Stabilize your swing for better fairway wood strikes

Stabilize your swing for better fairway wood strikes

In this video, Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach John Jacobs explains how to stabilize your swing for better fairway wood strikes

Stabilize your swing for better fairway wood strikes

There are two fundamental keys that will help stabilize your swing for better fairway wood strikes  – ball position and posture. At address, set the ball just inside your left heel. This is crucial as it will allow you to create a shallow angle of attack that helps you sweep the ball off the top of the turf (many amateurs are too steep into the ball and this prevents them from finding the correct ball flight). Then, if your spine angle is set correctly at address and you maintain it through to impact, your chances of a good strike are greatly improved. So when practising your fairway woods think ball position and posture – concentrate on these elements and you’ll hit much better fairway wood shots.

Rip your fairway woods

Go Low

As we have already mentioned, the key to a good strike with your fairway wood is a sweeping action. However, making adjustments to your angle of attack can be difficult. A great way to help you shallow out your attack angle without asking you to think too technically about the swing is to think about striking below the equator of the ball. Concentrate on a spot low on the ball but try to avoid taking too much of a divot. This gives you the sort of visualisation you need for the perfect fairway wood contact.

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Ground Support

When talking about wedge play, particularly bunker shots, we often refer to the bounce of the club. I think the same basic principle applies with your fairway wood game. Through impact the ground should support the strike – by that I mean, allowing the club to effectively bounce through impact and not get stuck in the turf. Make some practice swings and feel the sole of the club ‘bouncing’ off the turf through the impact area. If the club doesn’t get stuck in the turf, you will have a bigger margin for error with the strike.

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Stabilize your swing for better fairway wood strikes

I am sure you have heard coaches say that power comes from the ground but what does this actually mean? Well, a strong, stable lower body base allows you to make a full, athletic turn and offers you the purchase to drive through the downswing. Tapping into the power that can be provided by the ground is essential. To help, take your address position but hold the shaft of the club, imagining that your are a weight lifter holding a heavy bar. You should feel that your core muscles is strong and engaged and that your legs are very stable in this position. Rotate to the top of the backswing and try to maintain the flex in your right knee. This is how you retain the stability in your lower half that lets you harness the power of the ground.

John Jacobs
Top 50 Coach

Location: Cumberwell Park

John has been Head Professional at Cumberwell Park in Wiltshire since it opened in 1994. He gets as much pleasure teaching beginners as he does county players, although being Wiltshire's Head Coach, Boys Coach and Girls Coach means he's always in demand. He also works with England Golf, and was England Coach Of The Year in 2020.

He's had the pleasure of working with many top players over the years, and has fond memories coaching the likes of Tommy Fleetwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Tom Lewis before they made the leap into professional golf. John specialises in swing analysis and short game development.