You can use certain irons, woods, and hybrids on the fairway. Given the broad range of options for golfers’ medium-distance games, you would expect there to b more diversity in club choices. But a large chunk of the club adoption pie is attributed to 7 wood.
What is a 7 wood golf club? The 7 wood is a fairway wood used for approach shots and medium-range drives. It is a high-lofted club with an oversized head and a long shaft. It is beginner-friendly and expert-endorsed, making it acceptable, appealing, and effective.
In this article, you’ll learn how far you can hit a 7 wood, what its loft angle and shaft size are, and how it performs in comparison to its hybrid equivalents. A part of this resource can be your buying guide, and the rest helps you understand the pros and cons of a 7 wood.
So, let’s get started with its distance coverage and explore the best golf clubs for optimal performance.
7 Wood Distance
A 7 wood golf club can be used for shots ranging between 170 – 200 yards, though professionals might be able to use these clubs to launch balls past 225 yards. This is possible because of the way the club is shaped and the size of its head, among other design aspects.
The 7 wood has a high loft, a large head, and a long shaft, which aids in making shots that have momentum. It launches the ball forward and upward, creating a rainbow-like arc. It also prevents roll-forward and encourages soft landing.
While you can use 7 wood at any point in a round, it is best suited for approach shots on the fairway. You have the lowest chance of overshooting the ball and racking up a score. It also helps cover the most distance with each shot, bringing you closer to the next hole with a low score. Your choice of 7 wood can be quite impactful to how close to par your performance is.
Of course, the force you put behind your swing as well as the solidness of contact, can be major contributors to the shot’s distance. But at least on the fairway, loft degree matters a lot more for long-distance shots.
7 Wood Loft Degree
Usually, the loft of a golf club affects its ball’s flight trajectory by adding a backspin to the shot. The higher lofted clubhead is likely to curve the ball upwards, leading to shots that go over obstacles. But the higher a ball goes up, the less it goes forward, which creates an inverse relationship between loft and distance.
In general, the higher the loft of a club, the lower its forward-distance coverage. Given that 7 wood is often called a high-lofted fairway wood, you might assume that it, too, has poor forward-distance coverage. But since 7 wood’s loft is 3 times lower than the highest legal loft, you don’t have to worry about its forward distance coverage.
Most 7 woods’ lofts range from 20 degrees to 22 degrees, while the highest legal loft hovers around 58 degrees. 7 woods have a reputation for being high lofted because they have higher lofts compared to their fairway alternatives.
The 20-to-22-degree loft range is perfect for shots that go forward but at a high enough launch angle not to roll to the ground prematurely. The shots are high but not steep and go farther ahead than above. You can vary the steepness of your shots by altering the length of the club.
Standard 7 Wood Length
A 7 wood is far lengthier than a putter and much close to a driver’s length. With a length range of 40 to 42 inches, a 7-wood club is just 5 to 3 inches short of being a driver.
In contrast, it is at least 10 inches away from putting clubs. So it can be said that a 7 wood is half as close to being a putter as it is to being a driver, which is why it beats hybrids when it comes to distance coverage.
Before we compare 7 wood to equivalent hybrids, we must address how length affects the shot’s distance.
The longer a club is, the more sweeping your swing arc can be and the more momentum you can put behind its point of contact. That’s why the clubs meant to be used closer to the holes aren’t as long as the ones used in the approach.
Within the 40-inch to 42-inch range, though, the difference between the club’s length’s impact isn’t as high, so you should pick the club length that is comfortable for your height.
7 Wood Golf Club Head Size
A major contributor to the shot shape and distance is the club head. That’s why putters, pitching clubs, and drivers have different head sizes.
A 7 wood club has an oversized head, which translates to distance-covering contexts. For instance, your approach shot is cut short with an off-center hit by a 7-wood. That’s because the hybrid fairway clubs don’t have oversized heads.
As a result, off-center shots aren’t as solid.
With a 7 wood, you can afford to be less precise with your shot and still get enough of the club head behind the ball for a forward launch. While this design makes approach shots easier, it also gets judged unfairly.
Is 7 Wood A Beginner Club?
While 7 wood’s forgiveness has been associated with slower swing speeds, it is not a club exclusive to beginners.
