Hybrid Vs Driving Iron Vs 5 Wood – Which Is Better, Which Goes Further

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In a quest to try and improve my golf I’m struggling to find the perfect club for my bag to fill a yardage gap.

My current long irons only go up to a 5 Iron and the next club up is a 3 wood. This leaves a gap in my bag which needs to be filled.

Therefore, I have a big decision to make, should I use a hybrid golf club, a driving iron, or 5-wood as my club of choice.

In this article, I’ll explain everything I’ve found out about these golf clubs, explain what each of these clubs can do for you.

Keep reading to the end and I’ll let you know which one I think would be best for my game – it could help you too if you have the same query.

Hybrid Vs Driving Iron Vs 5 Wood: An Introduction

When it comes to golf clubs, there are three main types- hybrids, irons, and woods.

I think that each one has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right club for your game.

Hybrids are a great option for beginners and intermediates. They are easy to swing and produce a good distance off the tee, but they don’t have the power of wood or the forgiveness of an iron.

Driving irons offer more power than hybrids, but they don’t hit as far off the tee. They’re best suited for players who want to hit long drives and approach shots over 200 yards.

Woods can be the trickiest to hit, yet very forgiving clubs. They are very forgiving for off centre shots; this makes them perfect for players who struggle with accuracy or making approach shots.

What’s The Difference In The Head Construction?

Hybrid clubs have a club head construction that is a combination of both steel and titanium, or they can be carbon graphite.

This makes the clubhead more forgiving, as it can handle severe impacts. Driving irons also have a slightly different clubhead construction than hybrids and woods.

They have a steel club head, which helps to increase power and accuracy.

Fairway wood golf clubs, on the other hand, have a traditional hollow steel, titanium, or carbon graphite head construction.

This makes them more forgiving when it comes to hitting the ball off the ground, as the club head won’t bounce as much off the ground.

This head construction makes fairway woods more forgiving. Golf Monthly recently wrote about how the fairway wood club face is shallower, which means the centre of gravity is lower, in turn helping to get the ball airborne.

Hybrids vs Driving Irons vs 5 Wood – How Do They Differ?

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Shaft Length

Fairway woods have the longest graphite shafts. Hybrids have slightly longer iron shafts than their comparable driving irons.

Shaft Weight

Generally, irons have the lightest weight. Hybrids and comparable fairway woods have either equal shaft weight or slightly higher weight than the hybrid shaft.

Material

Driving irons have shafts of alloy steel or graphite, whereas their club head is steel. Hybrids have shafts of alloy steel, and their club head is either hollow steel or titanium.

Similarly, fairway woods have a shaft of graphite, and their club head is also made up of hollow steel or titanium. Club heads of hybrid and fairway wood can also be of carbon graphite material.

Despite their name they are not actually made of wood as they were in the past. In this article the history and make-up of golf woods is described.

Hybrid Vs Driving Irons: The Differences

Clubhead

Hybrids have larger club heads than irons. They can be made of steel, titanium, or carbon graphite. Irons have steel club heads.

Shaft Length

Hybrids have slightly longer shaft lengths that an iron with a comparable loft.

Performance

Hybrids and driving irons both perform well on the course. A hybrid is easier to control than a driving iron. However, driving iron is more forgiving than a hybrid.

Furthermore, hybrids can cover more distance than comparable irons.

Hybrid Vs 5 Woods: Key Differences?

A 3 hybrid and 5 wood share the characteristic profile.

Clubhead

They both have similar club head configuration; however, the club head of a hybrid is slightly smaller than a comparable fairway wood.

Shaft Length

Fairway wood has a longer shaft length than a hybrid club.

Shaft Material

Fairway woods have graphite shafts, whereas hybrids have alloy steel shafts.

Performance

Fairway woods performs better than a hybrid but it is difficult to control a fairway wood. Therefore, many golfers who struggle with fairway woods turn to hybrid clubs.

5 Woods Vs Driving Irons: Key Differences?

A 5 wood and driving iron share a similar characteristics in many ways, let’s look at the differences in some more detail.

Clubhead

Fairway woods have a club head configuration of steel, titanium, or carbon graphite. Irons have a club head that is made up of steel.

Shaft Length

Fairway woods have longer shafts than comparable driving irons with a similar loft.

Shaft Material

Fairway woods have graphite shafts; however, most driving irons have steel shafts. Some driving irons might have graphite shafts.

Performance

Both clubs have their uses, they could both be useful in helping me improve my golf scores. Fairway woods are good for hitting the ball further distances, whereas driving irons are more forgiving.

The swing curvature for both clubs is also different, you will hit down with an iron, but hit through the ball with a 5 wood.

What’s Good About Driving Irons?

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Trajectory

Driving irons have a low trajectory, this helps the golfers in windy and obstacle situations.

Accuracy

Driving irons have high accuracy when hit well.

Distance

Driving irons are ideal to cover extra distance. They also produce topspin, which can make the ball roll further.

Mishits

Chances of hooks and slices are reduced with driving irons.

