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.
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!