What Golf Club To Use For Each Shot

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Golf Club On Course Selection

What Golf Club To Use For Each Shot Most Realistic Overview

Knowing what golf club to use for each shot can be daunting in the heat of the moment. There are a lot of different clubs to choose from, 14 in fact.

When it comes to a particular shot it can be challenging to know which club to use and be confident about it.

If you’re just learning it can be hard to know which club is best for any given shot. Be it an approach shot to the green, a chip from the greenside rough, or a long fairway shot.

Your score and enjoyment of the game depend on your knowledge of what golf club to use for each shot!

This blog post aims to help you simplify the process of choosing what golf club to use for each shot, by breaking down some of the basics for beginners.

Learning to play golf as a beginner, can be challenging. Understanding golf clubs and how they can work for you, trust me, we’ve all been there.

Not sure what club to use when faced with a shot toward the green or off the tee on a par three. You’re most probably thinking what is the difference between a driver, fairway wood, hybrid, and an iron?

How do you respond when you’re standing on a par three looking at the water in front of you that you have to go over?

You could take a wild swing with a random club and if you hit your ball directly into the water you run the risk of looking foolish.

Understanding golf irons and how to use them to your advantage will work in your favor. That being said, there are some general guidelines to help you find the right club to use!

I’ve put together a guide on what club to use for each shot for beginners, to help you with your club selection process on the course, in the heat of the moment.

  1. What are the different types of clubs?
  2. What each golf club does, and what shot it will be useful for?

These are the questions I’m going to answer. Understanding what golf club to use is all about course management!

Why is Knowing What Golf Club To Use For Each Shot Is important?

One of the most important aspects of playing golf is selecting the right club for the situation. There are many different factors to consider, such as distance to the green, elevation changes, wind, cold, and, rain.

Choosing the wrong club can lead to a number of problems, such as hitting the ball too far or not far enough, hitting it into a water hazard, or ending up in a sand trap. Worse case hitting it OB (out of bounds) and losing your ball.

So it’s important to take your time when making a club selection and make sure you know what distance you can hit each club. Also, using the best club for the situation at hand.

Your Golf Club Distance Guide

The game of golf is divided into five categories. Tee shots, fairway shots, pitching, chipping, and putting.

Knowing the distance of your golf clubs can make or break your game, a long enough drive will set up an easy approach shot that is certain to find the green.

However, if you don’t know what distance you can hit each club, then all the practice in the world may not be enough to get past the trees on your way to 18 holes of glory.

The key factor to choosing the right club to use is knowing the distance you can hit each club.

To take the guesswork out of this you need to hit 50 balls with each club, noting the distances. This will give you an average distance from that you can hit a golf ball.

Now you have the knowledge of how far you can hit each club.

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What Golf Club To Use For Each Shot The Breakdown

So, you’ve just started golfing and trying to figure out what golf club to use for each shot.

Well, the first thing is that there are a variety of clubs available in today’s market, and let’s take a look at some of the golf clubs you might find in your bag.

As a newbie to the world of golf, you may be wondering how difficult golf is and what equipment you need.

The truth is there’s a lot that goes into this game that makes it seem more complicated than it really is.

There are many different clubs used for golfing, but they all serve one purpose: to hit the ball as accurately and as far as possible.

In order to do this efficiently, you need to understand what each club is used for-drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, long and short irons, wedges, and lastly your putter they all have a purpose.

Below is a comprehensive guide covering all these clubs with a golf club distance chart for beginners.

I’ve tried to keep it simple but at the same time, in-depth golf club progression as this is designed for beginners.

Driver # 1 Wood

Golf Club On Course Selection Driver
Club NumberClubLoftDistance Guide
1WDriver8 -13º200-240 Y (183-218 M)

The Driver is the perfect club for teeing off on par 4 and 5s.

It’s a long, straight-striking weapon where balls just fly over hills with ease – think of it as an extension of your arm!

Drivers come in different shapes and sizes but are generally made from titanium so they’re lightweight yet strong, meaning you can really get some power behind them when necessary.

However they have their drawbacks, the driver is one of the hardest clubs to control, and if you’re not focused it can get away from you to produce unintended hooks and slices.

The ball should be placed onto a tee because it has a loft between 8-13 degrees, which makes them best to hit long distances.

These clubs are now made so they can be adjusted to suit your needs, you can adjust the lie, and loft and some have perimeter-weighted adjustments.

All this is designed to help the higher handicap players improve their tee shots and the mid to low handicap players produce tailored shots like fades and draws.

  • Hook shot – Uncontrolled shot moving from right to hard left. 
  • Slice shot – Uncontrolled shot moving from left to hard right.  
  • Perimeter-weighted technology didn’t come from nowhere; there’s plenty of science behind this new breed of clubs. Which has led to advancements in ball speed at impact, thus achieving greater distance, forgiveness, and increased accuracy on off-center hits. Better control overall is because you’ve got more weight distributed around the outer edges of the club head.  

