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Choosing the correct fairway wood

Fairway woods

Fairway woods can be a very valuable asset to have in your bag, but the choice of the correct fairway wood is critical.

Historically many golfers have played with a combination of driver, 3-wood and 5-wood in their golf bag, purely because this was the traditional thing to do.

I often hear golfers say that they love their 5-wood but struggle with their 3-wood. They then go on to say that they believe thy must persevere with the 3-wood, even though they’re not very consistent with it.

When I see a golfer pull a certain club out their golf bag and immediately see them have doubts whether they can produce a good shot, I ask myself if they should even be carrying that club around with them.

Why persevere with a club you do not like or hit inconsistently?

If it was me I would ask myself a couple of questions. Firstly, “Why am I not hitting this club well”?

It may be a case of getting a lesson to find out why you are struggling with that specific club.

Secondly, I would ask “Is there another club that would do a similar job and might be more suitable for me”?

This is virtually impossible to answer without seeing the individual swing but based on the shot pattern that the golfer is producing I would be able to recommend a suitable club.

Below are a couple of situations and solutions that I have encountered over the past few years.

I had a golfer who hits the golf ball a country mile. His driver averages well over 300 yards, with his 3-wood averaging around 290 yards. When we got talking I asked him what the next club in his bag was, to which he replied, “I have a 3-iron that I hit around 230 yards”.

He seemed very impressed he could hit his 3-wood so far, to which I then said,

“What is the point in having two clubs that produce almost identical results?”

This leaves a huge gap of around 60 yards between his next choice of club.

We proceeded to try a few different options, for example rescue woods, along with a few different fairway woods. We managed to find a club that went about 260 yards which was more accurate and more consistent than his current 3-wood.

I understand this is a slightly different scenario for most golfers, because being a big hitter normally means the gap in distance between each club becomes greater.

I will now tell you about the conundrum most average golfers find themselves in.

They are comfortable hitting their driver, as hitting it off a tee is easier then off the ground. But when they need the distance for their second shot, they struggle with their 3-wood.

They like their 5-wood and hit it more consistently than the 3-wood, but they feel they need the extra distance the 3-wood gives them.

Now, this might become as a shock to most of you, but for an amateur club golfer, the average distance between a 3-wood and 5-wood isn’t often more than 5-10 yards.

You may find when you connect perfectly with a 3-wood on that rare occasion, the ball can end up 15+ yards further than the 5-wood. But as I said, this tends to be a rare occasion.

Your confidence will be a lot higher when you are consistently hitting a 5-wood well, particularly when you compare it to only occasionally hitting a 3-wood well. So, if you can find a 5-wood that you are happy with and can hit well 7/8 times out of 10, you will be a lot better off than persisting with a 3-wood that gives you an extra 5-10 yards on 2 or 3 occasions out of 10.

There are also other options to explore, for example, we can manipulate lofts and shafts on fairway woods to alter their playing characteristics.

If this is something you think you could benefit from or would like to know more about, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Drop into our Pro shop any time, phone us on 01738 440678, or Click Here to book in a fitting appointment or a lesson.

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