3 Wood Ball Position Explained: Why This Holds The Key To Better Strikes

In this 3 Wood Ball Position Explained article and video, Top 50 Coach Katie Dawkins provides you with everything you need to know!

3 Wood Ball Position Explained
(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to 3-woods there are some utter stunners on the market, some feel so good it's like they're almost hitting the ball for you! But to get the most from your 3-wood you must get the set up right. It is so important to remember the perfect ball position should be determined by how the ball is lying. The video with the article explains everything you need to know.

Start by examining how your ball is sitting before you take your address position. If perched up, almost as if it’s on a small tee, then the ball should be positioned about a club head inside your front heel. It’s already sat up so you can afford to move it forward in your stance to sweep it off the turf for maximum flight and distance. The same ball position applies when hitting a 3 wood off a tee

A tufty lie can afford you to position the ball more towards the front foot - a club head inside is ideal

(Image credit: Future)

If the lie is tight and there’s not much fluffy stuff under it, then the ball needs to be placed slightly further back, around a club head forward of centre in your stance. This will encourage a more downward angle of attack - guaranteeing a good strike. This is a great rule of thumb to encourage you to hit the ball first and is something I recommend if you are someone who can often thump the ground before the ball or top it. If the ball goes back a touch and you’ll connect with it first - makes sense right?

The ball is slightly further back in the stance when the lie is tight

(Image credit: Future)

3 Wood Ball Position: The Main Trap To Avoid

I see so many golfers placing the ball way too far forward in their stances and wondering why it takes so much effort to get the ball airborne. They take a position that looks like the image below - almost as if they are hitting a driver. This can cause major problems, most notably tops and thins, as the club bottoms out too early. Every golfer should check to make sure the ball isn't creeping too far forward!

A big mistake made it golfers place the ball too far forward from a tight lie

(Image credit: Future)

What else can scupper your chances of 3 wood success? Tension that’s what. Squeezing the life out of the club is a killer on fairway wood shots. It is one of those tips every golfer forgets - if you squeeze the club too hard you are limiting the chances of making contact with what is under the ball resulting in topped shots. So chill. 

For success with fairway woods you must remember to complete your swing, follow through is so important. So get posing for the cameras and finish!

If the ball is lying in a really grim spot and you have a good old bunch of yards to go then take your medicine and opt for a more lofted 5 wood or even hybrid, sometimes going for glory can take it’s toll on your card.

Get that ball position right and this simple part of the technique will go along way to improve your game.

Katie is an Advanced PGA professional with over 20 years of coaching experience. She helps golfers of every age and ability to be the best versions of themselves. In January 2022 she was named as one of Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches.


Katie coaches the individual and uses her vast experience in technique, psychology and golf fitness to fix problems in a logical manner that is effective - she makes golf simple. 


She has coached tour pros on both LET tour and the Challenge Tour as well as introduced many a beginner to the game. An experienced club coach, she developed GardenGOLF and now freelances, operating via pop-up clinics and travelling to clients homes to help them use their space to improve. 


Katie has been writing instructional content for magazines for 20 years. Her creative approach to writing is fuelled by her sideline as an artist.