How to hit your fairway woods and hybrids

Find that narrow piece of short grass off the tee or hit the green 200+ yards away

The famed versatility of the hybrid comes through the head’s shape and weight distribution. Rounded and weighted low, it is equally at home digging a ball out of a divot or sweeping it off a tee. Though more forgiving than ever, the fairway wood is a little more limited. Base your club selection on the ball’s lie.


Use your hybrid and think stack 

To squeeze the ball out of a cuppy lie, use your set-up and swing to create downward pressure into the ball. Unlike your average 3-wood, the hybrid has enough loft and a low centre of gravity to send the ball up even from a downward blow.

Address: Set Up To Hit Down (1)
Position the ball centrally in your stance – under your shirt buttons – and create a continuous line between the clubhead and your lead shoulder. This builds the forward shaft lean that encourages a downward attack angle.

Backswing: ‘Stack’ Your Upper Body (2)
To promote the downward strike this tough lie needs, keep your weight and pressure over the ball as you turn. To practise this ‘stacked’ feel, dangle the club over the ball and rotate until your lead arm meets the grip

 Hands Lead Head
During the downswing, make it your key swing thought to get the hands to pass the ball before the clubhead. Keep your upper body rotating, work on retaining an angle in the back of the trail wrist, and delivering the forward-leaning shaft angle you created at address.

➤ Feel The Squeeze
Alongside those set-up and backswing changes, this thought helps you deliver the squeezing downward strike that permits solid contact from a nestled lie. Expect the ball to come out low and hot, but the low- CG hybrid will always give you plenty of launch assistance.


Use your fairway or hybrid, and think ‘sweep’

It’s often said the hybrid strike should be downward, like an iron. That’s not bad advice from the fairway, but with the ball teed up a downward strike is less effective. Instead, work on the more sweeping, level attack you’d use with a fairway wood.

1: Promote A Level Blow
Play the ball an inch or two inside the lead heel – just slightly further back than your regular driver position. Position the grip level with the head to avoid shaft lean and encourage a level attack angle. If on the tee, tee the ball to put its equator opposite the meat of the head.

2: Backswing: Turn Behind The Ball
To help create a wider, more sweeping arc, feel your upper body rotate behind the ball. To work on the right move pin the club to your chest, letting the shaft hang. Now turn so your chest is over your trail knee, and the club hangs inside your instep.

fairway wood instruction

3: Hit Forward 
Feel your shirt buttons stay behind the ball as the club sweeps through. Try to feel “wide” either side of the ball; it’ll help you create a at spot at the bottom of the arc, just what you need for this level attack.

4: Brush Aside
When you use your fairway or hybrid off the tee, go to the longer grass to the side to make your practice swings. Work on brushing the grass with the sole as it swings through; if you’re taking any sort of divot, you’re too steep.

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