How to Hit Fairway Woods Off the Tee
Tight tree-lined fairways can cause second thoughts in even the most skilled of golfers. If you have hesitation when you pull out the driver, you may want to put it back in the bag and opt for a fairway wood. After all, even the best professional golfers don't always use the big stick. The decision comes down to control, and a fairway wood, because of its loft, tends to give golfers more control and less sidespin off the tee, creating straighter drives and better position for the second shot.
Pick the right fairway wood. Most golfers carry two or three fairway woods from options ranging from a 3 wood to a 7 wood.
Fairway woods increase in loft angle as the club number increases. These increases result in a higher launch angle and a higher, shorter ball flight, which means less distance the shot will travel.
Tee the ball using the same guideline as those for a driver.
That means teeing the ball so half of it is visible over the crown, or top, of the club head. Teeing the ball too high can result in swinging under it, causing the ball to pop up. As the degree of loft increases, you can tee the ball closer to the ground, allowing the natural loft of the club to create the trajectory upon impact.
Position the ball midway in your stance when there aren't any major obstacles in your ball's flight path and you can allow for roll.
If there are hazards that require you to play a higher ball flight, you can move the ball up just inside the lead foot insole to generate extra height on the ball. This produces similar distance but a slight loss of roll.
Bring your hands slightly forward at address. This helps you achieve a lower ball flight.
Hit a shorter, more controlled swing to generate a low, penetrating shot. Don't step up to the tee with a fairway wood intent on bombing away. You are setting up for the next shot while trying to avoid trouble spots.
When you bring the club back, the shaft should be just past vertical, with your hands stopping at shoulder height. This also applies to the follow through.
Patrick Cameron is a freelance writer with 10 years of diverse experience in consumer goods branding, promotions and retail communications. He works out of his home in Denver, Colo. He received his Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from the University of Minnesota.