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3 Wood off the Deck

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Roller_Coaster
pedro
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navyblueshorts
Davie
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Post by McLaren Tue 09 Jun 2015, 11:54 am

I played for the first time in about a month or so yesterday and by the end of the round felt like I had regained most of my ball striking. That maybe says a bit too much about my ball striking. But as part of returning to my usual ability to hit the ball I regained the ability to duff almost every 3 wood played from the fairway. I am looking here for people to detail what set up changes they make for hitting 3 woods from the fairway and any other techniques employed to hit the shot successfully.

My usual tactic is what I thought to be fairly standard theory, ball forward in your stance (comparable to long iron), slightly wider stance, normal weight distribution and grip down a cm or so. Then use a pretty normal swing, maybe a bit slower than normal.

But this never works, I can be ripping every other shot but come the time to hit a fairway wood I chunk it, duck hook it, slice it 40 yards right etc. You may suggest I don't hit the shot but I feel it can't be that hard to master and could come in handy on shorter par 5's where reaching in two would not pose too much risk.
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Post by super_realist Tue 09 Jun 2015, 12:47 pm

Mac, I don't know if it true for anyone else, but I struggled for years with 3 woods, to the point I took it out the bag for a couple of years and used a 16 deg rescue instead, then by chance I tested another couple, one I couldn't hit for toffee, everything went right, next one I hit like a dream off the deck and off a tee. Now my number 1 club. Hit it more than driver off the tee as it's nearly always in the fairway and only about 20 yards shorter than driver.

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Post by JAS Tue 09 Jun 2015, 1:02 pm

There are some days I avoid that shot as for me the success percentage is quite low. When it's on though it's really on. I reckon most of it is down to tempo. You lose a nice tempo and you get all the symptoms you describe, then it gets in your head.

I'd rather go rescue, 9 iron from fairway than go 3wood, hack from bundai or 3wood, 5 iron (after a duff).
Incidentally I would rarely go for a par 5 in 2 with a 3 wood, there would (in most cases) be too much trouble around/just short of the green and ideally you'd want to be coming in with a more controlled club. To me the key shot for the 3wood o.t.d. Is on very long par 5s where you need the length to get to the ideal lay up distance or on shorter par 5s where I've re-risked the tee shot by going with an iron to avoid trouble at driver/3 wood length.

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Post by McLaren Tue 09 Jun 2015, 1:08 pm

super_realist wrote:Mac, I don't know if it true for anyone else, but I struggled for years with 3 woods, to the point I took it out the bag for a couple of years and used a 16 deg rescue instead, then by chance I tested another couple, one I couldn't hit for toffee, everything went right, next one I hit like a dream off the deck and off a tee. Now my number 1 club. Hit it more than driver off the tee as it's nearly always in the fairway and only about 20 yards shorter than driver.

What are the key points about your set up that you concentrate on when hitting a 3 wood from the fairway? (ball position, posture, stance etc)
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Post by super_realist Tue 09 Jun 2015, 1:12 pm

I'm a bit unconventional Mac. I line up woods off the toe, I line up Irons almost on the heel, regardless of tee of OTD.
What I'm trying to do off the deck with a 3 wood is hit more down on the ball than I am off a tee, so I might have it further back in my stance than I would off the tee.
My posture remains the same, but I find that swinging easier with longer clubs off the deck (same for irons) sometimes with a slightly shorter backswing allows for a better strike.
Guaranteed no two players are the same though. I've also got a regular shaft in my 3 wood for what it's worth.

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Post by incontinentia Tue 09 Jun 2015, 1:16 pm

Perhaps it's more psychological than physical mac?
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Post by I'm never wrong Tue 09 Jun 2015, 1:41 pm

Not that I am in the same league as you lot, but this is what I try to do.
super_realist wrote:What I'm trying to do off the deck with a 3 wood is hit more down on the ball than I am off a tee.

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Post by JAS Tue 09 Jun 2015, 1:53 pm

The other thing is Mac, if you're ripping every other club in the bag, it may indeed be psychological.

Generally speaking the longer the club, the longer the shaft, the harder to control. Our brains confirm that to us then cause us to make crazy compensations. We think we have to hit it "harder" so the body gets wound up just that little bit extra which can cause a loss of rhythm & tempo. You cross the line at the top (overswing) and probably tilt, get stuck, and have an impossible job getting back to the ball with a squared club face. So...for me, when warming up with 3 wood I focus on width, turn, set (at 80-90 %) Also as well during warm up I check for weight shift...hold at top of backswing...can I lift left foot??? Another thing to watch out for as well with longer clubs is left elbow bending excessively, that will ruin a good swing.

