When to Use Certain Golf Clubs

When you’re on the course, knowing which club to choose can be the difference in finishing under par and a round to forget.

March 29, 2019

Your golf bag has all the tools you need to have a successful round when you step onto the course. But knowing which club to use in certain situations can be a challenge.


Do you go with a 5-wood or a hybrid? Which iron will help you achieve your best approach shot? Which wedge will help land you on the green?


DICK’S Pro Tips is here to guide you through the various clubs in your bag to help you better understand what each club can do for your game.




This will often be the first club you reach for during a round of golf. Drivers are specifically designed to give you distance off the tee. They are typically the longest clubs in your bag and will have the lowest loft angle – the tilt of your club face that affects distance and trajectory – of all of your clubs.


Learn more about drivers with this guide from Pro Tips.




Fairway woods can be a versatile club in your golf bag. You can use a fairway wood from the fairway or a good lie in the rough. Some golfers will use a fairway wood off the tee if they struggle with a driver.


When reaching for a fairway wood, here is the average distance you can expect to achieve:

  • 3-wood = 125 to 240 yards.
  • 4-wood = 110 to 220 yards.
  • 5-wood = 105 to 215 yards.
  • 7-wood = 90 to 170 yards.

Remember: there are some golfers who will hit the ball farther and others who will hit it shorter. It will all depend on experience, skill and clubhead speeds.


Checkout this Pro Tips guide on choosing the best fairway wood for your game.




Hybrids are a blend of fairway woods and irons, bringing together the best aspects of both. Hybrids are used to replace some of the harder-to-hit long irons and can replicate the distance of those clubs. Hybrids can also help increase control without taking away distance or trajectory.


Ready to add a hybrid to your golf bag? Learn more with this buying guide from Pro Tips.




If you’re looking for a club that can help with your approach or help you play out of trouble, you’ll want to pull an iron out of your bag. Irons can help give you control.


The following is the average distance you can expect from your irons. Again, this will all depend on experience, skill and club head speeds:

  • 2-iron = 105 to 210 yards.
  • 3-iron = 100 to 205 yards.
  • 4-iron = 90 to 190 yards.
  • 5-iron = 80 to 175 yards.
  • 6-iron = 70 to 165 yards.
  • 7-iron = 65 to 155 yards.
  • 8-iron = 60 to 145 yards.
  • 9-iron = 55 to 135 yards.

Get more info on buying the right iron set from Pro Tips.




Wedges are irons designed with a high loft angle to produce high-trajectory, low-distance shots. Each one can help produce shots of varying distances and get golfers out of different situations.

  • Pitching wedge: This is the wedge with the lowest loft angle, allowing for more distance. It is a good choice for shots approaching the green. You can use the pitching wedge for shots from 50 to 120 yards.
  • Gap wedge: This wedge has a little more loft than a pitching wedge and is used in many of the same situations. The gap wedge will result in a shorter shot than a pitching wedge but farther than a sand wedge.
  • Sand wedge: This will be your go-to when trying to get the ball out of a bunker.
  • Lob wedge: This wedge is usually the highest-lofted wedge in your golf bag. It creates a very steep angle of ascent and descent. This can help you get the ball into the air quickly in situations like getting over a tree. This is a solid option for shots between 35 and 90 yards.

Need more information on wedges? Pro Tips has you covered.




Once you’re on the green, your putter is there to help send the ball home. It is important to find the right putter to avoid adding strokes to your score. Choosing the right clubhead, features and length can help you find the bottom of the cup when you reach the green. Learn more about all your putter options with Pro Tips.


One of the most important things a golfer can do is get fitted for their clubs. And the Certified Club Fitters at DICK'S Sporting Goods have you covered. For optimal consistency and accuracy, you’ll need clubs customized to compliment your body and swing. By visiting your local DICK’S, you can receive help finding your optimal set makeup, loft angle, lie angle, shaft type, shaft length, grip size and more.


Remember: Practice makes perfect. Get out to your local course or range and play golf.  Spending more time with your clubs can increase your chances of improved results.