How to Hit a 3 Wood: The Best Way for Amateurs!

Do you find using your 3 wood extra harder than most clubs?

It’s the LONGEST club you will have in your bag! Its long build makes hitting a 3 wood tough for most golfers.

Please DON’T give up on it! It’s normal for the average golfer and amateur players like you to struggle with the 3 wood, particularly those from the rough and the fairway.

Ready to build your confidence in your 3 wood off the deck? Let’s start by going through this golf instruction guide!

How to Hit a 3 Wood

When Should You Be Hitting a 3 Wood?

A few reasons to hit a 3 wood are LIGHT ROUGH to bunting it back in the play and when you may find yourself in the following situations:

In the Deep Rough

If you find your ball settled all nice and cozy in the rough, the 3 wood will be your SAVIOR.

But it does have its limits too. If it is too deep and the rough is too thick, your 3 wood won’t help.

Off the Tee

If you have trouble getting the ball off the tee, the 3 wood will help you get the ball airborne EASIER during your tee shot.

It’s easier to hit off the tee using a 3 wood than a driver, thanks to its shorter club, which makes it WAY easier to control when you perform your strikes off the tee.

Most golfers get more confidence in replacing their driver with a 3 wood, especially when their driver does not seem to be in the same flow as the rest of the clubs.

What’s more, if you are one of the amateur golfers, the driver can be challenging. It’s better to use the shorter and more accurate 3 wood.

Using a 3 wood means MORE SHOTS for you while playing! Now, who wouldn’t want that?

From the Fairway Woods

Want more confidence that you can hit the fairway?

The 3 wood’s got your back!

A 3 wood is made for reaching a par 5 in getting to the green in two shots, which then saves you more shots. This long iron has the least loft among your other clubs.

Since it is low, it allows the ball to fly a considerable distance while also providing many rolls.

Hard Pan Lie

The 3 wood isn’t a BAD choice if you ever find your ball in a tight lie sitting on hard, dry, solid ground with short grass.

Surfaces that do not complement the golfer will often be difficult for them to achieve long distances with your usual iron, but the 3 wood is WONDERFUL for that.

Bump and Run

Using your 3 wood instead of your 7-iron or chipper is easier when you find yourself OFF THE GREEN.

Even if you don’t hit it perfectly, the 3 wood is equipped with a wide clubhead and sole, providing you with more room for your swing towards the hole.

How to Hit a 3 Wood off the Ground

Being able to hit your wood from the fairway woods is vital to LOWERING your score. It will give you many advantages in the game because it will bring you to the green or close to the green.

Here’s how to execute that shot!

Step 1: Look at the Golf Club Head

The clubhead on any wood, not just the 3 wood, is curved from top to bottom and heel to toe thanks to the heated air. It means that the clubhead surface IS NOT completely flat.

The bottom of the golf club’s loft is a bit less than others, while the top of it has more loft. So even if you don’t hit the sweet spot (the center of the golf club and the center of gravity), it will still react.

Now let’s say the ball hits the bottom of your golf club where it’s lower than the center of gravity. It will make the club launch the ball at a low point on solid contact.

However, if the ball hits the top of the club, it will rock back the other way and give you more loft.

Step 2: Position Your Club Head

Now since the ball is just on the grass and you can’t adjust the ball position, what you can do is adjust your SWING ARC.

Hold it slightly higher off the grass in a way that will get the ball from a too low point in the club and direct it towards the bottom of the club.

Have it lean back so that you get to launch the ball low.

You want to send that contact point to the iron center, which will increase the launch angle and give us an improved trajectory.

Important Points to Remember

So basically, the bottom part will give us lower launch angles and a higher spin, while the upper part means higher launch angles and lower spin.

As a rule, when we hit a shot from the deck, a HIGHER launch angle gives you MORE advantage.

Step 3: The Normal Swing

Now, after you set up the ball forward in your stance as well, you’re probably curious if you should execute a driver swing.

It might cause the golf clubs to be too shallow and end up hitting the ball upwards into the air. The problem with this is that we are only hitting slightly down the bottom part of the clubs.

It will then lead to a shot that might spin, which we do not want. To avoid this, make sure you have a 50/50 weight distribution on both of your back legs.

Step 4: Set Up Your Ball Position

The position here will be slightly different from off the deck than off the tee. You want to handle it as if it were a long iron.

So first, set the ball on the turf. Then bring the ball position just a little off your stance’s middle and towards the left side.

