How to hit your 3-wood from the fairway
1) Chase the ball
The 3-wood from the fairway, especially if it’s tight… I really believe this is a shot of mind over matter. You have got to believe that the 15˚ or 16˚ loft on the clubface will actually lift the ball up off the turf! Many golfers don’t and try to help the ball up into the air, which achieves exactly the opposite effect.
You’ll see a lot of club golfers stand back through impact with the weight remaining on the back foot as they try to lift the ball up and away. You must convince yourself there’s ample loft on the club and then really chase after the ball through impact and on into the follow-through. You have to keep everything wide rather than just picking at the ball.
2) Go down the grip
A good tip is to just go down the grip two or three centimetres, as this will bring the ball a fraction more towards you for added control and help bring the club back into the ball on a slightly more vertical plane.
3) Set-up keys
Good posture is essential, so stay tall at address. Set-up and ball position are vital too. As with all woods, the ball should be just inside the heel of your front foot. Many golfers have the ball too far back thinking that this shot needs a downward action to get the ball up as with an iron shot.
It doesn’t – it needs a sweeping action, which you will only achieve with the ball further forward in your stance. Place a club at right angles to the front foot when practising to confirm the ball is in the right place.
4) Sweep not steep
The fairway wood swing should be a big wide circle as you turn back and then through. Width is critical both on the way back and on the follow-through after sweeping the ball away.
There should be a slight grazing of the grass but no real divot at impact as you would get with an iron strike, so really try to convince yourself that you are chasing the ball and club down the line.