#3 And #5 Fairway Woods

Golf Club Fairway Wood
Club NumberClubLoftDistance Guide
3W# 3 Fairway Wood14 -17º190-220 Y (174-200 M)
5W# 5 Fairway Wood18 – 20º170-190 Y (155-174 M)

Golfers tend to spend lots of time on their driver, but what about those fairway woods #3 and #5? It can be so easy to forget them!

Let’s be honest: we all know it feels awesome when you get your hands on one of these clubs right off the tee or out of the rough.

The ball seems to fly farther with some amount of accuracy when hit well.

These lofted clubs are ideal for tight tee shots as they have a degree of control with the shaft slightly shorter and the loft slightly higher than your driver.

Fairway woods are great for long par three tee shots, or short par fours, shots on the fairway or out of the rough.

These clubs are a good replacement for driving and long irons that can be difficult and problematic for high handicappers to hit.


  • Driving irons are generally low lofted long irons. These are challenging for high handicappers to use and are becoming less popular with the modern technological fairway woods on the market today.

#2, #3, And #4 Long Irons

Golf Club On Course Selection Long Iron
Club NumberClubLoftDistance Guide
HHybrid18 – 23º170-190 Y (155-174 M)
2# 2 Iron18 – 20º180-200 Y (163-219 M)
3# 3 Iron21 – 24º170-190 Y (155-174 M)
4# 4 Iron25 – 28º160-180 Y (146-164 M)

These irons are typically labeled #2, 3, and 4 according to their loft.

The most popular choice for these clubs is the #4 iron which is due to its higher loft and slightly shorter shaft.

Long irons are excellent for long approach shots to the green, layup shots, long par three tee shots, low trajectory shots, or punch shots out from under trees.

#2 and #3 irons are for the mid to low handicap players whereas the #4 iron is great for high handicappers.

However, the #2 iron has largely been superseded by the wide range of hybrids available today. 

Hybrid clubs are gaining huge popularity and are a great replacement for long irons, they are easier to hit and excellent for high handicappers.


  • Hybrid golf clubs have been gaining popularity over the years. A hybrid club is typically a golfer’s favorite because it offers the best of both worlds: the distance of a fairway wood and the control of an iron.

#5, #6, And #7 Mid Irons

Golf Club On Course Selection Mid Irons
Club NumberClubLoftDistance Guide
5# 5 Iron28 – 32º150-170 Y (137-155 M)
6# 6 Iron32 – 36º140-160 Y (128-146 M)
7# 7 Iron36 – 40º130-150 Y (119-137 M)

There are a lot of different things to consider when you’re on the course in the heat of the moment.

One of these considerations is what clubs you should be using for approach shots into the green.

The #5, #6 and #7 irons are all very important clubs that can be used for just that, accurate approach shots attacking the pin.

Great from out of the rough and on the fairway, and when playing hillier courses due to their increased loft and shorter shafts.

They are user-friendly and great clubs for high handicappers, easy to control, have very few issues with the trajectory, easy to get the ball up in the air.

You’re most probably thinking about what club to use on a par 3 when teeing off. You can use these irons to tee off on par threes where accuracy is key.

This is why many people choose these clubs over long irons they simply make the game more enjoyable!

How far should you hit a 7 iron?

There is no definitive answer to this question since it will depend on a variety of factors, such as the height and build of the individual, their skill level, swing speed, the course terrain, and the wind conditions.

However, as a golfer, I would recommend that an average golfer would hit their 7 iron around 130-150 yards or 119-137 meters.

#8, And #9 Short Irons

Golf Club On Course Selection Short Irons
Club NumberClubLoftDistance Guide
8# 8 Iron40 – 44º120-140 Y (110-128 M)
9# 9 Iron45 – 48º110-130 Y (101-119 M)

The #8 and #9 irons are often overlooked in favor of other clubs.

Though they may not be as powerful as a driver or long iron, these irons can be more useful than you think.

Such irons might be great for aggressive approach shots onto small or challenging greens.

#8 and #9 irons are typically your most versatile clubs.

They can be used to play shots from short distances when needed, but they also offer enough loft to hit off of the tee box on a short par three.

These short irons are often called “all-around clubs” because they can be used for any shot between 75 yards (69 meters) and 140 Yards (128 Meters) in distance.

The #9 iron has a little more loft than #8’s so they are best suited for shots around 110-130 yards (101-119 Meters).

However, it is not just their versatility that sets them apart; these clubs also produce some of the best ball flights due to their higher launch angle combined with their short length.

But when it comes time to play your short game shots like chips and pitches, these babies are what you need.

