Woods off the fairway and amateurs often don't tend to mix too well. So what can we learn from the Ryder Cup star?

Tommy Fleetwood got back to winning ways at this week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge. And one of the keys to his victory was an exceptionally executed 3-wood from 265 yards on the par-5 14th to set up his third eagle of the final round.

The Englishman is one of the best in the business at hitting the dreaded fairway wood shot. Here’s another example from Turkey last year.

This time, he’s got 227 yards to the hole and it looks like he’s hit a 5-wood. The height created would certainly suggest that.

How to hit a fairway wood: What to practise

There is so much to be said for carrying more loft in your fairway woods. Instruction wise we still need a slight descending blow and to have the ball a bit more forward in the stance to get the right strike and compression but the beauty is how smooth Fleetwood swings at the ball.

Amateurs think fairway woods are generally hard to hit but often they could just do with adding a degree or two.

The modern trend is for everything to launch lower with less spin but that’s no good when approaching greens that are firm. Experiment this winter with different lofts and find what works for you.

The great Tiger Woods often puts a 5-wood in his bag saying it’s so much easier to hit high and land soft than the 2-iron. In South Africa, 28-year-old Fleetwood once again proved this correct.

Dan Whittaker is an elite golf swing and performance coach based at High Legh. For more information, visitΒ his website.

Dan Whittaker

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