Fairway woods — Why you gotta be so hard?

Hitting off the tee is probably the most exciting part of the game for the novice player, like myself. I may be almost 2 years in, and finally clocking in an average (125 — high, yet, but I am happy to even finish a hole!), but I have to admit that once I am on the fairway, the concepts of being able to get the ball to move how I want without using an iron has always been daunting for me. With my irons, I can conceptualize slicing the ball up in the air and moving it forward as I like. With fairway woods, it feels like an oversized putter without the flat face. I tend to hit the ball low on the club face, as indicated by the distinct “pop” sound upon contact, and it seemed to be the only thing that I could do with that shot. For a while, I pretty much gave up on using fairway woods because I could not afford to waste strokes.

 

In the last few sessions with my instructor, I have been making a point to understand the best way to hit the woods. For women with larger chests, being able to keep the arms together throughout your swing presents a challenge, especially if you are not lined up properly at the ball. Additionally, attempting to use the power in your arms, rather that the natural motion of your body is also a major fault that will hurt your distance. When I was able to stop trying to put power into my arm movement, and just naturally let the return motion of my downswing take over, I was making much better contact with the ball and getting good distance.

 

Adjusting the club face and the distance to the ball are the areas that I continue to work on. Reviewing my swing on the live video shows that crossing over my body on the downswing causes me to bend my elbows (so as not to harm my breasts) and unfortunately affecting either the position of the club face, the height of the club with respect to the ball on contact, or both. So far my practice is showing that I am able to make the right movements throughout the entire swing (hips, arms, elbows, and wrists included) and make the right contact. Now to just make it consistent on the course….I’ll be golfing in warm and sunny southern California next week, so I’ll tell you how it goes!

 

-Nel

 

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