7 Wood Vs 3 Hybrid | Which Should I Carry? [Expert Guide]

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Deciding whether to use a 7 Wood vs 3 Hybrid on the golf course? In this article, we cover key tips including distance, spin, loft, and other need-to-know information to make an informed decision.

For some reason, the decision to take a 3 iron out of the bag and put a fairway wood or hybrid in seems really easy. However, when it comes to the 7 wood vs 3 hybrid and which is a better choice, the answer gets more complicated. 

We know that the 7 wood and 3 hybrid are both more forgiving and easier to work with, but which one is best for you? 

I’m going to break down what I’ve seen most players do well with and how you want to make sure you have a mix of technology in your bag. Without giving too many secrets away, I’ll warn you that swing speed will play into this decision. 

⛳️ Related: Most Forgiving Fairway Woods for 2023

7 Wood vs 3 Hybrid Overview & Key Differences

en-joie golf course showing a large pond where you would need to decide between 7 wood vs 3 hybrid.

Before we can make this decision if the 7 wood or 3 hybrid (or both) is best for your game, let’s break it down into some of the most important specifications and differences in performance. 

Club Head

The club head of your 7 wood is considerably larger than the 3 hybrid, making it a little easier to launch and a larger overall hitting area. Expect clubhead sizes to be between 150-170cc with the hybrid; you will see 130-140cc. 

Golf club head size is a performance factor when it comes to ease of contact, but let’s face it, the clubhead size is also a matter of personal preference. 

I love how my hybrid looks when it transitions from my irons. The fairway wood is a bit more of an adjustment. Of course, I’ve learned to make this adjustment, and I know what to expect, but it can really throw some players off. 

Do you like the look of a bulkier club head for increasing confidence, or is something more streamlined better for you? 

Lofts

The loft of a 7 wood varies depending on club adjustability and fairway wood style; it’s typically between 20 and 23 degrees. The 3 hybrid is a little stronger at 19 degrees on average. 

The loft angle of the golf club will determine some of its distance capability. The lower the loft angle, the further you should be able to hit the ball. 

Of course, we see a bit of that even out here because of the shaft length. 

Shaft Length

A 7 wood shaft length is about an inch, sometimes as much as two inches longer than that of a hybrid. 

So, where the loft of the hybrid helps it fly a little further, the shaft length could cost you a few yards. 

Don’t let that confuse you; the shorter shaft length increases overall accuracy with the shots you want to hit. Yes, we see the same thing happen again in golf, a bit of give and take we can’t have it all. 

Shaft length on the 3 hybrid and 7 wood are still shorter than you will find with the driver by a considerable amount. The length of the shaft and the control of the club (as a result of shaft length) does not seem to be a concern for most golfers. 

Shot Shape

With a hybrid being shorter and having a smaller clubhead, it is traditionally more workable, allowing for better playability in an advanced player. The 7 wood flies higher and lands softer than most hybrid shots of the same distance. 

There are millions of golfers, but you can usually put them into two categories. 

  • The golfers who are trying to control the ball 
  • The golfers who are simply hoping to hit it straight 

With a 7 wood, you should have a little more luck with being able to hit the ball straight. The golf club has a super low center of gravity, a little extra head weight, and plenty of loft. 

With the 3 hybrid, expect the ability to hit a little fade or a draw into a pin. If you have higher swing speeds, stopping the ball with a 3 hybrid shouldn’t be a problem. It gets a little harder with slower swing speeds and seniors. 

Carry Distance

If you set up a golf robot with a stock 7 wood and a stock 3 hybrid, the 3 hybrid should travel a little further because of the lower loft on the club. However, this is dependent on the individual player and the lie of the golf ball. 

If you have access to a launch monitor, it is the absolute best way to test if you are getting more carry distance with a 7 wood or a 3 hybrid. 

I would encourage you to take a good look here at not just how far the ball is carrying but how far you need it to carry. I recently purchased a new 4 hybrid, and when I was testing, I was so excited to see that I had picked up 10 yards of distance on my older hybrid. 

However, after hitting this new club and seeing these great distances, it dawned on me that this extra yardage didn’t help me. It doesn’t replace the golf club I’m looking to replace. 

Distance gaps are more important to fill than anything else. 

Spin

The 7 wood and 3 hybrid will likely have similar spin rates. 

The spin rates on the 7 wood could be higher, but again, it will depend on the angle of attack, the shaft you have in play, swing speed, and the club itself. 

However, the 7 wood does have a higher ball flight. 

Although a higher ball flight and spin are not the same thing, they can have similar results when the ball hits the green. The 7 wood will often stop a bit faster simply because the descent angle is steeper. 

Lie

The 3 hybrid is a great club to hit from anywhere, including the rough, where a 7 wood tends to thrive from the tee and the fairway. 

Potentially, the biggest benefit of a hybrid club is the ability to hit it out of the rough. If you struggle with a slower swing speed, expect that you may struggle with getting shots out of the rough. 

