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What I Do To Hit Better

Hybrids and Fairway Woods

Ever wonder why you can hit your mid and short irons like a brain surgeon, but your fairways and hybrids like a drunk toddler with one arm behind their back?
Are your fairways and hybrids just sitting in your bag collecting dust, taking up room and getting in the way when you're looking for your trusty five iron?
Do you feel like these golf clubs have an attitude problem like a pubescent teenager? You just never know who is turning up.

If you are sick of all those duffed, chunky, topped, thin and all-around just sh%thouse shots, then I have some good news for you.
In this blog post, I'll guide you through some ideas that have transformed many of my client's results. They may be just the missing piece to finally crack the code and make your fairway wood or hybrid play as smooth and enjoyable as a relaxing dip in the pool.

If you've been struggling with inconsistent shots using your fairway clubs, like the three-wood, five-wood or hybrids, you may need to change how you hit the ground with the club. In this article, we'll discuss the importance of proper shaft lean and how it can significantly improve your contact and help you hit better shots with your fairway clubs.

One common mistake I often see is golfers approaching their fairway shots with a significant forward shaft lean. While this position may be suitable for an iron shot, it can really screw with your shots with fairway clubs. Let's dive into why.

When you have a forward shaft lean with a fairway club like a five-wood, for example, it causes a wedge type of effect where the leading edge of the club digs into the ground before making contact with the ball. See the red lines in the picture below.

Consequently, you hit the ground before the ball in a way that the club digs into the ground, resulting in chunky shots that fly like penguins (i.e. they don't fly but they will dive into the water in front of them! LOL!). This poor contact will affect your confidence and will eventually cause you to believe that hitting the ground equals terrible shots, so to fix that problem, you try to avoid hitting the ground altogether, which then leads to thin and topped shots that once again fail to get off the ice...I mean ground (Sorry still had penguins on my mind) and dive into the water in front of you again. And once you have done this enough times the headcovers never come off again and they remain where they are in the back of the bag forevermore as a reminder that you wasted money on clubs that didn't solve the problem...AGAIN!!!

Whoa! That escalated quickly. Let's take a step back from the cliff and see if we can learn something new that may help.

To try and solve this problem, we need to understand the design of fairway clubs. Unlike irons, fairway clubs have a massive soleplate or bounce, similar to the bounce on a wedge. This design feature allows the club to glide across the surface more, giving you a bigger margin for error on less-than-perfectswings.

To take advantage of this design, you should aim to have the club make contact with the ground fractionally before it reaches the ball. This means adjusting your shaft lean to be more upright during impact so that the back edge of the club will hit the ground around the same time as the leading edge.

To achieve this, try shifting your focus and feeling during your swing. Instead of coming into impact with a forward shaft lean, feel like you're skimming the top of the ground with the back edge of the sole plate, just like you would skim the water's surface in a pool. This adjustment in feeling can help you achieve a more desirable impact position and improve your contact with the ball.

As you make this adjustment, you may also notice that it feels like the club head is beating your hands to the ball. While, in reality, this may not be the case, this feeling can help you maintain a more upright shaft lean during impact and promote a cleaner strike on the ball.

When executed correctly, this technique allows the club to make contact with the ground like a skimming motion, resulting in a shallower divot. Unlike the deep divots caused by a forward shaft lean, a shallower divot signifies that you are using the big soleplate of your fairway club effectively, ensuring cleaner contact and better shots more often and especially on ground before the ball contact.

To visualise the difference, look at the divots you create when making a shot with this different technique. You'll notice that the divot is high but shallow, indicating that the club has successfully skimmed the ground. This type of divot is ideal for fairway shots, as it allows the ball to launch higher, providing more height and carry.

This technique can be handy for longer shots where you want the ball to stop fairly quickly, such as approach shots to long par fours or fives. By improving your contact and gaining more height, you'll have better control over your shots and increase your chances of stopping the ball where you want it.

It's important to note that this technique may not be suitable for all players and circumstances. So it is always a great idea to have a PGA pro check you out.

To conclude, to improve your Hybrid and Fairway shots, imagine you are in a swimming pool with some wedges while you lean on penguins and try to splash each other without deep divots...or something like that. LOL!


**If you found this guide helpful, I would greatly appreciate your feedback. Please consider leaving a comment below to share your thoughts and suggestions. Your input is valuable and helps me create more content to support your golfing journey.

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