How to Find a 3-Wood You Can Trust

Published Feb 07, 2016 | By Zach | Buying golf clubs
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Have you ever lost confidence in your 3-wood, and been forced to hit driver as a result?  Wouldn’t you like to have confidence with both your 3-wood AND driver?  Here are some of my best tips on finding a 3-wood that actually works!

  1. From the fairway or from the tee? – If you often pull your 3-wood from the fairway, it is crucial to find a head shape that will complement this style of play. Personally, I go for a lot of par 5’s with my 3-wood, therefore, I have a shallow faced club-head.  What do I mean by shallow faced?  Check out this quick sketch that I did, which illustrates my point.

shallow vs deep

A shallow faced 3-wood is going to be much easier to get in the air from the fairway, but is generally a bit harder to hit off the tee.  A deeper faced 3-wood will likely fly far off the tee, but be tough off of tight lies like the fairway.  I have tried both, and considering I play courses with closely mown fairways, the shallow face is my best option.  I have tried hitting a deep faced 3-wood (Adams Super LS) off the fairway, and noticed that it was difficult to get off the ground, and when I did get it off the ground, I couldn’t shape my shots like I wanted to.  Everyone has their preference, but my vote goes to a shallower face like a Ping i15, or even a Titleist 913 low spin model.  They give me good distance without sacrificing versatility.

  1. Loft – I have always played 15 degrees of loft with the 3-wood. I don’t want to say it’s the “standard,” but many tour players choose the same.  Just like the driver, there isn’t really a surefire answer to this.  Just realize that a 13.5 degree wood will be more difficult to hit off the fairway, and a 16 degree 3-wood will likely sacrifice distance off the tee.
  2. Shaft – Most of the time, you’d be fairly safe to put the same shaft in your 3-wood that you have in your driver. This is largely the reason why I think it is important to find a driver before a 3-wood.

I tried to keep this post fairly short and to the point, because finding a 3-wood is a similar process to finding a driver, which I have already written about.

Trusting your 3-wood is huge when you have to get the ball in play.  If you’ve tried everything, and just can’t seem to find something that works, I would like to suggest an alternative.  With the hybrid era in full force, there are plenty of viable options that could replace a 3-wood altogether!  What about playing with a 16 degree hybrid?  Sure, you might lose 10 yards compared to a 15 degree 3-wood, but if it allows you to get the ball in play, go for it!  Despite the common belief that we should all have a 3-wood, I don’t see any rule that requires one.  I think that many players have a 3-wood in the bag only because of this inherent “rule.”  Swallow your pride, and try something different for once!  It might just drop some strokes off your score.

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Hey, I‘m Zach, the founder of The DIY Golfer! I created this site while playing D1 collegiate golf with a simple mission—I wanted to learn the golf swing and get better at golf myself.

Fast forward a few years, and my “journal“, The DIY Golfer, has been viewed by millions of golfers worldwide looking to do the same with their games. my mission is to make golfers more consistent in just a few hours a week through advanced practice strategies and timeless, first-principle golf instruction.

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