How to Stop Topping and Slicing Your Fairway Woods

Jan 01, 2020 A golfer playing on a course.

Every golfer knows the frustration of topping a fairway wood shot and seeing the ball roll down the fairway for a short distance before coming to rest. When you pulled that fairway wood from your bag, you hoped to send it high in the air out toward your target—so hitting a topped shot is disappointing, to say the least.

If you are ready to stop topping fairway woods or slicing fairway woods, you may want to look into the help a golf swing analyzer can provide. With plenty of information on your side to address the issue, you may be able to finally solve this problem and get better performance from your three and five woods.

They Don’t Need Help

One common reason that amateur golfers may get into the habit of topping fairway woods is that they are trying to help the ball up off the ground. When you look down at address, you see that your three wood, for example, doesn’t have a lot of loft. So, as you swing through impact, you try to “lift” the ball off the ground—and you top it as a result.

Getting over this issue is as simple as convincing yourself that the loft on the club is enough to get the job done. Most three woods have roughly 15-degrees of loft, give or take. As long as you strike the ball cleanly at impact, that loft is plenty to get the shot airborne and send it toward the target. Trust the club to do its job, and you should be happy with the results more often than not.

The Same Old Slice Story

black and gray golf club

The cause of a slice with a fairway wood is no different than it is with any other club in the bag. If the ball is curving badly to the right (for a right-handed golfer) as it flies, you are making contact with the club face open relative to the swing path. That means, most likely, you are cutting across the ball at impact while the face hangs open. There are multiple issues to address here, which is why so many people never do manage to solve their slice.

While correcting your slice may require some one-on-one work with a golf teacher, a good starting point is to work on your takeaway. Many golfers who struggle with a slice start their swing by using their hands and wrists to put the club in motion. This is a problem because it forces the club to the inside early in the backswing—and sets the stage for the classic “over-the-top” move later on.

Make a wider backswing by keeping your hands and wrists quiet in the early stages. This will help you swing down on a better path, and it should take some of the slice tendency out of your game.

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