(Photo by Steve Erana)
By Josh Thornton
Al Mouj Golf is famous for its lengthy par-5s which require several well-struck blows if you are to walk off the hole with a par or better. A problem that many of our members and visitors face when playing these long holes is the second shot where the ball is sitting on a flat part of the fairway. You’ve got the green light to have a go at the green but it’s a tough call deciding whether to sacrifice distance and play several iron/ hybrid shots safely down the middle or pull out a longer and riskier fairway wood. If this conundrum sounds familiar, then you’re not alone. Let’s look at what you can do to improve your ball striking with fairway woods ‘off the deck’ to bring birdies, or better, into play.
Centre of Gravity
As well as the correct ball position (aim for a ball inside your leading foot), your centre of gravity is key to crisp fairway shots. In a golf context, it’s a complicated term but can be simplified as a description of where your weight moves to during the swing. For fairway woods, your weight must move more to the front leg at the point of impact, around 80 per cent (see main right). It’s critical that your hips turn to create this weight movement, not sway from side to side.
Put this all together and you have an angle of attack that allows a positive impact with the ground, without taking a large divot, that will send the ball sailing towards a green that once used to feel out of reach. —with Kent Gray
Josh Thornton is a PGA teaching professional at Al Mouj Golf. For more information, visit almoujgolf.com