What Golf Clubs to Use When?

What golf clubs to use when

It can be incredibly confusing for anyone just starting out in golf to know what golf clubs to add to their bag. This pressure increases even more, when you realize that you’re only allowed to carry 14 clubs at a time. According to the  USGA’s Rule No 4 – The Player’s Equipment, if you carry more than 14 clubs, you must add two strokes per hole, which you want to avoid at all costs.

If you want to learn what golf clubs to use when, read on. I have come up with this comprehensive guide to golf clubs to help you learn what golf clubs to use as a beginner. Let’s get started.

What Golf Clubs to Use When – Common Shots

When you first start golfing, you’ll quickly learn that there are a couple of common shots that indispensable for a game of golf. Having the right golf clubs in your caddy will definitely help you to hit these common shots properly. In this section, we will look at what golf clubs to use for each shot.

What Golf Club to Use for Teeing Off

A lot of your distance should come from your tee. To get this distance, you need to use a driver. If you don’t have a driver, then use a hybrid or another large club in its place. These golf clubs will help your golf ball soar a great distance, but they will not be as effective as a driver.

To make the most of your driver, make sure that you tee properly. Your driver will not help you at all if you are not hitting the ball off the tee correctly. Additionally, make sure that your tee can handle a bigger club.

What Golf Club to Use for Approach Shots

The approach shot is the most basic and essential shot among professional golf games. They make up about 40% of the scores for most players. Approach shots include any shot made within 100 yards from the hole.

For an approach shot, you should use an iron. Most golfers recommend using an 8- or 9-iron to help you master the approach shot.

What Golf Club to Use Around the Green

When you’re around the green, you might need enough power to go a great distance, but you don’t want to overshoot your shot either. A pitching wedge is often used around the green. These wedges are great for 110 to 140 yard hits and have a loft of around 42 to 46 degrees.

What Golf Club to Use for Chipping

Chips are short shots that are often played around the greens. You normally would play a chip shot when you are within a few yards of the putting area.

A chip’s goal is to get the ball on the green and rolling as quickly as possible. To make this happen, the ball will pop into the air shortly and hit the ground quickly, allowing it to roll towards the hole.

You should use a wedge for a chip shot, although you can chip with any club. For example, some golfers choose 7- or 8-irons for their chip.

Related read: How to Chip a Golf Ball

What Golf Club to Use in a Bunker

When you’re in a bunker, you need a high lofted wedge to lift the ball out of the bunker and flop it onto the green. Look for a 60 degree lob wedge when you are in a bunker. This will allow you to get just enough loft so that you get out of the pit.

What Golf Club to Use for a Trouble Shot

As the name suggests, a trouble shot is any shot made from a difficult stance. Balls landing on a slope or muddy area count as trouble shots. Hybrids are often the best clubs to use during trouble shots because they give you distance, height, and control.

Which Golf Club to Use for Putting

Putting is when you hit the ball while it is on the green fields. It is always best to use a putter for a putting shot. This will allow you to send the ball more accurately to the hole. Make sure to use the right putter based on the clubhead and length. This will get you a better score.

Club Types

There are a variety of golf clubs to choose from. It is important to know what golf clubs to use for what distance or shot to get the best score possible. It is still more important to practice and work on your swing to improve your score. Finding the correct club means nothing if you don’t have the skills or practice to use them.

Nevertheless, here’s a comprehensive look at each club type:


You should use drivers early in the game. These will be especially helpful if you are learning the game of golf. The driver is typically very long with a low loft angle. This allows you to improve the distance and trajectory of your shots. You should use this club type when teeing off.

Related read: Best Drivers for Beginners

Fairway Woods

Fairway woods are great when you want to hit off a good lie in the rough. They are also great options for teeing off when you are without a driver. Before selecting any fairway woods, you need to know the average distance range of your exact fairway wood. This will allow you to plan out your shots more accordingly. Here are the average distances of fairway woods:

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


Irons provide you more control over the trajectory of your shot. That is why most golfers opt for irons for approach shots. It allows them more control. Like with the fairway woods, you need to know the average distances you can get from using your iron.

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


Wedges are the best golf clubs to use in more difficult situations. Their lofted design makes it easier to escape bunkers or other difficult shots. There are four types of wedges:

  • Pitching Wedge: The pitching wedge has the lowest loft angle of the wedges. Use the pitching wedge for shots from 50 to 120 yards.
  • Gap Wedge: The gap wedge is slightly more lofted than the pitching wedge, but it is still suitable for the same distance. They are more ideal for distances from 50 to 80 yards, though.
  • Sand Wedge: As you probably guessed, the sand wedge is best for shots from bunkers or shallow pits filled with sand.
  • Lob Wedge: The lob wedge has the highest loft angle. This provides a steep ascent and descent. Use the lob wedge to get the maximum height for shots from 35 to 90 yards.

Related read: Best Wedges for High Handicappers


The hybrid club is named after its multi-faceted use. Hybrids are great clubs because they provide the long-distance of iron but the trajectory of fairway woods. These golf clubs can also get you out of sand traps, much like a wedge. You’ll find hybrid clubs helpful if you’re a golfer with high handicap ratings.


You should use the putter when you are playing in green fields. In other words, you should use the putter when you are putting. This will allow you to have control for sending your ball into the hole. Make sure you find the right putter based on the head and length for maximum results.

Related read: Best Golf Clubs for Beginners


What do golf clubs numbers mean?

The golf club numbers tell you the loft or the angle of the golf clubface. A lower loft means that the golf ball will travel a further distance at a lower height. In contrast, a steeper loft means the ball will travel at a higher height for a shorter distance.

For example, a 2-iron will travel far but not high. The 9-iron, on the other hand, will get a high ascent but not travel very far. The same goes for fairway woods.

What golf clubs should I have in my bag?

Since you can only carry 14 clubs in your bag, you need to wisely select your golf clubs. Select an optimal combination so you can hit any shot. Always include a driver and putter in your bag. From there, you need to find your own variety of hybrids, fairway woods, and irons to maximize your playing abilities.

What golf clubs help your game based on gender?

Men and women have different swinging power and flexibility, meaning that you may want to tailor your clubs to your gender.

  • For Men: Use a hybrid to maintain your strength while controlling the trajectory more.
  • For Women: Use drivers for teeing-off and 9-irons as your go-to club. These clubs will help maximize your strength for trajectory and distance.

How to choose a golf club length?

Club length is crucial to enhancing your game and improving your score. The length of the golf club will depend on your height. More specifically, the length will depend on your height and the length of the club shaft. The shaft is what connects the head to the grip of the club. Here’s what length to choose based on your height:

  • Golfers 5’5″ and under: half-inch shorter than the standard length
  • Golfers 5’6″ to 6’0″: standard length
  • Golfers 6’1″ +: longer than the standard length

Related read: How Long Should My Golf Clubs Be?


Enhance your golfing game by selecting the right golf club for your shots. Though it can be difficult to know which club to use, doing so will allow you to maximize your strength and trajectory so that you can improve on your score. I hope that this guide will come in handy next time you find yourself asking, “What golf clubs to use when?”

With that being said, practice makes perfect. Even if you have the best clubs in the world, your shot will not improve unless you do. Focus your attention on improving your swing and skills, not necessarily the club type. Simply use the correct club to showcase your skills and abilities.