Golf Strategy: Your Fairway Wood is the Immediate Path to the Short Grass

By | August 7, 2021

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

Yet, as if by some sort of brainwashing ordeal suffered early in life, you pull out the big stick on every tee, hoping that “the next one” will be crushed down the middle.

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 by your playing partners, and ask them to check the scorecard.  You might also ask if this is a game of golf, or some sort of long drive competition.

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?

Your Fairway Wood is Sublimely Easy 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.

You can work on all these things the next time you are at the driving range.  But, when you are playing a round of golf, you need to play with the game you have, not the game you wish you had.

Feel the Joy of Attacking the Pin from the Fairway

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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