FedEx St. Jude Championship

TPC Southwind


Instruction

A valuable addition

How to use a 7-wood like the pros

June 28, 2022
1389517955

David Cannon

The success of those using a 7-wood is undeniable. At last year’s Ryder Cup, six players used 7-woods. Since the start of 2022, six winners have had one in play the week they won. Players aren’t simply using 7-woods; they’re flourishing with them. One of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers, CJ Nafus, walks us through the best tips when using the critical club.

PRO TIP #1: SWING LIKE IT’S A MIDDLE IRON

Steve Boyle

“One of the main mistakes players make with a 7-wood is setting up as if they were about to hit a driver—with a forward ball position and tilted shoulders,” says CJ Nafus, a Golf Digest Best Young Teacher. “You should set up with the same ball position as a middle iron, with the ball below the logo on your shirt. When you swing, keep your shoulders pretty level (above). The attack angle at impact should be level to slightly downward.”

PRO TIP #2: USE IT LIKE A CHIPPER

Steve Boyle

“If you hate tight-lie chip shots, you’ll love your 7-wood as an alternative,” says Nafus, director of instruction at Roxiticus Golf Club in Mendham, N.J. “Choke down almost to the shaft [above], then do everything else like you would with your putter—from grip to ball position to stroke. When you hit the ball, it will come off with a bit of loft and then run out like a putt. It’s a perfect shot for chasing it to a back pin.”

PRO TIP #3: MAKE A STABLE SWING FROM FAIRWAY SAND

Steve Boyle

“If you don’t have a lip to contend with, a 7-wood works great from flat fairway-bunker sand,” Nafus says. “To flush one from here, choke up half an inch on the grip, stand about an inch farther from the ball than you would from the fairway, and avoid digging in with your feet. These adjustments help prevent the club from taking too much sand when you swing. I don’t change my ball position from a stock shot—under the logo on my shirt—but I try to keep my lower body more quiet than normal for stability. Note how grounded my feet are [above].”

PRO TIP #4: PLAY IT MIDDLE FROM THE ROUGH

Steve Boyle

“The 7-wood can help you escape bad lies, like punching out of deep grass while keeping it under tree branches,” Nafus says. “To hit this shot, play the ball centered in your stance and choke up an inch [above]. Make a three-quarter backswing, but don’t chop down. The ball position takes care of the steeper attack angle. It will fly low with plenty of runout.”