Properly Hit Your Woods From The Fairway

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The Best Way To Properly Hit Your Woods From The Fairway


To lower your score, you must have confidence in your fairway woods. Most courses have four Par 5’s, with 500-plus yards being the average
distance. Therefore, the second shot is simply to get closer to the green and in position to hit a short iron on the green. With the second shot usually being over 200 yards, the go-to club for the average golfer will be their fairway wood. Like all clubs, confidence and expertise in use only comes from practice. Here are a few tips to improve ball strikes with the fairway woods.

Use Correct Ball Position

Ball position is critical when hitting fairway woods. The ball should be approxi- mately three inches inside your left heel. Stated another way, the ball should be placed about halfway between the driver position and the middle of your stance. When considering the swing arc, the slightly forward ball position allows the club head to strike the ball at the bottom of the arc. The descending angle of the fairway wood will strike the ball then take a shallow divot indicating a proper ball strike.

Take a Shallow Divot

Taking a shallow divot is indication that the club head was traveling downward toward the ball before impact. The divot should be shallow, not as deep as striking the ball with an iron. In addition to revealing the club head was in a downward arc prior to the ball strike, the divot also reveals the body was travel- ing forward at and after the strike. Pure fairway wood shots are executed when the weight is on the front foot prior to the ball strike.

Don’t Hang Back

As with all ball strikes, weight must be on the front foot prior to impact. Shifting weight forward when hitting a fairway wood is a little more difficult. Since the fairway woods are longer clubs and the swing is flatter, the tendency is to help the ball get up by slightly lifting the club. Trying to lift the ball is a mistake and usually results in topping the ball and dribbling it down the fairway. Getting

to the front foot prior to the strike will enable you to hit down with the fairway wood allowing the loft built into the club to project the ball up and forward
as designed.

Pose for a Picture

Occasionally we need a little assistance with our swing. Sometimes the use of your imagination can correct or at least improve the swing flaw. I teach my stu- dents to imagine they are posing for an ad for a belt buckle and the photographer needs the buckle front and center. You need to finish your swing with your belt buckle facing the target and then hold that finish to pose for the picture. By hav- ing this image in your head, you will get through the ball and have the proper weight transfer needed. Many golfers who do not shift their weight properly are not even aware that is why they cannot strike the ball solidly.

PGA Professional Dean Sklar is a member of the Quarter Century Club of the PGA of America, an elite group of members who have served the PGA with honor and pride for 25 years. If you would like to talk to Dean about your golf game, contact him at or the Rose and Dean Sklar Real Estate Group at Coldwell Banker, or online at