Knowing the distances of every golf club in your bag is a very important part of playing great golf.
If you don’t know your distances, it’s nearly impossible to hit an accurate approach into the green.
The 4 iron is a club that most amateur golfers do not use nearly as much as other clubs in the bag.
It is important to get an idea of how far a 4 iron can go before you take it out of the bag during your next round of golf.
We have some helpful tips about how far you can hit a 4 iron and some strategies for deciding whether or not this is the right club to have in the bag.
How Far Can You Hit A 4 Iron?
An average golfer with mid-level swing speed will hit a 4 iron around 160 yards.
Faster swing speed golfers can get closer to 180 yards with their 4 iron.
The fastest swing speed golfers and professionals with really high speeds will be looking at 200-220 yards.
The distance that you can hit a 4 iron is directly related to the swing speed that you have.
With a high swing speed, expect quite a bit of distance; with a lower swing speed, it can be hard to fully compress the ball with the 4 iron and see the proper length shots.
In addition, because the 4 iron is lower lofted, it’s challenging to get the ball flight that you need with this club in your hand.
Those with higher swing speeds can fully compress the ball and get high ball flight regardless.
For golfers with slower speeds, it’s hard to get that same performance.
Many amateur golfers have removed the 4 iron from their bag because of fears of performance on the course, but it’s not impossible to hit this club a long way if your swing is solid.
How Far Do Pros Hit A 4 Iron?
The PGA Tour keeps detailed stats on all of its players.
These stats ensure that we have a good idea as to what clubs the professionals use, so we can all learn from their game.
Even equipment companies will learn what new equipment needs to come to market from looking at the equipment that professionals use and how far they hit it.
According to the PGA Tour studies, most professionals will hit a 4 iron about 200 to 220 yards.
The longer distances come from those with the highest swing speeds, golfers that we know for generating tons of power.
Although there are certain distances that you should be able to hit the ball as a professional, not all golfers are extremely long hitters.
Certain professionals have more standard distances, and some of them do not mind that.
If you talk to a professional, they will tell you that the consistency and accuracy of their iron shots are considerably more important than total distance.
Being able to smash an iron shot is great, but it certainly doesn’t help you get it closer to the pin.
If your swing speed is in the 110 mph range, and you still only hit the 4 iron 160 yards, there could be some other issues occurring in your swing.
Amateur golfers should remember that striving for professional-level accuracy is even more important than professional-level distance.
Is The 4 Iron Difficult To Hit?
One of the top questions that amateur golfers ask about the 4 iron is whether or not it is a difficult club to hit.
This can be a complicated question, depending on a few things.
1. Swing Speed
The higher your swing speed, the easier it is to hit a solid 4-iron shot.
With the length of the 4 iron being longer than other irons in the bag and the overall loft lower, many golfers struggle to get the jump off the clubface they need.
There are some things you can do as a golfer to work on your swing speed and increase it, and this could help with the ability to hit the 4 iron a bit further.
Some golfers will work on an exercise regime or start lifting weights to increase swing speed.
In the end, the faster you swing it, the easier it is to get distance with the 4 iron.
Overall, golf swing speed can only be increased so much depending on who the player is and what they are physically capable of.
However, when you start to increase your ability to swing the club faster, you will hit it far.
2. 4 Iron Technology
Not all 4 irons are created equal.
Sometimes a 4 iron is older technology with a heavy club head and a stiff shaft.
This is difficult even for the best players in the game to hit.
There are other types of 4 irons with improved distance technology, lightweight graphite shafts, and plenty of forgiveness.
Players may have a much easier time hitting this type of 4 iron far.
Let’s say, for instance, you have an old TaylorMade 4 iron from 10 years ago or a TaylorMade Stealth 4 iron released this year.
The distance technology in the new 4 iron is going to make it considerably easier to hit this club far.
3. Accuracy Of Strike
To hit any golf club a great distance, you will need to hit the center of the clubface.
When shots are hit outside of the center of the clubface, the results are typically ten to 15 yards shorter.
Before you change your equipment or start working on the effectiveness of your golf swing, think about making an accurate strike with the golf club.
If you can strike the ball cleanly, the result will also be a shot that is higher and probably closer to your target.
Hitting great golf shots with any club in your hand takes a very accurate strike on the golf club.
Players who learn this and can develop a swing that they can repeat will have a much better chance of success.
You can learn to be more accurate with your golf shots by practicing consistency in your swing and working on striking the center of the clubface.
It’s best to work on this with the short game so that you will increase overall consistency and accuracy.
4. Normal Ball Flight Tendencies
If you are a golfer that struggles to get the golf ball up in the air, the 4 iron can be a tough club to hit.
This is the lowest lofted iron for most golfers in the game.
