A 3-wood can be a golfer's best friend from the tee, like on a narrow par 4. It can also be a weapon on the fairway, giving you more distance than a hybrid or iron and setting up a short approach to a par 5.


Here are a few do's and don'ts to follow when hitting a 3-wood off the turf.


  • Make sure the ball is sitting up on a nice lie. If it's nestled down, you're better off hitting a hybrid or iron.
  • Grip down on the club a couple of inches for better control.

  • Position the ball a few inches inside the left heel. This will create a slight downward blow at impact, getting the ball up quickly and increasing distance.
  • dos and donts-to-fairways


    • Try to lift the ball into the air as this can cause thin or fat shots. The 3-wood's loft (usually 13-15°) is sufficient to get it off the deck with a normal swing.
    • Play the ball too far back in your stance. This de-lofts club, makes it more difficult to get the ball airborne, and produces a low, hard-running shot.
    • Overswing. Precision is more important than power when hitting a fairway wood.

    For more information on Thomas Golf Men"s Fairway Woods click here or Ladies Fairway Woods click here

    Thomas Golf Fairway Strong 3 Wood

    The Basics of Fairway Wood Play

    For the most part, hitting a fairway wood is not significantly different from hitting a driver. Fairway woods are designed similarly to drivers, only with smaller club heads. Therefore the flatter swing that you use with your driver as compared to your irons will apply nicely to your fairway woods as well. However, despite these similarities, there are a couple of changes to your technique that you will want to be aware of.

    To start, your ball position needs to be adjusted back in your stance by a couple of inches. The distance that you move the ball back in your stance depends on the specific fairway wood that you are hitting. For example, you would only need to move the ball back an inch or two when hitting a golf 3 wood, but the proper ball position for a golf 11 wood should be close to the middle of your stance. For any club between a 3 wood and a golf 11 wood, you will want to find the right position that allows you to stay balanced and make solid contact at impact. Locating a comfortable ball position for you with all of your fairway woods is a job that will take a little time, but it is certainly worth the effort to get it right.

    One of the main elements of a good driver swing is an upward angle of attack at impact – or at least one that is parallel to the ground. This is because you have the advantage of teeing the ball high in the air and using the size of the club head to your advantage. When hitting a fairway wood, even off the tee, you don't want to hit up on the ball like you might with the driver. Instead, your goal should be to 'sweep' the ball off the ground or the tee with your angle of attack being as parallel to the ground as possible. Making impact while the club is moving parallel to the ground will help you to use the loft of the fairway woods to get the ball high up into the air and maximize the distance you are able to achieve.
    As far as ball flight is concerned, you should make it your aim to imitate the ball flight of your driver with your fairway woods. So, if you hit a nice little draw with your driver off the tee, try to replicate that draw with your fairway woods whenever possible. You want to be making as few adjustments as possible between your driver swing and your fairway woods, so copying the ball flight only makes sense. With that said, it is helpful to be able to hit the opposite ball flight when you need to just to get out of trouble. So if you are a player who likes to hit a draw, spend a little time working on a fade just in case.

    Remember that your fairway woods should be more focused on accuracy and control than sheer distance. When you want to hit a long drive off the tee, you are going to reach for your driver to maximize yardage. When you reach for a fairway wood, it is because you want to make sure you put the ball in the fairway. The swings you make with your fairway woods should have that goal in mind – forget about trying to hit these clubs as far as possible and focus your attention on balance, tempo, and accuracy.

    Do's and Don'ts for Hitting Three Wood from the Fairway

    Do's and Don'ts for Hitting Three Wood from the Fairway

    The three wood is a club which is often overlooked in the set of the average golfer. The driver gets a lot of attention, of course, as do the hybrid clubs which have become so popular in recent years. However, you would be wise to pay attention to everything your three wood can offer, as it is actually one of the most important and versatile clubs in the bag. You only get to carry 14 clubs in your bag for each round of golf, so you need to make each spot count by using all of your clubs in as many different ways as possible.

    In this article, we are going to highlight some of the keys for hitting your three wood successfully from the fairway. While the three wood can certainly be used from the tee on occasion, it is also frequently put to use from fairway lies as well. Hitting your three wood solidly from the fairway is a little more difficult than hitting it from the tee – since you don't have the advantage of lifting the ball off the ground – but great shots can be produced nonetheless. As is the case with most things in golf, your success with this shot will come down to technique and preparation. Learn this shot on the range and it will always be available to you on the course.

    One of the first things you should know about this topic – before we get into any specific instruction – is that you don't want to dramatically change your swing technique just to hit this shot. In fact, you don't want to dramatically change your swing technique to hit any shot. The swing you take with you onto the course should remain largely unchanged on every shot from start to finish. Yes, you will make slight adjustments along the way to produce specific ball flights, but those changes should always be minor. If you are making dramatic alterations to your technique, there is no way for you to ever become consistent.

