Alternate Driving

When your driving goes south -- or when situations call for something other than the big dog -- ?don't forget your options

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Alternate Driving The well-worn cliché “drive for show, putt for dough” is familiar to most golfers, but heeded by few. Hitting big drives is, in fact, often the most desirable accomplishment in the game for many recreational players, most of whom are less concerned with score than the bragging rights that accompany a long drive. Players who are interested in shooting good scores, however, know that accurate driving, or strategically positioning the ball off the tee, is a critical part of playing solid golf, and sometimes mandates the use of different clubs.

Use the greater loft of a 3-wood to lessen damaging sidespin without losing significant distance.

The 3-wood is not only more forgiving than the driver, but it’s also much easier to intentionally curve, which can come in handy on doglegs and is genuinely useful when you absolutely need to hit the fairway. To learn to curve the ball on command with your 3-wood, you have to understand the key elements of both draw-inducing and fade-inducing swings. From there, it’s only a matter of visualization and practice to establish confidence.

Draw 3-Wood Draw. The key to producing a draw with a 3-wood is learning to approach the ball from inside the target line. If you look at the photos at left, you should see how the club moves away from the ball to the inside of the target line on an arching motion. Furthermore, notice how it points slightly to the right at the top. These two moves help ingrain the “round” feeling needed to produce a draw and also to position the club so it can approach the ball from the inside (see the last two photos at left). Notice how round this swing looks—this is what you need to visualize while practicing the shot. A 3-wood draw moves to the inside on the takeaway and comes from the inside on the downswing. In the finish, the club should point to the left, and have a more “around” look.

fade 3-Wood Fade. A fade is produced when the club approaches the ball from outside the target line. Notice in the sequence at right how the club moves away from the ball on a more outside path, then points to the left in a laid-off position at the top. This is the opposite of what’s needed for a draw, yet necessary if you want to get the club into position to approach the ball from outside the target line. On the way down, the club again moves to the outside and comes slightly across the ball, finishing in a more vertical position. For both fade and draw, allow swing path to produce the curve without undue manipulations.

Fairway Finders
On top of the fairway wood heap is the Cleveland Launcher Comp, featuring an ultra-lightweight, tri-ply carbon-fiber crown and a lower and deeper CG placement for enhanced forgiveness and accuracy. TaylorMade’s r5 dual sports two pretuned TLC tungsten weight cartridges in the heel area of the clubhead for increased playability and a resistance to slicing. Izzo’s Zwood has a 275cc clubhead and tungsten sole weighting for the ultimate in user friendliness. Callaway’s Big Bertha is a classic design with stainless-steel construction and an updated version of the WarBird sole.


Add Comment