Why Do Golf Clubs Have Numbers and What Do They Mean?

What do golf club numbers mean

Golf can seem a little complicated to newcomers and first-timers, and understandably so. Learning to play golf can be difficult due to its steep learning curve, rules and regulations, and equipment specifications that accompany the game. A common question newcomers to the sport ask is the meaning behind the various golf club numbers. Thankfully, our South Florida golf course experts at Deer Creek Golf Club are here to share some insight into the golf club numbering system. We will break down what the numbers mean and which numbered club you should use for particular shots. 

What Are the Golf Club Numbers?

The golf club numbers range from 2-9 and are as follows:

Numbered Golf Clubs

  • 3-wood
  • 5-wood
  • 2-iron 
  • 3-iron
  • 4-iron 
  • 5-iron 
  • 6-iron 
  • 7-iron 
  • 8-iron
  • 9-iron

Non-Numbered Golf Clubs

  • Driver
  • Putter
  • Pitching Wedge
  • Sand Wedge
  • Lob Wedge

What Do the Numbers Mean on a Golf Club?

Now that you are more familiar with the types of golf clubs, what about the golf club numbers? Golf club numbers refer to the loft, which is the angle of the golf club face. When you adjust the loft, you are changing the height and distance the golf ball will travel when struck.

The lower the golf club number, the less loft, the less intense the angle on the golf club face; this means the golf ball will travel more distance at a lower height.

The higher the golf club number, the more loft, the more intense the angle on the golf club face, which means the golf ball will travel higher, but for a shorter distance.

As you may be learning, physics plays a significant role in a golf game, and choosing the appropriate clubs for the right shot is extremely important. 


What Numbered Club to Use for Which Shot 

It should be stated that playing styles vary, and some may disagree with this list. Generally speaking, the following clubs are used in the following shot range:

  • Driver = 230 yards
  • 3-wood = 210 yards
  • 2-iron/4-wood = 190 yards 
  • 3-iron/5-wood = 180 yards 
  • 4-iron = 170 yards
  • 5-iron = 160 yards
  • 6-iron = 150 yards
  • 7-iron = 140 yards
  • 8-iron = 130 yards
  • 9-iron = 120 yards
  • Pitching wedge = 110 yards
  • Sand wedge = 90 yards
  • Lob wedge = 65 yards
  • Putter = Anything in the green


What Is the Difference Between a 3 and 5-Wood and a 3 and 5-Iron? 

The difference between a wood and iron club refers to the material the club is made out of. A 3-wood and 3-iron will have the same loft angle, as would a 5-iron and 5-wood, though made of different materials, which means they are better suited for different shots. 

You may believe that since 3 and 5-irons are made of iron, a material harder than wood, that they would be used for longer distance shots, but this is not the case. Generally speaking, a 3-wood is used for a shot in the range of 210 yards, while a 3-iron is used for a shot in the range of 180 yards. A 5-wood is used for a shot of about 180 yards, while a 5-iron is used for a shot of about 160 yards. 

As you may have deduced from the numbers above, a 5-wood and 3-iron are both typically used for the same distance shot and should be chosen based on the desired loft for the shot. 


The Difference Between a Wood Club and Iron Club

Wood Golf Clubs

Wood golf clubs are long-range clubs used at the beginning of every hole when you tee off. For longer courses, use wood golf clubs in the second swing. Woods have large, circular club heads with a flat front where you strike the golf ball.

Iron Golf Clubs

Iron golf clubs are used after teeing off; you can recognize them by the extreme angle of the club heads. Every golfer has more iron clubs than any other golf club in their bag! Make sure you stock up before you swing on our South Florida golf course.


Putting This Information to Use

You will undoubtedly learn more about golf and golf clubs by playing. The best way to absorb this information is to apply it in the real world. Check out our South Florida golf school that will teach you all you need to know about golf and help you improve your swing and golf game. 

Our beautiful golf course is open to the public and is the perfect place to put your golf skills to the test. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced golfer, our South Florida golf course provides the perfect weather and terrain for all ages and levels of expertise. Contact us today for further information on our course, and check out our golf course tee times

Related Readings:

Tips to Improve Your Golf Game at Home

The Beginner’s Guide to Golf | Everything You Need to Know About Golf