What’s Not Good About Driving Irons?

Control

Driving irons are harder to control. Chances of mis-hits are high. Therefore, many golfers opt for fairway woods or hybrids.

Trajectory

The trajectory of a driving iron is low-medium. This makes it a hard option to go for approach shots. In the rough, driving irons are extremely hard to hit.

Low Spin

Driving irons produce low spins. Thus, making it difficult for softer landings.

What’s Good About Hybrid Clubs?

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Easy to Launch

Hybrid golf clubs are easier to hit. Chances of mis-hits are reduced because of consistent solid contact with the ball.

Many beginners and high handicappers struggle with the launch of the ball, hybrid clubs can be really helpful for them.

Good Launch Trajectory

Hybrids offer a good ball trajectory. It has a medium-low high trajectory that produces a soft landing. It is also ideal for approach shots where you have to generate height in the shot to clear a tree for example.

Head Configuration

Club head configuration of the hybrids has many benefits. It increases the ball speed, produces optimum spin on the ball, and covers more distance.

Performance

Hybrid golf clubs are able to be used in many different circumstances on the course. They can be used from the tee, off the deck, and in the rough.

What’s Not Good About Hybrid Clubs?

Controllability

Although they can be used in many different parts of the course, controlling them might be a problem for many golfers.

Hitting the hybrids square and straight requires a lot of practice. If you don’t put in the hours, there is a chance that hybrids won’t be the best choice for you.

Swing Curvature

The swing path and swing plane are different than other clubs. You need to hit through the ball for fairway woods and hybrids, whereas you hit down on the ball with irons.

Alterations are required in your takeaway and downswing to get the ideal result. Failure in doing so will only add strokes to your scorecard.

You might want to check out this useful article in which 5 time European Tour winner David Howell offers tips on how to hit a hybrid club.

What’s Good About 5 Wood’s?

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Good Distance

The 5 Wood is a very useful golf club, it can often be found in the bags of low handicappers. It covers the perfect distance with a better ball speed and launch angle.

Approach Shots

The 5 wood is an ideal club to hit approach shots. It produces an optimal mix of topspin and sidespin which allows the golfers to hit more greens in regulations. Due to the trajectory it can land very softly on the green.

Forgiving

Unlike many other clubs and longer irons, the 5 wood is very forgiving. Due to the technology in the clubhead they do not punish the golfers as much on mis-hits.

Performance

You can use 5 wood from the tee, off the deck, and in the semi-rough. Due to its loft, and head shape it can create a good launch angle for the ball to travel further in the air.

What’s Not Good About The 5 Wood?

Swing Speed

Despite its versatility on the course, if a 5 wood is not hit perfectly it could add strokes to your scorecard.

If a golfer has a slow swing speed or even a medium swing speed, chances are that he is going to struggle with the club. 5 wood is ideal for golfers who have high swing speeds.

Not for Beginners and Average Golfers

The mechanics, swing curvature, and stance of fairway woods are quite different from other clubs. You need to hit through the ball with a fairway wood.

Therefore, if you do not have your swing plane and path in order, or the ability to adapt, chances are that you will struggle with the 5 wood.

Hybrid, Driving Iron, 5 Wood: Which Goes Further?

Driving irons go further than comparable hybrids. Driving irons are designed to cover more yardages.

However, a 5 wood will outperform a driving iron in distance coverage. There are no set rules here.

There are a lot of other factors that have to be considered. If all else is in order, a 5 wood will go the farthest.

Which Is Easiest To Hit?

Hybrids are the easiest clubs to hit among these. However, this depends on the golfer’s ability.

Many golfers struggle with driving irons and fairway wood, but hit a perfect hybrid shot.

Some find it easy to hit irons and fairway woods and struggle with hybrids. It’s probably worth testing each one out before you decide.

Which Is Most Accurate?

If you’re playing well, driving irons are the most accurate. They have a low and straight flight because of the low loft.

Hybrids and fairway woods, on the other hand, have higher lofts. They produce better launch angles.

What’s Better For A High Handicapper?

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High handicappers often struggle with low loft and long shafts. A driving iron has a lower loft and 5 wood has a longer shaft.

This is the very reason hybrids were introduced. They are a mix of iron and fairway wood. Beginners and high handicappers are able to hit hybrid clubs consistently and with better results.

Therefore, hybrids are better for high handicappers.

What Should Mid To Low Handicappers Use?

Mid to low handicappers do not struggle with a lower loft or a longer shaft.

They are comfortable with hitting all sorts of shots. Preferably, they would use either a driving iron or 5 fairway wood.

Most professionals carry 5 wood in their bags although the new TaylorMade Stealth driving irons are proving popular with PGA professionals.

Should You Carry Both Of Them?

You can carry any club that increases your performance on the course.

If you feel like carrying a driving iron and a fairway wood, or a hybrid and a fairway wood, based on its adaptability to different shots, and your playing style, you should carry both.

Golfing Focus wrote that “59% of the best 100 PGA Tour players use one fairway wood, with 40% opting for two”. So, if you have two in your bag you are in good company.

