For years, the stigma surrounding high-lofted fairway woods has been they’re just for ladies and older gamers. For some purpose there are gamers on the market who suppose the less the headcovers, the extra macho the golfer. To them, carrying something past a driver, a 3-wood and perhaps a 5-wood makes a participant much less worthy of respect.
Tell that to the rising variety of main champions and big-name gamers who carry a 7-wood often. Among them are Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Max Homa, Louis Oosthuizen, Ian Poulter and Tyrrell Hatton. Jason Kokrak additionally had a 7-wood within the bag when he received the 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club.
“Yes, there was a stigma about it, but at the end of the day, if a Tour player sees a performance benefit, he’s going to forget about the stigma,” mentioned Todd Chew, TaylorMade’s PGA Tour supervisor.
J.J. Van Wezenbeeck, Titleist’s director of gamers promotions, additionally sees the previous considering fading away.
“(Tour) players, they only care about how it looks, sounds and feels,” he mentioned.
So what’s a 7-wood?
Max Homa hits a 7-wood on the 2021 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)
A driver usually has between 8 and 12 levels of loft, and almost all drivers at this time have a quantity of 460 cubic centimeters, which is the biggest allowed by the Rules of Golf. A 3-wood often is between 13.5 and 15 levels, and 5-woods are typically round 18 levels. Most 7-woods have about 21 levels of loft, similar to a 4-hybrid membership or a 3-iron designed for expert gamers. Designs range, however from a dimension perspective, 7-woods vary from about 145 to 160 cubic centimeters, which is roughly one-third the dimensions of a driver. However, the development of fairway woods is completely different than a hybrid or an iron. Fairway woods have a bigger hitting space, a wider sole and a middle of gravity location that’s decrease and farther again. Those components make fairway woods extra forgiving and assist them hit the ball larger into the air. They additionally make fairway woods simpler to hit from thick tough. Compared to a hybrid or an iron, 7-woods additionally usually have an extended shaft, permitting a participant to generate extra clubhead pace. However, on the PGA Tour, the place energy shouldn’t be often an issue, some gamers have their 7-woods lower quick. For occasion, the retail model of Ping’s G425 Max 7-wood is 42 inches lengthy, however Ping PGA Tour consultant Kenton Oates mentioned that among the many 10 Ping staffers who generally carry a 7-wood, Louis Oosthuizen, Tyrrell Hatton and Joaquin Niemann play theirs at 40.5 inches. Stewart Cink, who has received twice this season on the PGA Tour, performs a G410 7-wood at 41.5 inches.
Why are 7-woods gaining reputation with execs?
Dustin Johnson’s bag included a TaylorMade SIM2 Max 7-wood on the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January. (TaylorMade)
Chew mentioned the emergence of 7-woods on the PGA Tour is the results of a number of components. First, producers are making fairway woods with hotter faces that produce extra ball pace. Second, trendy golf balls don’t spin as a lot as they did a number of a long time in the past. Finally, the greens on the PGA Tour are getting quicker. A decade in the past, 7-woods generated an excessive amount of spin for fast-swinging execs to contemplate. Today, nevertheless, with producers lowering spin on fairway woods and balls spinning much less, the additional loft in a 7-wood makes it simpler to get the ball excessive into the air and carry it down extra vertically, so it stops quicker on the inexperienced “We have been able to add so much ball speed to our fairway woods that going up in the loft allows us to have a higher launch and control the yardage for people,” Van Wezenbeeck mentioned. “The 7-wood is just such a forgiving golf club,” Oates mentioned. “Hybrids are more forgiving than a 4-iron, yes, but if you put a hybrid and a 7-wood down together, you see how much bigger the 7-wood is back to front. The center of gravity is so much lower. It’s just a more-forgiving golf club.” Oates additionally mentioned execs are beginning to fall in love with 7-woods as a result of after they mis-hit a hybrid, they have an inclination to go left and lose distance. If they mis-hit a 7-wood, the ball usually goes almost as far and it tends to journey straighter. “Even when they pull it, they are still going to see that 240 number or whatever the guy wants over and over and over again,” he mentioned. Here is Adam Scott speaking about his new 7-wood earlier than the 2021 Masters.
Do you want a 7-wood?
Louis Oosthuizen hits a 7-wood on the 2021 Players Championship. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
So, with all these advantages and just about no draw back, might a 7-wood be supreme for leisure golfers? “Whether it’s a high-lofted fairway wood, a hybrid or a long iron, that’s why you get fit. To see which one is going to be better for you,” mentioned Nick Sherburne, a co-founder of Club Champion and one of many firm’s grasp fitters. “Ultimately, you want to think about what is going to give you the distance, launch and spin that you need in order to hit the shots you need to hit to score on the golf course.” Sherburne additionally famous that the majority leisure gamers hit down on their hybrid photographs as they might with an iron, however they have an inclination to brush their fairway woods photographs. Hitting down tends to provide extra spin, so, once more, getting accurately match for both a hybrid or a 7-wood is vital to ensure it matches your swing sort. If you suppose a 7-wood would possibly assist your sport, speak to customized fitter in regards to the choices listed beneath.
