How to Smoke Your 3-Wood

How to Smoke Your 3-Wood

Locked in a final-round duel with Phil Mickelson at Doral back in March, Tiger Woods smoked a 3-wood 280 yards to the 12th green. The resulting eagle vaulted Tiger into the lead.

You may not be capable of hitting your 3-wood 280 yards, but by learning how to hit it more solidly off the deck you might reach some par 5s in two.

Setup to sweep

Tiger kicks his right knee in at address, toward the target (photo 1), which helps keep his lower body quiet during the swing.

You can copy this to create more resistance between your upper and lower body as you turn back (photo 2). When that stored momentum is unleashed, your downswing is more explosive (photo 3).

Play the ball about one inch farther back in your stance than you would with your driver. This will let you sweep the ball off the turf, rather than hit it on the upswing.

The clubhead should be level to the ground as it approaches the ball and remain flat past impact. If you try to add loft to the shot you’ll top it.

SCOTT SACKETT, a GOLF MAGAZINE Top 100 teacher, was a featured golf instructor (2001-2007) at the PGA Tour Golf Academy in St. Augustine, Fla. And is recipient of the PGA Teacher of the Year Southwest Section and Top-flite Teacher of the Year Award.

Swing 7

Tiger’s main swing thought is to keep the clubhead traveling down the target line for as long as possible. This helps keep the face square.

A good thought for you is to swing your 3-wood at the same tempo as a 7-iron, or at about 80 percent maximum effort. You’ll hit the ball more flush, which translates into the extra 20 or 30 yards you need to get where you’re going.

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