Using a 7 Iron To Lower Your Golf Score

The seven iron is a very versatile club because it can be used in a plethora of situations. I use this club quite often during around of golf as it has proven its worth over the many years of my playing. The one area I have found the most benefit is around the green, I use my 7 iron like a putter whenever possible so I can get the ball rolling to the hole soonest. I believe that I save two stokes around and that is a very good thing when you are a low single digit handicapper. Let me explain further.

I use my 7 iron because around the green it offers the most consistent replication of my putting stroke. Hitting the seven iron allows me to be more aggressive with my roll to the hole, provides a line to follow if there is a break, and my ball does not hop or bounce as it rolls to the hole. When around the green, if I cannot put a putter in my hand, then my 7 iron is my club of choice.

Using a 7 iron around the green is not as simple as just swinging away like during an approach shot. I change my set up so that it acts more like a putter than anything else.

The two major changes are my grip and stance. I hold my 7 iron with my putter grip and use my shoulders to swing the club. I do not use any wrists. The swing movement is only with the big muscles of my shoulders and back.

My stance is square like my putting stance. I use my toes to help line up my putt and this is best done with equal and square stance. I place the ball slightly behind center (about an inch) so I can make contact on the lower grooves of the club face. This position will allow the ball to raise in the air for a short distance depending on the distance I need the ball to roll.

I can putt or chip this shot with my 7 iron. It depends on the grass between the ball and the green.

There some limitations to using the 7 iron that are important to cover. These are:

  • If my ball is settled down in the long grass, I will not use a 7 iron
  • If my ball will not land on the green after first contact, then my 7 iron will perform as expected, so my ball must land on green after contact
  • I only use my 7 iron if I cannot use my putter
  • I do not use my 7 iron on shorts shorter than 10 feet. It is too delicate of a shot for this club
  • I will use mu 7 iron on an uphill (no more than a foot elevation) shot, but not a downhill shot

That is about it for the limitations. Any other time, I would use a 7 iron to produce the roll I need to either sink the ball or at a minimum have a tap in.

Adopting my 7 iron as my chipping club of choice around the green. Others use their 8 or 9 iron for the same shots. There is no wrong answer here and I recommend you use the club that fits your game best.

Lastly, I have decided to stop playing around with my course management. I have committed to hitting my putter or 7 iron whenever possible because it does lower my golf score. I have tried using my PW or GW to provide a softer feel to my shots, but found that I have a greater chance for success on my shots around the green by using the latter. It is time to get serious (again) about my short game.

What club do use for the bump and run?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


15 thoughts on “Using a 7 Iron To Lower Your Golf Score

  1. Used a Pharoah for a year, now using a 7 iron. Still working on it. Lining up correctly is my problem. What is the 30% rule someone mentioned above ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don,

      The 30% rule in chipping is how far you want the ball to fly before starting to roll the ball. This is important because any more than 30% using a 7 iron is likely to be too strong.

      Another way to understand this rule is, the ball must roll 70% of the distance tonthe pin. This knowledge allows us to select a great landing point and which lofted club to use.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers Jim


      • Thanks for the reply. I’m sure that makes sense to most people, but my mind is not able to conceive of how much of my swing is going to be 30%. I might come up with 50% or 90% but in the middle of a game of golf when I get close to the green, thinking of how far 30% is with my stroke is a little more than my weak brain can handle. I was a former history teacher, baseball and basketball coach and if I explained something that way, 3/4 of my class would say “huh?” Now, if you can put that in the form of a Clock, using clock hands…..or a race track……or something weak minds like mine could think about…that would help a lot

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jim:

    Nice thoughts here. Around the green, people too often, get caught up in using a wedge of some sort. A 7-iron is a versatile club and one that I will use in the same manner. But, much of my decision depends on how much green I have to cover. It could be an 8, or a 9 too. Regardless of these clubs, I employ the 30% rule.

    Great for punchouts from the trees as well. The 7-iron can be a stroke-saver.



    • Alex,

      Exactly. I have worked on my game over the years to not automatically grab a wedge, but to think about my whole shot before selecting the right club for my shot. It is an ever evolving part of my game.

      Cheers Jim


  3. Jim, 7 is a good choice. More importantly is that you have identified the need to get the ball on the ground as soon as possible. Roll is easier to judge than flight. Thanks for the tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s technically the wrong club for the job and I’m fully aware of that, but I use my gap wedge. I can’t bring myself to change because it’s worked so well for me for so long. It brings the confidence I need to get the job done. Taking all the loft out keeps me close to the ball, and the shorter shaft helps with feel.

    Liked by 1 person

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