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Post by SmithersJones Tue 09 Jun 2015, 3:39 pm

Shaft? I know my driver shaft behaves very differently to my other clubs, could it be that your 3 wood has a shaft in that's not responding to your swing in the same way as your other clubs?
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Post by JAS Tue 09 Jun 2015, 3:43 pm

SmithersJones wrote:Shaft? I know my driver shaft behaves very differently to my other clubs, could it be that your 3 wood has a shaft in that's not responding to your swing in the same way as your other clubs?

Aye exactly Smithers, the joys of hickory eh Mac :-p

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Post by McLaren Tue 09 Jun 2015, 3:53 pm

Jas it could well be psychological but there isn't much I can do about that. I think it is more likely to be technical as almost every shot is chunked or thin. Pointing to a set up issue.

Hence why I am looking for set up advice. So far the technical details are missing in a lot of peoples posts.
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Post by super_realist Tue 09 Jun 2015, 3:56 pm

Why not simply experiment Mac, if you aren't hitting it good, try a few things. What works for me, mightn't work for anyone else.


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Post by LadyPutt Tue 09 Jun 2015, 4:00 pm

Ever thought of having some lessons Mac?
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Post by McLaren Tue 09 Jun 2015, 4:08 pm

Super

The point is, I have tried a few things, but maybe my understanding of the basics of setting up for fairway woods is lacking. And for this reason I would like to hear what other people understand to be the correct set up for this shot. I appreciate there are changes each individual has to tweak, but these are small changes from the theoretical best set up. I want to know what the correct set up is, then make small changes from that position. That makes more sense than just trying whatever you can think of.



LP

I have had very few lessons since I started the game and am largely self taught. I am sure lessons could solve the problem but I have pretty limited time to golf as it is and would not want to have lessons in place of being out on the course. I also think it is a bit odd being an adult and getting golf lessons, I have had one lesson as an adult and it felt seriously awkward.
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Post by golfermartin Tue 09 Jun 2015, 4:17 pm

Here's what I do: ball just behind front heel. Relaxed grip, centred body (no sway). Then turn back and through making sure I look at the ball while I try to hit it. Same with all the other clubs but with irons the ball is centred in the stance.

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Post by Nay Tue 09 Jun 2015, 4:23 pm

I would rather hit my 3 wood of the deck than almost any other club. Generally hit it pretty well, strangely rarely take it of the tee though.

As for set up i dont really tweak much from set up i use of Tee. Grip down a little other than not really any change.

On lessons as an adult i am unsure why you would feel awkward. Would you feel awkward getting lessons to play the piano because you were an adult.

I only took golf up in late twenties, had first lesson at 30 and happily go back whenever something isnt quite working. Took me four pros to find one i liked and that seemed to work but it also means that i have improved greatly in 3 years

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Post by BlueCoverman Tue 09 Jun 2015, 4:28 pm

Call it coaching then Mac, even the top professionals have that!

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Post by Shotrock Tue 09 Jun 2015, 4:31 pm

Some more free and less than technical advice here ...

Play it forward and sweep, but still try to hit the back of the ball into the front of the ball

Slow down your swing to an uncomfortable tempo

Concentrate on 60% grip pressure

Finish the swing

Good luck!

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Post by McLaren Tue 09 Jun 2015, 4:37 pm

I think it is club pro's that are weird. It must be something to do with spending way too much time in the golf club bubble. If you don't notice they are wierd then maybe you are suffering from the same thing. Something for you guys and girls to consider. Wink


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I think tempo may be key, I have always found it hard to tone down how hard I swing the club.
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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 09 Jun 2015, 4:46 pm

Mac,
If you're too proud to ask for professional help (and can kinda see what you mean) go to a mate who's proficient with fairway woods and see if he/she can see something in your posture/alignment/grip/swing that you can't recognize yourself.
Seems like there's some pretty good advice so far, surely something resonates?

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Post by Davie Tue 09 Jun 2015, 8:22 pm

McLaren wrote:I think it is club pro's that are weird.  