Multiple PGA Tour players carry 7 woods, with Dustin Johnson using one in late 2020. Cam Smith, Max Homa, and Adam Scott have also used 7 Woods.
7 Woods are perfect for beginners but are seen in high-stakes professional events as well. Prior to 2018, these clubs were judged by serious amateurs, but since 2020, there has been less stigma around them.
In other words, they offer the best of both worlds, being easy enough to be used by casual golfers without being viewed as strictly for beginners.
How To Pick The Right 7 Wood – Length, Loft, And Head Size
Having established that buying a 7 Wood isn’t a reputational risk, let’s go over some club selection best practices. Note that every aspect that sets a 7 Wood apart from other clubs is an aspect you must optimize for yourself.
As you know by now, a 7 wood’s oversized head, greater length, and higher loft are its distinguishing factors. So, you must choose a 7 wood that has the right head size for your stroke, the right length for your swing speed, and the right loft for your stance.
- Length – Choose shorter shafts if you have trouble controlling your swing and a longer length if you have issues with your swing speed.
- Loft – Pick a higher loft if your shots are cut short by the ball landing prematurely. If your launch angle is already high, you might want your 7 wood loft to be slight.
- Head size – Generally, going with the larger head size pays off in a 7 wood, but there’s definitely a point of diminishing returns for people with slow swings. You want the club head to be dense enough to pack a punch even with a slow swing. Higher-speed swings can make off-center contact, which is where a larger head is handy.
Overall, you must try out a few clubs until you get the right one, or you should get the golf store clerk’s opinion on the ideal club length for you.
If you want to go further, you can get specifically fitted for a 7 wood club, which might allow you to maximize your approach shot’s distance.
How To Hit A 7 Wood Over 200 Yards
Getting the right club puts you in the best position to get the most out of a 7 Wood. While getting fitted for a 7 Wood is likely to make the most impact on your swing, it is not the only thing you can do to hit a 7 Wood over 200 Yards.
Aside from getting fitted for equipment, the next best thing you can do is to set up your shot correctly, swing in a smooth arc, and follow through after impact. With enough practice, these factors will lead to shots over 200 yards long.
Please note that executing these steps doesn’t guarantee 200-yard coverage. Ultimately, your own physicality and experience can prove to be limiting factors. Still, exercising control over your swing can significantly improve how far you hit your 7 Wood.
7 Wood Vs. 3 Hybrid
3 Hybrid requires more skill for long-distance shots compared to 7 Wood. Generally, people who overshoot on their approach shots with 7 Wood should use 3 Hybrids. But most golfers would have a lower score with a 7 Wood.
Here’s how the 7 wood differs from the 3 hybrid:
- Loft – Where a 3 Hybrid has a 19-degree loft that ensures forward shots with decent distance, a 7 Wood has a 22-degree loft which adds more inches under the ball.
- Launch angle – Despite its lower loft, the 3 Hybrid beats the 7 Wood in terms of launch angle. But the launch angle isn’t as relevant in approach shots if it cannot add to the ball height.
- Backspin – The 3 Hybrid adds a relatively nominal spin on the ball, whereas the 7 Wood relies heavily on the backspin for its shot shape.
7 Wood Vs. 4 Hybrid
Compared to a 4 Hybrid, a 7 Wood can be used to hit the ball further, thanks to its longer shaft, often adjustable loft, and oversized clubhead.
There are a few similarities between the two clubs, the most notable among which is the 21-degree loft. Many 7 Wood clubs can have a 21-degree loft, while almost all 4 Hybrids have a 21-degree loft. Both are also similar in that they replace 3 iron and 4 iron.
However, 7 Wood comes out ahead as being more forgiving and beginner-friendly for long-distance shots.
Recap: 7 Wood Golf Club
The 7 wood golf club has a loft range of 20 to 22 degrees and a long shaft. These woods also feature a large club head that ensures solid impact even with poorly controlled shots.
Generally, 7 woods are used on the fairway, but they can be used in any context where one needs to hit over 180 yards.
It is used by many pros, including Dustin Johnson, who played a major role in destigmatizing this beginner-friendly fairway wood.
While it is more forgiving and distance-covering than its equivalent hybrids, it doesn’t offset the need for regular practice and calculated strategy.