This is a big one for me because the inability to hit a fairway wood with confidence probably kept me from making it trough Q-school several times. On those days when my driver was off, I had to resort to 2-iron to hit the ball in the fairway that turned me from the longest hitter in the field, to the shortest hitter in the field. I am not Tiger Woods and was not able to overcome this.
This fact also didn’t help me when playing on the Gateway Tour where a lot of the fairways ended at 300 yards and I got stuck shooting a lot of 70-72’s when everyone else was 30-40 yards ahead of me and shooting 65.
I now know why I was so bad with my 3-wood…and why in recent years, I was unable to take advantage of hybrids.
I was taught the delayed release and it helped me achieve huge distances, but hitting fairway woods and hybrids with a release delayed too long is a nightmare. You can get away with it with driver on most days because it is teed up so high. You can get away with it on all irons because you hit down on those more. You can away with it on chipping because you don’t hit the ball that hard.
IMO, delaying the release too long is a killer on W & H because impact is at such a level plane to the ground and the best way to create a solid hit without much spin (both side spin and back spin) is with an on time release.
I have seen and heard it happen to many others. When people have trouble with W & H, they move the ball farther back in their stance, till it even gets to a wedge position in the middle of the stance.
I’ll give you one guess what I did. You guessed it, I did this too. When you play the W & H too far back in your stance, it is really difficult to turn your shoulders level and not block the ball off the face of the earth, so you correct this by not turning your shoulders level…then you end up with balls that have too much spin…both back spin and side spin. That’s a disaster. Not only is the ball going to go crooked somewhere, it goes short into the wind when you do hit it straight.
You can see what a snowball affect this is. So, in my opinion, to hit W & H well I see two things you need to start with if you are having problems here and nowhere else in the bag.
Proper ball position, which is at the left instep (for right handed golfers), or slightly inside that with a stance that is around shoulder width apart. To be more general, slightly farther back than your driver ball position, but well forward of your wedges.
An on time (proper) release. In case you haven’t read the posts I did on release, they are linked below.