When I was a junior golfer, my 7 wood was by far my favorite club. It wasn’t just any 7 wood, however, it was the Ping i3, born at the turn of the century.
With 20 degrees of loft and the smallest clubhead you’ve ever seen, it wasn’t a look at all (far from it), but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t effective. Every time I pulled the club out of the bag, I dug a trap in the West Texas winds and watched the ball roll down the hard fairways. The club may have been ugly, but it was certainly productive – and I liked it a lot.
As I got older, however, my pride got the better of me. I wanted to hit long irons like the real players, not a 7 wood like some scrubs. So I ditched the i3 in favor of the “sexy” option. If I wanted to reduce my handicap to zero, I needed a bag setup that looked the part. Wood 7 was a necessary victim, I thought.
And while my disability has trend in the right direction for more than ten years, something is missing. I may have learned to hit a 4 iron like a stick, but was I happy doing it? I felt like there was a hole the size of a wood in my heart.
Still, the stigma of the club kept me from seriously considering putting one in the bag. The club was something for high handicap players and senior golfers; few self-respecting mid-ams would be taken to death with a 7-wood. I fell victim to this peer pressure, and the 4-iron stayed in the bag.
But then the darkest thing happened – 7-woods came back into fashion.
Nelly Korda, then the number 1 player in the world, told me during a photo shoot that “the 7 woods are cool”. Adam Scott, owner of perhaps the finest swing in golf, bagged the club last year. Dustin Johnson won a green jacket with a 7 wood in his setup.
Suddenly, the stigma disappeared. Just like Texas Football, the 7 wood was BACK.
Around this time, I had the opportunity to test Honma’s new line of woods – the TW 757. It didn’t take much thought for me to choose the 7 wood as my weapon of choice. The club is far from the Ping i3 (praise of modern technology), but still, I feel whole.
It’s been a little over a month since I added the 7 wood to the bag, and it’s already paying dividends in my game. Here are the top three benefits I’ve seen – and why you should also consider adding wood 7.
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Honma TW 757 7 wood
The TW757’s Fairway technology enhancements go a long way in delivering faster initial ball speed, stability and control. The classic shape combines a 455 steel cutting face with an ultralight carbon crown to deliver a true player’s fairway wood.
I might be a low single digit handicap, but that doesn’t mean I can kick the ball like a Tour pro. Far from it, in fact. Perhaps because of my upbringing battling the unforgiving southern plains winds, my ball flight starts low and stays low. It’s great when there’s a breeze to contend with, but not so great when a deep bunker protects the front of the green.
This is where the 7 wood comes in handy. It may have the same loft as my 4 iron, but I can throw it about twice as high. I’m not an equipment enthusiast, so I can’t explain exactly why it’s easier to get a 7 wood in the air than a 4 iron, but I can tell you from experience that it does happen. I’m no longer afraid of deep bunkers guarding the front of the greens on long shots. Instead, I grab my trusty 7 wood and send my ball hovering over them.
Knocking out of the rough is hard. Getting out of the rough with a long iron is nearly impossible. But getting out of the rough with a 7 wood? It’s easy.
The first time I found myself over 200 yards from the green in the thick material, I unsheathed my 7 wood in hopes of being able to chop the ball up the fairway and give myself some nice corner distance at the pin. However, when I kicked the ball, the result was much better than I could have imagined.
Instead of the long grass catching my iron head and sapping the shot from full distance, my club head cut through the thickness of the material easily. My ball exploded off the face of my 7 wood and came off the rough – with a high launch – and took off towards the green. If you had only seen the flight of the ball, you would have sworn that I hit it with a perfect lie from the center of the fairway.
Two putts later and I turned what should have been a safe bogey into a stress-free par – and all thanks to my 7 wood.
Everyone needs a club with which they can reliably find the fairway. Some might think it would be a 3 wood, but as my colleague Ryan Barath pointed out, many recreational players shouldn’t even wear a 3 wood. The club is too hard to hit for most, and you’re sacrificing distance trying – and failing – to hit one.
So why not ditch your 3 wood for a 7 wood instead? In all likelihood, you’ll be able to hit it higher, straighter, and with more consistency than your 3 wood. Plus, it serves as one hell of a fairway finder. You will no longer be afraid of a tight fairway with problems on both sides. Instead, you’ll pull out wood 7 and hit a seed in the middle.