    It is also worth noting that you will want to have a three wood in your bag which is conducive to use from the fairway. Some of the modern three woods on the market have such large club heads that it is nearly impossible to hit them from the turf with any degree of success. A large club head usually means the sweet spot will sit above the middle of the ball at address on a fairway shot – giving you almost no chance to catch the ball properly on the face. There is nothing wrong with using a modern club, but make sure the one you pick has a relatively low profile so it can be used both from the fairway and off of the tee.

    All of the instruction provided below is written from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

    Finding Your Opportunities

    Finding Your Opportunities

    A big part of hitting successful three wood shots from the fairway comes down to picking the right opportunities. Just because your ball is in the fairway does not mean that you should feel like you have the green light to hit your three wood. Some situations will be perfect for this play, while others will call for a different approach. As a golfer, one of your most important jobs is picking out the right shot for the right situation. It isn't all just about making great swings – being smart on the course will make it more likely that your good swings will lead to good outcomes.

    The points below highlight some of the keys to watch for when deciding whether or not you should use your three wood for a given shot from the fairway.

    • Check the slope of the ground. In the fairway, you should have a clean lie with no long grass around the ball, so that part isn't going to be an issue. However, simply being in the fairway does not guarantee that you will be on flat ground. If the turf is sloped significantly below your feet, it will probably be best to put the three wood away and opt for a shorter club. The three wood is the second-longest club in your bag, meaning you are going to have to make a long swing in order to hit it properly. When playing from a slope, making a long swing means that you are likely to lose your balance. In the end, it is simply hard to hit a three wood solid from a sloped lie. This is not an impossible shot, but it is one which is best left to the professionals. Rather than forcing the action, pick a safer club and do your best to keep the ball in play for your next shot.
    • Analyze your path to the target. If you are thinking about using a three wood from the fairway, you are probably playing either a long par four or a short par five. Either way, the idea is the same – to knock the ball onto the green from long range. But is that realistic given the situation you are facing? If not, it would be best to lay the ball up and hit a wedge onto the putting surface. For example, if you are playing a course with firm conditions, hitting a three wood onto the green is likely to result in a big bounce over the back. Unless you have a clear path to your target and the right conditions, you may be better served to opt for a shorter club. Only proceed with the three wood attempt when you have a very specific picture in mind for where you want the ball to finish.
    • Locate any risk factors. There is no way around the fact that you will be taking on some risk if you decide to hit a three wood shot from the fairway. As mentioned above, the three wood is the second-longest club you have, and as such, it is going to send the ball a significant distance. With any long shot, there is always the possibility of something goes wrong. You can't eliminate all risk in golf, but you can mitigate it by choosing your spots carefully. If there is water guarding the front of the green, for instance, you might want to opt against being aggressive with the three wood. The presence of the water means you will likely be punished for any kind of miss-hit shot. On the other hand, if there is nothing around the green but some light rough, you can probably be aggressive without too much worry. Make smart decisions based on the circumstances you face to give yourself the best chance at success.

    Most likely, using your three wood from the fairway is not a shot that is going to come up on a regular basis. For most players, this is a play that will be used once per round, at the most. However, it is a great shot to have available when it is needed, because it just might set you up for a birdie or eagle opportunity. Golf is all about options, and knowing how to play your three wood from the fairway will add yet another option to your arsenal.

    Making the Swing

    Making the Swing

    Now that you have some idea of how to pick your spots with regard to three wood shots from the fairway, we should talk about actually making this swing. As was mentioned earlier, you are not going to make a dramatically different swing from the one you use elsewhere on the course. You are, however, going to need to pay attention to a few key points to ensure that you are swinging the club in a manner which is likely to lead to a successful outcome.

    As you practice, consult the list of tips below to ensure you are on the right track.

    • Start and stay balanced. As you know, balance is always an important part of the golf swing. It is even more important here as you need to make sure the club is reaching the bottom of its arc at the perfect moment in time. Without good balance, you might find that the club is getting down to the turf a little early or a little late – and the quality of your contact will be harmed as a result. Make sure you are firmly balanced when you take your stance over the ball to start with, and they hold that balance as you swing back and through. You might not be able to swing your hardest when staying balanced, but that's okay. It is far more important to be on balance than it is to swing with maximum effort.
    • Play the ball forward in your stance. You do not want to be hitting down aggressively into the ball at impact. It is okay to hit down slightly in some cases, but you shouldn't be taking a big divot with this kind of shot. To make sure your club is gliding along the top of the turf at impact, play the ball up near the inside of your left foot when taking your stance. The ball position you use for a three wood from the fairway should be similar to that which you use for a driver off the tee – only an inch or two to the right as you look down from address. Despite the fact that you will be using a forward ball position, it is still important to rotate rather than sliding during your swing. Focus on great body rotation and resist the temptation to slide toward the target on the way down.
    • Keep your left foot flat on the ground. When hitting long shots, some golfers fall into the habit of lifting up onto the toes of their left foot during the downswing. This is a move which can feel like it is providing you with some extra power, however it makes it harder to achieve solid contact. You can get away with this from time to time on the tee with your driver, since you have margin for error with the ball teed up. That is not the case out in the fairway. You need to be extremely accurate with your strike in the fairway, so try your best to keep your left heel down on the ground as you swing. Keeping the heel down is going to make it easier to hit the ball solidly, and it is also going to help you build speed as you turn.
    • See the moment of impact. This is a very simple tip, but it is one which can pay off in a big way. As you swing down, focus on actually watching the club collide with the back of the ball. When you see the moment of impact, you will know for certain that you have stayed down through the shot all the way into the follow through. Many golfers pull up and out of this kind of shot, as they are trying to see where the ball is going before it has even been struck. Don't make that costly mistake. Make it a point to see the club hit the ball and many of the other pieces of your swing will just take care of themselves.

