Jim Suttie

Adjust your angle of approach to hit the fairway woods

Adjust your angle of approach to hit the fairway woods

I have always said that there are two different swings in golf. One swing is the iron swing and the other swing is the wood swing.

Golfers are usually better at one or the other. For example, the golfers who are good at hitting the woods are generally not as good at hitting their irons. The reason for this is the golfer who is better with their irons generally has a steeper angle of approach on the downswing. These golfers are often called diggers because they hit down on the ball and take a divot after they hit their ball.

On the other hand, golfers who are good with their woods tend to be sweepers, and never get a divot after the ball is struck. These golfers often have flatter swings and tend to approach the ball on a shallower angle of approach.

If you check the tour statistics, you will find that the golfers with the flattest and most-rounded swings tend to be the most accurate drivers of the ball, whereas the best iron players tend to have the most upright swings. This brings us to the matter of hitting your fairway woods better. Most amateurs have trouble with these clubs because they fail to “hit down” on these clubs.

If you are having trouble with these clubs here are some helpful tips:

■ Address the ball with 65 percent of your weight on your front leg.

■ Play the ball more in the center of the stance.

■ Swing your club on a slightly more upright plane.

■ Steepen your “angle of approach” to the ball on the downswing.

■ Try to hit down on the ball as you get your weight to the left side at impact.

The worst thing you can do if you are trying to improve your fairway wood play is to hit up on the ball like you would a driver. Hit down on the ball, and try to use your legs on the downswing. Watch your fairway woods and hybrids improve.