How Far Should You Hit A 5 Iron? (Complete Overview)

Distance has become more and more important over the past decade of golf.

Tune into any professional golf event and you will see the professional golfers launching their drivers high and far.

They are also pretty good with their irons from a precision and distance perspective.

The average PGA Tour player will hit his 5 iron around 194 yards (carry distance) with a swing speed of 94 miles per hour.  There are many amateurs that struggle to swing their driver 94 miles per hour.

The average LPGA Tour player will hit her 5 iron 161 with a swing speed of 79 miles per hour.  The LPGA tour players are often a better comparison for many amateur golfers.

How Far Should You Hit A 5 Iron?

The average amateur should hit their 5 iron around 160 yards.  Considering that many amateurs swing their driver around 95-100 miles per hour, the natural drop in swing speed down to the 5 iron will produce a carry of around 160 yards.

Here is a quick reference chart for many of the common golf clubs found in a bag:
SeniorAverageLow HandicapTour Pro
Driver Swing Speed91 and Below91-101102-112113-123
Driver Distance210 and Below210-235235-275275-300
3 Wood Distance200220230243
Hybrid Distance190205215225
4 iron Distance170185195203
5 iron Distance160175185194
6 iron Distance150163173183
7 iron Distance140153163172
8 iron Distance130143153160
9 iron Distance120131141148
pw Distance110121131136
sw Distance90100110120
lw Distance708090105

If you are someone looking to hit your 5 iron further, consider the different factors that influence distance with every club in the bag.

Factors That Influence Distance

  • Clubhead Speed
  • Ball Speed
  • Spin Rate
  • Launch Angle

Clubhead Speed

Without additional clubhead speed, you will struggle to gain significant distance.  This is the most important factor when it comes to overall distance.  Even with the greatest sweet spot contact, optimum spin rate and the perfect launch angle you might struggle to hit the distance you want if you lack clubhead speed.

Resource: How to hit a 5 iron: 5 Keys!

The longest drivers on tour will swing their driver between 120 and 130 miles per hour, producing an impressive ball speed of between 170-195 miles per hour.

Check out below our number one tip to gain additional clubhead speed.  With this training device below, you can expect to gain 5-8 miles per hour in clubhead speed as early as your first training session.

With the SuperSpeed System detailed below, you can expect new distance with your driver and every club in the bag.

Original Swing SpeedAfter 4-6 WeeksNew Carry DistanceTotal Distance

Ball Speed

Ball speed is a combination of your clubhead speed combined with how centered the hit is.  High club head speed with an off center hit will rob of you your highest potential ball speed. 

The golfer that can find the right combination of clubhead speed and centered hits will have the highest ball speed.  Some golfers will gain ball speed by slowing down 1-3 miles per hour with their clubhead speed and maximize their on centered his, also known as the smash factor in golf.

The best way to increase your ball speed is to increase your clubhead speed and train at fast levels and then when on the course settle in at about 90% of your maximum speed, helping you to strike the center of the clubface.

Resource: How to increase ball speed (2 keys)

Spin Rate

For a 5 iron, most golfers will want to have a spin rate in the 5000 RPM range.  If the spin rate gets too high you will lose distance and come up short.  If your spin rate is too low, you will get extra distance, but struggle to stop the ball on the green or to have consistency in the distance you carry your irons.  

When it comes to irons, you want to hit your irons within a certain range.  For example, if you hit your 5 iron between 160 and 165 yards that is fine, as long as one time you don’t hit it 180 and the next time 150.  Having the precision and a shorter range will help you score better.

Resource: Why is spin rate important?

Launch Angle

There is an ideal launch angle with every club in the bag to maximize distance.  Too high or too low and you will lose distance.  You also have to be aware of the wind on every shot.  

The best golfers are able to hit both lower shots and higher shots with every club in the bag to play the course and the conditions for that day.

Checking data on your golf swing is important. See our resources below on how the SkyTrak can improve your golf game!

How To Hit Your 5 Iron Further

The number one tip is to swing faster.  How do you accomplish this?  Through training!  What is the best training option?  SuperSpeed Golf!  The three speed sticks that come with the purchase of the SuperSpeed System have a club that is 20% lighter, 10% lighter and 5% heavier.  The protocols are simple to follow and take 15-30 minutes per training session and you train every other day.  

Check current pricing on SuperSpeed Golf, here!

Golfers can expect to see a 5-8% increase as early as the first session and the speed will become more permanent after about 30 days of training.  Stick with the training for a continued increase in swing speed, which will come at about a 1-2 miles per hour increase every several months.  The thought process or science behind this approach is known as overspeed training.  

The idea is that you are training both your mind and your body to swing faster than you normally do.  The mind and body start to adapt to this new speed as the mind builds confidence in doing this safely and the body trains to move faster.

The SuperSpeed System will help you experience additional speed through every club in the bag and you will soon find yourself hitting the ball further, hitting the ball closer and making more putts. 

Resource: Our complete SuperSpeed Golf Review!

