4 Wood Vs 4 Iron – Which Club To Use And When

The 4 iron is a very famous club in golf, included in most bags while the 4 wood can be just as useful but doesn’t garnish as much attention.

The 4 Wood has a large head and sweet spot as well as being one of the longest club in golf behind the driver and 3 wood.

The 4 Iron is a shorter club that offers less distance but more precision and accuracy to target a certain spot on the green.

4 Wood Overview

The 4 Wood is a versatile club, most useful from a nice lie on the fairway but also useful from the tee and the light to mid rough.

The 4 wood bludgeons the ball in the direction of the green, it is more of a sledgehammer than a precision tool like the 4 iron.

That being said, the 4 wood can be easy to launch, and if you hit it well, consistently straight and in the direction of the green.

Common problems with the 4 wood are getting enough launch on the club and possibly slicing the ball and that is the case, you be better of with a 3 hybrid or starting your woods with a 5 wood.

Better players will also be able to work the ball with a draw or fade quite effectively with a 3 wood.

Because a lot of beginners struggle to hit the ball well off the tee with their driver, they can get a lot better performance with a 3 or 4 wood for driving.

This would typically happen for players with slower swing speeds and re configuring the driver would be the optimal solution and having fairway woods with higher lofts – ie 4 and 7 wood instead of 3 and 5.

That being said, the 4 wood is a very effective club for hitting 190 yards plus from the fairway.

4 Irons Overview

In golfs long and traditional past, woods and irons were the only mid to long range clubs, that has changed in recent times with the introduction of hybrids.

Irons have had to up their game in response and what we see today is more distance, forgiveness and consistency from clubs like the 4 iron.

Another change that has happened in golf irons is that the lofts have been getting stronger and what used to be a 3 iron is now marketed as a 4 iron. Heck some iron sets now only start from the 4 iron, but that is what used to be a 3 iron, loft wise.

The 4 iron is going to be a lot more precise than the 3 wood. You can aim for the green with a 3 wood but you can aim for the pin with 4 iron.

The 4 iron can be used from the tee, the fairway and from light/mid-heavy rough with its pronounced loft and undercut.

The 4 iron can also generate decent spin to stop the ball dead or move it left to right with a draw/fade.

These are two long to mid range clubs that can both easily be found in a single golfers bag.

The 4 wood is longer, lower launching with more roll while the 4 iron is more precise, more workable and produces higher shots with less roll out.

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 Iron Quick Facts

Category – Mid-Long Range

When To Use: From Fairway, Tee Or Light To  Rough

Average Distance: 170

Longer Hitter: 180

Shorter Hitter: 160

Typical Loft: 25 Degrees

Club Importance: 93/100

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 Iron Overview & First Impressions

The 4 iron is an impressive mid to long range club with a slender compact head, aimed at precision and accuracy.

The longer irons have come under attack from hybrids in recent years and this has caused the irons to up their game too.

The 4 iron hits on average of about 170 yards making it ideal for hitting the green in two on a par 4 and also for hitting the green off the tee on a par 3.

The 4 iron is high flying, with more spin and it also has a shorter shaft offering more control and precision with the club.

While the Hybrid maybe longer and more consistently straight, it lacks the workability of the 4 iron.

Since the lofts of irons keep getting stronger over the years, there are plenty of sets that now start with the 4 iron, excluding the 3.

4 Irons come in many variations from game improvement irons, to blades to distance irons, all catered to different levels.

It’s loft and excellent turf interaction make the club effective from the mid to heavy rough but a clean strike from the fairway is the ideal position to use it from.

One Club Up – 3 Iron

The 3 iron has a stronger loft than the 4 iron @ 21 Degrees and it hits the ball generally about 10 yards further than the 4 iron. It has less launch, less spin and less precision than the 4 Iron.

One Club Down – 5 Iron

The 5 iron has more loft than the 4 iron, it hits the ball a shorter distance, has more spin, control and workability and it hits the ball about 10 yards less.

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 Iron Selling Points

  • Precision Club With Plenty Of Accuracy
  • Different Iron Styles To Suit All Levels
  • Great For Pin Hunting
  • Higher Spin Rates And More Workable Than 3 Iron
  • Works Well From The Rough

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 Irons For?

The 4 Iron is a club you can find it any level of golfers bag.

There is a necessity to cover that 170 yard distance and if you aren’t going to be using a hybrid, you will most likely be using a 4 iron.

While the Hybrid might be straighter and more consistent, the 4 Iron is going to be a lot more workable for better players who want more control over the ball.

Our Favorite 4 Iron – The Taylormade Sim Max

If you are looking for a club set that has some of the very best technology and packs in forgiveness alongside distance and accuracy, the Taylormade Sim Max is a serious option.

While the Sim is measured at mid handicappers, the Sim Max offers more in the way of forgiveness with a huge sweet spot expanded by a speed pocket and ICT technology and with a speed bridge giving an excellent feel, you really can’t go too far wrong with a Sim Max 4 iron.

Distance: 94/100

Accuracy: 95/100

Forgiveness: 95/100

Feel and Control: 92/100

Overall Score: 95/100

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