Beginner and amateur golfers often struggle the most when it comes to using heavier irons, such as the driver or the five iron.
The longer shaft length, low loft angle, and heavier weight can make the 5-iron golf clubs harder to control for the average golfer. This makes it difficult for them to achieve the average driving distance they are looking for.
If you are wondering where you stand when it comes to the 5-iron distances you can achieve on your shots, below is a guide that will tell you all you need to know!
Here's What's In Store For You...
How Far Should You Hit a 5-iron?
The average male golfer should hit a 5-iron distance of at least 150-170 yards. The distance achieved varies based on how sweetly you hit the ball, your swing speed, and wind conditions.
Most female golfers, including professional players, don’t often use a traditional 5-iron. They prefer using 3, 4, or 5 hybrids or leave this club entirely out of their golf bags.
This is because most female golfers can only achieve an average distance of 100-120 yards using a 5-iron. A similar distance can also be achieved using a 7-iron, which is lighter and easier to control, making it the more popular choice.
So, how far should you hit a 5-iron golf club?
Well, that depends on a lot of factors. If you are serious about your game you don’t want to be settling for anything less than 200 yards, but if you are a recreational golfer, consistently hitting between the 170-180 yard range should be more than ideal.
How Far Can Professional Golfers Hit A 5 Iron?
The average PGA Tour player can achieve a distance of 190-210 yards, with legends like Tiger Woods, achieving distances of close to 250 yards on some of their best shots using a five iron.
For mere mortals like us, that is a feat we can never hope to achieve. Luckily, in most cases, it is not necessarily how far you can hit with a five iron that matters. Rather, it is about knowing your limitations and planning your game according to the carry distance you can achieve consistently.
What Is A 5-Iron?
A five iron is a mid-range iron that has a thick flat face and a thinner metal club head. These golf clubs are also slightly shorter in length and lighter than the driver or the 2, 3, or 4 iron.
The flat head and grooves on a five iron allow golfers to generate plenty of backspin and loft which helps limit roll and carry distance.
This allows the best golfers to land the ball exactly where they want even when playing out of semi-rough conditions.
When To Use A 5-Iron?
A 5-Iron is best used when playing from the fairway or in light rough. The club is also commonly used on tee shots on par 3 or during longer approach shots on par 4.
This mid-range iron is versatile as it allows for lower loft on long-distance shots, high levels of control, and some degree of forgiveness.
This allows the 5-iron to be used in instances when you need to get yourself out of the rough or when you need to loft a golf ball over a hill or tall tree without having to comprise distance.
What Factors Can Influence Distance On Your 5-Iron Shots?
Many factors can influence the total distance you can achieve on your five iron shots.
While most PGA tour players can easily achieve a distance of 200 yards on their 5-iron shots, you might struggle to even reach 150 yards.
However, for most amateur golfers, what’s most important is hitting golf balls a certain distance consistently with a five iron.
Whether that distance is 120 yards, 150 yards, or 200 yards, consistency is always more important than the total distance achieved, especially if you are just learning the game.
However, if you are looking to improve your long-iron golf game, the five iron is an important club to learn and master. Achieving greater distances with this club than the average player can give you a huge competitive advantage on the golf course.
For those struggling to hit the ball properly or achieve enough distance using a five iron, here are a few things that they can work on to improve their overall distance and consistency.
1) Your Swing Speed & Clubhead Speed
The amount of golf swing speed and clubhead speed you generate can make a huge difference in the golf yardages you can achieve.
Even if you are hitting the sweet spot at exactly the right angle, if you don’t have enough clubhead speed, the ball isn’t likely going to go too far.
The only way to improve club speed is through practice and consciously trying to hit the ball as hard as possible with a full golf swing.
2) The amount of Ball Speed You Generate
The ball speed you generate depends upon your clubhead speed and how centered your hit is.
An off-center hit or low clubhead speed will result in less ball speed, robbing you of the potential maximum distance you can achieve.
To get better at generating optimal ball speed, you will need to work on speeding up your golf swing and hitting the ball as sweetly as possible, as often as possible. This can only be achieved through practice and playing golf.
3) The amount of Spin You Impart on Your Shots
The 5-iron is an excellent club for imparting backspin on your golf shots. The amount of backspin or spin rate you can generate can be greatly beneficial as it allows you to control the loft and roll of a golf ball.
The optimum spin rate you should be achieving is around 5000 RPM. If you are imparting too much spin or have a wristy golf swing, this could likely be the reason why you are not landing the distances you should be.
On the other hand, a low spin rate will cause the ball to roll more which can cause you to overshoot your shots.
4) Your Launch Angle
Every club has an ideal launch angle that allows a golfer to maximize distance on shots. Too high or too low of a loft angle can cause you to lose distance, even if you hit the ball sweetly and with a full swing.
