Updated on June 28th, 2023 at 08:25 pm

At one point, the 5 iron was a staple in every amateur golfer’s bag. However, as equipment has progressed and people learn more about utilities and hybrids, there are fewer 5 irons out there than ever before.

image of man swinging a 5 iron golf club - AEC Info

I still carry a 5 iron; I find it helpful on long approach shots and when hitting knockdown or punch shots. If you are wondering if you have enough swing speed to make solid contact with a 5-iron, I have all the answers you need.

Let’s look at what the 5 iron does, who should have one in the bag, and some tips for helping you hit yours better.

How far does a 5-iron go?

An average golfer with average swing and ball speeds should hit a five iron about 165 yards. Those with an advanced golf game will have golf balls travel a little further, about 10 to 15 yards.

Some professionals can hit the 5 iron 200 yards or more. Beginner golfers who are still worried about getting a solid hit are probably looking at more like a 140 to 150-yard shot with their 5 iron.

Average female golfers may get about 120 yards from the 5 iron, whereas a player capable of compressing the ball more at impact can see 150 or more yards from the 5 iron.

How to hit 5 iron

The 5 iron has a ball flight that’s lower than that of other irons in the bag. Be prepared for a launch angle that penetrates through Wind and rough weather but doesn’t stop on the green quite as quickly as other clubs.

Setup

When practicing hitting a 5 iron, I recommend using alignment sticks. These sticks will ensure your feet are properly positioned to the target line.

image of golfer hitting a 5 iron with alignment sticks - AEC Info

Take a stance about shoulder width apart and ensure your weight is evenly distributed between your left and right leg. However, it’s okay to feel a little extra weight on the right leg with a long iron.

One of the most important things about hitting an iron with less loft is ensuring the ball position is correct. Ensure your 5 iron golf shot is played a little forward from the center. Not quite as far up as your fairway woods or driver, but not in the direct center where it is for your mid-irons.

Backswing

Remember that most irons in your bag have a shorter shaft for the backswing. And while you can get away with a little less extension and rotation with a shorter iron, with the 5 iron, that is not the case.

image of man comparing his hybrid to a 5 iron - AEC Info

If you want to Increase clubhead speed and distance, create some width in our swing arc. To achieve this, keep the club extended, rotate your body, and ensure your arms aren’t working independently.

With a 5 iron shot, I like to think about staying over the ball with my head to help create a consistent swing and better turf interaction.

Downswing

It would help if you hit down and through the shot to make consistent contact with the 5 iron. A solid golf swing will also have you making contact with the ball when some of your weight has already transferred to your left side (right-handed player). If you keep Hitting thin shots with your 5 iron, chances are the ball position is too far forward.

Golf swing follow through

One of the main reasons higher handicapped golfers don’t like their 5 iron is that it is difficult to get up in the air. The 5 iron has fewer degrees of loft than a 6 or 7 iron. In addition, the club head can be small.

The follow-through ensures that you continually swing through the golf ball with speed. In addition, with proper follow-through, you also make contact with the ball from a position that improves overall ball flight and results.

From the top of your backswing, the goal should be to complete a full follow-through with your body facing the target.

What degree is a 5 iron?

With modern 5 iron clubs, expect a range of lofts from 21 to 28 degrees. Over time, the iron loft has reduced because of tech improvements in the center of gravity and golfers seeking longer golf club distances.

Generally, the 5-iron loft impacts your ability to get distance, but so will a few other things, including the width of the club’s sole, if it has a Graphite shaft or a steel shaft, and if the club is a standard length or shorter/longer.

What hybrid replaces a 5 iron?

Most golf manufacturers make 5 hybrids with about 25 degrees of loft. These versatile clubs help golfers hit shots from the rough with ease. The 5 hybrids fly a little higher and further than a 5 iron with the same loft.

Many hybrid golf clubs feature a titanium face like you would see in a driver or fairway wood. This advanced technology makes it easier to gain extra distance.

We absolutely loved hitting the Titleist TSR hybrids and think picking one up my solve many of your 5 iron problems.

What is the loft of a 5-iron golf club?

The 5 iron is a lower lofted club with around 25 degrees of loft. The range of loft in a 5 iron is between 21 degrees to 28 degrees. However, game improvement irons have slightly lower lofts.

Lower lofts help golfers get some extra distance since the center of gravity has been moved to make it easier for the iron player to get a good launch with their 5 iron.

Where to use a 5 iron?

The 5 iron can be used on tee shots, punch shots, out of the rough, or your approach shot to the green. Different types of shots can be hit by both recreational golfers and professionals because of the versatility of the 5 iron.

Tee shots

image of golf putting tee into the ground to hit his 5 iron - AEC Info

If you like the idea of a driving iron, the 5-iron is a good shot from the tee box. When the 5 iron is on a tee, you can make clean contact and get the ball rolling further down the fairway. The 5 iron works well for par 3 shots as well.

Punch shots

A skilled golfer like Tiger Woods or Dustin Johnson will tell you that a punch shot is a really handy shot to have in the bag. Start with a lean in your club shaft and some weight on the left side (right-handed player). This is very similar to the stinger.

See our post on How-to hit a stinger here.

Take an abbreviated backswing and keep your finish low to punch the ball and get it rolling with plenty of forward spin.

Approach shots

Use a Golf launch monitor to determine your exact carry distance and total distance with a 5 iron. When improving your golf game, knowing the carry distance will ensure that your approach shots consistently land on the green.

 

Final thoughts

Golfers should be well aware of the golf gear options they have. High handicap hybrid clubs are very forgiving clubs, but they lack the same penetrating ball flight and control that a 5-iron has.

If you want straight shots that you can Draw vs fade, the 5-iron is your best bet. In addition, average players can typically stop the 5 iron on the green a little faster than a hybrid.