How To Hit Fairway Woods… reap the benefits of mastering the three wood
Mastering The Three Wood
By: Jack Moorehouse… How To Break 80
The shorter your approach shot to the green, the better your chances of hitting it in regulation (GIR) and making par. The number of greens hit in regulation is a telling statistic – as I’ve explained in my golf tips newsletter. Why…because players who hit a lot of greens in regulation tend to have lower golf handicaps. Those who don’t tend to have higher golf handicaps.
The 3-wood is a great club for aggressive players. It’s also a great club for senior players who may have lost some flexibility and power over the years, but can still play well. The 3-wood is the second longest club in your bag, so it can be hard to hit for some. Hitting a crisp 3-wood from a tight lie is especially challenging, as I tell students attending my golf instruction sessions, no matter how good you are.
Used In A Variety of Situations
You can use the 3-wood in man situations. Since it’s shorter than the driver, it’s easier to control, so you can use it off the tee on tight fairways. Using the 3-wood ton the tee may cost you some distance, but it increases your chances of hitting the fairway. In fact, some players who can’t hit a driver hit a 3-wood off the tee instead. Players also use the 3-wood to chip with when on the fringe, in a fairway bunker if the bunker’s lip is low, and on long par-3s when there’s a head wind.
But the 3-wood is used mostly off the deck on par 5s, when you need a good second shot. Another common use of the 3-wood is on long par 4s, where you need a long second shot to reach the green. Hitting a good 3-wood there can put you on the green in two, something neither a long iron nor a hybrid can do. If you can master the 3-wood off the deck, you can save a lot of strokes.
Sweep The Ball From The Fairway
Unlike irons, which require a downward blow, the 3-wood (and other fairway woods) need a sweeping motion that strikes the ball as the clubhead moves parallel to the ground. Below are five keys to hitting the 3-wood:
1. Keep your weight balanced
2. Position the ball opposite your front heel
3. Keep you head and body behind the ball
4. Pull the club through with your lead hand
5. Extend your arms on the follow-through
To hit the 3-wood off the deck, you must take a wide stance similar to that used for a driver. Position the ball opposite your front heel or in some cases, slightly back from this position, and your weight balanced comfortably on the balls of your feet.
Start your swing on a low path that almost skims the grass to replicate the shallow path you want to take on your downswing. Keep your back shoulder level and pull your right hand (left for left-handers) through with your other hand. Above all, stay behind the ball after impact. Brush through the ball and extend your arms toward the target on the follow-through – something a lot of players I find in my golf lessons must work on.
Not Designed For High Shots
The 3-wood is designed to hit a line drive type of shot. But you don’t need to feel that you have to help it get the ball in the air. The 3-woord has more than enough loft to drive the ball forward for distance. If you need to hit something with more loft, use the 5-wood. It provides less distance but more height than the 3-wood. In the right circumstances, the 5-wood can be just as effective as the 3-wood.
The 3-wood is a great club in the right hands. It’s not as versatile as a hybrid, but it’s more versatile than the driver. Don’t be afraid to hit it. Used wisely, it can set you up for short shots into the green on par 5s or serve as the club of choice off the tee. If you’re serious about improving your game, master the 3-wood. It will shave strokes from your scores and your golf handicap.
Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book “How To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros.” He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately. He has a free weekly newsletter with the latest golf tips, golf lessons and golf instruction.