Fairway woods can be confoundingly difficult to hit — even for professionals. Just ask Danielle Kang.
The 29-year-old LPGA star has always been refreshingly candid about her struggles with her game, and on this week’s episode of Off Course with Claude Harmon, Kang and her coach, Butch Harmon, told a hilarious story about what Butch suggested Kang do when she told him she was having problems with her 3-wood.
“She was struggling to hit her fairway wood. She could hit her 5-wood, [but] she had a 3-wood she didn’t like,” Butch began. “I can relate to that, because I never liked to hit a 3-wood either when I was younger. It was just something about the club. Not enough loft or whatever. It’s all mental.
“So I said, look, well then don’t hit it,” Butch continued. “Just hit the 5-wood.”
“It wasn’t that simple,” Kang interjected, as Butch chuckled. “I called him and I explained to him that I was leading the tournament — actually no, I was second? I don’t know. I called him, I said, Butch, I had four par 5s I could have reached in two, and I had to lay up on all four of them because there’s water on this golf course and I can’t reach it.”
Kang said she explained the issue to Butch for about 10 minutes as he listened intently.
“He said, ‘Uh-huh, uh-huh, what are the holes?’” Kang continued. “I said, ‘I have 217, I have 207, I have 215.’ He said, ‘Okay, okay. What’s the miss?’ I said, ‘I keep topping it, I keep trying to hit it low left.’ He’s like, ‘How are the wedges?’ I was like, ‘My wedges are good.’ He was like, ‘It seems like you made birdies.’ I said, ‘I did. I layed up and made birdies.’ He’s like, ‘Okay.’ ‘So, what do I do with my 3-wood?’ He’s goes, ‘Take it out of the bag.’”
“Don’t hit it,” Butch concurred. “Get rid of the damn thing.”
“I just went slient,” Kang said, as the group laughed.
For more from Kang and Butch, including how Butch helped Kang beat the driver yips, and why, after a stellar amateur career, it took Kang five years to win as a pro, check out the full interview below.