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Golf teaching and playing articles > Consider three rules before pulling 3-wood

19 Feb 2004

Playing Lessons

More Loft and a Shorter Club are Your Friend




I see many golfers automatically reach for the 3 wood when left with a long distance for their next shot.   The conditions might not be right for that club, but in their desire to obtain the most distance possible, they choose it anyhow. The results are frequently poor, leaving them in trouble


Some golfers tend to think maximum distance is the only objective, without any thought about the possible consequences.  Playing for power, they always go for it, with double bogey or worse frequently the frequent result.


The problem is the strong desire among even experienced golfers, to get to the green as soon as possible. However in golf what wins is getting the ball into the hole in the fewest possible strokes.  This is one game we play where the lowest number on the scorecard wins.


The next time you face a long shot consider using my own personal “rules” before pulling out a 3 wood.  The result might be a lower score by reducing the number of bad shots made with this club:


  1. The ground must be either level or slightly uphill, never off a sidehill or downhill lie.

  2. The ball must be sitting “up” on a good lie. Do not use this club on a tight lie, or in thick grass when the ball is “sitting down”.

  3. There is no danger near the area where you are hitting from.  Where your ball will land should also not be surrounded by dangerous situations, such as out of bounds or trees.  This is because we usually are not as accurate with this club.

  4. Will you really be able to reach the green?  If you only get a little closer but not on the green, you gain nothing, but add risk. 

  5. Think about leaving yourself with a favorite distance to the green rather than an uncomfortable shot. If a half shot of 30 - 40 yards over a sand trap might be your choke zone plan a more comfortable and confident full shot from 90 yards.




In these situations try using a 5 or 7 wood, or even a 9 wood.  You will probably execute a better shot.  The result will be more distance and less risk, leaving you with a better shot to the green.