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Golf Instruction Article
On technique for improving fairway wood shots

Using the Fairway Woods
Clean sweep, rather than a hit

Golfer silhouette

Fairway woods are designed to be swept with a shallower, or more horizontal, angle of approach than the irons. So the first thing to make sure of is that you have the ball in the correct position in your stance: somewhere near the inside of the forward heel (left heel for right-handers).

Next, work with practice swings only until you can consistently sweep the grass in the location opposite the inside of your forward heel (see picture below), rather than take a divot or swing above the grass in the air. Get to the point with your practice swings where you can sweep the grass for a noticeable distance (let's say 3 to 6 inches) rather than at just one small point where the club bounces off the ground. You can usually see the grass blades move when you sweep through, or you might even leave a path through the grass that you can see after the swings. To accomplish this sweeping it helps a great deal to relax your arms and hands and feel the club swinging more feely rather than tightening up the arms and hands and trying to force the club to move fast.

Sweeping with a fairway wood

Once you can do this in practice swings the next step is to stay focused on this sweeping of the grass when you swing through the ball in your shots. Many golfers change their focus at this point to trying to hit the ball instead, and this usually causes a different swing (i.e., no sweeping) and problems (like bad contact with the ball).

Stay focused on the sight, sound and feeling of sweeping the grass through the ball and the quality and consistency of your contact with fairway woods should improve.

The End

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The article above also gets into the realm of the mental game. For my latest mental game recommendations see this page.

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