learn how and when to use these versatile clubs
Some players think of fairway woods and hybrids as fall-back options for when you want to play safely off the tee or hit the ball somewhere near the green on a par 5. Not me. I see them as offensive weapons. On the last hole of the LPGA Championship in 2009, I was contending for my first major and facing a back-left pin from 195 yards. I hit my 21-degree hybrid to three feet and made birdie to win. ▶ As for my 15-degree fairway wood (the equivalent of a 3-wood), the best I ever hit it was on the par-5 18th hole in the final round of the ANA Inspiration last April. Looking down a 200-yard shot to an island green, I knocked it on and made a two-putt birdie that almost put me in a playoff. ▶ Choosing one of these clubs over the other is not just about distance. My maximum carry with the hybrid is 195 yards, and my 3-wood carry distance starts at 210, but the circumstances are important. Let’s take a closer look.