The analytics are pretty clear in golf!  The further you hit your driver, the shorter approach shot you have left.  The shorter approach shot, results in a closer proximity to the pin on average.  With the final outcome being more made putts because you are putting putts closer to the hole. 

The make percentage on the PGA tour from 8 feet is significantly better than 15 feet.  The bottom line is that you need shorter putts to make more putts and this starts on the tee by hitting your driver further!

Resource: How to make more short putts (5 simple steps)

Alternatives to the 5 Iron

Plenty of golfers have shifted to the hybrids as they replace their 3, 4, 5 and sometimes even the 6 iron.  The hybrid options at this point are the 3, 4 or 5 hybrids.  The goal is to have a chart of how far you hit each club and to ensure you have the gaps filled.  

Resource: 5 Iron vs 5 Hybrid: Which One Should I Carry?

You don’t want something larger than a 10-15 yard gap from inside of 185-200 yards.  Charting out how far you hit each club is a key to ensure you have the right clubs in your bag.

Here is an example of the chart I created for my golf yardages with irons and wedges:
ClubCarry Distance (100%)
2 Utility Iron210
4 iron190
5 iron181
6 iron171
7 iron163
8 iron153
9 iron143
P Club130
Approach Wedge118
SW Club105
LW Club90

I used my SkyTrak to measure my carry distances with every iron and wedge in the bag.  I hit 10 shots with each iron and took the average.  This was a simple process with something like my SkyTrak as I was able to create this simple chart and reference while on the golf course.  It is a game changer to have an accurate chart and to be able to this with my SkyTrak.

There are some great options in the golf market for affordable golf launch monitors.  You no longer have to pay $16,000 for a Trackman to have valuable data that can help reduce your golf score by several shots per round.

Here are my top 3 recommend affordable golf launch monitors:

My number one choice is the SkyTrak.  It has been a game changer!

Resource: SkyTrak Golf Launch Monitor: The Ultimate Game Improvement Tool!

If your golf clubs looks like the ones above, it is time to upgrade. Make sure you explore hybrids, especially if you struggle with long irons!

How Far Should You Hit You 5 Iron: Other Tips

If you are struggling to hit your 5 iron, it is probably from a lack of speed (check out SuperSpeed Golf) or due to poor contact (low point control issues).

If you are having low point control issues, I would highly recommend the drill below.

The first fundamental of golf according to the Stack and Tilt Instructors is to be able to control the low point of your golf swing.  The best golfers in the world are able to hit precisely where they want on just about every shot they hit in every round they play.  

While the highest handicap players might only hit several shots a round where they control their low point.  Even as your handicap improves, continuing to work on low point control is essential to getting to the next level.  The best golfers are often the best ball strikers and this starts with controlling your low point in the golf swing.

Here the the steps to take to complete this drill:

  • Paint a 2-3 yard long line with some yard paint.
  • Place the wiffle ball on the line.
  • The goal is to have your divot start just on the target side of your line.
  • Go ahead and hit shot after shot, working on controlling your low point and your entry into the ground.
  • Assess your success rate out of 20 times and write it down.
  • Complete this drill daily for several weeks and see if your game improves at the course.

If you start to hit the ball poorly at any point on your golf journey, return to this drill and keep it simple.  

One quick tip: if you are struggling to control your low point, go ahead and set up with 60% of your weight on your front leg.  Keep your head centered without a big shift off the ball and turn more around your front leg.  This will help keep your centers in place and allow you to control the low point.  

Many golfers struggle with the low point because they don’t get their weight back to their front side early enough and end up casting the club.

How Far Should You Hit A 5 Iron: Final Thoughts

The key is to have consistency in your golf game.  This starts with the three fundamentals in golf:

  • Controlling the low point of your golf swing
  • Controlling the start line and the curve of your golf ball
  • Having enough distance to play the golf course.

I have provided a great drill for low point control in the golf swing (see above), a training device for fundamental #3 (SuperSpeed Golf) and will leave you will a Stock Shot drill that can help with the 2nd fundamental above:

The 2nd fundamental of golf is to be able to control your start line and the curve of the ball. The stock shot drill is one drill that can be used for the remainder of your time playing the great game of golf.  

Have you ever played golf and have no idea where the ball is going to start and then curve?  Yes!  We have all been there before.  This stock shot drill is great to help you visualize and then monitor your success of starting the ball down your intended target line.

Here the the steps to take to complete this drill:

  • Set up an alignment stick down your target line about 12-15 feet in front of you.
  • Set up a second alignment stick about 2-4 feet right of the first alignment stick.
  • Using a golf ball, go ahead and attempt to hit the ball through the gate.
  • Assess how many times out of 20 you are successful.
  • Write this number down and repeat this drill for as long as your play golf.

A realistic number even for the most advanced golfers might be around 15 out of 20.  Even the best golfers struggle to hit their start line from time to time.  The major benefit of this drill is to have the visuals to allow you to narrow into a specific target.  As you get to the golf course, you will be able to visualize the alignment sticks in your mind and hit it through that gate.

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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