Sometimes you have to get rid of your ego to play your best golf.
Whether that means switching from steel to graphite shafts, from blades to cavity back irons, or adding certain clubs that are more forgiving. While a lot of players opt to hit hybrids instead of hard to hit long irons, another club that is gaining popularity is the 7-wood.
While 7-woods have been around for a long time, there’s often been a stigma around men using this golf club. It’s definitely been a popular club for women golfers for a long time but a lot of men haven’t gotten on board. However, this decision might have cost you a lot of wasted shots over the years.
As you will learn in this article, the stigma of men using this club is gone thanks to Dustin Johnson. DJ is one of the best players in the world and also a big fan of his 7-wood. If someone like DJ isn’t afraid to use one, then why are you?
Keep reading to learn more about this club, the benefits, and best fairway woods to add to your bag.
7-Wood: A Secret Weapon?
In high school, my 7-wood was my not so secret weapon. In those days I was very short in stature (not even five feet tall heading into freshman year) and didn’t hit the ball very far at all. If I hit a driver 200 yards it would’ve been a bomb.
Needless to say, a short tee ball left a lot of long shots into par 4s and even mid-length par 3s were difficult. While I tried to hit long irons like everyone else, it was clear my swing wasn’t good enough for them. Plus, I watched so many teammates and competitors struggle with long irons on these types of shots.
Hybrids weren’t a thing yet so the next best option was my trusty 7-wood. It was my go-to club and beamed with confidence anytime I pulled it out of the bag.
Sure, I got some grief from my teammates for using a high lofted club but I didn’t care, I let the results speak for themselves. Which I want for you to do as well. It’s time to play the right equipment for your game – whether it’s a 7 wood, a 5H, or cavity back wedges.
The sooner you can ditch the male ego, the better you will start playing without changing your swing. Equipment makes a big difference and this club might be just what your long game needs.
Let’s get into what makes this golf club such a good idea for most players.
Benefits of a 7 Wood
A 7-wood can transform your golf game by hitting more greens in regulation and more looks at brides. But don’t take my word for it, let’s review a study done by Arccos that was documented in Golf Digest.
“The company measured the greens-in-regulation percentage for players using a 7-wood and a 3-hybrid (the most logical comparison club) across handicap ranges (scratch to 25-handicapper) and distances (140 to 220 yards). The 7-wood’s greens-in-regulation percentage was higher in 28 of 40 instances (70 percent).”
The data shows that a high lofted fairway wood is much easier to hit than a 3 hybrid for most golfers.
A lot of people compare a 3 hybrid versus a 5 wood, but a 7-wood is actually more closely related to a 3H in terms of loft. Both clubs range from 20-23 degrees depending on the make and model. Women’s 7-woods have higher loft and can range up to 27 degrees.
Let’s compare the two golf clubs…
7-Wood vs. 3 Hybrid
While a lot of amateurs and even some professionals have ditched longer irons (with some even ditching 4 irons), hybrids are much more common. Hybrids have bigger club heads than long irons which makes them easier to hit from the tee, off the fairway, and even in the rough.
A 7-wood is most comparable to a 3 hybrid.
So, why does a 7W give you a better chance to hit more greens in regulation than a 3 hybrid? I think it’s for a few reasons…
First, a 3H is smaller than a wood and thus, slightly harder to hit. A 7-wood has more mass behind the ball which helps with mis hits and provides more consistency. Plus, the larger head also leads to more distance on the golf course.
Second, a 7-wood is a similar club to a 5 wood in terms of turf interaction which many golfers have used over the years. It’s an easy transition as you don’t need to change much in your swing vs. a normal fairway wood. It’s much easier than hitting a 3 wood.
Third, 7-woods produce a higher launch and ball flight than hybrids thanks to the increased loft. For the average golfer, this will help you hold the green more often. For professional golfers, the spin is more consistent which makes the club more reliable when they attack long par 5s in two shots.
Finally, 7-woods are just plain easy to hit and get in the air compared to other fairway woods. My only warning is to make sure you space your clubs accordingly to avoid big yardage gaps if you add this golf club to the mix.
Should I Use a Hybrid or 7-Wood?
Remember, a 3 hybrid that is the same loft of a 7W but that doesn’t mean it will go the same distance.
One reason is shaft length – hybrid shafts are about an inch shorter than fairway wood shafts. Another reason is that hybrids don’t have as much mass behind the ball than a smaller hybrid.
Another spot where hybrid golf clubs might beat a 7-wood is from the rough. A hybrid is smaller and thus, easier to make decent contact with when you miss the fairway. The shorter shaft length makes them easier from tough spots like a fairway bunker too.
They’re pretty comparable when it comes to hitting off the tee or from the fairway and neither one has an advantage.
Finally, a hybrid golf club will tend to fly lower and don’t have as much spin as a 7-wood. The increased spin of a 7-wood is why some professionals like them more. But amateurs will benefit from both a hybrid or 7-wood when compared to a long iron.
