When To Use A 7 Wood? (5 Key Situations)


The good news for golfers is that we have plenty of options.  A club that seems to be gaining popularity, even amongst the professional golfers, is the 7 wood.

Whether a golfer prefers a hybrid, long iron or fairway wood the technology has come a long way to make it easier to hit all of these clubs.

Much of the decision on which one to use will come down to personal preference and which one gives you the most confidence standing over the ball.

The golfer will want to consider their ball striking, the ability to control the curve and the overall distance with the club.  One key is to ensure you have the right golf clubs to cover every gap between a chip shot up to 225 yards for the average golfer.

When To Use A 7 Wood?

The 7 wood is often used for approach shots between 150-220 yards depending on the swing speed of the golfer using the club.  The 7 wood is around 21 degrees in loft, which provides enough height on a shot to hold a green from further distances.  There are many advantages to the 7 wood over a long iron for many amateur golfers.

Before we dive into the specific times to use a 7 wood.  Let’s list some of the advantages:

  • Typically easy to launch high and far when compared to a long iron.
  • Great out of difficult rough due to the design features of a 7 wood.
  • Excellent off of the tee as the golfer is able to have confidence from the appearance of the club up against the ball at setup.
  • The 7 wood is typically very versatile and can be used from multiple lies on a golf course.

Do you remember the days of the Adams Tight Lies informercials?  From that day on, golf clubs and specifically fairway woods have become easier and easier to launch high and far and to use from a variety of lies, making the 7 wood an excellent choice for many golfers!

When To Use A 7 Wood: 5 Key Situations

  • Off the tee
  • Out of the thick rough
  • On longer par 3s
  • The 2nd shot on a par 5
  • Out of a fairway bunker
On this par 5, the 7 wood on this 2nd shot leave the golfer with a wedge. See situation #4 below!

#1 When to use a 7 wood: Off the tee

On your home course or a course you play frequently, is there that tight, pesky hole that often finds you in the trees?  The great news about the 7 wood, which is comparable to a 2 iron or 3 iron is that the club is long enough, yet can provide an extra advantage on accuracy due to the extra loft compared to a driver and a shorter shaft than a driver.  The golfer can stand on a tee box on a narrow par 4 and play with confidence that they are going to be in the fairway.  

Off the tee it is also a great option on those difficult dogleg holes when many golfers are trying to cut the corner.  Oftentimes, a simple 7 wood to the middle of the fairway and the turn of the dogleg will leave you with a simple wedge.  Become an excellent wedge player and take advantage of the ability to hit the fairway a high percentage of the time with a 7 wood.

Related Post: 7 wood vs 5 wood: Which one is best for your game?

#2 When to use a 7 wood: Out of thick rough

If you are someone that plays difficult courses with long, thick rough, the ability to advance the ball down the fairway after a wayward driver is pivotal in the ability to possibly still make par.  We have all seen it too often, the golfer hits a shot in the rough and has 180-220 yards left.  They pull out their 3 iron and barely advance it 30 yards, they are left with another difficult shot from the rough.

Instead, pull the 7 wood, play it safe and advance the ball somewhere between 150-175 yards down the fairway and leave yourself a little wedge into the green.  Get the ball within 15 feet of the pin and give yourself a shot at making the putt!

It is amazing the shots that a golfer can save with a smart decision and a solid short game.  Build that short game up, get the right clubs and ultimately make the right decision.  Set the go aside and play it smart.

Related Post: 7 wood vs 4 hybrid: Which one should I carry?

#3 When to use a 7 wood: On long par 3s

Every course seems to have at least 1-2 long par 3s that many golfers simply make bogey or worse.  Instead, the golfer should strategically prepare for these longer par 3s and have a go to club.  The 7 wood will give you the ability to hit the ball between 150-220 on these difficult long par 3s.  Learning to hit a 3 quarter 7 wood will also help you.  So get to the range and develop this shot as well!

Play to the fat part of the green, get it on the green and two putt for your par.  Consider where the best miss is on the hole and at worse leave yourself a chip shot where you can chip it close! 

#4 When to use a 7 wood: The 2nd shot on a par 5

Another great place for the 7 wood is on par 5s with the 2nd shot.  Too often the golfer wil automatically pull out the 3 wood and swing away. The 3 wood will hit the ball further, but it does bring some additional risk into the hole.  The golfer might not hit is as straight as the 7 wood and might not make as good of contact as frequently as he or she would with the 7 wood.  

If you aren’t going to reach the green in 2 with the 3 wood, the 7 wood might be the better option.  The golfer gains the following advantage over the 3 wood:

  • Better contact
  • Better accuracy
  • Not much of a sacrifice in distance

Let’s play out the scenario.  

