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Fairway Woods

Fairway woods are the longest clubs in a players bag next to the driver (or 1 wood). They are commonly referred to as fairway metals today as they are no longer made of persimmon like they were in the old days. Common fairway woods are 3 woods, 4 woods, 5 woods and 7 woods, although there can be woods of almost any number. Woods are longer and less lofted than irons making them more difficult to hit for most players. They are characterized with heads that are more round and fat compared to the lean head of an iron.

Fairway Woods Tips

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  • Hit Down With Fairway Woods

    One of the biggest mistakes you can make with a fairway wood off of the ground is to try to help them up into the air. This has the opposite effect and causes you to knock them down. What typically happens is when you try to swing up you also lean back or fall back onto your back foot. This causes you to catch the ball on too much of an upswing and catch it thin. Remember that fairway woods still have a reasonable amount of loft and to make that loft effective you need to hit down on them. Try taking a small divot to make sure that you are hitting with a descending blow. The loft on the face will shoot the ball up into the air for you.

  • Master 3 Ball Positions

    Try mastering 3 ball positions to become consistent with your angle of attack. One for irons, one for fairway woods and one for driver. In the old days pros used to teach a progressive ball position where you start at the back foot with your wedge and then progressively move the ball forward as loft decreases. The issue with this is that you have to master about 14 different ball positions. With your irons, you need to trap them at the bottom point of your arc, so it makes sense to play them all in the same place in your stance. That way you are using the loft that is built into your club for a reason.

  • Play Fairway Woods Forward of Center

    When hitting fairway woods off of the ground play them forward of the center of your stance so that you don't catch them too much on the down arc. If you did that you would strike the ball with a hooded face with little loft. The result would be a super low shot that won't give you the carry distance you need. Be sure however to transfer your weight properly through the strike and still try to hit down enough to take a small divot.

  • Choose the Right Fairway Wood

    When it comes to fairway woods only hit what you need. In other words, 3 woods are difficult to hit, especially off the ground. If you are on a par 5 and can't reach the green and are going to have to hit another shot anyway, pick a 5 or 7 wood. You are much more likely to hit them consistently and in the center of the face. Why risk topping or spraying a 3 wood into trouble. Now, if you are on a hole where if you hit the 3 wood you could reach the green and it's worth the risk then go for it.

  • Feel Long and Slow With Fairway Woods

    When swinging fairway woods feel like your swing is long and slow. One of the biggest issues golfers have with these long and low lofted clubs is that they get too quick and jumpy. This causes body parts to fire out of order and thus causes the swing to get out of sync. If you think "slow and smooth" and feel like you stay in the swing forever, you are more likely to release the club at the right time and hit the ball a lot more square in the face.

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