Using Your Wedges

Golf Club On Course Selection Wedges
Club NumberClubLoftDistance Guide
PWPitching Wedge47 – 53º90-110 Y (82-101 M)
GW or AWGap Wedge
Approach Wedge
50 – 54º70-90 Y (64-82 M)
SWSand Wedge54 – 58ºup to 80 Y (73 M)
LWLob Wedge60 – 64ºup to 80 Y (73 M)

Wedges are some of the most important golf clubs in your bag.

They are used to play shots from around 100 yards (90 meters) and in, which is about a quarter of your game.

Wedges come with different loft angles that can be confusing for new players to learn how they work.

The most common wedges are the pitching wedge and the sand wedge.

The pitching wedge is great for close pitch shots, chipping around the green, close bump and run shots, and any shot where you need to get some degree of height on the ball.

Say if you are pitching over small trees, hazards, or anything that is obstructing your line of sight to the green.

The sand wedge is for bunker shots.

The gap wedge and lop wedge, are specialized clubs designed to do certain things. Designed to give golfers an alternative shot out of deep bunkers or thick rough.

Lop wedges have more loft than regular wedges so they’re best suited for sand and very soft turf conditions.


  • Gap and lop wedges – These specialized wedges are good for shots like the flop shot, super high flop shot, and the high bunker shot and are suited for mid to low handicap players.  

Choking Down On Your Wedge

There are some tricks of the trade that golfers use to help them with their chip shots.

One of these techniques is choking down on your wedge, this is where you move your hands down the grip.

This technique will allow you to put more weight behind the club head as you make contact with the ball, which in turn will increase your chances of hitting it clean and crisp!

Choking Down On The Wedge
Chock down on the wedge

What Are The Golf Clubs Needed For A Beginner?

When you’re just starting out the first thing is knowing which golf clubs to use for beginners. Also learning all about golf, when it comes to learning what golf club to use for each shot, having fewer clubs in your bag is better! The one golf club you can’t do without is your putter.

Based on my experiences these are the clubs you’ll need when just starting out.

  • First off, you’ll need a club where you can hit punch shots and low trajectory shots.

Only you’ll know what that club is, for me, it’s my 19º #3 hybrid or my #4 iron.

You will also need:

  1. A driver or #3 wood – this club will be used to tee off on those par fours and fives.
  1. One 19 or 20º hybrid – you’ll need a club you can rely on for the long fairway shots.
  1. #5, #7, and #9 irons – #5 and #7 irons can be used for par three tee shots, approach, and fairway shots. Your #9 iron is needed for those pitch shots and shot par three tee-offs. 
  1. Pitching wedge and a sand wedge – the pitching wedge for chipping and around the green and shots within the 71 yards (65 meters) range. The sand wedge for bunkers and shots from deep rough.
  1. And of course a putter

You can experiment with these clubs and you might come up with your own combination, for example, you could prefer a #6 and #8 iron over the #5 and #7. Or you could prefer a #5 fairway wood over a hybrid, only you will know.

How Much Should A Beginner Spend On Golf Clubs?

Many people who are new to the game of golf will often buy a set of golf clubs that they don’t need just because they don’t know what else to do.

But there is no need for this!

The truth is, if you’re just starting out in the game, all you really need are some good beginner’s clubs that won’t break your bank account and allow you to get started on the course without feeling completely lost.

This makes sense because most beginners struggle with the golf club on course selection anyway – don’t make it difficult for yourself.

So instead of spending a lot of money on equipment that might not work, look at your options, buy second-hand or a competitively priced set online.

What Do The Numbers Mean On Your Golf Clubs?

What do those numbers on golf clubs mean?

The numbers on your golf clubs indicate the loft of the club, the loft is the angle of the club head when you’re holding the club.

The higher the number, the higher the loft is, the numbering system for a regular set of irons starts with #3 or #4 and goes up to #9.

The lower numbered clubs are longer than their higher-numbered counterparts, a #7 iron might be an ideal club for starting out as it has less loft so you’ll get better distance when hitting off rough terrain or elevated fairways.

Let’s say that your #7 iron has a loft of 36 degrees, this means that when this club hits the ball, it will travel higher in the air than if the loft was 16 degrees.

There are three main categories for lofts: low-lofted clubs (usually less than 18 degrees), medium-lofted clubs (20 to 48 degrees), and high-lofted clubs (greater than 48 degrees).

Final Words From The Rough

  • The only way to know for sure what clubs you need is through practice and experimentation.

There are a lot of different golf club recommendations out there, but none are as good or as accurate as those that come from your own experiences.

  • If you want to improve your game and get on a winning streak in no time at all, I’d recommend trying some of the things I’ve discussed in this article.

First off, invest some time into knowing the distances that you hit each of your clubs.

This can be easily done by going to the range and hitting 50 balls with each club to better understand your distances.

Second, try practicing for 15 minutes before you hit the golf course. Understanding what golf club to use for each shot will have a positive impact on your golf game.

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