I asked about bending fairway woods over at Tom Wishon’s forum. As I’ve bent my irons and flattened out my downswing, I hit pretty much everything well except for the 3-wood. I even hit my modern driver very well. I went more from a stock fade to a stock draw with the driver, but still hitting it well. Oddly, I hit the hybrid still pretty well…although it’s a Mizuno club and Mizuno is usually a bit flatter than other OEM’s. But the 3-wood I just struggle with consistent contact. To me, I think that it’s more important to get the fairway woods flatter than the driver, simply because you are not supposed to make contact with the ground with a driver. So I asked Wishon over at his forum, stating I play with irons that are 5* flat and here’s the responses I got:
I think most will agree that the modern 3 wood is the most difficult club in the bag to hit of the deck. It certainly didn’t used to be that way in years past when the club had more loft. But for reasons like, “Our clubs are the longest in golf.” and such, the lofts are now down to 14* and in some cases below that.
So what choices do we have? Well I had a choice of scoring or not scoring, so I moved on to a 5 wood a couple of years ago. Some have chosen a 4 wood. One of the best moves in club selection I have made. Much easier to hit off the deck, more accurate off the tee and you would be surprised about the distance you won’t lose, due to more efficient contact with the clubhead. I can still hit most of the shorter par 5’s in 2 and those I don’t, I am close and in the fairway.
Give the 5 would some consideration.
Going with a shorter shaft–I’m thinking that a medium-weight steel would be nice for balance–as much as two inches shorter will make the 3 wood
play as though it has a flatter lie. Richie could try this, and very likely would hit the ball more solidly and consistently, but lie in a fairway wood (because of the way it glides across the grass and resists digging on heel or toe) is seldom the culprit in bad shots that we hit. Shorter, with a steel shaft, would almost certainly improve consistency, but a graphite shaft in a 4 or 5 wood equally certainly would provide the best combination of consistent accuracy and carry distance. Keep bumping up the loft until you are hitting good shots consistently, then tweak shaft weight and shaft length to achieve the best balance with distance. Some golfers easily hit a 7 wood farther than their average 3 wood!
If you’re coming through impact with the lie angle on a fairway wood or a hybrid that is 4-5* off, your contact will not be very consistent…regardless of loft. Your contact struggles will be accentuated from tighter lies, when the lie angle is incorrect.
You can get what you’re looking for with a head design that has a long enough hosel to be bent flat. Some can be moved at least 2*. From Wishon I would consider the 525 or the 915FH. Both of which have a long enough hosel that can be adjusted. If you start with one that is hand picked on the flatter side of the tolerance, have it adjusted 2* flat, and build it to a shorter length, you can get to the 4-5* flatter ‘effective’ lie angle that you’re talking about.
By the way, I’ve got a 16.5 525 that has a 56.25* lie angle. So flat ones do exist. Let me know if you need this one that I have.