While it might surprise some golfers, the 7-wood is arguably one of the most versatile clubs you can keep in your bag.
Some might find a high lofted wood intimidating, or jut not know how to use one.
If you know how and when to use a 7-wood correctly, you can quickly find yourself making shots you might never have attempted previously.
Golf is all about finding new ways to play, innovating and pushing the sport, so if you’re looking to try something new in your own game, keep reading as we get into the how, why, and when to use a 7-wood in golf!
Let’s get started!
What is a 7-wood
A 7-wood golf club is part of the wood family of clubs, which have larger, fatter clubheads than irons.
Woods are used for hitting the ball longer distances than irons, as their longer shafts and larger heads allow for increased club speed and power in the swing, which therefore increases ball speed and spin.
This is most useful when teeing off, or playing on long courses. Using a wood, especially the 7-wood, is also useful for when you are trying to lay up or hit a flop shot.
The 7-wood can therefore be considered the more tactical wood, most useful for tough courses with plenty of obstacles.
The Loft of a 7-wood
The average loft of a 7-wood is around 20-22 degrees.
It is therefore the wood with the most loft, in comparison to the 3-wood with 15-18 degrees of loft, and the 5-wood, with 18-20 degrees of loft on average.
This, however, does not necessarily mean that you will be able to hit the ball further with your 7-wood than your 5-wood, as some golfers may believe.
A higher loft degree means that the trajectory of the ball will be steeper than with your other woods, which is why many golfers like to rely on the 7 wood to get them out of trouble with things like high trees in the way of the target.
the Length of a 7-wood
The average length of a 7-wood is typically around 40-42 inches long.
While this is not too dissimilar, in many cases, to the length of the 5-wood, the 7-wood tends to have a slightly heavier clubhead by around 10 grams.
This can help with the power of the swing, therefore increasing the distance you can achieve with the 7-wood, balancing out the increased loft so that you don’t just rocket your ball into the sky.
Distance Chart of a 7-wood
As with any shot, distance can be affected by a number of factors, including weather, ball age, and the physical ability of the golfer.
However, the average distance of a shot with a 7-wood is around 150 yards.
This means that the average distance of a shot with the 7-iron is the lowest out of all the other woods.
The average distances with a 7-wood, from small hitters through to large hitters, are as follows:
- Male average: 150-190 yards
- PGA Average: 210-260 yards
- Female Average: 100-150 yards
- LPGA Average: 170-190 yards
The 7-wood will therefore generally yield around 65 yards less than your driver.
Just because other golfers are able to hit this far with their 7-wood doesn’t necessarily mean you will be able to. Remember to practice at the driving range with your 7-wood before you take it out on the course!
When to use a 7-wood
Being a wood club, the 7-wood is a good choice to tee off with if you’re playing on a tight fairway. Due to it having a shorter shaft length than other woods, it can be easier to control your swing.
The 7-wood is also very useful to bring out of the bag if you’re playing on a course with plenty of obstacles, such as trees in the way of the flag, or a water hazard.
The loft of the 7-wood can be your best friend if used correctly, you can even use the 7-wood to play out of a fairway sand bunker if done correctly.
The extra loft on a 7-wood can also be useful if you find that you struggle to use your 5 or 3-wood. Due to this loft, the 7-wood can be thought of as more forgiving than other clubs. It’s much easier to get your ball into the air, reducing the risk of a thin shot.
How to Setup with a 7-wood
While fairly similar to your set up with ant other wood, there are some notable differences to setting up with the 7-wood that should be taken into account before you start swinging.
The most important thing to bear in mind is the added loft on the 7-wood.
This loft will have a variety of effects on your setup. For example, the ball position in your swing.
Positioning the ball as far forward in your stance as you would with a driver could result in topping the ball, or hitting the ball with the bounce of the clubhead, rather than the sweet spot in the center of the clubface.
You may also want to take a stance, or foot position, that is not as wide as you regularly would have with a wood.
This is because a wider stance with a wood helps to get the ball into the air, rather than hitting a thin shot down the fairway. Since the 7-wood has a higher loft angle, such a wide stance is not necessary.
However, a wide stance is also important for swing balance with a wood, and for helping you get your hips put of the way during your swing, as the shaft length is longer than an average iron.
Since you may be setting up with a 7-wood from both a tee and the fairway, let’s go over how to do both:
How to Set up with a 7-wood from a tee:
While similar to your set up with a 5-wood, there are notable differences to setting up with your 7-wood:
- To make sure you are the right distance from the ball, rest your club head behind the ball and step back until the butt of the shaft rests around 6 inches from your belt buckle.
- Position the ball within one shoe length of the inside of your front foot. The exact position is up to you, and you can figure this out yourself through practice as it will be slightly different for every golfer.
- Once the ball is in position and on the tee, set up your shaft lean. This is the angle that you can lean the shaft of the club before your swing. Depending on your situation, you will likely not want to lean the shaft at all, or angle it very slightly. Shaft lean can help with loft, but chances are you may not need help with loft with your 7-wood.
How to set up with a 7-wood from the fairway:
- Take the same stance and position as you would from the tee, using your club head to guide you, but this time have the ball more central in your stance.
- Keep your knee flexion loose, you may need to increase your knee flexion slightly to help you get under the ball as it will no longer be raised on a tee.
- You may need to alter your backswing height depending on the distance you are playing from. This can help you control your swing more.
How to use a 7-wood
Now that you know both when to use your 7-wood and how to set up with it, you might just want to start swinging.
For some, it might already be apparent how to use a 7-wood, but there’s still some things about the 7-wood to bear in mind before you make your shot.
So, let’s go over some tips on how to use your 7-wood!
The Laser beam
While not a technique kept aside for only the 7-wood, the laser beam is especially useful with your 7-wood.
The laser beam is more of a visualisation technique than a swing thought, or even a swing technique.
Imagine at the top of your backswing that a laser beam is shooting out of the butt of the club shaft. If you’re playing correctly, this laser beam should be shining directly at the ball.
Similarly, when you are in the final position of your follow-through, the imaginary laser beam should be pointing at your target, or where you expect the ball to land.
This technique can be really useful with shot accuracy, something that is especially important with clubs with a high loft and power, like the 7-wood.
Less is more:
As the 7-wood has the most loft out of the woods, it’s important to alter your swing to account for this.
Since the 7-wood is more useful on shorter fairways, or for getting around hazards, you may want to use a shorter backswing to make sure that you don’t sky the ball.
The 7-wood can yield great height, so you may want to plan your shots accordingly, using the 7-wood to hit shorter flop shots, rather than hammering the ball and hitting past your target.
Since the 7-wood is one of the more versatile clubs you can carry in your bag, it’s worth trying to play more daring shots with it, considering you’ve had enough practice.
You can even try chipping with your 7-wood, or you can use it to get out of a fairway sand bunker.
Maybe you want to substitute your pitching wedge for your 7-wood? Get creative! Put some backspin on the ball and see what happens!
So, that’s our guide to when to use a 7-wood!
Which wood you choose to bring in your bag is up to you, and always depends on what kind of course you are playing.
That being said, if you’re looking for something versatile and reliable, the 7-wood could be for you!