As the loft is so low, it can be really hard for players that struggle with proper ball flight.
This can happen with golfers who have a slightly more shallow golf swing.
Players with a steep swing can make contact with the ball at a slightly different angle which can help increase the overall ball flight of the shot.
It’s essential to consider your normal ball flight tendencies and whether or not you have the type of golf swing that will help promote a better 4 iron shot.
Do Pro Golfers Use A 4 Iron?
Most professional golfers will use a 4 iron.
This is a club that professionals use quite a bit on long par 3s or an approach shot to a longer par 4.
Some professionals have enough distance to hit a par 5 in two by hitting a 4 iron golf shot.
The 4 iron is not a hard club for professionals to hit.
However, when you move to the 3 iron, you will see that not all professionals include a 3 iron in their bag.
Sometimes the 3 iron is replaced with a hybrid or a utility.
In other situations, you can find a professional who will even use a 7 wood instead of the 3 iron.
It’s up to the professional and their preferences, strengths, and weaknesses to decide which club is the best.
All golf clubs should be carefully analyzed before they are put into the golf bag.
When you can trust a club and rely on it; you will see greater benefits.
Should I Hit A 4 Iron Or Hybrid?
Now that you have a better idea as to how far you can hit a 4 iron and how hard it is to hit, it’s time to decide if you should keep yours in your golf bag.
For so many years, golf club sets were sold with a 4 iron in them, and players learned how to hit it.
Today the way we purchase golf equipment has changed completely.
There is no need to purchase a complete set of irons that does not fit your game.
In fact, most golfers typically purchase one club at a time and not the complete set.
Setting yourself up with a 5-PW is completely acceptable.
The traditional replacement for a 4 iron is to put a 4 hybrid in the golf bag.
With a 4 hybrid, the significant difference you will notice is the ability to hit the golf ball out of the rough.
When hitting golf shots out of the rough, the hybrid has a bit of extra weight in the head that helps to push through tough grass.
Once you can see the differences in how forgiving the 4 hybrid is compared to how the 4 iron is, you may want to make a replacement.
The 4 hybrid is also an excellent club for getting a higher ball flight and letting your shot land much softer on the green.
This is helpful in a variety of situations, and the 4 iron is a bit more difficult as it can run through the green without much spin.
In the end, you should test out the 4 iron and the 4 hybrid to decide which will be the best for your game.
At a custom fitting or with a portable launch monitor, you can easily get the stats and numbers you need to see which one goes the furthest.
What Club Replaces A 4 Iron?
The 4 iron can be replaced with a 4 hybrid, a 4 utility, or even a 9 wood.
Many golfers find the replacements to the 4 iron to be much easier to control and considerably more forgiving.
In the end, you will probably get just about the same amount of distance from a 4 iron replacement that you will get from the 4 iron.
However, the consistency in the distance is more important than the total distance.
If you can hit each of your 4 iron shots 180 yards, it’s certainly better than hitting one 200 and the next 160.
Keep this in mind as you look for and decide if the 4 iron or a 4 iron replacement is best for your game.
Should Beginners Use A 4 Iron?
Many beginner golfers like the 4 iron because they feel as though they hit it further than other irons in the bag.
Of course, this can be true; the question is whether or not you are hitting it as far as you should be.
Many beginners think that the overall performance is excellent since the distance is far.
However, if the 4 iron is only going a yard or two further than the 5 iron, you should probably replace it with something that has a bit more forgiveness.
Overall the 4 iron should be able to travel about ten yards further than the 5 iron consistently, and the ball flight should be high and straight.
If you are seeing a performance like this, it is worth using the 4 iron.
If not, put the 4 iron back in the bag and stick with the hybrid.
We would recommend that beginners stay away from purchasing a 4 iron and, for now, work with a 4 hybrid.
If you find that your swing is a bit better suited to a 4 iron, you can always add one at a later point.
Should I Put A Graphite Or Steel Shaft In My 4 Iron?
With the 4 iron being a bit longer than other clubs in the bag and it having a bit lower loft, the graphite shaft can sometimes be a smart decision to make.
A graphite shaft in the 4 iron is a quick adjustment, and it will not cost you all that much.
This does not always mean that you will need graphite shafts throughout the rest of your set.
With a steel shafted 4 iron, you must have a bit more clubhead speed to hit the club well.
Hopefully, you now know a bit more about the 4 iron, the importance of having one in your bag, and whether or not it’s the right club selection for you.
It’s hard to decide if the 4 iron is an excellent choice unless you can test it against a hybrid.
If your local golf course has a demo day where you can try new equipment, compare a 4 iron with a 4 hybrid to see what kind of performance you are getting.
In the end, even with the introduction of the hybrid into the world of golf, the 4 iron remains a great club for many players.