3 Wood Vs 5 Wood: Know The Perfect Time To Use Them

Fairway woods are the best clubs to close the gap in distance between the highest iron and the driver nowadays. In this instance, the contemporary 3-wood and 5-wood lead the pack.

Many golfers think they should add a 3-wood or a 5-wood in their golf bags. But these fairway woods have their characteristics and capability that you should know.

We figure out the 3 wood vs. 5 wood misconceptions so you will not be confused about each use. 

Why Woods Is Crucial In Golf: Knowing Woods More 

Golf courses are getting longer these days. It is also becoming huge and harder to navigate using conventional golf clubs. But if there are problems, solutions are not far behind.

Golfers are now focusing on getting further distance. Instead of using a heavy driver, many golfers utilize the fairway woods, such as the 3-wood or a 5-wood. These fairway woods are also ideal for par 5 shots and expecting an eagle. Here are some interesting facts about 3-wood & 5-wood.

5-Wood Overview

5-Wood Overview

The 5-wood has a shorter shaft than the 3-wood. The 5-wood is an ideal club for the fairway because of its higher loft than the 3-wood. The 5-wood usually comes with a loft from 20 to 22 degrees. 

What Is A 5-Wood Used for?

The 5-wood offers a better strategy when approaching the green. It is also ideal for tackling semi-hazards along the fairway. If you want a smooth landing with more spin on the ball, the 5-wood can make it happen. Moreover, the higher loft of 5-wood makes it more dependable in golf club gapping.

How Far Should You Hit Your 5-Wood?

Recreational players may hit a 5-wood at 216 yards on average: The range may vary between 200 and 240 yards for average golfers. Low handicap golfers may hit a 5-wood between 240 and 250 yards. Beginner and high-handicap players can go for at least 200 yards.

You can consider the slight variation of distance depending on the weather condition inside the golf course and your expertise.

3-Wood Overview

3-Wood Overview

The 3-wood usually comes with a loft between 15 and 18 degrees. It is a fairway wood with a longer shaft than a 5-wood: Many golfers utilize this type of wood if they estimate that a driver may deliver a farther distance. The lower loft and longer shaft of 3-woods make it ideal for shots not too far from the tee.

Read more: What Axactly Is A “Tee Time” In Golf?

What Is A 3-Wood Used for?

The 3-wood is a better alternative for a driver if you do not want farther distance off the tee. The 3-wood provides adequate and more penetrable ball flight than the 5-wood. Average golfers can deliver 15 yards further range using the 3-wood than the 5-wood.

How Far Should You Hit Your 3 Wood?

Leisure players utilize the 3-wood when aiming for at least 224 yards. However, the range may vary from 210 to 250 yards for average golfers. The distance the ball will travel will also depend on your skill and the weather, just like the 5-wood.

What Are The Differences Between A 3-Wood And A 5-Wood? 

Differences Between A 3-Wood And A 5-Wood

The two clubs have many differences. Here are they!

1. Shaft Length

The shaft length of a 5-wood usually comes an inch or two inches shorter than a 3-wood. The standard 3-wood has between 42 and 43 inches, while the 5-wood has 41- 42 inches of club length.

Read more: What Is The Standard Length of Golf Clubs?

2. Loft

One of the most distinguishable differences between 3-wood and 5-wood is their lofts. As we have stated, the 5-wood has a degree of loft ranging from 20 to 22, while the 3-wood has a 15-18 loft angle.

3. Distance

Experienced golfers know how far their shot will travel, depending on the club they are using: In many cases, pro players deliver 243 yards of distance using the 3-wood and about 230 yards on a 5-wood.  

3 vs. 5-Wood: From the Tee

Average male golfers can deliver 170 yards using a 5-wood and 180 yards for a 3-wood off the tee. The 3-wood may enhance your distance by 10 to 15 yards because of its long shaft and lower loft.

3 vs. 5-Wood: From the Fairway

The 5 wood makes it easier to hit from the fairway than the 3-wood. The short shaft and high loft of 5-woods give the majority of golfers a better alternative in hitting the fairways and greens.

