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The Back Nine Club

Know When to Leave your Driver in your Bag

by Lauren DiCenso for Training
Know When to Leave your Driver in your Bag

Supposedly, Tiger Woods used his driver only once in winning the 2006 British Open. In its place, he used low irons and fairway woods. Knowing when to leave your driver in the bag is an important tool you can use to up your golf game. 

Sometimes using the 3-wood, a hybrid club, or a low iron off the tee is better than using your driver. Here are some tips on when to use each.

The 3-Wood 
The 3-wood is easier to hit than the driver. It’s useful when you have to hit from the fairway or if you want to create a draw or fade. Some players even use the 3-wood from the tee box. 

Since the 3-wood is easier to control than the driver, it’s easier to learn to hit a fade or draw with it. You don’t have to significantly alter your set-up or your swing. Using the 3-wood at the right time can cut your average score—and maybe your golf handicap— by at least a couple of strokes.

Low Irons
Low irons are great if you tend to hit a fade. These clubs are good in windy conditions and you can also use them on short par-4s when you want to hit the fairway. Since you’re not turning your wrists over when you swing, the ball won’t run as much as with the 3-wood or driver.

The punch-fade shot, for example, is ideal on windy days because its low-trajectory is designed to cut through the wind and produce a fade. 

Hybrid Irons
A hybrid club is one of my favorite clubs to use as a replacement for my driver. A hybrid club is ideal on holes with tight fairways. They’re also good on holes that provide a lot of run. You can use it to replace a low iron, if you have a hard time hitting one. 


While none of us are Tiger Woods, we can still play like him. Knowing when to keep the driver in the bag helped Tiger win the British Open and the same can be applied for us. Keep these tips in mind before you use your driver. 

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