3 reasons why a 7-wood might be right for your game

Dufner 7-wood

Major winner Jason Dufner is one of a handful of pros who carries a 7-wood on a regular basis.

Jonathan Wall

The 7-wood gets a bad rap. For whatever reason, many recreational golfers believe the high-lofted fairway wood is best suited for slower swing speeds. In other words, older golfers who need something to help lift the ball into the air.

But here’s the thing: the 7-wood has some traits that make it worth consideration, even if you’re on the higher end of the speed spectrum and carry a single-digit handicap.

For those golfers rolling their eyes at the thought of adding a 7-wood, it’s worth pointing out that some of the biggest names in professional golf have carried the club on occasion over the last few years, including Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Marc Leishman and Tommy Fleetwood.

If you’re struggling to find a reliable fairway wood or long iron, it may be time to at least entertain the idea of mixing it up. Here’s what you can expect to get from a 7-wood if you decide to give it a shot.

Shorter is better

No, we’re not talking about distance. Although, you will likely see less distance if you’re swapping out the 5-wood. In this case, it’s all about shaft length. Today’s 7-wood is usually a half-inch shorter than a 5-wood. Unless you routinely hit your fairway woods on the screws, going shorter will give you a better chance of shoring up your impact (i.e. consistency). The average mid-handicapper is going to benefit far more from a club that finds the fairway with regularity — or gives them a better chance to reach a par-5 in two — than something that goes all over the place.

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We’re already seeing pros go to shorter driver lengths in an attempt to tighten dispersion. There’s no reason you can’t use a similar blueprint with your fairway woods.

The air up there

Most golfers struggle to get the ball airborne on a regular basis. So why in the world are you still carrying strong-lofted fairway woods? If anything, more golfers should be doing the exact opposite, embracing the loft found on a 21-degree 7-wood. Not only will you be able to hit towering shots from the fairway, but the additional loft will also come in handy off hand-pan and from deep rough (more on that in a moment).

When it comes to elite players, having a club they can rip out of the rough and get in the air is the chief reason why the club still has relevance.

‘V’ for versatility

If you need height and consistency, the 7-wood is likely a better option than a 5-wood. And if you still can’t find a 3- or 4-iron that works, it can easily fill the gap with a fairway wood sole that’ll mitigate issues with turf interaction. The club is a utility player you can slot in a number of holes and reap the benefits. It’s the kind of club that can be relied upon in tight situations, and you can’t put a price on that kind of versatility.

Depending on the loft range, an adjustable hosel can also add an extra layer of versatility that could be an advantage based on the course setup.

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Jonathan Wall

Golf.com

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour.