One of the more common questions that I am asked is about distance.  More specifically, people ask how far they should hit their 6 iron, or 9 iron, or 5-wood, etc.  The answer is, you should hit the ball the appropriate distance for the club speed you can create.  For this example, I’ll use a 6-iron.

The golfer pictured above is Champions Tour Winner, Mike Goodes.  There is no question that Mike plays at an extremely high level.  Mike swings his 6-iron around 88 mph.   His carry distance is about 180 yards.  The only number I look at is carry distance, because each shot will roll differently based on the playing conditions.

6iron2Here is Scott Harvey at The Master’s last year.  Scott’s 6 iron speed is around 93-94 mph.  Scott’s carry distance is about 195 yards.  Both Mike and Scott are very consistent, and therefore can predict the carry distance very accurately, because they both hit the ball extremely solidly.

Most of your reading this, almost all of you reading this, cannot hit the ball as far as Scott or Mike.  I know for a fact that you can’t consistently predict the distance as well as either of these fine players can, because you are not as consistent as they are.

6iron3This is Katherine Perry.  Katherine plays on the LPGA Symetra Tour.  Her club speed is 79 mph and her carry is 155 yards.  Katherine’s club speed is very similar to the average male golfer.  Once again, it’s also extremely important to note that all of these golfers strike the ball very consistently well.  Striking the ball in the center of club face, with the hands leading the clubhead into impact, and striking the ball before the ground, are all extremely crucial elements as well.  However, our main predictor of potential distance is club speed.

Basic Guidelines for Potential Distance for 6 Iron

  • 65 mph can produce about 125-130 carry distance
  • 75 mph can produce about 150 carry distance
  • 85 mph can produce 172-175 carry distance
  • 95 mph can produce 195-200 carry distance.

Find out your swing speed and then correlate that speed with how far you actually carry the ball.  If your speed and the carry distance don’t match, then we need to find out why you are not striking it solidly.

Click this link for proper distance strategy