Updated on March 14th, 2023 at 03:25 pm
Have you seen all of the talk with golfers on the PGA Tour starting to use a 7 wood and taking utility irons and hybrids out of the bag? It is happening more and more, and it left us with the task of answering which is better, a 7 wood or a hybrid.
As always, there is quite a bit to investigate here as one golfer is typically nothing like the next, and you must look at several different characteristics and examples. Let’s take a deep dive into the 7 wood vs. hybrid discussion and figure out which one you should be playing with.
Overview of a 7 Wood
A 7 wood is a fairway wood that typically has around 22 degrees of loft. Depending on the manufacturer and the model of the club, it could have more or less loft. The 7 wood is known for having a large, sweet spot, high launch, and plenty of forgiveness.
Many golfers were struggling to find a club that bridged the gap between their irons and their fairway woods, and that is where the 7 wood came into play. Since the slightly shorter shaft is easier to control and manage, the average golfer often finds the 7 wood to be an easy club to hit.
Overview of a Hybrid
Hybrids were a game changer in the game of golf. They hybrid golf club has all but replaced the majority of long irons in the game. Players who were struggling with getting a long iron to fly out of the rough or get distance and trajectory out of a bad lie put the hybrid into place to make the game a bit easier.
Hybrid golf clubs have a low center of gravity, come in several different lofts and make turf interaction considerably easier. The hybrid club has become so popular that many people are completely replacing their iron set with a set of hybrid golf clubs.
Which Hybrid Is Equivalent to a 7 Wood?
As we mentioned, the hybrid golf club comes in a variety of lofts, and the 4 hybrid, which is typically anywhere from 22-23 degrees, is going to be the equivalent of a 7 wood. However, there are some key differences in the performance of these golf clubs both on the approach shots to the green and from the tee.
7 Wood vs. Hybrid: Which One Should I Carry?
The 7 wood vs. hybrid debate is one that many golfers are dealing with. Players typically have a mix of hybrids and fairway woods, but the 7 wood and 4 hybrid are very similar in performance, and one club typically has to be chosen.
We have broken this down into several categories to make it easier to decide if the 7 wood or hybrid is the best choice for your game. Here is everything you need to know.
When it comes to distance, the 7 wood tends to inch a bit further ahead than the hybrid. Since the 7 wood typically has a slightly lower loft angle and a bit lower spin, the result is a shot that has a more penetrating ball flight.
This slightly lower ball flight can help players that are trying to roll a ball up on the green.
In addition, when using the 7 wood, you may find that your golf ball jumps off the face of the 7 wood a bit better. This is typically due to the materials used in the face of the club, but that can change from one model to the next.
Players with longer sweeping swings tend to enjoy the larger head on the 7 wood and find it to be great for those few extra yards of roll. In addition, the fairway wood is typically a touch longer than the hybrid making it easier to generate a bit of extra speed.
When it comes to forgiveness, both the fairway wood and the hybrid are known for forgiveness. Most people find the hybrid to be one of the most forgiving golf clubs in the bag, especially for a slow swing speed player that is struggling with the majority of their iron shots.
In addition, a hybrid is a versatile club that can be used from a fairway bunker or from a tight fairway lie and still has some really impressive performance.
It doesn’t typically take long for players to start calling their hybrid their favorite club in the golf bag.
The hybrid will win again when it comes to control. This club plays a bit more like an iron than a high lofted fairway wood. The iron shots are always known for allowing a little more control when it comes to both ball flight and direction.
Whether you have a slower swing speed or a higher swing speed, the hybrid should allow you to hit the ball close to the pin and plan out your shots a little more.
The 7 wood is a good club for forgiveness but trying to hit it close to the pin can be a bit more complicated. The overall feel and precision are not what it is when you have the shorter hybrid in your hand.
The ball flight of the 7 wood is typically a little lower than that of the hybrid. With the weight in the head of the hybrid, it makes it a bit easier for the recreational golfer to launch the ball up a little higher.
The result is typically straighter shots with plenty of ball flight and impressive spin when they stop on the green.
Many players also find that the ability to control the ball flight with the hybrid is much easier. When you try and control the ball flight of a 7 wood, it often results in inconsistent shots.
