By Paul Myers:

Most amateur golfers don’t get enough use out of their three wood. The three wood is a club that can be useful both off the tee and from the fairway, yet the average golfer tends to reach for their driver or hybrid clubs far too often. If you can get comfortable hitting your three wood from a variety of lies, you will have a great advantage over your competition.

The reason that a three wood can provide such a great advantage is the way it combines distance and accuracy. Many players can hit their three wood off the tee almost as far as the driver, but with much greater control. Putting the ball in play regularly is one of the biggest keys to playing good golf, and your three wood can be a valuable weapon in that pursuit.

Following are three keys that will help you get maximum performance from this valuable club.

Key #1 – Like a Driver from the Tee

When playing your three wood from the tee, you should make the same swing that you would make with your driver. The ball should be in a very similar position, although you may wish to move it back an inch or two closer to the middle of your stance. Since the ball is on a tee, you don’t need to hit down through the shot – instead, you should be sweeping the ball off the tee in order to launch it into the air.

Key #2 – Adjust Ball Position Slightly from the Fairway

The swing that you make when hitting your three wood from the fairway doesn’t need to be dramatically different from the swing on the tee, but your ball position should be adjusted slightly. Since you will need to hit down into the ball slightly in order to get the shot in the air, move the ball back a bit in your stance. The ideal ball position for this shot will vary from player to player, so experiment on the driving range until you find the perfect set up for your swing.

Key #3 – Bump and Run around the Greens

Hitting full shots is not the only thing that the three wood can bring to your game. When you find yourself with a clean lie around the green and a long distance to the hole, consider using your three wood to play a bump and run shot onto the putting surface. This shot will take some practice to learn, but it is a valuable weapon to have in your bag. If you have trouble using traditional chipping methods, turning to the three wood chip and run is a great option.

It would be a mistake to forget about your three wood. Sure it is fun to hit your driver as far as possible, and there will still be plenty of opportunities to do that, but a well-placed three wood can be just as effective. Practice hitting three wood shots from the fairway as well as off the tee and your game will be better for the effort.