Callaway Epic Max
Callaway Epic Max fairway wooden (Callaway)
Price: $299.99 every with Project X Cypher, Project X HZRDUS Smoke IM 10 or Mitsubishi MMT shaft and Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align grip 7-wood: 21 levels The Epic Max fairway woods are bigger than the Epic Speed, with a shallower face and a slight draw bias. They additionally include two moveable weights, one which weighs 14 grams and the opposite at 2 grams. With the heavier weight within the again, the second of inertia will increase and the Epic Max generates extra spin, the next launch and extra stability on off-center hits. Moving the 14-gram weight to the ahead spot will increase ball pace, reduces spin and lowers the launch angle. More …
Cobra Radspeed 7-wood (Cobra)
Price: $279 every with Fujikura Motore X F1, Fujikura Motore X F3 or Project X EvenMovement Riptide shaft and Lamkin Crossline grip 7-wood: 22.5 levels All the RadSpeed fairway woods have massive carbon-fiber crowns and a radial weighting design that takes weight out of the membership’s center and shifts it to strategic spots. In the 7-wood, which means a pair of 16-gram inside weights within the heel and toe areas, together with a 7-gram weight at the back of the only. Cobra mentioned that including further weight within the entrance of the membership helps improve ball pace, whereas the added weight within the again boosts the second of inertia to make the membership extra forgiving. More …
Ping G425 Max
Ping G425 Max 7-wood (Ping)
Price: $327.50 every with Ping Alta Slate CB shafts 7-wood: 20.5 levels Instead of the face being a flat piece of stainless-steel soldered to the physique, which is widespread with many fairway woods, Ping’s Face Wrap hitting space extends into the crown across the toe space and below the forefront within the sole. Ping mentioned this design permits almost all of the face, and locations within the crown and sole, to flex at affect for elevated distance and extra ball-speed safety on photographs hit outdoors the middle. More …
PXG 0341 GEN4
PXG 0341 GEN4 7-wood (David Dusek/Golfweek)
Price: $439 with alternative of shafts 7-wood: 21 levels Like the GEN4 drivers, the brand new 0341 GEN4 fairway woods have a carbon-fiber crown that options an aluminum vapor middle part to avoid wasting weight. An inside thermoplastic elastomer piece dampens extreme vibrations to enhance sound and really feel. The cast stainless-steel face flexes extra effectively at affect for enhanced ball pace and distance, and the adjustable sole weights enable fitters to dial within the supreme swing weight for every participant.
TaylorMade SIM2 Max 7-wood (TaylorMade)
Price: $299 with Fujikura Ventus Blue or Fujikura AirSpeeder shaft 7-wood: 21 levels The SIM2 Max fairway woods have a carbon-fiber crown, Speed Pocket slot within the sole and adjustable hosel. Made utilizing C300 stainless-steel, additionally they have an up to date V Steel sole designed to enhance turf interplay and drive extra weight again and away from the hitting space. More …
Titleist TSi2 7-wood (Titleist)
Price: $299 every with Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Black DC, Mitsubishi Tensei AV RAW Blue or White, or Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips 7-wood: 21 levels Titleist made the TSi2 fairway woods extra aerodynamic, so golfers can swing the golf equipment quicker with the identical quantity of effort. Designers additionally shifted the middle of gravity down and farther again, away from the face, to encourage the next launch angle. That additionally boosted the second of inertia, so the TSi2 fairways are extra steady on mis-hits. More …
Tour Edge Exotics C721
Tour Edge Exotics C721 7-wood (Tour Edge)
Price: $249.99 with Fujikura Air Speeder, Fujikura Ventus Red, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Blue or Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black shaft 7-wood: 21 levels The Ridgeback-designed crown combines stainless-steel flanked by carbon-fiber panels on all sides to avoid wasting weight and decrease the middle of gravity. The cup-face design and inside Diamond Face 2.0 sample enable the hitting space to flex extra effectively for elevated ball pace and distance. The weight at the back of the only helps improve stability.
Wilson Staff D9
Wilson Staff D9 7-wood (Wilson)
Price: $219.99 every with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue shaft and Lamkin Crossline Genesis grip 7-wood: 21 levels To assist golfers improve ball pace, Wilson gave the Staff D9 fairway woods a maraging metal face that’s extraordinarily skinny and sturdy. But the true secret’s that for the primary time, Wilson designed the faces with variable thicknesses. They flex extra effectively at affect, not solely within the middle on well-struck photographs but additionally towards the heel and toe on mis-hits. More …