It will let you hit the golf ball at a more neutral angle and somewhat downwards on your ball when you hit.

Then have your upper body from the hips up face your target. Then imagine where and how you would like to finish your shot in your head.

Step 5: Set Up Your Stance

Align your upper body with the clubhead with your ball position set. Then transfer your weight to your LEFT SIDE.

Beware of leaning to the back (and putting your weight there) because you do NOT want to hit up the ball on the fairway. Do NOT put your weight on the trailside either.

Ensure you’ve done the proper weight transfer from your back legs FORWARD. Most amateurs do not remember this.

Step 6: Shift Your Weight to the Lead Side

When you hit a 3 wood in your downswing, you must pay attention to how you distribute your weight in your lower body.

You want to carefully transfer your weight to your lead leg by rotating your hips.

Do NOT merely sway your hips in the direction of the goal!

Step 7: Hit a Small Divot

Now, as you strike your golf ball, the key is to hit your ball first, then take the smallest divot. You can get just PAST the ball position.

The key here is to make sure your clubs touch the deck AFTER hitting the golf ball.

Why?

You see, the bottom of your 3 wood club is more on the flatter side, so it will not dig into the soil then stay there. Rather, your long iron will skim just through the surface.

So, you have to connect with the ball and hit it with a clean, descending strike, taking your shot downward; that is how you do it in simple ways.

Step 8: Do NOT Hit It Up in the Air

Most golfers make this mistake during a fairway wood shot. To avoid this, DO NOT lean back. Make sure you have done a proper weight transfer towards your left side.

While you are at it, move your upper body with the golf swing as well.

DO NOT lean back and bottom out behind your ball!

Summary

And that’s EVERYTHING! Here’s a quick rundown on accomplishing a great 3 wood execution!

Set up your ball position and get into your stance (don’t forget the proper weight distribution!), then visualize your shot hitting the target. After that, play your shot and take a small divot after hitting the ball.

Don’t forget to hit your 3 wood in the middle of the clubs (or higher!). Hopefully, your shots will now be able to send it nearer the green.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Hitting your strikes down is not only done when in the fairway woods. If you ever encounter thick rough, you do not want your shallow shots to travel more distance through the thick rough than necessary.

With a descending shot, you are already cut away from that distance.

Now that you know everything you need about hitting a 3 wood off the fairway woods let us move on to hitting it off the tee. It’s also super easy to follow, even for amateur players!

Hitting a 3 Wood off the Tee

This step is slightly easier than hitting a 3 wood off the fairway woods. It is because the ball is pegged up, so you can lean back, hitting the ball airborne and on its way up.

You don’t get this advantage when the ball is on the ground because hitting off on the ball will not work when the ball is on the fairway.

Why? Because as soon as you start hitting up, you risk hitting the ground behind the ball while you hit it.

So, what’s the best way to make clean contact with the ball? Unlike the tee, how do you strike that little more downward blow when the ball is on the fairway?

Let us walk you through the process together!

Step 1: Set Up Your Ball Position

Put your ball on the turf. Then, with your left foot a bit forward in your stance, place the ball close to your left foot.

Now pull your body away from the ball, slightly tilting backward and shifting your weight there. This position will assist you in getting a good swing.

Step 2: Reposition Your Shoulders

Now lower your back shoulder so that you swing somewhat higher on the ball than you would with your driver, but not as low as you normally would.

Ensure that your posture and positioning are correct because any error in either will GREATLY affect your swing’s power and accuracy.

Did you correctly position and perform the right posture? Do you feel confident in your swing?

Then take the SWING!

Biggest Mistakes Amateur Players Still Make

Although understandably, amateurs will make many mistakes, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND avoiding the biggest mistakes in golfing as much as possible!

It is best if the amateur has committed such a mistake and IMMEDIATELY corrects it.

DO NOT commit these mistakes regularly, or else they’ll become habits!

Not Taking a Tiny Divot

Most amateurs swing their shots down with so much strength. Try not to do that.

It will be a lot easier to make a sweeping shot while only shaving the top layer of the short grass without breaking the soil.

Not Keeping Your Tempo

You want your swings to keep a steady, consistent tempo when playing. Doing this will prevent overswinging and give you more confidence in using your 3 wood since you have a routine to stick to and go back to.

To do this, remember to be careful when you shift your weight and give your lower body time to relax and loosen it before proceeding.

