Improving Your Golf Fairway Shot

By: Joseph Tierney

You've just hit a great drive into the middle of the fairway and you've got a birdie chance. Then you end up hitting a poor shot from the fairway and drop a stroke, or even worse. Has that happened to you?

Here are some things to consider that should lead to you playing a more consistent golf fairway shot:

Preparation:

When you've just hit a good tee shot you're usually delighted. In fact, you're usually so delighted that you can't wait to get onto the fairway and make the next shot. This can lead to a lack of concentration, remain focused. Assess the lie. Is it on a downslope, is it a tight lie, or a fluffy lie? An uphill lie for instance will naturally give your shot height, as you will catch the ball more on an upswing than you would normally. You have to assess all these things before selecting the right club and taking up the correct stance to play your golf fairway shot. Try and visualise your next shot. It's okay knowing how you're going to play it, but it's just as important to know where you're going to put it. Remember your alignment. Look down the fairway and find a target where you want your shot to finish. Now look back on the same line towards your ball and choose another target -maybe a patch of grass, two or three feet in front of your ball. Use this as your target for alignment, as it's easier to align correctly to a target only a few feet away than one that is hundreds of yards down the fairway.

Club Selection:

It's important to know what club to use in certain circumstances. The fairway woods can be an effective weapon in making a good golf fairway shot. They're great for giving you the chance to get down in two on long par fours for instance. A lot of amateur golfers don't like to use these clubs as they find they have a tendency to top the ball, or they try and get too underneath it, to get height. To counteract this, try moving the ball back a couple of inches inside your left heel and hitting down on it slightly

Long Irons:

These are the clubs that most amateurs find the hardest to use with any consistency. Your long iron shot should be like your swing for your woods. The shot should be played with a slow take back and a sweeping easy swing. You could also try placing the ball slightly forward in your stance, with your head a little in front of the club head at the address.

Middle Irons:

To gain more accuracy, try using a more upright stance and a steeper swing with these clubs. You could also try tightening your grip. Don't swing your arms around your body when you play the shot. Instead swing your arms skyward on the backswing.

Short Irons:

Don't be tempted into trying to swing too hard when using a short iron. It's far better to take an extra club and keep the swing smooth and controlled. A properly hit short iron should take a fairly large divot after contact, and apply backspin to the ball. The bottom of the club head should be grounded centrally behind the ball. You should also stand a little closer to the ball and adopt a more open stance.

If you remember to use this advice then your bad golf fairway shots should become a thing of the past.

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