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Fix Your Slice

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Back Wheels First - 3 Wood

Many amateur golfers struggle with their fairway woods and can encounter issues such as thin contact or poor trajectory. To help with this, I will often tell my students to think "back wheels" first. Or in other words, I want the back portion of the sole to brush the ground just before impact. This will create a more vertical shaft angle and contact that is higher on the face. Remember, a fairway wood has a convex or curved face just as a driver does, so in order to create distance and the proper launch conditions, we have to make contact higher on the face. Players can also work on their side-tilt/axis-tilt at impact to help with this pattern as well. 

Tags: Poor Contact, Not Straight Enough, Fairway Wood, Drill, Intermediate

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This drill video is back wheels first for the three wood.

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So the three wood can cause problems or I guess I should say any fairway wood, but the

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three wood in particular can cause problems for a lot of amateurs.

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They tend to hit it really low on the face and they tend to have a little bit exaggerated

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slice to the pattern partly because of that low face contact.

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Well when I ask my students with the three wood should the club hit the ground, most of

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the time they're not sure and I'd say more often than not the guests is no that they

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think that you're just trying to pick it.

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And so what ends up happening is they tend to hit with too much shaft lean but the club

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coming up and they'll hit it on the bottom of the club.

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Now just like the driver the three wood has a curve face.

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So let's say that this is a 15 degree loft rate in the middle.

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If you go down to the bottom it may be five degrees less than that.

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So if you're hitting it and it's launching really low in those spin and no energy transfer

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there's a very good chance that you're hitting it low on the face.

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If you're not hitting the ground then that that almost guarantees that you're hitting

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it low on the face.

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So what I challenge golfers to do or my students to do is let's try and get contact with

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the ground but I don't want my three wood to knife into the ground with the leading

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Similar to using the bounce on a pitch shot you want the shaft to be a little bit more

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So in order to determine if you have the shaft more vertical you'll be able to tell if

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the club is hitting the back wheels first and kind of sliding on the ground or if it's

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hitting more the front wheels first and digging into the ground like that.

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So what I mean is if we look at the sole of the club we're going to try to get the backside

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to hit into the ground not the front side.

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You see that in order to do that I'm going to have the shaft a little bit more vertical.

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So we'll work through progressions of nine to three and then ultimately up to full swings.

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But the whole goal here is I'm trying to hit the back edge into the ground and just

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feel the club kind of slide through impact instead of having a very abrasive leading edge

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So in demonstrating first we'll try to get a little nine to three style trying to get

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the back edge of the club to hit the ground kind of like that.

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So there you'll be able to see that there's some scuff mark there and the scuff mark

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started just before the golf ball let's say half inch before the golf ball.

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I don't want you to hit the ground a few inches behind the golf ball but we do want

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to hit the ground in order to get high enough face contact.

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You can see if we kind of zoom in on the club there you can see that the contact because

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of the club hit the ground the contact is higher up on the face that's going to give

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me a lot more lunch.

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Golfers who tend to really struggle with the three would tend to not hit the ground and

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launch it really low.

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Okay so once you've got the feeling with more than nine to three then we can take it

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on to more of a full swing still trying to get that feeling of the back edge hitting

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into the ground.

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Now just with any of our low point drills the two main factors to how the club hits

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the ground or where is my upper body in space where my sternum and how straight are my

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So in order to make sure that I hit the back at like first I'm going to make sure that

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I have enough side bend and axis tilt so my upper body is behind the golf ball and

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then I'm going to make sure that my arms are extending through the shot instead of before

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Most of the golfers who struggle with the three would tend to have a little bit more of

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this lunge and maybe more of a scoop with the arms or more of a kind of a late cask getting

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they club down like this.

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We're going to get most of that down from the side bend and then we'll feel those arms

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kind of bring the club through so that the back edge brushes the ground and stays low

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to the ground for a long period of time.

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So we'll do one more, one more three would here.

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So that one was pretty good as far as the ground contact you can see the little bit of

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a scuff mark right next to the ball.

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If you're not sure where the scuff mark is you can always use a line or some type of tea or

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put another golf ball there so you have an indicator as far as where you hit the ground.

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If you're struggling with a three would make sure you're making ground contact with

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the right part of the club.

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