Club Selection and Knowing Which Iron to Hit? Distance Club Hits?

One of the most important aspects of course management for lower scores is distance control with your clubs. If you have a matched set, there should be roughly the same distance between each iron.

For a man, there are normally about ten yards between each club. For a woman golfer, it’s less, maybe about five or six yards.

But the more accurately you find out, the easier it is to know which club to use or select on the course.

Create a Yardage Chart for Club Selection

This is best carried out either on a grass practice ground or on the golf course itself. It is easier if you have a laser to calculate distance but if not, you will have to rely on pacing off yards.

  • Go to the practice ground with your set of irons and a pen and pad.
  • Take ten balls and hit them with your wedge. Try to swing at the same pace with each shot.
  • After hitting the balls, walk forward to where they have landed and calculate which would be the average.
  • Walk back to where you hit the balls from counting how many paces. Then write the number down on the pad opposite the club you used.
  • Use a different club on the next set, working your way through to your last iron.
  • In the end, you should have a table showing how far each iron goes.

Other Considerations for Knowing Which Club to Use

  • The wind is the most obvious outside influence on the distance you hit a shot. In golf, the strength of wind is usually referred to in terms of a ‘one club’ or a ‘two club’ wind. In these terms, each ‘club’ would approximately be about ten miles an hour worth of wind. If you normally hit a five iron 150 yards, but there is a ‘two club’ wind against it (assuming there are about ten yards between each club), you would have to hit a three iron to get onto the green.
  • How the ball lies on the fairway is the other major contributing factor in deciding which club to use. If the grain of the grass lies with the shot, you are more likely to hit a slight flier, where less backspin is put on the shot. This makes the ball travel further through the air. If the grain is against, you are more likely to hit the ball with a steeper swing, imparting more backspin that will hold the ball up in the air. Consequently, you should take one more club.

Once you have started to understand how your clubs react to different circumstances, you will quickly be able to start to take into account the various factors that influence distance control.