Not Trusting the Club’s Loft Enough

Many players still top the ball along the ground after attempting to get the ball off the turf and into the air.

Please don’t do that, and hand it all over to the clubs!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions? Let’s answer them all here!

Why Can’t Hitting a 3 Wood Be a Lot Easier?

We know, right?

The thing is, the 3 wood is one of the long irons. It means that the shaft is long, but the clubhead is little. It also makes the sweet spot smaller, so you have fewer chances to take better shots.

It also implies that the 3 wood’s center of gravity is higher, making it harder to get it into the air. As a result, hitting it off the peg is easier than off the deck.

Unlike short irons, the 3 wood also does not drive through the turf as easily from the fairway wood.

But don’t worry, effort and practice will make things with your 3 wood easier in time!

What if I’m Used to Playing With Long Irons?

However, if you are someone used to playing with long irons, playing with a 3 wood will be a piece of cake!

After all, you are already used to playing with different irons when interacting with the turf and taking in the address position differently.

Is 3 Wood Easier to Strike the Driver?

Yes!

A 3-wood’s swing is similar to iron’s, making it easier to strike than a driver’s. Its shorter staff gives you better control and WAY more consistency.

So go ahead and use your 3 wood!

Should I Strike My 3 Wood Like a Driver?

No.

A few reasons for this is because the driver is more powerful than the 3 wood. Your 3 wood is not meant to strike along the ascending side of the swing arc, unlike drivers are made to do.

Try going to a driver’s course and see for yourself! Give yourself two shots and imagine yourself achieving a hole-in-one. You’ll notice that the driver has MORE power and strength than the 3 wood.

So no, you CAN NOT use the same swing with a 3 wood.

Is a 3 Wood More Accurate Than a Driver?

Not exactly.

In the game of Golf, there is NO SUCH THING as a more accurate club to use because there are TOO MANY factors affecting the game that accuracy is difficult to achieve.

Although for comparison reasons, both are pretty much the same, averaging about 47% percent accuracy. A driver is 46.6 percent accurate, while a 3 wood has a 47.4 percent accuracy rate.

There is not much difference in accuracy between the two.

Is the 3 Wood Easier to Swing Than the Driver?

Yes!

One of the biggest reasons it is easier to swing a 3 wood is because it is LIGHTER to carry than the driver.

The driver is often regarded as the HEAVIEST club to use when golfing. Hence, it is much easier to control a 3 wood than the former.

Swinging your 3 wood is similar to swinging your irons, so it is considerably easier than a driver swing.

How Far Does the Average Golfer Get With a 3 Wood?

When using a 3 wood, you will probably get it just as far as below 190 yards. The average considers factors like the strength of the swing, the club used, and the surface of the playing field.

Meanwhile, an average of 7 iron will get you 133 yards. It is usually due to the different builds of the irons.

Am I Allowed to Tee Off on the Fairway?

No.

The rules only allow you to strike while the ball is STILL on the turf. Therefore, it is already considered in the play when it is on the fairway, and you can no longer tee it then.

Although, you still might encounter a few exceptional situations that allow you to tee it off in more fairways. It all depends on the way the course was designed and landscaped.

What Should I Have In My Golf Bag?

You want these basic clubs in your bag to start:

  1. 3 wood for striking the green in two shots and off the tee.
  2. 5-wood or 7-wood. As a secondary fairway wood, generally used to carry out a series of hits of a particular length.
  3. 7-iron (good for long par 3s!), 8-iron, 9-iron. It is the basic set of irons.
  4. A pitching wedge
  5. After the 7-iron, many players choose irons with less loft-like hybrids. A 3/4 hybrid is a good choice.
  6. Three wedges

Ideally, a golfer must have nothing over 14 pieces of equipment in total in their bag. But in reality, it all depends on your personal preferences and playing style. So you do you!

Final Thoughts

Most amateur players start running at the mention of the 3 wood, but hopefully, by now, you already feel confident at the mere sight of your 3 wood and have better control of it.

After all, it is one of the best and most useful pieces of equipment at your disposal, so mastering how to use it will surely take your game to the NEXT LEVEL.

Don’t mind others saying that learning the 3 wood is too hard for amateurs! Remember all our simple tips when holding your 3 wood and being confident (it can sense your fear).

Lastly, just like any skill, keep in mind that it takes time and practice to be good at something. So be patient and keep playing until you’re satisfied with your level of skill.

GOOD LUCK with your next game!

Barry