Use the hybrid in this situation and save the 7 wood when you have less dirt, debris, and grass between the golf ball and your clubhead. 

⛳️ Related: 7 Wood vs 4 Hybrid – Which is Best?

Which Should I Carry, 7 Wood or 3 Hybrid? (Or Both?)

7 wood vs 3 hybrid golf equipment photo comparing the club heads next to one another of fairway woods vs hybrids

If your current setup allows you to carry both a 7 wood and a 3 hybrid, take full advantage of it. The performance should be different enough to justify both golf clubs. 

However, if you need to choose between one or the other, here is the criteria I would follow: 

Choose a 7 wood if: 

  • You are a slower swing speed player looking for extra distance 
  • Ball flight in the long game tends to be a problem, and you need a higher ball flight 
  • You generally play well with your fairway woods and driver and have more of a sweeping swing 
  • Forgiveness is a key factor for you in the long game 

Choose a 3 hybrid if: 

  • You are concerned about workability, like drawing and fading the ball 
  • You want to have more control over your shots 
  • Your tee shots often leave you in the rough with no way to recover 
  • A lower, more penetrating ball flight is not a concern for you

How to Get the Most Out of Your 7 Wood or 3 Hybrid

PGA Tour Champions Golfer, Karlsson hitting his fairway wood on the driving range in Naples, FL.

Now that you know which is better for your game, 7 wood vs. 3 hybrid, let’s take a more detailed look at how to hit each of these a little better. Some of the techniques are similar. 

Learn to Evaluate a Lie 

One of the biggest mistakes that average golfers make is they forget to evaluate the lie. I know that 175 yards feels like it should be your 7 wood shot, but when you walk up to the ball, and it’s in an old divot or on a slope, you have to start thinking twice. 

If I walked up to a lie like this, I may hit a 7 iron, lay up to a comfortable pitch, hit a pitch shot on, and make the putt. If I don’t do this, my 7 wood or 3 hybrid shot could end up in the bunker, a water hazard, etc. 

Just get more critical of a lie and think like a professional golfer. 

Get a Good Base of Support

The 7 wood and 3 hybrid are both longer than any of the irons you have in your bag. It’s okay to take a slightly wider stance when you hit these shots. I wouldn’t go much wider than shoulder width and not as wide as the driver, but give yourself that necessary base to get enough speed out of your shots. 

Check Your Ball Position

The ball position is slightly forward of center with the 3 hybrid and 7 wood. I know that position can be hard to determine, so I’ll tell you to start by getting into the position where you hit your driver and then getting into a position of a ball that is centered entirely. 

Now place the 3 hybrid or 7 wood ball position directly in the center of these two. 

When you work on the range, use an alignment stick or golf tees in the ground to allow you to focus on the ball position. You would be amazed by how much the slightest ball position differences can make in your golf shots.  

Make Sure To Engage The Lower Body 

The 3 hybrid and 7 wood are easier to hit with extra extension and width in your golf swing. Engage your lower body, make a solid turn, and get a wider backswing. When you swing with just the arms, you lose consistency and power

I start both my hybrid and fairway wood swings with a slight turning of my lower body. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few of the most important questions about the 7 wood vs 3 hybrid. 

Is a 7 wood the same as a 3 hybrid?

The 7 wood and the 3 hybrid are not the same. The 3 hybrid has a slightly lower loft and a shorter shaft length than the 7 wood. 

What is Easier to Hit a 7 Wood or 3 Hybrid?

The 7 wood is generally considered easier to hit because it has a higher loft and a larger sweet spot. However, on a more unforgiving lie out of a bunker or the rough, the 3 hybrid is an easier club to hit. 

Which Hits Further: 7 Wood vs 3 Hybrid?

A 3 hybrid has a lower loft, making it easier to hit further than the 7 wood. However, for faster swing speed players, the 7 wood could fly higher and therefore carry further. 

What hybrid is equivalent to a 7 wood?

The golf hybrid most often associated with a 7 wood is the 4 hybrid. However, you have to check the lofts of each club to know which ones are going to perform the same. 

Final Thoughts on 7 wood vs 3 hybrid

I can’t tell you that I prefer the 7 wood vs 3 hybrid. In fact, I can justify having both golf clubs in the bag. However, golfers with slower swing speeds who need a little help with distance and accuracy may want to stick with the 7 wood. 

It’s best to have a mix of technology in your bag, so if you do choose the 7 wood, make sure you have a hybrid in your setup somewhere. You will need it when you hit the ball in the thicker rough. 

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AUTHOR

Brittany Olizarowicz is a Class A PGA Professional Golfer with nearly 30 years of experience. Many of her teaching years were spent training senior golfers. In recent years, Britt's career has moved to golf writing, where she shares her knowledge with a global audience. Britt is still a scratch golfer and enjoys playing golf with her husband and two young children several times a week.

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