The 7 iron has always been a staple in my golf bag. I know I’m not alone in saying that the 7 iron is a perfect loft for both distance and forgiveness. When hitting a 7 iron, you have to be smart about your stance, setup, and posture so you can take advantage of this great golf club.
Once you have the basics of hitting a 7 iron down, it’s important to understand your distances. For me, a 7 iron is a 150-155 yard club. However, this is not the same for all golfers.
Here are some tips that can help you determine how far you should be hitting your 7 iron and whether you can squeeze a few extra yards out of it.
How Far You Should Be Hitting a 7 Iron
In addition to how fast you swing the golf club, the distance you hit a 7 iron also depends on your skill level. The better you are at golf, the easier it is to hit the 7 iron in the center of the clubface.
The average distance of a 7 iron for a beginner golfer is in the 135-140 range. The problem that most beginners face is the inconsistency in the distance they get. The backswing is not quite worked out for beginner golfers, and it tends to be different every time.
When you try and match the clubface up with the ball to get maximum distance, it’s hard for the beginner player to get a consistent distance. One shot may go 125 yards others may go 150.
The key for beginners is to try and create some uniformity in the setup before you take a swing. When your swing starts the same way every time, you will notice that the shots end up in the same general area.
High handicap golfers are those that have been playing the game for a few years but still struggle to shoot in the 90s. Most high handicappers hit their 7-iron around 140 yards. Many players that have switched to more game improvement style golf irons may get closer to 145 yards from the 7 iron.
These game improvement style irons offer lower lofts, resulting in increased distance and a higher smash factor.
Mid handicap golfers usually hit the 7 iron in the 145-155 range. The mid handicap golfers start to see shots that have a bit more consistency to them. This makes it easier to get extra distance and certainly more control on the golf course.
Many mid handicappers start to gain a good amount of clubhead speed. When this happens, expect to see the golf ball travel quite a bit further and maybe even higher.
Mid handicappers may also notice that depending on the club they play, the distances that they hit shots will vary quite a bit. The players that use more of a blade style 7 iron will not get as much distance as those that use a cavity back iron.
With so many choices for golf equipment, golfers that are seeking distance need to consider how the golf clubs they choose will impact their total shot length.
Low handicap golfers tend to have quite a bit of clubhead speed. One of the things that make it easier to become a lower handicap player is the ability to hit the ball far. If you can get the golf ball to travel quite a ways, you may only have a wedge or short iron into the green.
Low handicappers can expect to see 150-160 yards from their 7 iron.
However, some faster swinging low handicappers will go into the 160-170 yard range. The key for low handicap golfers is to find a 7 iron that allows for workability and control as opposed to the total distance.
For most low handicappers, a shot that is a few feet from the pin is most desired. If that was a 155 or a 162 yard 7 iron, it doesn’t matter.
The range for how far professionals hit a 7 iron is quite wide. Some will be around 170 yards, while others can get to over 200. In the situation of a professional, the real difference between these numbers is the swing speed.
Professional golfers all hit the ball with a good amount of consistency, and they happen to hit the center of the clubface quite often.
However, professionals are using clubs with higher lofts than most of the clubs that amateurs play with. This just shows you how far they are hitting it and the speeds that they are generating.
When to Use Your 7 Iron
Not only is the 7 iron a relatively easy club to hit, but it also is versatile. If you want to hit the ball high, low, or average height, it’s usually quite easy to manipulate things with the 7 iron in your hand. Here are a few ways that I use my 7 iron on the course.
Approach Shot To The Green
The most common way to use a 7 iron is to approach a green. The 7 iron is a club you will likely be hitting quite often as its distance is a common landing area on many par 4 holes. The 7 iron should have a relatively high ball flight and land with some softness on the green.
Full Swing On a Par 3
The par 3 hole is very often in the 140-175 yard range, this is a common distance for golfers playing a par 3, and the 7 iron is a comfortable choice for many.
I love golf holes that allow me to take a 7 iron out on a par 3. I have plenty of confidence in this club and feel like I can go after it to get the ball close to the pin.
Getting Out of Trouble
With the 7 iron having quite a bit of loft, it can be a good golf club to use when you are trying to get out of the rough. If a golf ball is too buried for a player to use a fairway wood or a longer iron, it can pay to get it back into play with a 7 iron in your hands.
Bump and Run
Around the greens, the 7 iron can also work for a bump-and-run type shot. Remember that the ball is going to roll quite a bit when you take the 7 iron out of the bag. Expect that this extra roll carries the ball to the pin.
When I hit a bump and run shot with the 7 iron, I plan for it to roll about halfway, sometimes a bit more to the pin. It’s a great shot if you are in the front of the green and the pin is in the back.
Other Clubs That Could Replace a 7 Iron
Other clubs on the market could replace a 7 iron. However, this is not one that golfers commonly take out of their bags.
For the most part, the only club you will see that can replace the 7 iron is a 7 hybrid. Most utility clubs do not have a high enough loft to replace the 7.
The 7 iron hybrid is high launching, has impressive distance, and is very easy to hit out of the rough. However, it is also less workable, becoming a problem for some golfers.
Tips for Hitting Your 7 Iron Further
Now that you have some average distance for how far a 7 iron should go, it’s time to give you some insider tips on how to hit it further. I would not recommend maxing out the distance on a 7 iron. Accuracy is certainly more important with mid-irons than total distance.
However, here are a few of the things you can do to try and hit your 7 iron further and get closer to the numbers the pros are hitting.
- Always put the ball in the center of your stance – it gives you the best chance of proper rotation and striking the ball in the exact spot that you need to.
- Choose a 7 iron that matches the specifics of your game – if you often miss the center of the clubface, go with a more forgiving higher, launching 7 iron.
- Work on increasing club head speed by working with weighted golf clubs or training aids that help to add speed.
- Look for more distance by making your swing more efficient and your body more stable during the swing – sometimes, a bit of weight training can help golfers add a few extra yards to the 7 iron distance.
- Consider the golf ball you are playing – some golf balls will have distances that are as much as 10 yards less than others; with a 7 iron, this can make a big difference.
- Consider the shaft of the club – graphite shafts tend to allow for higher swing speeds and longer distances than steel shafts.