Storm The Fairway

Make solid contact with your fairway woods

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Do you hit a fairway wood like a driver? Read on to find out.

The latest crop of new fairway woods
that are primed for more powerful shots are all the rage this year. Call them "mini-drivers" if you will, since they're made to hit higher,longer shots from both off the tee and from the fairway. Knowing how to harness the power of a fairway wood is key, since no matter how great a club is, if you don't use it properly, you won't see the kinds of results you want. The following pages outline some simple tips to help you make the most of your powerful new fairway wood.


Getting into the right setup, not only with a fairway wood, but with any club for the matter, is the easiest thing to do right. You don't have to make a swing, so getting the basics right should be priority one. With a fairway wood, the goal is to make a more level swing into the ball. (With a driver, you're more inclined to hit up on it.) If you're going to err on one side or the other, hitting down on the ball is a lot better than trying to hit up on it, which will likely cause a lot of fat and thin shots.



So, position the ball with your fairway wood off the inside of your logo on your shirt—in other words, about an inch closer to your center than where you normally play your driver. Second, position the hands so the shaft is pointing vertically, as opposed to with a driver where some negative shaft lean can help you hit the ball on the incline of your downswing.

Position your weight evenly over both feet and get ready to make a smooth swing. A lot of amateurs feel as though they need to muscle their fairway woods, since they're smaller and shorter than their drivers.

That's wrong. If anything, think of your fairway woods as you do a short iron. Swing them in a smooth, rhythmic fashion and let the club do the work. There's no need to force anything!


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