Hitting the ball at the perfect launch angle can get you that extra distance and ball speed, but you always have to be wary of wind conditions.
On windy days, or when hitting into a breeze, you would want to hit at a low loft launch angle to keep the ball flight lower to the ground for better accuracy and yardage.
If there is little to no wind, or if the wind is behind you and you looking for that solid 200-yard five-iron tee shot, opt for a slightly higher launch angle.
The higher loft will cause the ball to soar further, especially when hitting with the breeze.
How To Hit Your 5-Iron Further?
We have already touched upon some ways how you can hit your 5-iron further. However, we have barely scratched the surface.
To get the maximum golf club distances out of your long irons, here are some truly amazing tips. Some of these tips are equipment related while some focus on the core mechanics behind hitting the ball farther.
a) Use a More Forgiving Club
Most golfers realize very quickly that using long irons is a lot different than using a pitching wedge or a short iron. As such, the fastest way to see improvement and more distance on your 5-iron shots right off the bat would be to use a more forgiving club.
A more forgiving 5-iron golf club or a similar 3, 4, or 5 hybrids will have much more leeway when it comes to toe, and heel hits that many golfers struggle with early on.
This inadvertently helps lower the average range of your 5-iron shots, as even off-center hits will travel a fair distance, helping you achieve better consistency.
It is also important to always select a club with the right golf shaft length and weight that matches your game style. You will be amazed at how much difference playing with the right club can make to your overall game.
b) Ensure The Ball is Positioned Correctly
Ball position is an essential strategy to learn early in playing golf. The way a golf ball is positioned can make the difference between hitting a ball sweetly or slicing or hooking it.
When playing with a 5-iron, always position the golf ball slightly forward of center.
As a 5-iron has a slightly longer club shaft having the ball slightly forward will allow you to hit the ball at the peak of your golf swing, helping you get the best connection and loft angle possible for maximum distance.
You can also keep the ball closer for a more restricted golf swing that will offer better accuracy at the expense of distance.
c) Work on Your Technique and Follow Through
Working on your golf swing and technique is the key to hitting the ball higher and for long distances.
Work on increasing your swing speed while also ensuring the transferring of your weight forward during your follow-through.
If you are swinging hard, but your weight stays on the back foot, you will likely get much more loft than distance.
However, by transferring that weight forward by twisting your hips and using your feet, you can swing through the ball to get a lot more power on your strikes and more carry distance.
d) Have a Consistent Setup
Golf is a game of consistency and patience. It may seem easy to play at first, but you soon realize just how intricate and complex this beautiful game can be.
This is why it is essential to have a consistent setup that allows you to consistently hit the ball with the center of the club face.
Over time, and with a lot more practice, you can then start tweaking and adjusting your technique to better complement your playstyle.
Should You Carry A 5-Iron?
Whether you should carry a 5-iron in your golf bag largely depends on your skill level, playstyle, and golf club preferences.
Many golfers, including LPGA tour players, prefer to use 3, 4, or 5 hybrid clubs as a replacement for their 3, 4, 5, and even 6 long irons.
Yes, the 5-iron can be an excellent golf club choice for many situations on the golf course. However, if you are more comfortable using other clubs that can give you the same amount of distance, loft angle, and accuracy, there is no point in carrying a 5-iron and lugging around the extra weight.
Any PGA professional will tell you that hitting the ball a long way isn’t as important as knowing the average distance you can achieve with each club consistently. As long as you have all your distance gaps filled, it doesn’t matter what clubs you carry in your bag.
Getting better with your irons is essential to lowering your handicap and improving your golf game.
A 5-iron is a versatile club that can be extremely effective at dealing with tricky situations on the golf course.
As the club is more forgiving than heavier irons and offers better accuracy and control, maximizing distance on shots using the tips above can provide a distinct advantage on the course allowing you to play more aggressively most of the time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can I determine the distance on my 5-iron golf shots?
The best way to get accurate readings of your perfect shot distances while using a five iron is to use a launch monitor or range finder when out on the golf course.
How far should a beginner hit a 5-iron?
A beginner male golfer can likely hit a five-iron distance of anywhere from 140 to 180 yards on perfect shots. Beginner women golfers can expect to achieve a distance of about 80 to 140 yards.
What is the best 5-iron club?
There are many types of five-iron golf clubs available in the market. Each golf club comes with a slightly different design, choice of grips, shaft lengths, and loft angles. Ultimately, the best 5-iron club is one that suits your playstyle the best.
For beginners and amateur golfers, it is best to stick to more forgiving clubs, while intermediate and professional golfers would be more suited to specialized clubs that are designed to add distance, impart more spin, and/or extract more speed on perfect hits.