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How to Hit a Fairway Wood Perfectly Every Time

How to Hit a Fairway Wood

Have you ever wondered how to become more consistent when hitting your your fairway woods off the ground?

The three-wood off the ground is one of the more difficult shots for amateur golfers to master.

By making a few simple adjustments at setup, this club can be a whole lot easier to hit.

Claude, one of our readers, wrote in and had a similar problem:

Hi Sean, I’ve been having a lot of trouble hitting my three-wood, especially off the fairway.  Do you have any tips or suggestions that will help me become more consistent?

Exclusive Bonus: Step-by-step checklist that will show you how to hit a fairway wood perfectly every time. This is great to take to the driving range and practice (Download Here).

How to Hit a Fairway Wood – Ball Position

One key ingredient to becoming more consistent with this shot is the correct ball position.

I would like you to use two alignment rods to help ensure that you are placing the golf ball in the correct position in your stance.

The first alignment rod is going to be placed on the ground and aiming down the target line.

The second alignment rode will be placed perpendicular to the one on the ground, and opposite of the golf ball.

Now, if you have a driver, I want your left heel touching the alignment rod at address.

If you’re using a seven iron, for example, I would place the rod in the middle of your stance, with both feet equal from the alignment rod on the ground.

This helps ensure that you establish the correct ball position in practice.

Now for the three-wood, I want you to set up with your left heel an inch from the alignment rod.

Fairway Wood Ball Position

How to Hit a Fairway Wood – Weight Distribution

We want our weight to be evenly distributed in our stance, so fifty (50%) left, and fifty (50%) right.

Because the ball is up in our stance, there is going to be a slight little tilt in our spine (This is also known as side bend).

Hitting a Fairway Wood

This slight tilt will help increase our chances of having a shallower angle of attack and we will be able to strike the ball as the club is leveling out.

How to Hit a Fairway Wood – Use the Loft

One last thing I would like for you to do is to make sure you are allowing the loft of the club to get the ball into the air.

I don’t want to see you hanging back on your trail leg in an effort to help the ball up into the air.

When you hang back, this leads to a lot of inconsistency and you won’t get that quality strike that you’re trying to produce.

Check out this video on How to Hit a Fairway Wood.

Here’s The Next Step:

If you’d like something as a reminder when you go to driving range or golf course to help hit your fairway wood, then download the bonus below.

You’ll receive a free step-by-step checklist that shows you the exact step-by-step process to hitting your fairway wood better.

Click Here and enter your email to get access to the free checklist or click the download image below.


{ 12 Read the comments or… add one }
  • Ravi August 16, 2014, 7:36 pm


    Thanks for the tip.
    I have a question. When you setup this way, ball up in our stand with a slight tilt, the bottom of the swing will be two inches or so behind the ball. If we try to avoid this then we will end up in hitting the ball with a hook to the left. So, should we aim right of the target ?

    • Sean McTernan August 26, 2014, 2:11 am

      If you are hitting a hook I would recommend you aim to the right of your target. Remember to aim your clubface to where you want the ball to start, when there is a difference between where the clubface is aiming at impact, and where the path is traveling, this relationship will cause the ball to curve. The greater the difference between the two, the more the ball will curve. Also, pay attention to where you are striking the ball on the clubface. I can’t stress how important a centered strike is!!!

  • jim nussey August 23, 2014, 3:52 pm

    Simple and helpful. My fairway woods are very inconsistent; sometimes striping it, sometimes topping. Thanks

    • Sean McTernan August 26, 2014, 1:51 am

      Thanks for the follow Jim, and if you have any questions let me know.

  • Alex Kolb January 27, 2015, 1:28 pm

    Hey Sean – I just tried this but the hosel keeps getting caught in the snow! Will wait 4 months and try again. Hope you’re doing well!

    • Sean McTernan January 27, 2015, 1:32 pm

      I hear ya Alex! A lot of snow out there. I hope you are well and I’ll see you in the spring

  • John March 12, 2015, 11:15 pm

    Having a horrible time with blistering hook with both 3 & 5 woods. Could not keeping my head behind ball at impact be a cause??

    • Sean McTernan March 16, 2015, 1:14 pm

      I don’t Martin, it sounds to me like your club face is aiming left of your target at impact, and the path of the club is going excessively right. Generally when you get out in front of the ball it makes it difficult for the club face to square up at impact. Typically when ppl get out in front of it they hit big blocks to the right (for a right handed golfer).

  • Lance June 20, 2015, 3:48 pm

    Can’t wait to try this the next time I’m going for a par five in two shots. Thanks!

  • garry December 6, 2015, 4:52 pm

    hello…I have a problem with hitting both 3-5 woods off the ground ,when I hit them it looks like a rabbit running on the ground….I have tried slowing my swing down ,moving the ball in different places and now iam going to try back weighting with different weights ….. Please help

    • Sean McTernan December 29, 2015, 8:38 pm

      What’s your general shot shape? Is it a draw/strong draw/hooks? Sounds like you’re having issues with controlling the “low-point” of your swing. Place a towel flat on the ground and about 6″ – 8″ behind the ball. Take your regular set-up with the ball just inside your lead heel/foot, make a golf swing obviously with the intention of striking the golf ball, but avoiding the towel on your downswing. Let me know how this goes. If you find you hit the towel a lot initially then this drill will really help you. You’re possibly swinging too far out to right field and this is contributing to the low-point of the club happening too early as the club head is approaching the ball. Your club head may be getting to the ground too soon resulting in you striking the ball as the club is ascending during the strike. Also, check out just the drill in the video link below, and this will help improve the low point in your swing

      Let me know how it goes

  • emily March 11, 2016, 12:08 am

    I have a hard time keeps my my head still. I keep dipping down on the ball especially on the fairway. Any ideas to improve that quickly?

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