yards155 yards
9 Iron100 yards120 yards135 yards
Pitching Wedge80 yards100 yards120 yards
Gap Wedge (50 degree)70 yards90 yards110 yards
Sand Wedge (54-56 degree)60 yards80 yards100 yards
Lob Wedge (58-60 degree)50 yards65 yards80 yards

Average Golf Club Distances For Woman:

ClubShort HitterMedium HitterLong Hitter
Driver150 yards170 yards200 yards
3 Wood130 yards150 yards180 yards
5 Wood115 yards135 yards170 yards
Hybrid/3 Iron105 yards125 yards160 yards
4 Iron100 yards120 yards150 yards
5 Iron90 yards110 yards140 yards
6 Iron80 yards100 yards130 yards
7 Iron65 yards85 yards120 yards
8 Iron60 yards80 yards110 yards
9 Iron50 yards65 yards95 yards
Pitching Wedge45 yards60 yards85 yards
Gap Wedge (50 degree)45 yards55 yards75 yards
Sand Wedge (54-56 degree)40 yards50 yards65 yards
Lob Wedge (58-60 degree)35 yards45 yards50 yards
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Hitting Iron Golf Clubs:

First things first, all irons are not the same. You have what are called “long irons”, which are your 2, 3, 4 irons. There’s “short irons”, which will be your 7, 8 and 9 irons. A 5 and 6 iron are in the middle, just known as middle irons. You need to identify which iron is which, so when you hit that club you know the appropriate setup and swing in order to hit a good shot.

The most important difference between hitting long and short irons, is going to be ball position. There are a magnitude of techniques and small tidbits involving your swing that need to be considered as well. For in depth breakdowns of this, click here for an informative page about that.

Now let’s take a look at everything you need to consider when setting up to hit your long and short irons.

Long Irons:

  • Ball is slightly forward of center in your stance (closer to your front foot).
  • Handle of the club shaft slightly in front of the ball.
  • Relaxed bend in your lead arm.
  • Keep your body overtop of the ball. I find that if I don’t feel like I am overtop of the ball, that tends to result in either a slice or an overcompensating pull.
  • Smooth/Consistent swing through the golf ball. The force in your swing comes from your hips, so feel like you are pushing through the ball at impact.

Short Irons:

  • Ball is either centered in your stance, or just slightly back (towards your back foot).
  • Handle of the club shaft slightly in front of the ball.
  • Relaxed bend in your lead arm.
  • Smooth/consistent swing straight back and through the golf ball.
  • Don’t swing too hard. Do not try and hit a short iron further then it should go, keep your swing smooth.
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Hitting Wedge Golf Clubs:

Besides your putter, your wedges are the most important golf clubs in your bag. Mastering your wedges gives you birdie/par looks every hole. By sticking the ball to 10 feet or closer, you give yourself the best chance for success on the golf course.

Wedges require a lot of practice, since the main concept of the wedge is confidence and finesse. On every shot, you need to go into it completely relaxed and confident. Let’s take a look at some pointers or tips for ensuring you hit solid golf shots with your wedges.

1. Learn Your Shot:

This refers to how high your ball goes and how much spin you put on your ball for your average shots. Every golfer has a different swing, with different power levels, trajectory and spin. Learning how your ball reacts to a wedge shot is key to learning how you need to shoot approach shots to the green.

The higher your ball goes, the quicker it will stop on the green. The more spin you put on the ball, the quicker your ball will check up, resulting in you being able to go at the pin more aggressively. If your shots don’t produce a lot of spin, you need to change where you aim on the green. This is to account for lower shots with less spin. If this is your shot, you want to land the ball below the hole to allow for it to run towards the pin.

2. Golf Club Setup:

Your setup for a wedge shot is crucial. You want the ball closer to your back foot, in the back of your stance. While the ball is in the back of your stance, you want your weight to always remain more on your front leg. This will help get the club face underneath and through the ball on impact. Doing so will allow the club face to use it’s loft, and get the ball in the air.

Another aspect of your setup is moving your hands slightly in front of the ball. This will put you in a better position to come through the ball on impact. Also, by having the club shaft slightly in front of the ball, it helps give you more control on the shot.

3. Golf Club Grip:

Grip is more important for your wedges then any other clubs. You need to have a relaxed grip, since the basis of a wedge shot is finesse. Focus on not having a death grip on the club. Softer hands results in looser arms, helping you remain consistent in your swing.

4. Backswing:

Your backswing on shorter chip shots, flops, pitches, will be shorter then your typical shot. On longer wedge shots, have a slightly deeper backswing to generate more power.

5. Downswing:

Do not overswing on your wedges. In general, the harder you swing the further and higher the ball will go. This also results in the less control you have on the shot. Considering wedges being all about touch and finesse, you want complete control of your ball. Try to swing at a 80% power level when hitting your wedges.

