After your initial drive, your distance from the pin determines which iron you'll need for subsequent shots. The idea is to have an assortment of irons that will carry the ball just the right distance when you hit it full force. An average male golfer can expect to hit a four-iron between 150 to 170 yards. The average for women is about 20 yards less than for men throughout the selection of irons. As the clubs go up in number, the normal distances decrease. A sand wedge can carry up to 100 yards for men, 80 for women. During the course of a round, you're likely to find yourself faced with a wide variety of shots that require precise distance control. The irons numbered four through nine, plus the sand and pitching wedges, allow you to have a club available for any range. In addition, a lob wedge is a good choice for short, high shots. Those are the basic irons used by most golfers. If you have a favorite specialty club, you can add it to your bag as long as the total number of clubs doesn't exceed 14.