Pros are flocking to this club at the U.S. Open — should you put one in play?

Higher lofted fairway woods (and hybrids) could shave shots off your score.

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Of all the equipment stories this week at the U.S. Open, there’s one that has risen above all else. As GOLF.com equipment experts Jonathan Wall and Andrew Tursky explained in this week’s Fully Equipped podcast: There’s been a gold rush on high-lofted fairway woods and hybrids — specifically 7 woods — at the 2021 U.S. Open.

At first glance, it’s a bit strange that pros would look at a course with juicy rough and think they need more woods in the bag, but look under the hood a little closer and there are a few reasons why it makes a lot of sense:

  1. The clubface is a little deeper, which means you’ve got more forgiveness when you’re hacking the ball out of the rough.
  2. The clubhead’s design means the center of gravity is lower, which helps the ball launch higher.
  3. Additionally, because woods have more volume than irons, the ball will come out with more speed.

And while more pros than usual are putting them in play for course-specific reasons this week, it’s part of a larger trend: high-lofted woods have been growing steadily on the PGA Tour, and it’s probably time you put one in your bag, too.

Why you need more high-lofted woods

GOLFTEC’s VP of Instruction, Nick Clearwater, oversees hundreds of GOLFTEC teachers across the country (you can book a lesson or clubfitting at your local GOLFTEC right here), and he says it’s time to give up your long irons. His rule of thumb for golfers: Every club longer than your 7-iron should have a wider sole at the bottom than your 7-iron. That indicates a lower center of gravity, which will help the ball go higher, easier.

In short, it means more hybrids and fairway woods. He conducted a quick A-B test to prove it, and the results are obvious.

“It goes higher, longer, and lands softer,” he says in the video, which you can watch right here.

While almost everyone can take a page from pros’ books and put more hybrids and higher-lofted fairway woods into play, the best way to know know for sure is to have a professional take a good look at your game, and your gear, which you can book for yourself below.

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Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees all the brand’s service journalism spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University and in 2017 was named News Media Alliance’s “Rising Star.” His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.