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cutshot878

Hitting 3 wood downwind.

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For a downwind shot is it better to hit a 3 wood? It seems like downwind a solid 3 wood goes nearly as far as my driver---unless I really nut the driver and hit it in the sweet spot perfectly.  Is it better to impart more backspin (with the woods) when hitting downwind and therefore taking advantage of the wind? It seems like a draw with a lower spin rate would not be able to take advantage of the wind.  Or is someone going to tell me that none of this backspin/draw/fade stuff matters anymore because of the new ball flight laws?  Based on the new design of golfballs? And that they're not exactly made out of balata anymore.

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Downwind shots will have less spin on the ball, because the wind resists backspin rotation. A 3 wood will have more backspin, so it will stay in the air longer. I bet what your seeing is the driver go low and come out of the air faster, while the 3 wood stays in the air longer. So, 3 wood could go longer, especially for Amateurs since they depend more on backspin to maintain the ball in the air longer to maximize distance.

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Originally Posted by saevel25

Downwind shots will have less spin on the ball, because the wind resists backspin rotation. A 3 wood will have more backspin, so it will stay in the air longer. I bet what your seeing is the driver go low and come out of the air faster, while the 3 wood stays in the air longer. So, 3 wood could go longer, especially for Amateurs since they depend more on backspin to maintain the ball in the air longer to maximize distance.

Yeah, at my local course (6,800 yards) it's usually pretty windy---usually a 15-20 mph easterly seabreeze. I need driver for hitting into the wind. But downwind it seems like three wood is the club. I suppose PGA Tour players impart less spin on their drives because they attack from the inside on a more shallow (perfectly on) plane.  In to square to in. Most amateurs are "over the top" outside- to- in arm swingers (not utilizing their lower bodies)  with a very steep angle of attack----a la high spin rates etc. The tour players and long hitting amateurs are hitting the ball mostly "out" instead of "up."

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Whichever one gets more carry is probably the best option, since it will roll a lot regardless. Many amateurs don't carry their driver farther than a well struck 3w, especially if they don't hit up on the driver. If your driver flight is more optimized, with high launch and low spin, then it depends on the strength of the wind. If there's a lot of wind and you hit a knuckle ball with the driver, it will sometimes roll until it hits trouble, where a 3w will stay on line better because of the spin. Don't get greedy. And keep the approach shot in mind, since anything over a short iron will probably have a hard time stopping with a tailwind, especially out of the rough.

If you can control the ball well enough, try to land it somewhere flat because a slight slope can take the life out of a ball, or kick it dead sideways. I like to always be a bit defensive in the wind and try to control the ball tightly, because I hit a very high ball. It may be fun to hit the longest drive of your life, but it's a lot more fun not to lose a ball.

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