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.

3 Wood Quick Facts

Category – Longer Club

When To Use: From Fairway, Tee Or Light Rough

Average Distance: 220

Longer Hitter: 235

Shorter Hitter: 200

Typical Loft: 15 Degrees

Club Importance: 94/100

4 Wood Quick Facts

Category – Longer Club

When To Use: From Fairway, Tee Or Light Rough

Average Distance: 205

Longer Hitter: 225

Shorter Hitter: 185

Typical Loft: 16.5 Degrees

Club Importance: 89/100

3 Wood Overview & First Impressions

A 3 wood is one of the most versatile and useful clubs in a golfers bag. It can be used off the tee, the fairway and from the light rough effectively.

The club is like a smaller and easier to wield version of a driver with a shorter shaft, higher loft and smaller face. For this reason many beginners who can’t hit their driver properly use the 3 wood off the tee for better shots and more consistency.

If your driver is not configured correctly for your game this is an obvious conclusion and a higher loft will also suit slower swingers.

The 3 wood is ideal to hit of the fairway too and can result in long and range strokes. A 3 wood wont be able to hit it as well as a hybrid out of the rough however.

The 3 wood is a must have in nearly every golfers bag.

One Club Up – The Driver

The driver is the next club up from the 3 wood. It is the strongest lofted, biggest headed and longest hitting club in the game. It is also one of the hardest clubs to hit effectively.

One Club Down – The 5 Wood

Typically have 18 degrees of loft, the 5 wood is similar to the 3 wood in many ways, often hit from the fairway and light rough. The 5 has a higher more arching flight path with less roll.

4 Wood Overview & First Impressions

If the 3 wood is a bit big a daunting for yo, the 4 wood is very similar but it is more compact and possibly less daunting for some.

The 4 wood is often overlooked and the 3 wood is preferred instead in combination with the 5 wood but there is no one size fits all and many golfers will prefer to carry a 4 wood as their solo fairway wood or in combination with a 7 wood.

Those with slower swing speeds might have 12 degrees of loft in their driver and the next logical progression for them will be the 4 wood.

It is easier to carry and wield for those with slower swing speeds and it might be used as a solo wood for a fast swinger looking to carry an extra hybrid or a chipper for around the greens.

Whatever your circumstance is, you should carry clubs that suit your game optimally.

The 4 wood has a higher, shorter flight path with less roll out than the next club down in the 3 wood, which it will almost always replace.

The club is used effectively off the tee on par 3’s or dog legs and also off the fairway and in the light rough.

Golf is a game of tradition but you shouldn’t hesitate to break that if a 4 wood will be beneficial to your game.

One Club Up – 3 Wood

The 3 wood is longer, heavier and produces a longer, lower flight path with more roll out. It is far more popular and the 3 + 5 Wood combo is the one we see most often, especially in average  and above swing speeds.

One Club Down – 5 Wood

You would almost never carry a 3 and 4 wood together, they are too similar. When carrying a 4 wood, you may be better off carrying an extra hybrid or a 7 wood over a 4 wood. A 5 wood produces a higher, shorter ball flight with less rollout than a 4 wood.

3 Wood – Selling Points

  • Versatile Club – Tee, Fairway, Light Rough
  • Can Be A Replacement For A Driver
  • Easy To Hit & Forgiving
  • Low And Long Flight Path
  • Excellent Club For Beginners

4 Wood Selling Points

  • Excellent For Slower Swing Speeds
  • Can Be Used As A Replace For 3 And 5 Wood
  • Easy To Hit From Good Lies
  • Versatile Club From Tee Or Off The Deck
  • More Precise Than A 3 Wood

Who Is The 3 Wood For

The three wood has a place in every golfers bag for beginner to tour professional.

The high handicapper is likely to get the absolute most out of this club as it can be a replacement for a driver for some and can be a good to club for many who can produce their longest, straightest and most consistent shots.

A 3 wood also covers crucial distances on the course, so having your 3 wood will naturally allow all players to hit any distance within their remit by carrying a 3 wood.

Our Favorite 3 Wood – The Callaway Rogue

Their are so many quality 3 woods out their for to chose from but we really like the Callaway Rogue.

It was first released in 2018 and was upgrade in 2020 to encompass even more of Calaways top features form distance, to the stability of the club at high speeds, forgiveness and accuracy.

The rogue 3 wood has plenty to offer golfers of all levels and is available at a competitive price.

Distance: 94/100

Accuracy: 94/100

Forgiveness: 94/100

Feel And Control: 88/100

Overall Score: 94/100

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Who Are 4 Woods For?

A 4 wood is not as popular a club as we feel it should be.

It’s excellent for slower swing speeds who find a 3 wood more difficult to wield.

It’s also perfect for those looking to carry a 4 wood + 7 Wood combo and those who want to carry 1 solitary wood in favor of an extra hybrid or iron.

A very similar club to the 3 and 5 wood and there is no reason it shouldn’t used more if it fills the distance gaps effectively.

Our Favorite 4 Wood – Cobra Men’s Fly Z

Cobra have made big progress as a golf brand in recent years and our preferred 4 wood right now is their Fly Xl model from 2021.

The club is light and easy to strike and it also has an adjustable loft which means you can switch it from a 3 Wood to a 4 wood easier with the use of an allen key.

The club itself is well priced and has a ton of distance and forgiveness features included.

Distance: 94/100

Accuracy: 93/100

Forgiveness: 92/100

Feel and Control: 91/100

Overall Score: 93/100

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