Know What Club You Hit From 150 Yards

Accurate fitting starts with accurate information.

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Power Play Caiman Irons Custom Made For $29.95 each

A considerable amount of my time is devoted communicating with customers on what equipment they may need.  This is no easy task as you can’t physically see them swing so you have to rely on what information they can provide.  One important question I often ask is “What club do you use from 150 yards out”.  This is an important question in regards to shaft flex to get a barometer at what flex to suggest.

Golfers that have played for a while might take what seems like such a simple question for granted.  But for beginners, they truly do not know how far they hit each club.  Even golfers who play infrequently cannot answer the question without guessing.  Just the other day I had a customer who said at first he hit his 5-iron 200 yards, then minutes later he was saying maybe it was closer to 150 yards.  Clubfitters know that the person hitting the 5-iron closer to 200 yards will need a much stiffer shaft than someone hitting the club at 150 yards.
More importantly, one should know their distance from a safety point of view.  The course that I have played the most often has white markers indicating the position 150 yards from the center of the green.  I know exactly what club to pull out depending upon the wind and elevation at this mark.  But if you are uncertain, the result is the difference between hitting the green and possibly saving a stroke or not.  Let’s say we have a beginning male golfer who does not know how far each club goes. If he pulls out a 3-wood, chances are the ball could go soaring past the green and possibly hit fellow golfers or smash a window in a car or someone’s house.  If you pull out a wedge, there is virtually no chance of getting the ball there.  So one can relative the importance of knowing just how far you are capable of hitting the ball.

A professional golfer will know they hit their 7-iron 172 yards.  Not 170, or 175, but 172.  For us mere mortals who don’t hit the ball as solidly the 5 yards increments are good enough.  Once you know how far you hit a club or what club you use from a certain distance, then the other clubs are easy to figure out.  For instance, if you hit your 6 irons from 150 yards, then you can count on your 7 iron to go 140 and your 5-iron 160 yards.  Just add / subtract 10 yards to each club as a guideline.

Before heading out the course the first time, invest some time at the range.  Take notes on how far you hit certain clubs and write it down and put in your golf bag for future use. Also, if you will be fitted for custom made clubs, please be sure you can answer the question with some degree of confidence, “What club would I use from 150 yards out?”

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  1. Kan says:

    I take it that means carry distance of 150 yards, not including roll?

  2. Bob Nemeth says:

    Yes that means carry,not uphill or downhill

  3. Gary says:

    It’s amazing how MOST golfers cannot relate to distances! I started asking clients who came for a fitting, “if you had to hit over a water hazard and you knew that you had to hit at least 150 yards, what club would you choose?” Most still didn’t know so they simply guessed at what club to choose. I guess that’s why the retrieved ball business is so good!

  4. Brian says:

    How about if someone does not hit anything over 100 consistently but hits a pitching wedge at full swing 100 yards every time. Can you assume 10 yard increments from there?

  5. Until we have standardized lofts (which we used to) on irons, this question is slightly less meaningful than it used to be. If you have a set with a 45 or 46 degree pitching wedge versus a set with a 49 degree pitching wedge, the seven iron in one set will travel a different distance than the other. There are two main reasons for this…one is to deloft each club so it goes further (the distance wars between manufacturers), and the other is to require that an extra iron (the gap wedge) be purchased for each set so you can cover all distances with a full swing. The seven iron question is indeed very useful for Jeff, as he rarely gets to watch the player swing, but there is still no substitute for watching a golfer on the range and checking the lofts of his current set.

  6. Jack Hester says:

    What did you mean about the 5 yard increment when you discussed 5 iron distance? You indicated that, if your 5 iron distance was 150 yards, then you would select the 6 iron for 140 yards and for 160 yards you would select the 7 iron (I think you meant the 4 iron).

  7. Jeff Summitt says:


    I simply ask 150 yards of total distance because it is a general guideline as most golfers don’t really know carry distance from overall distance. Oh, one other thing, on level ground too. Also, if you fitting someone locally, you can always ask them about a specific hole. Based on your knowledge of the hole, one can get a feel of their speed or strength relative to what you use on that same hole.

  8. Jeff Summitt says:


    Here is a chart at the following link with distances as a guideline: Just click on the view cart 2.

  9. Jeff Summitt says:


    I would agree that the loft is an issue. One of the follow up questions is what club (brand/model) they use to obtain that yardage. With tons of old files at my disposal and the wonders of the Internet, it is usually pretty easy to find the loft.

  10. Jeff Summitt says:


    When referring to the 5 yard increments, it was based on how far they actually hit their 7-iron. Most golfers won’t be able to pinpoint to the nearest yard (like 147). Instead they will round to 145 or most likely 150. But at least it is close enough.

  11. Fred G says:

    The “how far” question relates to the shaft-fitting charts in the Hireko catalog (which are a great idea): I understand that the driver is the baseline club for the Driver-Fairway Woods charts, but the chart for irons is silent regarding the baseline club. Is it the six-iron?


  12. Jeff Summitt says:


    The iron chart is based on the 5-iron.

  13. Mike says:

    These charts are very accurate I am a 59 year old golfer and fall in between the male average 95 mph and 88 mph. So my guess is about a 90mph as my distances fit exactly in between. All my clubs are a mis mash of different makes
    Driver, Taylor Made R9 10 deg (r)
    3W – Clevelend HiBore XL (r)
    5W&7W – MacGregor Vfoil eye-o-matic(r)
    5I -SW Power Play Q System Hybrids w/Fire Storm Shafts (r)
    60 deg F2 Face Forward Clone
    I am a 8-9 handicap.

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