How to hit Fairway Woods Correctly?

by Kevin
(Illinois, America)





Hello Bo,

I have a hard time hitting all my woods, especially my 3 and 5 woods. Can you please explain all the steps necessary to make a great Fairway Wood shot?

Thanks so much and may god bless you! ^_^

-Kevin








Kevin,

How to hit your fairway woods correctly comes down to understanding that these clubs are the longest in your bag off the ground.

As a result of these clubs being longer than the other clubs in your bag, you have to accommodate by changing your swing and how you position your body.

To put this in perspective you will need to think of your clubs as a radius that swings around an arc. The shorter the club (wedge) the shorter the distance it travels around the arc. The longer the club (fairway woods) the longer the distance the club has to travel around the arc.








Long ArcShort Arc

Fairway Wood

Wedge



A good way to think of these two swings would be what David Orr refers to them as a "Corvette vs. a School Bus going around a mountain curve." The Corvette (wedge) goes around a sharp mountain curve faster than the School Bus (fairway woods).

If you notice the above pictures you can see that the angle the wedge approaches the ball at the bottom of the arc is steeper than the angle approach of the fairway wood.

This is why the swing for a wedge and fairway wood are different. The wedge has a hitting down motion while the fairway wood is more of a sweeping motion.

For fairway woods the ball position needs to be toward the front of your stance so you can accommodate the sweeping motion at impact. If ball position is too far back then you will be in danger of hitting down on the ball causing too much back spin that will produce less than optimized distance. However, it can be just as devastating by placing a ball too far forward in the stance as this can produce nasty slices.

A good rule of thumb would be to have the ball position straight out from your left heel or straight out from left shoulder. A good example would be the picture above.

Once you have this setup you can follow the sequence steps outlined in Driver Distance to use for fairway woods.

I hope this information helps and if you have any further questions regarding how to hit fairway woods correctly, please don't hesitate to comment below.

Bo

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Dec 09, 2012
Reply
by: BoKnowsGolfTips

Doc,

It is okay to continue playing with the shafts cut at 40 inches. The major reason you are probably playing so well with them is due to you being able to control your swing radius better.

What I mean by this is that for every swing, it is swung around in an arc. For every circle we know from a geometry standpoint there is a radius. The radius in your golfswing is the distance from your left shoulder to the ball. It can also be viewed as the left arm and clubshaft to the ball.

What you have done effectively by cutting down your woods to 40 inches is the improved ability to control your radius. This is turn helps with centeredness of contact which equals maximum distance. Tour players have started to figure this out as we have seen on Tour that players are using 44" Drivers.

Manufacturers make drivers that are standard at 45.5-46". It is a shame because we have found this to be too long for the average golfer. I believe it will only be a matter of time before they start cutting these down. Lucky you...

As far as cutting down a driver too much to have an effect, it can in some ways with swingweight and possibly shaft flex. I wouldn't worry about these since it appears that you're doing fine.

I hope this answer helps.
Bo

Dec 08, 2012
My swing
by: Doc

I'm old, 61, 3 herniated discs, right knee bone to bone. Needless to say I can't swing like I'm supposed to. However, my irons (6 through PW) are fine, my putting is fine although I use the hated broom or face putter since bending over hurts. I have no ego so I don't care what other's think.
My hybrids (4 and 5) hit well. My biggest problem is swinging slowly and letting the club do the work. What some call 'trusting the club'. I'm getting better at it.
My woods (driver and fairway) are or were a problem due to length and my limited swing range. So, I had them cut down to 40 inches. That's right all of my clubs from driver through my 5h are all the same.
I can now hit the driver, fairway woods, hybrids very well. Now I'm not getting the distance the younger more talented crowd gets but I'm in the fairway almost every hole, and my driver gets me 240 and my 3 wood gets me 220 (this is ball flight, bounce and roll). Yeah, not very far. But I'm never looking for my ball out of the fairway but one or two holes out of 18 it seems.
Is it okay to continue with this 40 inch and shorter set of woods? (driver and fairway woods)? Or am I creating a problem for myself.
The pro shop I went to, to have them cut down did everything he could to tell me I'd never be able to hit with them because they were not made to be swung with a short shaft. I really believe I proved him wrong but would like some feed back.
My 3 wood hits like velvet. I sometimes don't even know if I hit the ball except that it's no longer there. I don't even use a tee on the tee box when using the 3 wood these days. I just toss the ball down in the grass and give it a go.
Is this odd? Or it is one of those things I hear about 'whatever works for you, go with'?
Doc

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