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Crunch your fairway woods

Learn from one of the game's biggest hitters
Author: PGA professional Gary Alliss
on 27 March 2012
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Clear the hips

Proportionally Gary’s 3-wood from the grass is even longer than his drives. Notice how cleared his hips are while his shoulders remain parallel to target line and his right foot stays mostly on the ground. This stretch between hip clearance, shoulder delay and keeping the body behind the ball is what all long hitters achieve – though it doesn’t explain why his 3-wood in particular is so long.

Watch the right elbow

Look at the right elbow – how bent it remains and how close it is to his trouser pocket even though he is milliseconds from impact. He has released the angles in his wrists but delays the straightening of his elbow until the last possible second. This amazing holding of his elbow does add length for fairway woods off the grass.

Shallow angle of attack

So why is it? Keeping his upper body, back and elbow close by his side, he not only builds power but encourages a shallow angle of approach into the back of the ball – see the clubhead position. This shallow angle helps launch the ball a fraction higher , plus less backspin is imparted, so the ball travels on a more penetrating trajectory with greater carry and more forward roll on landing.
Analysis by Gary Alliss, pro at Ladbrook Park. The ‘King of the Swing’ has twice captained the PGA Cup side. 



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