Is Your Best Choice A Standard 5 Iron? Or A Fairway Wood #11
Some golfers should carry a #11 fairway wood because of it’s ability to hit with height, forgiveness, and distance, compared to a standard 5 iron read why:
- The #11 wood is a great choice to replace a 5 iron or 5 hybrid. It has a larger head than a hybrid which for some golfers, it will give them more confidence at the address position. With about 30 degrees of loft, it provides more loft than a 9 wood, which typically has only about 26 degrees of loft. The additional loft makes it easier to hit the ball high even off a tight lie; it’s also very effective from difficult lies like tall grass. In fact, most golfers can hit there 11 wood from the fairway or the rough with enough height and forgiveness, which is not always the case with their 9 wood.
- The club-length of a #11 wood is about 1 inch shorter than a 9 wood, making it much easier to consistently hit the sweet spot.
- The #11 wood will have about 10 more grams of sole head-weight compared to a 9 wood. This additional sole weight will help you in two ways; getting the ball up quicker off the fairway or out of a fairway bunker. The eleven fairway wood is ideal for golfers who have a sweeping swing, and is a very good choice if you have a shanking problem with standard irons.
Fairway woods are mostly used for full-swing shots, but that isn’t the only option that you have when you carry them in your bag. There are other shots around the course that you can successfully deal with by using your fairway woods for something less than a full swing. The following shots are all options that you should consider practicing before using them on the course.
- Bump and run. When you encounter a chip shot from the side of the green where you don’t need to get much elevation under the ball, a fairway wood could be a perfect option. The advantage of using a fairway wood for this kind of bump and run shot is that you can take some of the risk out of the shot because you are far less likely to hit the ball fat and leave it short of the target. This shot does take some practice to get comfortable with and learn how to control your distance properly, but it is a great shot to have available to you. Spend a little time practicing this technique on the practice green and you will soon find plenty of chances to use it during a round.
- Punch out. If you have hit a poor tee shot on a hole and find your ball under some trees or in another bad spot, hitting a punch out may be your best option. While this kind of shot is frequently played with a long iron, it can also be handled successfully with a fairway wood. Using a fairway wood will give you a little more margin for error, because the club head of a fairway wood is larger than those of your long irons. However, this strategy is only going to be useful when you happen to have a good lie without too much grass around the ball. To practice this shot, hit a few balls on the driving range with your fairway woods with the goal of hitting the ball low and with a controlled trajectory. To make this possible you will want to choke down on the club and move the ball back in your stance.
- Big hook. Finding your ball in a position where your only real option is to hit a big hook around an obstacle to reach your target, your choices for club selection are limited. Even if you don’t need the full distance from your fairway wood to hit the shot, consider using one because they are easy to curve in the air. To hit a hook, set up with a closed stance and put the ball slightly back in your stance. Also, close the club face slightly at address. Swing from the inside out and you should be able to generate a ball flight that hooks quickly to the left.
Making the most out of your fairway woods is one of the best ways to lower your scores on a regular basis. Fairway woods are great for hitting more fairways, reaching par fives in two shots, dealing with long par threes, and more. Just like any of the other clubs in your bag, you need to put in plenty of practice time on the driving range if you are going to be able to hit a variety of shots with these clubs. Work on not only hitting a regular full shot, but also some of the other specialty shots just to give yourself a better assortment of options out on the course. Once you are comfortable with all of the fairway woods that you carry in your bag, you will be amazed at just how much they can do.