3 Wood Vs 4 Wood – Which Club To Use And When
The 3 Wood is one of the most common clubs in the game, used by nearly every player while the very similar 4 wood, almost never gets a look in but performs in a very similar manner.
The reason for this is that we want to cover all of the distances on the course and a 3 + 5 wood combo is one of the best ways to do that.
For some golfers however, they will more of those distance gaps removed by carrying, maybe a 4 + 7 wood combo instead.
Overall the 3 wood is a stronger, longer hitting and less lofty club and the 4 wood will get more airtime but less distance with it’s extra degrees of loft.
For the same reason a slower swing speed might use a 3 wood instead of a driver, the same person would probably benefit from using a 4 or 5 wood in place of their 3 wood, perhaps someone with a slower swing speed.
3 Wood Overview
The three wood is included in almost every bag for it’s range of uses and the ease in which long distances can be achieve relatively easily.
The three is probably the second longest club and it can be hit effectively off the tee on Par 3’s & Doglegs, or as a replacement for the driver in high handicappers and slower swingers.
It comes into it’s own when sitting up nicely on the fairway, its higher loft than the driver can get it up in the air more quickly, higher and with less roll out.
The 3 wood, generally has a loft of 15 degrees and an average player will hit it about 220 yards off the fairway.
The 3 Wood generally comes as part of a 3 + 5 wood combo.
For some, the 3 wood will be easier to hit off the tee but it may be difficult to hit off the fairway due to low shots or slicing.
This is probably down to your swing speed being too low for the club’s loft or the club too long/too heavy etc.
If this is the case, you need to increase the lofts on your clubs, get lighter, more flexible shafts etc or use a more lofty, shorter and easier to wield club like a 4 wood.
4 Wood Overview
Only 1 club up from the 3 wood, is a club that is far less popular but performs almost the same function.
The 4 wood is shorter, lighter and easier to wield than the 3 wood, especially for seniors, juniors, ladies and anyone with slower swing speeds.
The 4 wood has a loft of 16.5/17 degrees and thus, hits higher launching and shorter shots with less roll.
The 4 wood has lower spin rates than 3 wood also so it can be a perfect replacement for anyone hooking or slicing with the 3 wood consistently.
Again, the 4 wood can be used off the tee for par 3’s and it can also be used very effectively when sitting up nicely on the fairway or the light rough.
The average player will hit the 4 wood about 200 yards and there are a couple of reasons why golfers might opt for the 4 wood instead of the 3 wood.
Swing Speed: Players with a slower swing speed might use a driver with 12 degrees loft and find a 4 wood with 17 degrees as the next logical step. They may prefer the 4 and 7 wood combo over the 3 and 5 more usual combo that we see.
Ease Of Hit: The higher loft of the 4 wood means more of a sweeping action and it can be easier to hit for some.
Carry Less Woods: We only get to carry 14 clubs and by only carrying a 4 wood we can add in an extra 2 hybrid or another short club for around the green.
For us both clubs are very useful and there isn’t much reason why the 3 wood is so much more popular. For a fast swinger who only wants to carry 1 wood and the slow swinger who wants to carry two, the 4 wood is definitely an option worth considering.