No really - it's you laughing

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Post by navyblueshorts Tue 09 Jun 2015, 10:12 pm

Not an easy club to hit off the deck these days with modern balls. I don't play it up (i.e. towards front toe); if anything I play it a bit back similar to my hybrids. I want to be hitting down on it a touch, rather than sweeping.
Don't try to tw@t it, simply because it's a 3-wood and keep your head very still. Watch the ball off the turf. Practice.
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Post by puligny Wed 10 Jun 2015, 7:49 am

Harder I try to hit it worse the result. For me inch or so ahead of centre. Def a sweep though I understand why people say they hit down a bit ( Sergio best example). Thinking was Shotrock said complete swing and that prob most important point for me. Anything else produces a block slicing right.

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Post by pedro Wed 10 Jun 2015, 9:32 am

Sounds like you might be caught between patterns mac. Don't worry, it happens to even the best of us.

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Post by JAS Wed 10 Jun 2015, 9:45 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Mac,
If you're too proud to ask for professional help (and can kinda see what you mean) go to a mate who's proficient with fairway woods and see if he/she can see something in your posture/alignment/grip/swing that you can't recognize yourself.
Seems like there's some pretty good advice so far, surely something resonates?

...or better still, get a tripod for your smartphone (very reasonable these days), get yourself out on the course, video a few swings (front & side) then make them available to us amateur experts to analyse :-p

We'll get your 3 wood swing sorted ;-)

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Post by Roller_Coaster Wed 10 Jun 2015, 9:45 am

Was terrible with mine (915 fd) and had changed back to an older 3 wood (909 f), was a bit better for a while but not markedly so, so reverted back to current club.

Remembered I'd tweaked the settings, so re-set them to A1 ("normal" or factory default whatever you call it) and have hit it much better since.

Might be psychological, might actually have been the settings, probably both. Don't really care, it works much better now.

What won't have made any difference, but I did also do it...

I told it I'd buy a Callaway I quite liked the look of if it didn't buck it's ideas up. No club wants to go to the big bag in the garage for evermore...

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Post by McLaren Wed 10 Jun 2015, 10:39 am

Pedro

I am well and truly stuck in one pattern as yesterdays play revealed. I tried tweaking a few set up details based on some of the advice on here but almost every shot had the same result. A slight chunk with a duck hook type shape. As before, the rest of my ball striking is perfectly acceptable. Plus I remember McIlroy hit a 3 wood a bit like my shot shape not all that long ago and he is doing ok.

I have come to the conclusion I lack the talent to hit a 3 of the deck. My 19 degree hybrid will go about 230 with a bit of roll so I reckon that will have to do.


Kwini

This is not to say I am all that good or knowledgeable, but I don't tend to play with people who know as much about the game as me.


Navy

Shame on you. "keep your head still". Both patronizing and useless advice as you well know. :nope:

Jas

Could do, I have never actually seen a video of my swing.
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Post by super_realist Wed 10 Jun 2015, 10:56 am

Mac, the one crucial thing which helps me out when going through a period of poor form or wayward shots is to remember to comple the swing, by that I mean the McIlroy/Donald finish of making sure you fully follow through.
WHen I do this, I almost always hit a good shot, if I don't I tend to leak it right, almost like I'm not committing to the shot.

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Post by McLaren Wed 10 Jun 2015, 11:04 am

Super

I am not going through a period of poor form. In fact I have not played enough for such a long time that it would be impossible to be going through a period of anything. Anyway, as mentioned all my other clubs are working well. Apart from the short game but that is always an issue when you haven't been able to practice.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 10 Jun 2015, 12:08 pm

Mac,
You're starting to sound like Tiger. Just don't go to Chris Como.

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Post by McLaren Wed 10 Jun 2015, 12:14 pm

laughing

I wouldn't be happy with 85 though.
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Post by pedro Wed 10 Jun 2015, 1:52 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Mac,
You're starting to sound like Tiger. Just don't go to Chris Como.
....or spit, swear and go with other (wo)men!!

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Post by McLaren Wed 10 Jun 2015, 3:25 pm

Now I understand why super doesn't have sex. He hates tiger and doesn't want to be associated with any Tiger like behavior. picard
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Post by super_realist Wed 10 Jun 2015, 3:29 pm

McLaren wrote:Now I understand why super doesn't have sex.  He hates tiger and doesn't want to be associated with any Tiger like behavior.  picard

As if you are doing any shagging Mac.

