Women’s golf tips: How to get the most out of your fairway woods
Being able to hit your fairways woods well is so important if you want to be a successful female golfer.
Often, course length requires us to hit a lot of fairway woods for tee shots on par 3s, second shots on par 4s and even multiple fairway shots on par 5s.
While bowling may be fun once in a while, I do not want my golf shots with my fairway woods to look like a bowling ball rolled down the alley! Getting properly fit is one way to maximize your performance, especially with your longer clubs. I recommend visiting a brand-agnostic facility like True Spec to find the gear that is best for your game. (True Spec and GOLF.com are affiliates of 8AM Golf.)
Once you’ve dialed in your equipment for maximum benefit, here are three ways to to become the best fairway wood player in your foursome.
1. Understand how the ball gets into the air
One of the most helpful steps to being successful with fairway woods (or any of your clubs) is understanding how the golf ball gets into the air. One of the most common mistakes I see is the inclination to try to “lift” the golf ball. Many of today’s fairways are cut very short so there is a minimal amount of grass underneath the ball, making this incorrect instinct even stronger.
You need to hit the ground with the bottom of your club to get the ball into the air. To be a bit more specific, when you make proper contact, the clubface goes down the back of the ball and then into the ground, so an ideal divot happens under and after the golf ball.
One of my favorite drills to help reinforce a proper swing motion is to place a tee on the ground on the target side of the golf ball. When you make your swing and hit the ball, the club should hit the bottom of the golf ball and then stay along the ground after the golf ball. While this may feel counterintuitive, it is correct.
2. Use a good set up — think about posture and ball position
Good contact, in my opinion, is almost always a direct result of good posture, and is so important for all women.
Bowing forward from your hips so that your hands can hang directly below your shoulders will allow the clubhead to get down to the ground and also keep your weight forward enough to help the club to dig down to the dirt. Remember, it’s okay to make a mess!
Ball position is possibly your most important set-up fundamental.
Generally, I teach that if the ball is on the ground, the club should be in the center of your body. You can find your best ball position by simply taking a few practice swings and seeing where your clubhead tends to hit the ground. For most of us, the club will make a mark in the ground relatively centered in relation to our feet. If this is the case for you, your club position should be centered at address and not too far forward.
3. Build confidence with proper club selection
I truly believe all female golfers should have a 7-wood in the bag. A 7-wood has built-in loft, and this is so helpful when we look for launch and consistency. Not only is it friendly, but it offers a great deal of power without being incredibly difficult to hit.
Starting your round by using a 7-wood for your distance fairway shots is a great confidence-builder too. Once you have success, then you can and should graduate to your 5-wood or whatever is your next longer club in the bag.
Graduating to hitting greater distances with lower-lofted clubs that may require better fundamentals and speed will help you to improve as you go through your round.
Being a great fairway-wood golfer can not only make each round more fun, it also results in less stress on the rest of your game.
For more tips from Kellie, check out her video library here.