5 Fairway Wood Golf Drills for Beginners

Louis Pringle
Oct 23, 2023
8 minutes
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Fairway woods are some of the trickiest clubs to hit for many golfers. Hitting it off the ground is often a challenge for most beginners and hitting it off a tee isn’t always easier. Fortunately, our in-house PGA of Canada Certified Professional, Nick Drozdoski, has got you covered with the perfect fairway wood drills!

Check out the video above to take a closer look at each of Nick's drills as he breaks them down in his words. Even with the right fairway wood in hand, and with all the best fairway wood tips in the world, you might still need a hand, which is why you need to check out those drills!

Discover the top 5 fairway wood drills for beginners:

  1. Best drill for swing posture: Hip-to-Wall Drill
  2. Improve your ball striking quality: Two Tees Drill
  3. The drill for a smoother swing: Upside Down Club Tempo Drill
  4. Perfect drill to prevent the slice: Trail Hand on Top Drill
  5. Ideal drill to stop hooking the ball: Split Hands Drill (The Rory Drill)

1. Hip-to-Wall Drill

The Hip-to-Wall drill is a fundamental exercise in golf that focuses on improving hip rotation and stability, crucial elements for a powerful and controlled swing.

This drill is particularly beneficial for beginners aiming to develop a solid foundation in their golf technique.

Here's a step-by-step guide to the Hip-to-Wall drill:

  1. Set Up:
    • Stand with your back against a wall, feet shoulder-width apart.
    • Position your feet in a slightly open stance, mirroring your golf setup.
  1. Distance from the Wall:
    • Stand at a distance where your tailbone is in contact with the wall.
  1. Hip Rotation:
    • Begin the drill by turning your hips away from the wall, simulating the backswing.
    • Maintain contact with your tail-end against the wall as you rotate, emphasizing the separation of the upper and lower body.
  1. Downswing Motion:
    • Start the downswing by initiating the hip movement towards the wall, mirroring the motion of an effective downswing.
  1. Impact Position:
    • As you pivot through, strive for a position where your lead hip touches the wall, simulating the impact phase of a golf swing.
  1. Follow-Through:
    • Continue the rotation of your hips until you achieve a full follow-through position, maintaining the contact between your tail-end and the wall.
  1. Repetition:
    • Repeat the drill to promote muscle memory and enhance the fluidity of your hip movement during the entire golf swing.

Benefits of the Hip-to-Wall drill:

    • Enhances hip flexibility and mobility.
    • Builds muscle memory for proper hip rotation in the golf swing.
    • Promotes a more connected and controlled golf swing.

What you need to watch out for:

    • Start with slow and controlled movements to avoid strain.
    • Ensure proper posture throughout the drill to maximize its effectiveness.

Incorporating the Hip-to-Wall Drill into your practice routine can significantly contribute to the development of a consistent and powerful golf swing, especially for those new to the sport.

2. Two Tees Drill

The Two Tees drill is a fundamental practice in golf that focuses on enhancing your consistency and accuracy in striking the ball off the ground.

This drill is particularly beneficial for beginners aiming to develop a consistent swing.

Here's a step-by-step guide to the Two Tees drill:

  1. Setup:
    • Place two tees in the ground, about an inch in front of the ball.
    • Angle the tees at about 30 degrees off the ground, in a way that will allow the tees to dig in the ground, with the top part facing the golf ball.
  1. Alignment:
    • Align yourself parallel to the target line, ensuring your feet, hips, and shoulders are squared.
    • You can use an alignment aid, like a club on the ground, to help you maintain a straight path.
  1. Ball Position:
    • Set up the golf ball on the ground, ensuring it's aligned just behind the inside of the heel of your front foot.
    • This promotes a proper angle of attack for the fairway wood.
  1. Swing Path:
    • Focus on swinging the club along the target line.
    • Your objective is to strike the ball before you hit the ground.
  1. Contact Point:
    • Strive to make contact with the ball on the downswing, just as the clubhead begins to pass below your hips.
    • This optimizes the launch angle for an improved quality of impact.
  1. Follow Through:
    • Complete your swing with a balanced follow-through, ensuring that your weight transfers to your front foot.
  1. Feedback:
    • Use the Two Tees as visual feedback. A successful shot should see the tees dig into the ground in front of where the ball was. (The tees might also snap in two if they’re standing up too much.)

Remember, while the Two Tees Drill aids in refining your technique, consistency comes with practice. Regularly incorporate this drill into your training routine to build muscle memory and improve your overall performance on the golf course.

3. Upside Down Club Tempo Drill

The Upside Down Club Tempo drill is a valuable exercise for golfers, particularly beginners, aiming to enhance their swing tempo and rhythm.

This drill aims to help you hone in on the tempo of your swing by eliminating any jerkiness in your swing which might lead to thinned strikes or worse, chunky swings that dig in the ground before the ball.

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you understand and execute this beneficial drill:

  1. Club Grip:
    • Start by gripping the golf club upside down, with the clubhead pointing towards you and the grip end pointing towards the ground.
  1. Stance and Posture:
    • Assume your regular golf stance, aligning your feet parallel to the target line.
    • Maintain a slight bend in your knees and tilt forward from your hips, keeping your spine straight.
  1. Swing Motion:
    • Begin the swing slowly, emphasizing a smooth and controlled motion.
    • Focus on maintaining a consistent tempo throughout the swing, avoiding any jerky or hurried movements.
  1. Weight Transfer:
    • Practice shifting your weight from your back foot to your front foot during the swing, promoting a balanced weight transfer.
  1. Follow-Through:
    • Pay close attention to your follow-through. The goal is to be able to hear a clear “swoosh” sound as you come through the downswing.
  1. Repetition:
    • Repeat the drill several times, gradually increasing the speed as you become more comfortable with the upside-down grip.