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Post by McLaren Wed 10 Jun 2015, 3:32 pm

For a man of reason that is a poor response. How does my shagging status effect whether or not you have sex? It doesn't.

Have you had sex since you turned 30?
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Post by super_realist Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:03 pm

Mac, it's really quite simple. You cajole me for being a man with an irregular carnal life, presumably because from your ivory tower and smug tone are insinuating to be more successful, why would you joke about my sex life, if your are in a similar drought?

By what we can garner from you, you seem similarly unlikely, or perhaps even less so to be bedding women often.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:16 pm

I would be AMAZED if Mac had ever had sex. That is all
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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:18 pm

I think Mac has just confessed why he does't play that much anymore on Goldwolf's thread.

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Post by McLaren Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:20 pm

Super

I am probably more successful than you have suggested you are. Now that we have that out of the way would you be able to answer my question? :hug:
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Post by super_realist Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:22 pm

Mac, I don't claim to be successful, yet you claim (or have claimed) to have a girlfriend, which given what we know about you, seems unlikely.

As for your question, Yes, of course I have, the question I would put to you is, why do you care? It's often said that those more interested in other peoples sex lives do so because they don't have one of their own. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if that was your situation.

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 11 Jun 2015, 8:01 am

McLaren wrote:...Navy

Shame on you.  "keep your head still".  Both patronizing and useless advice as you well know.   nope...
If I ever wanted evidence of your lack of knowledge, this is it.

I said "keep it still", not "keep it down" - were you born with an inability to read or did you get a qualification? One of the fundamentals is keeping your head as still as possible. True, if you swing like you're chopping wood (you, by the sound of it?), it's not going to be easy but you have to try to get that head still - moving it around is going to make all of your visual input vary with every instant. Your ball striking will not be aided by moving your head up/down and side-to-side.
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Post by McLaren Thu 11 Jun 2015, 9:28 am

Navy

Are you really suggesting that you hit the ball while thinking about whether or not your head is still?
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Post by super_realist Thu 11 Jun 2015, 9:37 am

Are you saying you have zero thoughts in your head when you hit the ball Mac? No wonder you don't know where it's going.

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Post by McLaren Thu 11 Jun 2015, 9:40 am

I just don't think I could make a very good swing if worrying about whether or not my head was still. I tend to focus on the position half way back and starting the downswing in a calm manner. I have a tendency to hit from the top a little bit.
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Post by MustPuttBetter Thu 11 Jun 2015, 11:06 am

Mac if you could hit your driver 280 yards like the rest of us you wouldn't even need to hit a 3 wood off the deck. I feel this is where you should be focussing. Hacker
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Post by super_realist Thu 11 Jun 2015, 11:08 am

McLaren wrote:I just don't think I could make a very good swing if worrying about whether or not my head was still.  I tend to focus on the position half way back and starting the downswing in a calm manner.  I have a tendency to hit from the top a little bit.

I think about all sorts of things Mac, target, tempo, clubhead path, posture, finish position etc.

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Post by Roller_Coaster Thu 11 Jun 2015, 11:11 am

I try to have no thoughts during the swing itself (yes - it's very easy when it's devoid of anything useful in the first place).

Maybe end up with one after a few holes if there's an area I know where I'm out on that day (such as tempo or length of backswing or complete the swing, picking my usual shortcomings). Any more and I can tie myself in knots of analysis paralysis.

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Post by puligny Thu 11 Jun 2015, 11:27 am

I definitely move my head while swinging the club, particularly longer clubs. I found trying to stay totally still is often just a myth anyway, there is usually some level of movement, and the more rigid I tried to stay the less comfortable I felt. I consciously have a slight movement with the direction of the club, back and forward, but keep my eyes on the ball. Works for me.

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Post by McLaren Thu 11 Jun 2015, 11:29 am

MustPuttBetter wrote:Mac if you could hit your driver 280 yards like the rest of us you wouldn't even need to hit a 3 wood off the deck. I feel this is where you should be focussing. Hacker

You might have a point. During my last round I nailed a drive slightly better than normal and managed to hit my 19 degree hybrid second shot to pin high, but a little left of the green, on a par 5 of around 520. Still ended up with a par after a poor chip.
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Post by MustPuttBetter Thu 11 Jun 2015, 11:33 am

Driving and chipping then. Bin the 3 wood. You're welcome
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