You are allowed to carry 14 golf clubs for a reason. Are you taking advantage of your entire bag or are you unknowingly harming your game by carrying too many clubs that go similar distances? 

We’ve already covered how to gap your wedges to improve your short game, but now we’ve put together a guide to filling the gaps in your golf bag. With so many options to choose from, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about gapping your clubs so you can be confident you’ll choose the right club for every shot. 

What Is Distance Gapping?

Do you know how far you hit with each club? This is the most crucial question when it comes to gapping your clubs and improving your golf game. 

If you don’t know how far you hit with each club, you are essentially playing a guessing game every time you choose a club. A distance gap exercise is a helpful tool for learning how far you hit each club and improving your scores.

To do this distance gapping exercise, head to the range and measure and record how far you hit the ball with each of your clubs. Be sure to take plenty of shots with each club to get an accurate idea of the distance you can hit – confidently and consistently – with each one.

You can also work with a golf coach to determine your club distances. Once you know the yardage of each of your clubs, you will have the framework needed to fill the gaps in your golf bag.

You may discover you have significant gaps in club distance in the 190 to 240 yard range, making it difficult to reach the green. Or, you may find you need to close distance gaps once you get closer to the green.

It will take some time and work, but the effort of distance gap exercises is almost guaranteed to lower your scores and make you a better golfer.

selecting a club

Why Is Distance Gapping Essential for Improving Your Golf Game?

Distance gapping can help improve your golf came in a variety of ways:

  • It highlights any distance gaps in your bag that you don’t have any clubs to cover
  • It helps you choose the right club with confidence
  • It helps you cover consistent yardage
  • It helps you plan your way around the course and choose clubs according to wind, weather, temperature, and other factors
    • How To Easily Fill the Gaps in Your Golf Bag

      If you want a bit of backup making sure you are accurately recording how far you hit the ball with each club, there are many shot tracking tools to help you fill the gaps in your bag, such as:

      • GPS devices
      • Yardage markers
      • Laser rangefinders
      • A radar launch monitor

      What Are the Averages Distances You Should Be Hitting?

      If you want to learn more about the differences between each of your clubs, which clubs to carry in your bag, and which clubs to use for different shots, here is a guide to the average distances you should be hitting.

      The difference in distance between each club is a result of the loft angle and increments in club length. The average golfer will get about 10 yards of overall distance between each club, although some may get 12 yards.

      While you may find yourself above or below these averages, this information can give you a general idea of where you fall.

      fairway wood golf shot

      Fairway Woods

      When it comes to distance, woods reign supreme.  When taking your first swing from the tee box, a driver is often a great choice to cover the most distance (180 – 250 yards). However, if you lack confidence with a driver, a 3 wood is also an excellent choice.

      Many amateur golfers find they can actually hit their 3 wood as far – or even farther – than their driver. This is often because your driver may have too little loft compared to your swing speed. To take full advantage of lower lofts (less than 10 degrees), your swing speed needs to be relatively high.

      For amateurs that are still building up their swing speed, a 3 wood may actually be a more efficient choice for longer shots and can be expected to go between 160 – 230 yards. This may mean you can hit your 3 wood 220 yards with confidence while only hitting your driver 200 yards.

      Take a series of swings with both your 3 wood and your driver and see how the distances compare. And be sure to repeat distance gap exercises every so often. As your game improves, you may find you need to update the clubs you carry.

      hitting an iron shot


      Iron’s are a key part of your bag when your ball winds up on the fairway or in the rough. Traditional sets offered a 4 iron through to a 9 iron, along with a sand wedge or pitching wedge. 

      Here are the average club yardages for irons:

      • 3 Iron: 160 – 200 yards, 19° – 21 °
      • 4 Iron: 150 – 190 yards, 24° – 26 °
      • 5 Iron: 140 – 180 yards, 27° – 29 °
      • 6 Iron: 130 – 160 yards, 30° – 32 °
      • 7 Iron: 120 – 150 yards, 33° – 35 °
      • 8 Iron: 110 – 140 yards, 36° – 38 °
      • 9 Iron: 90 – 130 yards, 40° – 42 °


      With the most loft, wedges are designed for shots approaching the green. The sand wedge and pitching wedge were commonly included in iron sets.

      With over half of your shots as a golfer being part of your short game, choosing the right wedge is a key step in reducing your number of strokes.

      Here are some average club yardages for wedges:

      • Pitching Wedge: 80 – 120 yards, 44° – 46 °
      • Lob Wedge: 60 – 100 yards, 59° – 61°
      • Gap Wedge: 60 – 100 yards, 49° – 51 °
      • Sand Wedge: 60 – 100 yards, 54° – 56 °

      selecting the right gapping for golf club

      Looking for More Tips to Improve Your Golf Game?

      Knowing how to choose the right club for each shot can help you swing with confidence every time. Distance gapping is one of the best ways to learn which club to choose and improve your golf game.

      If you want personalised coaching on how to fill the gaps in your golf bag, please feel free to reach out to me. I offer video analysis and remote coaching, lessons, instructional videos, and a variety of tools to help you analyse your swing, discover how to track how far you hit the ball with each club, and other tips for becoming a better golfer.


hi, I’m Bobby Walia

Bobby is fast earning a reputation as one of the best and most innovative golf coaches in Australia. He brings over 15 years of international experience to his teaching. From playing professionally on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa, to his adventures studying and coaching in San Diego and Berlin, Bobby has also hosted clients on many of the world's best golf courses.

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