You might have asked, how far should I hit a 7-wood then? It’s a good question and will vary depending on the player.
Don’t forget, distance is dependent on one thing above all else – clubhead speed. The faster you swing the club, the further the ball will travel.
In high school when I had a slow swing speed, I hit it 150-160 yards. Now, I can hit a 7-wood nearly 100 yards longer and use it from 235-250 yards.
You can expect to hit your 7-wood anywhere from 160-240 yards depending on your clubhead speed, technique, ball, and other factors.
7-Wood vs. Long Iron
A 7-wood is most comparable to a 3 or 4 iron, depending on the make and model of your irons. For 99% of golfers, high-lofted woods are a much better option than a 3 or 4 iron.
Even elite players like myself ditch these irons in favor of hybrids or high lofted woods. They just make it easier to hit the golf ball consistently well on long shots.
Another alternative to longer irons is driving irons (also known as utility irons). These are more forgiving and easier to hit thanks to a larger clubhead. They also tend to have different shafts that are also more forgiving and can improve ball flight.
Now that you have a better understanding of how this club can help your golf game, here are a few of the top choices:
- PING G425 Max
- PXG 0341 X Gen4
- TaylorMade Stealth
- Callaway Rogue ST Max (or Max D)
Thanks to the versatility and additional loft, these clubs are easier to hit than a 5 wood and a great option for beginners. You can find more beginner fairway woods here.
FAQs About 7-Woods and Hybrid Golf Clubs
Do you have additional questions about high lofted fairway woods so you can hit towering shots on tough holes? If so, keep scrolling to learn more and find out if it is the right club for you.
How far should I hit my 7 wood?
The average distance is a wide range from 160-240 yards, depending on your clubhead speed.
Some senior players with a slower swing speed might only hit it a little more than 150 yards while scratch golfers can hit it 220-240 yards. Some professionals with high swing speeds can hit them 250+ yards which is quite impressive.
Do any PGA players use a 7 wood?
Yes, more and more professionals are using these clubs which is a great thing for amateurs. Once the best guys in the world started using them, it made it much more likely for amateurs to give them a shot too.
Some professionals that use a high lofted fairway wood include Dustin Johnson, Max Homa, Adam Scott, and other elite players.
Should I carry 5-wood and 7-wood?
Most golfers are used to conventional thinking of having a driver, three wood, and five wood. But since the inception of hybrids, utility irons, and 7-woods has changed things.
Plus, fairway woods are loaded with so much technology that they’re quite “hot.” Meaning, they tend to go a lot further than they once did.
In most cases, it wouldn’t make sense to have a driver, 3W, 5W, and 7W in your bag. The lofts are so similar from 3W to 5W and 5W to 7W that it might not be the best use of your 14 clubs.
A better idea might be one of these setups:
- 3W and 7W plus a driving iron or hybrid
- 4W and 7W plus a driving iron or hybrid
- Mini driver and 5W plus a driving iron or hybrid
Ditching longer irons for easier to hit clubs is one of the easiest ways to improve your long game. Just don’t overdo it with too many woods that might serve the same purpose.
Is a 7 wood the same as a 3 hybrid?
Yes, a 7-wood is equivalent to a 3H based on loft. The 7-wood will likely go further though for two main reasons.
First, the shaft of a fairway wood is longer than a hybrid by .5-1.5 inches. Longer shaft means more distance but it might be less accurate too.
Second, a fairway wood will go longer in terms of distance because there is more mass behind the clubhead. A 7-wood is much bigger in terms of cc’s than a hybrid which also increases total distance.
A wood vs. a hybrid will usually have a higher ball flight too. But a hybrid is better when you want to shape shots, hit from the rough, and even use around the greens.
Is a 7-wood the same as a heavenwood?
No, they are two different clubs but pretty similar. For example, the Callaway Rogue ST Max has a 7-wood and a heavenwood option.
The 7-wood has 21 degrees of loft and is 42.25 inches while the heavenwood is 20 degrees of loft and 43 inches long. But this might differ depending on the manufacturer so always make sure to check the specs on their website.
Final Thoughts on Fairway Woods vs. a Hybrid Golf Club
Hopefully you now have all the information to help you understand the benefits of adding a 7-wood to your bag. From personal experience I can say that this golf club is one of the best choices you can make and certainly should be considered in the club selection process.
Don’t take my word for it though, just watch professionals like DJ and others who prefer these woods vs. longer irons. Seven woods are great for so many reasons including:
- Better turf interaction.
- Gets the ball airborne easier.
- Easy to hit from the tee, fairway and rough.
- Goes farther than 3H due to a longer shaft and bigger head.
- Leads to more greens in regulation compared to a hybrid as stated in a Golf Digest article.
And overall, should give you a ton of confidence from normally tough spots. Older golfers in particular can benefit and hits shots off the ground with ease.