Posted on: 13 August

In-between clubs?……….We’ve all been there.

It’s an important decision that you will make at least once every hole. It links the tee to the green. Knowing the distance range of each iron and understanding the factors that can influence each iron means you can choose your next iron with confidence.  

Follow this simple guideline and with a little practice you will gain an understanding of the capabilities of each club. 

The first thing you need to know is how far you would normally hit each club. Note the word “normally”. You need to figure out what your real distances are with each iron and not what you or your friends think you should hit. To determine the range of each club start with your shortest club and aim for a target. For example: hit several shots at the 100 metre marker. Once you have hit a number of solid shots, estimate how far it landed in front of or behind the target – some solid shots will be a few metres in front of the marker and some will be a few metres behind the marker. Average out your solid shots to determine your range for that club.

Repeat with your other irons.

For more precision you can book a Trackman session with me and we can use modern technology to work it out.

Remember, it’s important to know how far the ball traveled in the air (not including roll after landing) as we often have to hit a shot to fly over a bunker or over some water. As a general rule, you will find there is about 5 metres difference either side of your comfortable range for each iron. For example: if your 8 iron flies 130 metres comfortably then your 8 iron range is 125-135 metres. Another general rule is that there is about 10 metres range between irons – i.e. 8 iron = 130m, 7 iron = 140m etc.

Oh, how great it would be if it was that simple!

Golf is an outdoor sport so merely choosing a club based on a distance is fanciful. The weather conditions and the condition of your lie have a significant influence over which club you should use. On most occasions, yardage and conditions narrow the choice to two clubs. Sometimes the decision is obvious, but as golfers we often get stuck between clubs. Here are some simple rules to help you make the decision a little easier when faced with a shot from a less than perfect lie:

  1. Fluffy Lie: Often called a “flier lie” it increases the distance of a shot. Choose less club.
  2. Uphill lie: This position adds loft to the club. Choose a longer club.
  3. Downhill lie: This situation decreases loft on the club. Choose less club.
  4. Deep Rough: It is harder to move the club through the thick grass. Choose the longer club. Note: If the lie is really bad, accept that you cannot make the green. Take a wedge, get the ball back in play and take the double and triple bogey off the score card.
  5. Headwind: A headwind will reduce the distance you hit a club. Choose the longer iron.
  6. Downwind: The opposite of the headwind. Choose the shorter.
  7. Crosswind: This is a tricky situation but don’t fight the wind. Use the longer iron, swing easy and allow for the wind.
  8. Fatigue: Towards the end of the round we lose clubhead speed so choose the longer iron.

Once you have chosen your club commit to the club and the shot. By using these simple rules, you will improve your course management and ultimately your enjoyment of the game.

Playing lessons are available at where I can show you how to save shots around the golf course by improving your club selection, visualization, and course management.

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