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The Utility Wood
Tommy Horton

When you consider the sheer range of shots a 5- or 7-wood is capable of playing, it's really no wonder that senior players swear by these so-called 'utility' woods. I always carry a 5-wood in my bag, and, depending on course conditions, occasionally a 7-wood.

These clubs are much easier to hit than long irons, and they can get you out of all sorts of trouble. They can also help in the unlikeliest of situations - such as chipping from rough grass.

You may have seen this done on TV, but unless you go out and try chipping with a utility wood, you will never appreciate just how useful the club is in this type of situation.

The small head of the 5- or 7-wood runs through long grass more easily than a wedge, and your margin for error is greater.

Simply grip down the shaft and play the shot like you would a regular chip-and-run. Naturally, you need to practise to familiarise yourself with the feel of the ball off the clubface, and the pace at which it runs out on the green.

But I'd be surprised if after a couple of goes you are not hooked.

Out of the rough? Small head cuts through the long grass and gets the ball airbourne.
Off the fairway? Easier than a 3- or 4-iron, gives a high trajectory and stops on the green
Out of a divot? Small shallow head gets to the bottom of the ball and gets you out of irritating scrapes
In the sand? Small head glides across the sand and gives a clean sweeping contact.


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