A golfer’s handicap can often determine which golf club will be a better fit for their game. Typically speaking, the higher handicap players need straight shots with a bit of extra loft.
Lower handicap players often look for consistent shots that are workable and give them the ability to control the ball a bit better.
Most higher handicap golfers were opting for the 7 wood for quite some time, but now it is a toss-up. Players find that the new hybrids have very good ball speed and bad shots are not nearly as bad as they once were with their long irons in their hands.
Lower handicap players liked the hybrid or rescue club for hitting approach shots and getting the ball close to the pin on long par 4’s or shorter par 5’s. The hybrid seemed to be a bit more versatile than the fairway wood until recently, when more pros started putting the 7 wood golf club back in their bag.
In the end, there is no way to determine if the 7 wood or hybrid is better based on handicap alone. Much more needs to go into this.
Performance From Rough
The 7 wood and hybrid are both better to hit out of the rough than a long iron or utility, or even a 3 wood. However, the hybrid is going to win again. The most popular club for hitting a shot out of the rough is your hybrid club.
These types of clubs are designed for improved performance, higher launch, and better overall results.
With the weight of the head of a hybrid and the way that it allows golfers to swing down and through to hit out of the rough, it simply makes the most sense. Think of the hybrid to be like an iron club that will allow for a bit of distance enhancement and ball flight enhancement out of a bad lie.
For that reason alone, it’s worthwhile for many golfers to have the hybrid golf club in their bag.
Is It Worth Having a 7 Wood and a Hybrid?
Now that you have a bit more understanding of what the hybrid vs. 7 wood debate, it’s time to understand whether there is a situation that would make sense to have both a 7 wood and a hybrid.
Many times, the hybrid and 7 wood will have the same loft, and although there are differences in performance, this is not always your best choice. Here are a few things to keep in mind about having both a 7 wood and a hybrid in your bag.
Check The Loft
If you are going to carry a hybrid and a 7 wood, check the loft to make sure they are not the same. The combination of fairway woods and hybrids that you have in your bag should provide a wide range of lofts so that you can play all different types of golf shots.
If you have a 22-degree 7 wood, think about a 25-degree hybrid instead. This can replace your 5 iron and still give you the option to hit a hybrid when necessary and, at other times, have the fairway wood when you need it.
Don’t Sacrifice Wedges
If you have to take a wedge out of your bag to put in a 7 wood or a hybrid, chances are it’s not the right decision. Try to think about how often you will use the hybrid compared to how often you will use the wedge.
Single digit handicaps can tell you that the wedges are the most important clubs in the bag for scoring.
There are going to be a few instances in the round where you need a hybrid or a fairway wood, but the wedge and the way that it helps you get out of tough spots or stick it close when you miss a green is much more valuable.
Unfortunately, some women golfers fall into this issue because they feel the need for a few extra yards of distance in their game. In the end, a few yards of distance won’t matter if you have a wedge that allows you to hit it close to the pin.
Use a Launch Monitor To Check Performance
To tell the difference between the hybrid and the fairway wood and how they are performing, you will need to use a launch monitor to check the performance. Sometimes using your own eye or pacing off yardages is just not enough.
A launch monitor will help you get center hits, check on your spin rate and launch, and do a proper fairway wood hybrid comparison.
Some custom golf fitting locations will do a fitting that is entirely based on loft gapping and ensuring you have the right clubs in your hands. Essentially, you won’t be looking to purchase new clubs but will instead just make sure the ones you have are properly loft gapped.
We hope you now feel as though you can tell the difference between 7 wood and hybrid, and which may be a better fit for your game. Both clubs are high quality golf clubs that can work for a wide range of players.
When you are playing in windy conditions and need to control the flight, or your golf ball is stuck in some rough, the hybrid tends to be a smart choice.
For the slower swing speed players needing extra carry distance, the 7 wood could be the best bet. Overall, you will have to experiment with both and if possible, try to have a mix of both hybrids and fairway woods in your golf bag.
Still wondering which club to put in your golf bag? Check out our recent comparison of the 3 wood vs 5 wood.