The 7-iron is often the middle club in your bag with the 8-iron, 9-iron, and pitching wedge on the shorter end and your 6-iron, 5-iron, and 4-iron on the longer end of the bag.
It is also one of the most versatile clubs in your bag.
It’s used for approach shots from the fairway, tee shots on mid to short par 3, and even chipping from the edge of the green when you want the ball to roll out a substantial distance.
Golfers often base their decisions on the set of irons based on the distance that they hit the seven iron. We will take an in-depth look at the construction, loft, and uses of the 7-iron.
What’s A 7-Iron Golf Club?
A 7-iron can be classified as a mid-iron with loft ranging from 34 degrees for the more traditional clubs to a strong and even as low as 29 degrees for the stronger lofts available on newer sets.
It is renowned for its versatility being able to hit most approach shots on a par 4 or par 5. It is also often used on mid par 3s and for delicate chip shots from just off the usually ranges between, 29-33 degrees of loft.
How Far Should A 7-Iron Go
The distance you can expect from a specific club is being debated more feverishly as the loft strengthens in newer clubs. Some newer clubs get the same distance out of a 7-iron as what you got out of a 5-iron in traditional sets.
This is as a result of 7-irons now having a loft as low as 29-degrees which was the standard for 5-irons in traditional sets a decade or two ago.
Although the loft has changed over time, a 7-iron shot will travel much higher with the latest technology and land as soft as it did with higher lofts.
Distance is also dependent on your swing speed and the ball trajectory.
So, how far should you hit a 7-iron?
On average 7-iron distance, most golfers can achieve is between 145 and 150 yards from their average swing speed to retain maximum control.
Overswinging may gain some distance occasionally but will sacrifice accuracy.
Environmental factors such as the strength of the wind, temperature, elevation (height above sea level), all play a significant role in the distance you can hit a 7-iron.
The layout of the green compared to your current position can also impact the distance. When hitting the ball to a green at a lower level will travel further while hitting to a green that is higher will sacrifice distance.
The average distance can be allocated to the following categories:
Beginner and high handicap golfers (handicap 16 and higher) 100 yards for men and 60 yards for women.
Intermediate golfers from 5 handicaps to 15 handicaps average 135 yards for men and 75 yards for women.
Advanced golfers with single-digit handicaps will average 165 yards for men and 140 yards for women.
These distances can vary by +- 10 to 15 yards depending on the quality of the shot and the prevailing environmental conditions.
What Distance Does A Pro Hit A 7-Iron?
Male PGA Tour Players have an average swing speed of 120 mph on their 7-iron swing speed and an average smash factor of 1.33.
This results in an average of 185 yards for men and 160-yards for women professional golfers.
This distance is based on the average apex of the 7-iron shot being approximately 32 yards.
When To Use A 7-Iron?
As mentioned earlier the 7-iron is versatile and can be used under several different circumstances.
In addition to the standard fairway and tee shot the 7-iron offers the ability to keep the golf ball below the trees by keeping the trajectory low when struck from your back foot with most of your weight on your leading foot.
Furthermore, your 7-iron is ideal for chip shots around the green when you want to get the golf ball airborne for a short distance before rolling it like a putt to the hole.
What makes this so much easier is that these shots can be executed in the same manner as your putting stroke.
What Degree Loft Is A 7-Iron?
Traditionally the loft of a 7-iron was set to 34-degrees, but this has changed over the years as manufacturers compete for more distance.
Lofts of 29- or 30-degrees on a 7-iron are quite common now.
This is especially the case on large cavity back on game improvement irons.
Smaller cavity-backed irons and blades will have lofts closer to the traditional 34-degrees.
How To Hit A 7-Iron
Here is a great video with some basic advice to hit a 7-iron and gain.
The iron swing differs from the driver swing in that you want to keep your weight more forward and your leading shoulder lower than the setup for the driver swing.
This will increase the consistency of your swing. By having a smooth swing tempo, you will improve the contact at impact which will improve your control without sacrificing too much on distance.
Positioning of the ball is the most central of all clubs with the ball positioned in the middle of your feet.
How To Hit A 7-Iron – Beginners and High Handicap Golfers
Beginners and high handicap golfers are likely to master the 7-iron before any other club since it is the most comfortable length of all your clubs.
A few tips for beginners and high handicap golfers to improve contact:
- Position the golf ball in the middle of your feet
- Place weight forward on your front leg
- Press hands forward to get lag
- Rotate your hips swiveling around your spine axis
- On the downswing hit down attempting to hit the turf one inch after the golf ball
- Complete your follow-through by pushing your weight forward onto your front leg
- Point your body at the target
How To Hit A 7-Iron – Intermediate Golfers Guide
The 7-iron swing for intermediate golfers follows the same basic principles as beginners and high handicap golfers.
However, intermediate golfers require more consistency which is achieved by improved rhythm and tempo during the swing:
- A slower backswing will enhance the control over the tempo of the swing
- Keep your weight on the front leg at setup
- The arms will feel like they are dropping to provide a shallower swing
- Hold your finish for three seconds to improve your balance
How To Hit A 7-Iron – Advanced Golfers Guide
Advanced golfers generally take divots after their shots thus requiring the club head to strike the golf ball in a downward trajectory.
All the steps required by beginner and intermediate golfers still apply. However, the downward strike will compress the golf ball and provide consistent distances.
This will also allow you to shape the ball hitting either a draw or fade.
How To Hit A 7-Iron – Off The Tee
Although a tee shot allows you to place the ball on a tee, it shouldn’t be different from a fairway hit.
The tee allows you to have pure contact between the club head and golf ball eradicating any grass between the ball and the clubhead.
This is achieved by teeing the ball low and ensuring that no grass can interfere with the impact.
Contact should still be in the downward trajectory of the swing.
Tips On Chipping With A 7-Iron
Can you use a 7-iron for chipping? This will provide more detailed information.
7-Iron Chipping Guide
Chipping with a 7-iron from around 15-25 yards away from the green can be quite beneficial.
Begin with a narrow stance with your weight placed on your front leg.
Stand closer to the golf ball raising the heel of the club and have the toe closer to the turf. This will put you in a position to execute the stroke similar to your putting stroke.
Swing the clubs with your shoulders keeping your weight in the position you started.
This will lift the ball off the ground for a short distance and then roll it out to the hole.
What Is The Standard 7-Iron Length?
The standard length of shafts for men ranges from 37-inches for steel shafts while graphite shafts are slightly longer at 37.5 inches.
Women shafts are generally 1-inch shorter than that on men’s shafts thus ranging from 36-inches for steel shaft while graphite shafts are slightly longer at 36.5 inches.