Hitting 3 wood off the deck

I used to have the same problem. I always topped the ball off the fairway when I needed it most. However, my swing thought with a 3-wood is to hit down on the ball and take some ground. When I swing through, in reality, I do not take a divot and make very clean contact. For your slicing problem, you need to focus on working your wrists around. In your mind, picture that top wrist turning over to close the face. This has helped me and I hope it works for you also!

1. Get lessons with video analysis.

2. What is your loft? Contemporary 3 woods at 15 degrees are closer to older brassies, the 2 wood. Traditional 3 woods are 16 to 17 degrees.

3. What is your length? The traditional length is 42 inches.

4. Where are you placing the ball? Traditionally you play all fairway woods a few inches away from your forward foot toward the center of your stance. Do not play it any where near where you play your driver.

5. How are you hitting hit? The usual thought, for many years now, is to sweep the ball off the turf with a level or VERY SLIGHTLY descending blow. This is because current fairway woods are metal and are easier to hit. Earlier it was taught to hit SLIGHTLY down and take a slight divot with persimmon or maple woods although pre-metal books have also recommended a level, sweeping swing. 

6. How tall is the face of the club? Shallow face clubs have a lower center of gravity and are much easier to hit. Traditional size 3 woods often are too tall in the face and need a strong swing to launch the ball and slightly downward strike helps to add back spin.

7. How big is the head? Many 3 woods are really high lofted drivers. Can you control the head?

8. Slicing. Depends on how you slice so the video is a great suggestion. 

Me. 17 degree, 42 inch, shallow face, solid persimmon 3 wood with a 75-80 mph swing get about 170 yards total from a good lie or a very low tee, barely above the ground. I place the ball about 3 inches off my left heel but it depends more on where the club naturally sets up with its own offset.

By the way, I have the same symptoms as you and they are mostly swing faults like looking up too soon and swinging across the ball. The club gets way outside the proper path and then slams across the ball as I try in vain to square it.


hitting the ball solidly comes with proper swing, good tempo, and good weight transfer.  As far as the slice I used to have the same issue- film yourself to make sure you are not overswinging and try to feel like your arms start the downswing instead of the hips

Most of us play our fairway woods about an inch or two behind the left heel. Your hands won't be nearly as ahead of the clubface as with a wedge.  Should have some spine tilt where the back shoulder is lower than the front.

Tony Jacklin used to teach "hit through the ball" in his "Playing Lessons From The Pros"  The approach should be flat.

As far as hitting a 3 wood off the deck.... generally the ball needs to be on somewhat of a plush lie. I use my 5 wood for about 99 percent of my fairway shots (incidentally I just joined the 910F club with a 19 set to a Surefit C3).


Nate S

Move the ball a bit back in your stance. Like 1 inch. The driver is the only club you should play directly inside you front foot. Like most clubs, you actually want to hit the ball on the down swing or sweep it so you catch the ball on a level plane coming in. 

1. Put it back a tad more in your stance.

2. Try to hit down on it a little bit

3. Voila, the perfect 5 yard fade 3 wood.

I just joined the 910F fairway wood club this weekend.  Picked a 19 up at a good price (minimal cash outlay by trading my Superfast 5-18 and 4-21).  Perfect ball flight with C3 setting.


Still struggling this year to hit it consistent from the fairways.  Any ideas??

I set it up off inside of my front foot (my left).  When I have good contact I ends up slicing.  I think I'm releasing too early.  I know I need to try to get to where I'm starting to swing upwards when I get to the ball.


every person, teacher, pro, golfer, hits the ball differently. never take anyone elses method as the one  for you.

as a general guide to find your own swing? sure. but find your swing, your happy spot in golf.

It seems that if you will/would swing slower and and concentrate on making correct contact with the ball  first, then the speed and subsequent distance will no doubt come. be certain your grip is correct/neutral or even a bit strong to help take the slice away.

place the ball 2 balls closer to the hole from dead center of your stance is to begin with. hit a few (10) but only hit them to test contact and whether or not the ball is actually at the apex of your swing. if not, move it a ball forward/back/half a ball forward/back and keep trying to hit it with a smooth easy swing making full contact. distance is not important at this point. just find your swing. once you  do that (hit 10 balls straight or generally straight) you can work on increasing your swing speed and getting everything out of the stroke that you can.

just remember, we are all different. if one method or one swing was all it took, we'd all learn it, become pros and then the sport would be no fun. it's a game, play it as such and enjoy your game.


make sure you are keeping your weight behind the ball... I have found that when I slice the ball my back foot is lifting up before impact causing ymself to slide ahead of the ball


Still struggling this year to hit it consistent from the fairways.  Any ideas??

I set it up off inside of my front foot (my left).  When I have good contact I ends up slicing.  I think I'm releasing too early.  I know I need to try to get to where I'm starting to swing upwards when I get to the ball.


Justin, remember the longer the shaft the flatter your swing plane will be. The 3 wood will be much flatter than say a 7 iron. The 3 wood should be played a little further back than you would with a driver but not as far back say a 3 or a 4 iron.Fairway woods are hit the best when they sweep the ball off the deck so you are going to take little or no divot at all. The slice is most likely coming from an open club face coming from outside to in on your downswing. Let's look at some basics. Make sure that when you grip your club, that the 'V's' of both hands point at your right shoulder. At address, try moving your left foot back a little (this is a closed stance). Start the back swing with your shoulders and not your hands and on the down swing try to come from the inside to out. You can lay down a head cover behind and just to the outside of the golf ball to accomplish this. If you hit the head cover first you are coming over the top or from the outside to in. If you hit the ball without hitting the head cover you are making the correct swing path and if the club face is not open because you are gripping it right the ball should go straight or have a slight draw. Hope this helps.