Hitting a fairway wood off the ground has always been one of the harder asks in golf. The conventional wisdom—what’s been taught for decades—is that a player should “sweep” the ball off the turf rather than compressing it, like you would with an iron.
If we translate that old adage to the current era of launch monitors, “sweep” hitting level or even up on the ball while “compressing” would mean hitting down on it with a negative angle of attack.
Tiger Woods is here to tell you that you don’t have to sweep the ball off the ground to hit flush, high fairway woods that land soft and hold greens.
“I don’t really feel like I try and sweep the ball that often,” Woods says in Episode 3 of My Game: Tiger Woods—Shotmaking Secrets, presented by Geico. “There are times where, yes I do—when I’m trying to hit a high, turning draw with a 5-wood or a 3-wood.”
“But generally, I like hitting down on them. I saw, growing up, Mr. (Ben) Hogan taking divots hitting fairway woods. Worked for him, greatest ball-striker of all time, I’m gonna do it too. That’s where I learned it from.
“Whether it’s right or wrong, I don’t know. But I tend to hit more down on my woods than most players do.”