One of the most challenging issues for golfers is not understanding the distances they hit their golf irons. Some people may think they hit their pitching wedge 120 yards, and then they come up short every time. Knowing how swing speed, ball speed, skill level, solid contact, and even the weather can impact your iron distance is incredibly important.

Let’s look at how far you should hit each of your irons and what you can do to ensure your Golf club distances are accurate and consistent.

How far should you hit your irons?

image of hitting a an iron at kiawah golf course - AEC InfoThe average golfer will hit a 7 iron about 140 yards. This is the total distance, not the carry distance, typically a few yards less. Once you have a solid distance down for one of your irons, you can move up or down in 10-yard increments to determine the yardage of your other irons.

For instance, in this case, a golfer that hits a 7 iron 140 yards would hit a 6 iron 150 yards and an 8 iron 130 yards. Measurement of swing speed will help you determine what your standard distances should be.

Why do you need to put the same swing on every iron?

Golfers that do not put the same swing on a golf iron every time will have inconsistent club distance and have a tough time hitting the golf ball close to the hole. Clubhead speed will be the number one factor in the golf swing that impacts distance.

If your clubhead speed varies, which it does for many recreational golfers, the ball flight and total distance will be significantly impacted from one swing to the next. Faster swing speeds can hit the ball considerably further than those with slower swing speeds.

What causes you to hit your irons short?

The main reason for hitting an iron short is simply missing the center of the clubface. Even with the stronger loft irons that are currently on the market to help with game improvement, the golf ball still must make contact with the center of the clubface.

In addition, if you do not have a square strike, you may also end up hitting the turf behind the ball instead of in front of the ball, and this will cause a decrease in distance as well.

Many amateur golfers Never take a divot and “sweep” the ball off of the turf.  Taking a divot is important on your irons, and making contact with the ball before the turf should be a priority in your practice sessions.  You can learn more about Golf divots here.

Taking a look at a distance chart that also includes average driver swing speed can help you determine if your distance averages are accurate or if you have a significant distance variance that needs your attention.

Golfers have much different swing speeds than their playing partners, and an average amateur won’t always get incredible distance without these higher swing speed numbers.  Check out this Golf instruction article if you are looking to Increase club head speed.

See the average swing speed of male golfers below.

Obviously, these distances and swing speeds are for amateur golfers of all skill levels.  You can see more information on the Average golfer driver distance here.

Why am I pulling my irons?

Golfers pull their irons when their swing path comes across the ball with a slightly closed clubface. The pull will rarely go the correct distance, and it is often a shot that will end up left of the target and further than you wanted the ball to go.

Swing speed training programs and a Golf exercise routine will teach you to swing the golf club out towards the target if you want to get more distance.  You can also improve your distance by hitting the center of the club face with a smooth Golf tempo. This concept of hitting across the ball with the slightly closed clubface is not consistent or accurate for getting more distance with irons.

What Is the Average Distance with Each Golf Club?

The scratch golfer with incredible stability, balance, and efficiency in their golf swing will get a much different distance than the higher handicap golfer. In addition, there are potential loft differences between the irons that professional golfers use and the ones that an amateur golfer would use.

See our article on Average distance of golf clubs here.

We have put together some information to help you to determine the distance averages with several of the most important clubs. Expect these distances to be for the average ball striker.

  • How far should I hit 5 iron?

The average 5 iron should travel 160 yards. Players have a wide range of swing speeds, so the faster swing speed golfers should expect yardages of 180 or even more with the 5 iron. Extra yards in this club will come from a square strike. Some slow swing speed players don’t have the clubhead speed to hit this club well.

  • How far should I hit 6 iron?

The average 6 iron should travel about 150 yards. For those that want to hit greens in regulation, this 150-yard club is critical. You will have several times throughout your round that this club selection is chosen.

  • How far should I hit 7 iron?

A golfer with an average swing speed and average club lofts should be able to hit the 7 iron about 140 yards. For a senior golfer, the yardage could be closer to 130, and the same applies to the slower swing speed player. However, faster swing speeds and lower handicap levels may see distances up to 165 yards with the 7 iron.

  • How far should I hit 8 iron?

The 8 iron tends to be a very forgiving club and, therefore, more distance efficient. The players that fall in the average category of the golf club distance charts will hit their 8 iron about 130 yards. If your personal driver swing speed is closer to 100mph or 110mph, your 8 iron could be closer to 150 yards. Remember that things like wind, soft fairways, harder fairways, humidity, and even the course you play are major factors that will impact average yardage.

  • How far should I hit 9 iron?

The 9 irons are where you will notice the ball stay in the air for distance. This is not a shot that rolls along the ground and the nine iron is the last club in the iron set before pitching wedges, gap wedges, sand wedges, and lob wedges come into play. At the professional level, a 9 iron could go around 150 yards; for amateur players, the 120 mark seems a bit more accurate.

How Do Golf Clubs Actually Affect Distance?

Golf clubs will have a significant impact on your average driving distance as well as the yardage that you get with your irons. There are a few major factors that impact the number of yards that you get with your golf clubs.

  • Degrees of Loft: the difference of just a few degrees can impact distance by 30-40 yards.
  • Smash Factor: smash factor is the ball speed you are getting for a given club head speed; the better smash factor, the more efficient the golf club and your golf swing are.
  • Forgiveness: in the game of golf, you must hit the ball with a square club through impact as close to the center of the face as possible; when golf clubs are more forgiving, they tend to go further.
  • Distance Range and Distance Potential: sometimes you experience a Lost distance in golf swing or lack of distance simply because the golf clubs don’t have the top technology; if you are looking for max distance, choose a club with impressive technology.

image of player taking a divot - AEC Info


How to Hit Irons Consistently

For players looking to get their average shots and approach shots to the green more consistently, there are a few ways to ensure that this gets done. Here are a few things you can do to hit irons consistently and improve your average iron distances.

Abbreviated Swing

Those that take a large swing to get a higher potential swing speed often end up making a steep swing that causes a decrease in overall distance. Intermediate golfers tend to learn that swing speed increases come from efficiency instead of the length of swing. Beginner golfers sometimes need to work on this a little longer.

Personal Training Aid

Find a personal training aid that will help improve your centeredness of contact.  You can also find specific Golf training aids that will help you Create lag in the golf swing, improve your ability to hit a Draw vs Fade which adds distance, or the personal training aid is good to use at the driving range and can help with improving average iron distances and developing your exact carry distances.

Consistent Setup

If your ball position is constantly changing, it makes sense to work on a consistent setup that allows for a straighter, longer, and higher iron shot. Work on your setup just as much as you work on the rest of your golf game. Your golf friends will have no idea what has happened to your game when you start to play tighter courses with no fear of off-center shots.

You may want to consider Standing closer to the golf ball to improve consistency.


Hitting irons with a bit of swing speed and consistency will greatly increase your ability to get more distance. However, to get perfect shot distances, a launch monitor or range finder will help you narrow it down. If you talk to any single-digit handicap, they will explain that knowing your distances is more important than hitting the ball a long way.