Benefits:

    • Tempo Enhancement: The drill helps in developing a smooth and even tempo, a crucial aspect of a consistent golf swing.
    • Balance Improvement: Focusing on weight transfer promotes better balance, leading to more controlled and accurate shots.
    • Muscle Memory: Regular practice of this drill builds muscle memory, contributing to a more natural and fluid swing over time.

Considerations:

    • Start Slow: Begin with a slow pace to ensure proper form before gradually increasing the speed.
    • Consistent Practice: Incorporate the Upside Down Club Tempo Drill into your regular practice routine for optimal results.

By integrating this drill into your training regimen, you can make significant strides in refining your golf swing tempo and overall performance on the course.

4. Trail Hand on Top Drill

The Trail Hand on Top drill is a valuable exercise for golfers, particularly beginners, aiming to enhance their swing mechanics.

This drill primarily focuses on the placement and movement of the trail hand (the right hand for right-handed golfers) during the swing to limit, or take out, the slice from hindering your strikes.

Here's a step-by-step guide for the Trail Hand on Top drill:

  1. Grip Setup:
    • Begin with your normal grip on the club, making sure your lead hand (left hand for right-handed golfers) is in its regular position.
    • Adjust your trail hand, placing it on top of the lead hand, thus altering the typical overlapping or interlocking grip.
  1. Alignment:
    • Ensure that your feet, hips, and shoulders are aligned parallel to the target line.
  1. Stance:
    • Adopt a balanced and athletic stance, with weight evenly distributed on both feet.
  1. Backswing:
    • During the backswing, focus on keeping the trail hand on top of the lead hand.
    • This promotes a more controlled and connected backswing, preventing the clubface from opening prematurely.
    • AVOID rolling the forearm of your trail hand throughout the swing to keep the club face squared for impact.
  1. Downswing:
    • As you transition into the downswing, maintain the trail hand on top to encourage a proper release of the club.
  1. Impact Position:
    • At impact, ensure that the trail hand is still on top, promoting a square clubface for a more accurate shot.
  1. Follow-Through:
    • Complete the swing with the trail hand remaining on top, promoting a consistent and controlled follow-through.

Pros of the Trail Hand on Top Drill:

    • Encourages a more controlled backswing.
    • Promotes a square clubface at impact for improved accuracy.

Cons:

    • May feel awkward initially for golfers accustomed to a traditional grip.
    • Requires practice to integrate the new hand position seamlessly.

Practicing the Trail Hand on Top Drill consistently can contribute significantly to refining your swing mechanics and overall golf performance. Most importantly, it could contribute to you saying “goodbye” to that dreaded slice in the future.

5. Split Hands Drill (The Rory Drill)

The Split Hands drill is a fundamental exercise in golf that focuses on improving your grip, hand positioning, and overall swing mechanics. It’s been greatly popularized by Rory McIlroy, and we wanted to share it with you as well!

This drill is especially beneficial for beginners as it establishes a strong foundation for a consistent and effective golf swing. It’s also key for golfers who struggle with hooking ball flights on the golf course. The Split Hands drill aims to prevent you from hitting those hooks.

Here's a step-by-step guide to the Split Hands drill:

  1. Start with Proper Stance:
    • Position your feet shoulder-width apart.
    • Align your toes parallel to the target line.
    • Keep a slight bend in your knees for stability.
  1. Grip the Club Correctly:
    • Place the club in your non-dominant hand (left hand for right-handed golfers).
    • Ensure the grip runs diagonally across your fingers, not the palm.
    • Form a "V" shape between your thumb and index finger.
  1. Add the Trail Hand:
    • Bring the club to the ground and hold it with your dominant hand.
    • Overlap or interlock your fingers with the non-dominant hand.
    • Again, form a "V" shape with the thumb and index finger.
  1. Create a Split Grip:
    • Slide your non-dominant hand down the grip, creating a small gap between the hands.
    • This split encourages a more controlled and fluid swing.
  1. Check Alignment:
    • Ensure the leading edge of the clubface is square to the target line.
    • Align your body parallel to the target.
  1. Practice Swings:
    • Take slow and controlled practice swings to get a feel for the split hands.
    • Focus on maintaining a balanced and rhythmic motion.

By incorporating the Split Hands drill into your practice routine, you'll build a solid foundation for a more consistent and accurate golf swing. Remember to be patient and gradually increase your swing speed as you become more comfortable with the technique.


Equipped with all this newly acquired knowledge about fairway woods, you should be able to elevate your game next time you’re out on the course. Whether it’s stepping up to the tee of a narrow fairway, or looking to take your chance at reaching the green in two on a par 5, you’ll take these situations on with more confidence than ever before!

Before we let you go, we simply want to remind you to that Golf Avenue is a leader in the trade and sale of used golf clubs. So, if you’re in the market for fairway woods, be sure to book a call with one of our caddies for expert advice. It’s entirely FREE!

And if you want to skip the call and simply want to take a look at the best fairway woods on the market, make sure to take a look at our expert picks for the Top 8 Fairway Woods Under $125 or if you’re into Cobra gear, make sure to check out this dedicated Top 5 Cobra Fairway Woods article.

Until next time,

The Golf Avenue team

Further reading

Looking for a new Cobra wood? Here's a list of our top 5 Cobra Fairway Woods at cheap prices. Find the best wood for beginners, distance, adjustability and more!

There's lots of options when it comes to choosing a fairway wood. This beginner's guide will explain how to choose a fairway wood and what differences are there.