Golf Strategy: Tee Off With a Fairway Wood Instead of a Driver

Justin Rose tee shot with a fairway wood

Symptom: Your fairway wood distance is almost as good as your driver distance.  Plus your fairway wood goes a whole lot straighter.

Erratic drives are costing you strokes and causing you to venture far from the short grass.  What’s worse, in order to “keep it in play”, you find yourself being tentative with your driver, leading to drives that are both short and erratic.  And so the round gets less and less fun by the hole…

Overview: Put away your driver. Hit a fairway wood off the tee instead.  You fairway wood distance won’t hurt you too much.  Ignore any taunts hurled in your direction.

Why it works: Most people’s fairway wood distance is not too different than their driver distance.  And, they swing their fairway woods with much more confidence, and hence the shots go much straighter.  So if your driver isn’t working, why not just use your fairway wood?

The Fairway Wood is Easier to Hit

Justin Rose tee shot with a fairway wood fairway wood distance
Justin Rose tees off with a fairway wood to put the ball in play.

The driver is a very difficult club to hit, because it has the longest shaft and least loft of all the clubs in your bag. The newer drivers are much more forgiving, of course.  Still, many Occasional Golfers will tend to slice their driver, because they have insufficient lag on the downswing, possibly caused by gripping the club too tightly, a poor setup, or any number of swing faults.

We all know that it’s more fun and much easier to play from the fairway.  Personally, I would trade 30 yards of distance to be in the fairway.  Of course I’d rather be long and straight, but if a choice must be made, straight is better.

Even if your driver works pretty well for you, you might consider hitting three wood off the tee, like Justin Rose does here:

I love Justin Rose’s wide arc and aggressive move through the ball.  Maybe you should give this a try too the next time you play!

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