You are playing a 525 yard par 5 and hit your driver 230 yards.  

You are left with 295 yards to the hole.  This is too far to reach in 2. Instead of hitting the 3 wood which will travel a total of around 215 yards and leave you with 80 yards left, you pick the 7 wood and hit it 195 yards, which will leave you with a 100 yard shot.  

The difference for most golfers between 80 and 100 yards is insignificant, but the accuracy of the 7 wood and the consistency in the strike is increased.

You hit the 7 wood, hit your wedge on from 100 yards and have a chance for birdie.  At worse, you head to the next hole with a par!

#5 When to use a 7 wood: Out of a fairway bunker

The fairway bunker shot might be one of the most difficult shots in all of golf.  Golfers often hit too far behind the ball or blade the ball out of the bunker.  The key here is to ensure clean contact.  

The 7 wood often becomes a golfer’s best friend due to the versatility to hit the club from many difficult lies, including the fairway bunker.  The 7 wood is a quality option because it has enough loft to frequently get over the front edge of the bunker, yet has enough distance to take up some of the distance left into the hole.  If you stub the sand a little bit behind the ball the 7 wood will not be impacted as much as an iron might be.

Now that you have seen the advantage of the 7 wood and when to use the 7 wood, the next question to consider is what club might you replace.

Related Post: How to hit fairway woods consistently (5 Tips)

Adding a range finder to your game is highly recommended! Know your exact distance to the pin or to hazards!

Next Steps: Know your distance for each club

One key we pointed out early is ensuring you do not have any major yardage gaps in your bag.  When considering replacing a club with a 7 wood, take some time to create a chart like the one below:

ClubCarry Distance (100%)90%80%
2 Utility Iron210
4 iron190
5 iron181
6 iron171
7 iron163
8 iron153
9 iron143
P Club130123115
Pitching Wedge118110102
SW Club1059791
LW Club908274

This might be the most important information you can use to help you play quality golf.  I have heard so many stories and have seen it first hand where golfers completely over estimate how far they hit each iron.

They hit one 7 iron 165 yards one time and think this is their carry distance.  So they step up to a 165 yard shot, hit the 7 iron and end up in a bunker.  They blade it out of the bunker and are looking at a double bogey as their reality.  Instead, if they had the right club and hit the 6 iron, their chance of hitting the middle of the green would increase greatly!

How can you create your own chart?

Option 1: I would highly recommend a launch monitor!

These portable devices can be used at the driving range, golf course or set up in your home net or golf simulator.  These devices are game changers not only on being able to map your bag and know your distances, but they also provide quality feedback after on every shot and provide the following information:

  • Carry Distance
  • Spin Rate
  • Launch Angle
  • Spin Axis
  • Total Distance
  • Ball Speed

This information will help you map your bag, decide on which clubs are best for your game, develop a stock shot and much more.  I love using my SkyTrak 365 days a year in my golf simulator setup.

The process for mapping your bag can looking something like this:

  • Hit 5 shots with each club in your bag.
  • Log the carry distance and total distance for each shot.
  • Eliminate any outlier numbers (poor hits or low spin rates).
  • Take the average and create a map of your bag.

If you visit any PGA Tour event you will see plenty of golfers utilizing their launch monitors.  While most can’t afford a Trackman, there are some very affordable options in the 500-2000 dollar range.  I own the SkyTrak and think the world of it.  

Here are the top 3 options to check out:

Option 2: Use a Driving Range or Open Field

If you can’t afford a launch monitor at this time, here is another option.

  • Find an open driving range or open field
  • Take 10 balls of the type of golf ball you play
  • Pick a target and either walk it off or use a rangefinder.
  • Hit 10 shots with each club in your bag and take an average.
  • Your rangefinder can help you get a specific distance.

Go ahead and create a chart of each club and their carry distance like the one above.

What club does a 7 wood replace?

For most golfers, they will want to replace a 3 or 4 iron.  The versatility of the 7 wood provides the average golfer an advantage over the 3 or 4 iron.  If the golfer struggles with a 3 wood, a 5 wood or 7 wood becomes an excellent alternative as well.

Why do some pros choose a 7 wood?

When golfers are faced with difficult par 3s, long par 5s or really thick rough, the extra loft and versatility will be a key for the professional golfers. . When the greens are especially firm, the extra height on the shot of a 7 wood can help them gain an advantage.

My Skytrak has helped me map my bag. I have been able to create a reliable chart to use on the golf course!

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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