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How To Hit Your Driver:

The driver is every golfers favorite club to break out at the driving range and hit the back fence. Or maybe you’ve just had a tough last hole and want to take out frustration on the golf ball. However, your driver is more important to your golf game than solely a way to release frustration.

Driver is the main club off the tee box. The objective of golf is to get the ball in the hole in the least amount of shots possible. To do this, you need to get the ball to the green quickly, and your Driver is the best weapon for that. Hitting fairways off the tee box will set you up for success to hit greens. By hitting fairways with good distance, you immediately jump ahead of the hole with a potential for good scores. Now, let’s take a look at the tips and tricks that you need to apply to improve on your Driver.

1. Tee Height:

Before you swing the club, the height of your tee must be correct. If your tee is too high, you will pop the ball up and lose a lot of distance. If the tee is is too short your ball will go into the ground, or also referred to as “topping” it. You need to find a routine that has you setting the tee at the same height every time.

Proper tee height for your Driver is having half of the ball sit above the face of the driver when you place it beside the ball. This allows for you to hit up on the ball, elevating it off the tee, and generating distance.

2. Stance:

Your stance with your driver is critical to hitting a good shot, but also unique to your stance with other clubs. Your ball should be forward in your stance, towards your lead foot. Having the ball in this position allows for contact to occur at the end of your swing. By making contact at the end of your swing, you will be hitting up on the ball.

The easiest way to get into this position is by starting with your feet together even with the ball. Take a wide step away with your rear foot. Doing this will give you a solid wide stance, resulting in a powerful and stable swing.

3. Body Tilt:

Now that you have your tee the proper height, and have the ball positioned in your stance correctly, it’s time to grip the club. Grip the club with your lead hand, shoulders square and level. Next is putting your other hand on the club shaft. Because of where you have positioned the ball in relation to your body, this will naturally put your body into a backwards tilt. Having your body slightly tilted back and away from the target helps you with hitting up on the ball at contact.

4. Power:

Time to swing away! If you have done the previous three steps, you should be in an ideal Driver stance. The Driver is meant to be a power club, so hit it like one. If you have done the steps before this, swing naturally and with rhythm. If you do all those steps, hitting the ball with power should result in bombs being hit down the fairways.

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Shot Types & Shot Shapes With Every Golf Club (How To Hit Them):

We’ve discussed yardages with our clubs, and we’ve discussed how to hit the three categories of clubs in our bags. Now that we have done that, let’s talk about what kind of shots you can make on the golf course with each club.


  • Straight – Using the techniques noted above, as long as you are making contact at the center of the club face, your drives should go relatively straight. Don’t over think the swing, have a smooth stroke and let the club do the work.
  • Draw – Hitting a draw starts with your hand placement. You will want to take a strong grip, with your lead hand more crossing over the shaft. Another key is on your downswing, you want to swing the club in a motion where it feels like its coming around your body. This will hit the ball upon impact in a way where the spin on the ball and impact location will draw the ball in the air.
  • Fade – Aim your stance line towards the direction you want to start the ball. Let’s use a right handed player for example. They will line up with their stance slightly pointed left. From there, aim the club face at your target. With your stance aiming left, but the club face pointing straight at the target, this is producing a left to right swing path. This swing path puts spin and curve on the ball.

The big thing with Driver is it should only be used from the tee box. Some professionals, the best in the world, will hit a driver off a fairway. Unless you are the best in the world, stick to the Driver off a tee at the tee box.


  • Accurate/High Tee Shot – This shot is needed on short par 4’s, or long par 3’s. To hit an accurate and high tee shot with a hybrid, you need to perform 5 techniques. Smooth swing, tee it up like an iron, ball slightly forward in your stance, no shaft lean, and a smooth transition into your downswing.
  • Poor Fairway Lie – When the ball is in the fairway, but the ball is sitting down into the grass. You can still make good contact with the ball, you just need to change your attack angle on your downswing. Ways to do that are centering the ball in your stance, shaft lean, and on your downswing feel like you are turning on top of the ball.
  • Semi Rough – Your ball has missed the fairway off of the tee and landed in the rough. The ball is under some tall grass. Hitting an iron out of here might result in the club getting snagged on some grass. With a hybrid, it will sweep right through. Ways to hit this shot with success are to sweep through the ball, don’t try and dig it out. Push through the grass with the club face. Lastly, swing with good form like you would on all other shots. Don’t change your mechanics just because it’s a more complicated shot in theory.
  • Fairway Traps – If you’ve landed in a fairway bunker, most players consider it as the holes over. It’s assumed that they’ve gained a stroke by having to shoot out of the bunker. You can hit a hybrid from the bunker, and still get solid distance. How to do this is by thinking of your swing as all upper body motion, your legs and hips should remain stationary. You want to hold slightly down on the club shaft to give yourself more control over the club. Position the ball center, with a feeling like you are slightly leaning back. Leaning back as if you have an uphill lie will prevent you from chopping down on the ball.
  • Chip From The Rough – This is a situation where your ball is in the rough/tall grass, but just in front of the ball is the short smooth fringe before the green. The hybrid is perfectly equipped to get the ball out of this awkward lie. Set the ball up towards your back foot, allowing you to come down towards the ball. With that, put more weight on your lead foot. Incorporate shaft lean, with a short smooth backswing controlled by the hands.
  • Tight Lie Chip & Run – If you have a chip where the space between the hole is too tight for a lofted iron, but too far away for a putt, this is the shot. You want to grip your hybrid as you would your putter. Feel like your upper arms are against your chest, and keep your stance narrow.
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Long/Mid/Short Irons:

All of your irons, from a 3 iron to a 9 iron, will be able to perform the same types of shots. All can be used to hit straight, draw’s, and fades, as explained how to do so above. Your long irons will be best for longer distance shots, short irons for shorter distances and higher elevation required. Mid irons are a nice blend of both.

There are three other types of shots that are commonly used on a golf course, specifically with irons. Let’s talk about those shots, and which irons will be best for them.

  • Cut – An intentional shot commonly described as an exaggerated fade, but with more control. Right handed players will find this shot easier to hit. To hit a cut, keep your body square with a slightly open club face. All irons can hit a cut shot. Which club you use will depend on what distance you have to the hole.
  • Punch Shot – A punch shot is mainly used when your ball has landed in a tree area with over hanging branches. The branches are blocking your path to get the ball up in the air. You can use any iron in the bag for a punch shot, but if you need to get distance on the shot use one of your longer irons (2, 3, 4,). This shot is also handy during windy conditions where a low ball flight will cut through the wind. Move the ball backward in your stance, with a very short and powerful follow through to hit this shot.
  • Stinger – The stinger is commonly used off the tee box, with long irons (2 iron, 3 iron, 4 iron). The stinger is a low trajectory fade that stays beneath the wind. Place the ball backwards in your stance, with a closed club face. The closed club face will keep the ball low, and the ball being back in your stance will give it the fading trajectory.
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Wedges have the highest lofts and the shortest shafts for all golf clubs. To learn and practice different types of wedge shots, first you need to know the types of wedges and the parts of wedge clubs. There are many types of wedges, all different based on the degrees of loft. Certain club names can refer to two types of lofts, but each player is different for what they prefer to use. For example, a Lob wedge will be the highest lofted club in the bag. A Lob wedge can be a 58 degree, a 60 degree, or even sometimes a 62 degree. Here are the parts of a wedge to know:

  • Bounce – The “bounce” is the area of the club that strikes the grass on impact. The purpose of the bounce is to prevent the club head from digging into the ground and stopping the momentum as it contacts the ball.
  • Loft – The loft is the angle on the club face. The greater the loft, the higher the ball will fly. But also, the shorter the distance it will travel.
  • Shaft – Majority of wedges will have a steel shaft, with most having a “wedge” flex.
  • Sole Grinds – This refers to the shaping of the wedge’s sole, around the heel or toe. The purpose of different sole grindings is to specialize clubs for specific shots and grass conditions.

Shot Types:

  • Pitch – The pitch is your main shot around the greens. The main benefit is that you the player control the distance, as it is determined on your swing speed and backswing.
  • Chip – A chip is the most important shot close to the green. A chip is the minimal height chip onto the green to let the ball run towards the hole. How far you want to hit the ball in the air depends on a variety of factors. Those include spin of the ball, wind, slope, green elevation, and green speed.
  • Flop – This is by far the most difficult type of wedge shot to execute. The goal is to have the club face slide underneath the ball, launching it quickly in the air while also stopping the ball as soon as it hits the green. This shot can only be executed with a lob wedge, either a 58 degree, 60 degree, or 62 degree. Ideally, for this shot to be executed you need the ball propped up on grass.

Take this information and apply it to your game when you are out practicing next. Like I stated at the start, practice is key to improving your golf game. You will never get better with your clubs, or learn how to execute different shot types and shapes, without practice. If you want to read about how to properly practice, in order to properly use this information, you can check out another relatable article. In this other article, I detail how to properly practice at the driving range to improve your golf game. Check it out here!

I hope you found what you were looking for in this article. Golf is a very complex sports, and requires a lot of skill, practice and knowledge to even relatively succeed at it. The more weapons and tools you have in your arsenal, the better opportunity you will have to improve and play well.

If you want to check out other golf related content you can click here. If you want to read articles related to other sports, you can check that out here.

Till next time, at On The Record.