Golf can be a difficult game if you do not understand the equipment you are using. Most younger players today have no idea what a mashie is, but historians of the game are well-acquainted with the older terms that refer to the different varieties of clubs. The driver is where it all starts. When a player approaches that first tee and lays down his ball, he stares out over the rolling hills and prepares to launch the ball as far as he can. Once the ball is off the tee, that is where the fairway woods come into play.
There are three popular varieties of fairway woods that most golfers are familiar with. There is the three wood, the five wood and the seven wood. The reason a golfer will choose a wood over an iron is the trajectory the club gets. For example, a five iron may be able to send the ball as far as a seven wood, but if there are trees in the way or you need the ball to roll longer after it lands, then you will use the wood.
The three is one of those fairway woods that the weekend warrior becomes reliant on to reach par four and par five greens. Most weekend players do not drive the ball well, which is why they tend to rely on their fairway woods to score pars and bogeys. The three is the fairway club that should be able to launch the ball as far as 200+ yards with a decent level of accuracy. The large face on the three is what allows the average golfer to maintain control over his shot.
The most underrated and misunderstood of all of the fairway woods is the five. Most golfers will pull out their three iron instead of their five wood because the fives tend to have a smaller face than the iron. But a five wood is the kind of club that can give great velocity to a shot, which allows for more roll after the ball lands. When you are trying to hit into a long par five green and need extra roll, you will not get that roll from your three iron. You will get it from your five wood.
Of all the fairway woods that golfers carry, none is more of a mystery than the seven. The club face is extremely small and the club is extremely difficult to hit. But it carries the same benefit that all of the other fairway woods carry in that it can roll a ball up to a green much better than an iron can. If you have a long shot on a par four that may require your five iron, then take another look at the shot before you choose your club. If the front of the green is low and inviting, then you may be able to roll that ball onto the green using your seven wood and put yourself right in line for a birdie putt while your playing partners are struggling to make par.