One of the most common questions novice golfers ponder is whether they should be using a 3 wood or a 5 wood. Is there much of a difference? Does one provide more accuracy than the other?
Let’s dive into the technicalities of each wood so you can make the best game day decision!
3 Wood: Explained
Most professional golfers will argue that the 3 wood is the most beneficial and important club in their bag since it’s the most versatile and provides consistent distances and solid fairway shots.
3 woods are typically used for tee shots and are known for their low disposition for the ball flight and for the amount of distance they loft. They are similar to a driver; however, they provide more solid contact and stabilization of the ball in flight. This means a more accurate stroke with lesser lofts, averaging 15 – 18 degrees.
While a driver can make a golf ball soar, its use is typically confined to the tee club. The 3 wood, however, can create the same strength without being overpowering. Thus, allowing the 3 wood to be useful outside of the tee box and throughout the hole. It is also a universal fairway club that has proven to make a difference in the game of handicap players.
The 3 wood has also been referred to as part of the group known as rescue clubs. These clubs aid in retrieving and chipping golf balls out of bunkers while maintaining a specific direction and force. The average strength of the club provides just enough spin rate, consistent contact, and respectable distance to prove itself a favorite amongst industry leaders.
5 Wood: Explained
In this case, neither is better than the other! Both 3 wood and 5 wood have their uses and both deserve a place in your golf gear bag! We know that a 3 wood is commonly used at the tee box, so when is the best time to pull out the 5 wood?
A 5 wood is specifically used to aid golfers when more ball height or greater loft is needed. A 5 wood loft will give you upwards of 20 – 22 degrees. Think of getting the ball out of rough grounds or lobbing a ball to a hole that is a short actual distance from your current standing.
A higher degrees loft is not the only benefit of a 5 wood.
They are also one of the shorter clubs, giving way to more accurate hits with minimal side spin. This has proven to be a top choice club for recreational golfers and the amateur golfer alike, due to its ease of use.
For the more aggressive golfers who have no problem hitting solid shots, they may opt for a hybrid club. A hybrid club will be a morph of the 3 and 5 wood, offering the same average distances with an average degree of loft.
When Would I Use a Driver?
It’s no secret that drivers are a necessary requirement in any golf pro’s bag, and they have proved to be crucial in terms of distance when we are discussing scratch golfers. The elite recognize a difference in distance when using a driver, in lieu of a wood, but that comes with great knowledge of the degree lofts, ball spin axis, and distance gapping.
Distance gapping is essentially the difference in how far you hit a golf ball with each club in your bag. Although it might be a beautiful club, if you are not meeting your potential distance, it might be time to evaluate changing from a wood to a driver.
A driver is going to be the longest club in your bag and will ultimately give you the longest distance with the lowest loft angle. This can be useful for courses with longer fairways in which distance is critical to your stroke.
Drivers can often be difficult for beginners to maneuver, so trainers recommend that a novice player start by using a 3 wood. The stability and short loft of the 3 wood will give the player more control while learning to swing and develop muscle memory!
Using a driver to hit off of a tee will give you the best bang for your buck, but it is versatile enough to be shot without a tee. In that case, you’ll want to focus on making contact with the ball on the upswing in order to ensure precise direction and stride.
Let’s Get Swinging!
For beginner golfers, we now know that our trusted companions on the course are going to be our 3 wood or 5 wood. They are shorter in length and offer more stability and control in your swing. While they don’t give quite as much drive as the driver itself, the accuracy and precision while training can’t be beat.
The 3 wood, 5 wood, and driver all have similar characteristics when used on the course, so keep this article in mind as you learn your club set. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it in no time!
Once you narrow down your favorite clubs, you can dabble into the mechanics of materials, weight, and customization. However, take your time and figure out what works best for you first as customization is an expensive avenue for those who really want to go pro!