However, you should be aware that a player is only allowed a maximum of 14 clubs, so unless you want to get disqualified from your next medal don’t put too many clubs in your bag.

What Type Of Shots Is A Driving Iron Better For?

As the name suggests, driving irons are best for driving the balls. They are best for tee shots, fairway shots, and approach shots.

Driving irons have lower and straighter trajectories, meaning that you won’t have to deal with windy situations, and you will hit more fairways and greens in regulation.

What Type Of Shots Is A Hybrid Better For?

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Since we know that hybrids are a mix of irons and fairway woods, they offer the utility of both clubs.

You can hit a hybrid off the tee, off the deck, and from the rough. Hybrids have higher trajectories; therefore, you can easily overcome hazards, bunkers, and other obstacles.

It offers good control and spins on the shot. Wes Owens Staff Instructor at the PGA Tour said that Hybrids are very handy from the rough.

What Type Of Shots Is A 5 Wood Better For?

The 5 wood is a good choice for tee shots on longer par 3’s, and shorter par 4’s.

Additionally, the 5 wood also performs well for longer approach shots. It covers good yardages. However, it is not as consistent from the rough, semi-rough, and long-cut grass.

What’s Best Off The Tee

The hybrid, driving iron and 5 wood all perform well off the tee.

Usage depends on the players ability and what shot the hole you are playing calls for. If you are looking for straighter, lower, and optimum distance shots, a driving iron should be the choice to move forward with

If you are looking for a higher trajectory-controlled shot, we suggest you use a hybrid. If you are looking for longer distances and overcoming obstacles, we recommend you use a 5 wood.

Which Club Is Best From The Fairway?

Due to having higher lofts, hybrids and fairway woods can be ideal to hit from the fairway.

However, you can also hit a driving iron as well, if this will help you get the best from your next shot. Generally, we would recommend you play the club that you are most comfortable with.

Which Club Is Best From The Rough?

Among the driving iron, hybrid, and fairway wood, a hybrid would be the best choice from the rough.

It has enough loft and optimum shaft length to work the shot. Driving irons have lower lofts. Whereas fairway wood has a longer shaft. Both can be difficult to hit from the rough.

If you still need help working out which club you should buy, why not have a look at the following YouTube video from Tour Experience Golf in which they explain the differences between each club, along with some excellent technical aspects:

https://youtu.be/ndCQIaWJT94

Best Driving Iron To Buy?

TaylorMade SIM DHY Driving Iron

SIM DHY

This driving iron has topped many charts for reasons like added distance, forgiveness, and speed foam technology to reduce vibrations at impact.

A slightly thicker topline and additional offset make the DHY an ideal top-end bag for players seeking added ball-striking assistance.

Pros

  • Forgiving
  • Added distance
  • Available in 4 lofts: 17°(2), 19°(3), 22°(4), 25°(5)

Cons

  • A bit chunkier

Overall Score: 95/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:

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Best Hybrid To Buy?

Titleist TSI2 Hybrid

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This hybrid has shown commitment. It produces faster ball speeds, good launch angles, and accuracy.

Many professionals have opted for this hybrid. In terms of consistency and ease of hitting, the TSi2 delivered a fantastic feel and inspired loads of confidence.

Pro

  • Easy launch
  • Fast ball speed
  • Good spin
  • Accuracy
  • Available in 3 lofts: 18°, 21°, and 24°

Cons

  • A shiny crown may produce a glare from lights

Overall Score: 94/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:

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Best 5 Wood To Buy?

TaylorMade SIM MAX Fairway Wood

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This modern and stylish fairway wood is engineered with twist face technology that reduces the intensity of mis-hits.

Furthermore, the V Steel Sole provides smoother sliding through the impact zone without gashing.

Pros

  • Forgiving
  • Accurate
  • Aids with off-center hits
  • Added distance coverage

Cons

  • A bit expensive

Overall Score: 96/100

Check Out More Reviews Here:

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Which One Should You Buy Overall?

If you are a beginner or high handicapper, we suggest you buy a hybrid. It will improve your game.

If you are a low handicapper who is confident about your game, then you should hit a driving iron or a fairway wood.

Most players carry either a fairway wood, a driving iron, and a hybrid. This decision will depend on how good you are, what you require from the club, and how well you hit each shot.

Conclusion

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Hybrid, driving irons, and fairway woods are all very good clubs, but they have their advantages and disadvantages.

It comes down to what you’re looking for in a club. I was looking for the perfect club to cover the gap between 5 iron and 3 wood.

I summarized that choice of a hybrid, driving iron, and fairway wood depends on your playing style and requirements.

If extra distance is your priority, then a 5 wood might be the ideal option for you, whereas if hitting targets close to the green is more important then a driving iron would be better suited.

Ultimately, it’s important to test out different clubs until you find one that works best for you – there’s no wrong answer! Comment below with which one you think you will use.

I’m off to test out the different clubs to help me make my decision. If you are still looking to further improve your golf game, why not have a look at some of our other articles.