    Nothing included in the list above is particularly surprising, or even much of a departure from the elements included in every other swing you make. Watching the club hit the ball is a basic fundamental of this game, as is maintaining good balance. Work on these simple points during upcoming range sessions and you should find your confidence quickly growing with regard to hitting your three wood from the fairway.

    Problem Solving

    Problem Solving

    Even if you are using excellent technique, it is still very much possible that something will go wrong along the way. This is a hard shot to execute, even for an experienced player, so don't beat yourself up if you struggle to hit solid three wood shots from the short grass. When something does go wrong, there is no sense in getting mad – the only logical course of action is to figure out what happened, and work on correcting the mistake before the next swing.

    In the list below, we have identified some of the common problems amateur golfers face with this shot, along with some tips for how to get back on track.

    • Hitting the ball fat. This is probably the most common error when trying to pick a three wood up 'off the deck'. If the club bottoms out before it reaches the ball, your three wood will grab some turf and you will make poor contact with the shot in the end. This is usually a balance problem. If you allow your weight to drift back to the right during the backswing – which is a common amateur error – you will struggle to get back over the ball in time to make clean contact. Focus on fixing your takeaway when this problem pops up. Stay balanced and centered during the takeaway while you rotate your shoulders away from the target. With your takeaway corrected, you should be able to remain over the ball throughout the swing – and your fat three wood shots should be a problem of the past.
    • Hitting a slice. It can be hard to attack the ball from the inside on this kind of shot, since the ball is on the ground and you don't have any room to swing up into impact. For that reason, some golfers will struggle with a slice here, even if they don't fight a slice in other parts of their game. To get that left-to-right pattern taken out of your game, it is smart to move the ball up a bit in your stance. This might seem counterintuitive at first, but it is the right move. Playing the ball up closer to your left heel will give you more room to work with, and you shouldn't feel like you have to come down from the outside just to make contact. You still may hit a slight fade from this position, but that's okay. As long as the slice is taken away, you will be able to play effective shots.
    • Hitting the ball too low. You won't find your three wood shots from the fairway to be very useful if you continually hit them only a few feet off the ground. There are a couple possible solutions to bring your ball flight higher up into the sky. The first is to make sure you are staying back in the downswing. If you slide left while dragging the club through, you are going to take loft off the club and you will probably hit low bullets. Focus on rotation and make sure you don't get onto your left side too early. The other potential solution has to do with your equipment. If the shaft in your three wood is too stiff for the swing speed you produce, you won't be able to flex the club properly and your shots will be low. Take your three wood to a local club fitter for a session on a launch monitor – the computer doesn't lie, so you will quickly know whether the club you are holding is a good fit for your needs.

    It is easy to get frustrated and throw your hands up when you have a problem in this game, but that attitude really isn't going to solve anything. Instead, you should take a logical approach to correcting the issue by thinking it through and experimenting with different solutions. If you are having problems with your three wood off the fairway at the moment, we hope the list above will be of some assistance.

    Hitting Your Three Wood from the Fairway – From Close Range

    Hitting Your Three Wood from the Fairway – From Close Range

    You don't always need to be hitting your three wood from a long distance away to put it to good use. When your ball comes to rest on the short grass around the green, you may want to consider pulling your three wood from the bag for a simple bump-and-run shot. This is a shot which is easy to play, reliable under pressure, and highly effective.

    First, you need to make sure you are in the right situation for this kind of shot. You need to have a clean lie on the fairway-length grass, and you need to have a clear path to the hole. The ball is barely going to leave the ground at all, so you certainly can't have anything in your way which needs to be cleared. Also, you will want to have some room to work with between your golf ball and the target. If you need to stop the ball quickly, you will be better off using a wedge so you can apply some backspin to the shot.

    To actually play the shot, choke down on the grip of your three wood and hold it like a putter. The motion you make to hit the ball is going to be almost exactly the same as the one you use on the greens. Rock the club back and through with your shoulders while your hands and wrists stay out of the action. After just a bit of practice, you will find that this shot suddenly becomes a reliable and trusted option around the greens.

    Hitting three wood shots from the fairway might not be the easiest task in the game of golf, but it isn't the hardest, either. By using the instruction we have provided throughout this article, you should be able to produce quality three wood shots in the very near future. Be sure to practice this shot regularly on the range, and only use it on the course when you are sure the time is right. When used properly, the three wood from the fairway has the potential to help you reach new levels of scoring performance. Good luck!