4. Golf Ball Placement

The fairway woods require a slightly different golf ball placement than the driver. When utilizing a fairway wood off the tee: players put the ball too far from their lead foot. However, the best stance is to place the ball inside or near your lead foot.

5. Par 5

You can either lay it up or go straight to the green for a long distance when seeking swing stability on par 5. The 3-wood is better on this strategy if you are more aggressive in attacking the green.

Which Is Easier To Hit?

The short shaft but high loft of 5-woods makes them easier to hit than the 3-woods. But these two golf clubs are more forgiving.

Which Fairway Wood Should I Choose: A 3-wood or A 5-wood?

Which Fairway Wood Should I Choose: A 3-wood or A 5-wood?

You can always make a choice depending on your objectives. Both fairway wood will give you the advantage. The 3-wood is one of the sought-after options for a driver from the tee. The 5-wood, on the other hand, gives you more confidence to launch the ball easier and higher. 


1. Is 3 Wood More Difficult to Hit Than 5-Wood?

As we told you, the 5-wood is easier to hit than a 3-wood. They are both more forgiving clubs, but you need a lot of practice hitting the 3-wood more easily.

2. Should I Carry 3-Wood and 5-Wood?

You can always carry these two golf clubs in your bag simultaneously. But you should not exceed the regulatory limit of 14 clubs on your golf bag. It is always good to know some of the crucial uses of each club.

A 3-wood is a better substitute for a driver when hitting from the tee. The 5-wood is a good alternative for a 2- or a 3-iron.

3. Do Switching From a 3-Wood to a 5-Wood Will Not Lose Distance?

You may or may not lose distance when switching from a 3-wood to a 5-wood. The 5-woods can deliver you the same span due to its short shaft. But to attain this, you must ensure that your 5-wood has the same flex as the 3-wood you are using. The similar shaft flex should also fit your golf swing velocity. 

4. Is a 5-wood easier to hit than a 3-iron?

Yes, it is. The 5-wood has lots of sweet spots and forgiveness than a 3-iron. These 5-wood traits make it easier to hit than a 3-iron. 

5. Do pros carry a 5-wood?

Yes, they do! Many professional golfers (40% of the top 100 PGA Tour players) bring a combination of 5-wood, 7-wood, and 4-wood. One of the most popular 5-wood among pros is the TaylorMade SIM2

6. For beginners, which is better: a 3-wood or a 5-wood? 

The 5-wood is a lot better for beginners because of its high loft. They can easily make the ball airborne no matter what their swing speed is, although the control is not yet consistent. However, a beginner is much better at using a 3-wood from the tee.

7. For High Handicappers, which is better: a 3-wood or a 5-wood? 

High handicap players usually need a high launch angle and better trajectory. In this case, the 3-wood is ideal.

Read more: The Best Golf Clubs for Lady Intermediate Players .

8. For Mid-Handicappers, which is better: a 3-wood or a 5-wood?

Medium handicap players could improve their games using the 3-wood more than a hybrid or a 5-wood. You could try using these two clubs with different lofts till you find the right one for you.

9. Which is better from the tee: a 3-wood or 5-wood? 

Many golfers prefer the 3-woods when driving from the tee. Only a handful of them utilizes the driver or a 5-wood. 

10. What Should I Use: Woods Or Hybrids?

Hybrids have short shaft lengths and act more like irons. The hybrid golf club makes many players hit the ball easier than the fairway woods. But both clubs have their respective traits golfers may need in different circumstances. 

You can carry both clubs and discover the ideal stick for any situation.

11. Why Would You Choose A 3-Wood Over A 5-Wood?

A 3-wood delivers a longer distance off the tee. It also creates straighter ball flight. Overall, a 3-wood gets you close to the green giving you a perfect tool for attacking long-distance games.


The fairway woods are very crucial in golf because they make you more efficient inside the course. Knowing more about 3 Wood vs. 5 Wood gives you a specific decision to tackle every situation.

The 3-wood is better when driving off the tee; it will deliver better distance because of its short shaft. It will get you out of narrow and tricky spots more effortlessly. The 5-wood works wonders in upping your ball flight because of its high loft.

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