Re: How do you hit 170 yards with 7 iron?Phil hit, at least tried, a 7i on a 202 yard par 3 on Pebble Beach. Granted he came up short, but Phil usually hits one club less than other long hitters. He is long, but his clubs could well be lofted stronger.
What matters in golf is hitting it well. Whether you have a 7i lofted at 40º or 34º, you can still play golf at a plus handicap. A golf set is about having no big gaps and knowing your distances with each club. If you hit your 7i like a 5i, that just means you'll need more wedges to fill the gaps you will have inside 130 yards.
If you hit the 7i 180, 8i 170, 9i 160, PW 150, GW 140, SW 130, LW 120, you got no stock full swing distance with any club within 120 yards. Which means you'll have to use the wedges to hit them with shorter backswing and more feel.
If you hit the 7i 140, 8i 130, 9i 120, PW 110, GW 100, SW 90, LW 80, you pretty much got it covered.
The long irons are meant to be used also. It is possible the pros use strong irons so they can use the shorter irons, being easier to hit, but they are also excellent with wedges, judging distances. On a round of golf, my usual second shot is from 100 to 180 yards, so within that distance I want to be accurate with my irons. Over 200 yards I might reach it with a 4i or hybrid, but it's a rare distance on the approach, or par 3.
"It's not how far you hit, it's how many you hit"
You often see players like Tim Clark, Steve Stricker and Tom Watson beating a lot of the long hitters like JB Holmes and Sergio Garcia on long courses. If you are really good, hitting it var is an advantage, but accuracy is and will always be most important.