5 Wood vs 3 Hybrid – Which Club Should I Use?

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The game of golf, theoretically, is made easier with the use of new technology.

When new options become available, golfers of all skill levels must decide whether or not the technological advances help their game.

One such debate is between the traditional 5 wood vs 3 hybrid.

Old school players typically had a driver, 3 wood, and 5 wood in their bags, and I mean actually, wood heads made or persimmon.

Wedges were typically a pitching wedge and a sand wedge, whereas today there are wedges available in upwards of five different lofts.

With so many options available in golf, it’s imperative to play with the equipment that enhances your performance and enjoyment.

The majority of players will opt for a 3 hybrid because you can use it very well from nearly any lie as well as off the tee. Nevertheless, there are some players that prefer using the 5 wood. 

Let’s take a look at the pros of each club and let you decide which is best for you!

Top Reasons to Use a 3 Hybrid

More Versatile

A hybrid is one of the most versatile clubs in the bag.

It can be used effectively from the fairway and the rough.

Some players even opt to break out the 3 hybrids on little bump and run shots just off the green.

These cubs were designed for the average to high handicap players who have difficulty getting the ball airborne with longer irons and fairway woods.

This is beneficial on approach shots on longer par 4s and 5s.

Easier to Hit a Power Draw

A major issue with most beginner to intermediate players is slicing the ball off the tee with woods.

A weak fade or slice is detrimental to a solid round of golf.

The preferred flight path is that of a power draw.

The technology of today’s hybrids assists in hitting a draw or at the very least, stop the fade and slice and straighten out the shot.

The offset and shorter shaft present in most hybrids promote a draw.

So much distance and accuracy are lost with a fade or slice, resulting in nearly impossible approach shots to greens.

Many times, players just have to take their medicine and pitch the ball back into play. That won’t be the case if a 3 hybrid is in the bag.

Higher Loft Makes a Hybrid Easier to Get Airborne

Suppose you are an average player looking to get the ball to a small green from around 200 yards away.

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A long iron or 5 wood will get you there, but neither option is a great choice to get the ball to stop abruptly to hold the green.

It’s very defeating to see a well-struck shot into the green, landing where you aimed, but the ball fails to hold the green.

This is where a hybrid is a great option.  

Many LPGA players carry hybrids and play them with great success.

While the average golfer clearly isn’t on par with an LPGA professional, their swing speeds are closer than that of a PGA Tour professional.

Pay attention to how the ladies work their hybrids like magic from all over the course. If it helps the game of a top professional, it will help your game as well!

Top Reasons to Use a 5 Wood

So why would you use a 5 wood in the 5 Wood vs 3 Hybrid debate? Let’s take a closer more in-depth look at the pros of using a 5 wood.

Easier to Hit Consistently off the Tee

On some very long par 3s or a narrow par 4, you will need a good combination of distance and accuracy that a long iron won’t provide.

The large head of the 5 wood can give added confidence off the tee, knowing the sweet spot will be significant.

It’s a solid option for a player that struggles with the driver.

If you are the type of player that loves hitting the driver and has little trouble with it, rarely hitting any other wood, then a hybrid could be your best option.

Less Likely to Hook

The professional and low handicap players that have little trouble controlling their ball flight may opt for a 5 wood over the 3 hybrid.

The reason is many players fear using a hybrid, thinking it will draw the ball even further than their normal flight path and perhaps cause a dreaded hook.

The design features of the hybrid make it easier for higher handicap players to hit a power draw.

Those with a chronic slice will be better off with a hybrid, more skilled players that draw consistently will put a 5 wood in their bag.

Edge in Distance off Tee

The larger head and longer shaft on a 5 wood will likely add distance to the shot, provided a player strikes the ball consistently with both clubs.

However, there are other factors to consider.

Off the tee, the distance edge is very likely, but making solid contact with the 5 wood out of the rough or a tight lie is more difficult, so distance may be diminished.

In that case, a hybrid is a wise option.

How to Decide Which Club to Use?

If you have the ability to test clubs at a local golf store that has a simulator, I suggest you do so

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When testing the club, pay attention to the spin rate.

If the rate is too high, above 5500, you’re losing distance.

If using a simulator is not an option, find a golf buddy that has one or both clubs and hit a bunch of shots at the range.

You should get a feel in time as to which best suits your game.

If you decide to buy the clubs, take an honest look at how far you carry your long irons and rate the quality of your contact and launch.

Players will slow swing speeds are generally better off scrapping their low to mid irons and replacing them with hybrids.

The consistency will be better and they’ll hold the greens as if you have an iron in your hand.

If you are unable to test then check out this video from Ali Taylor Golf, where he goes over the main points of the 5 wood vs 3 hybrid discussion.

Give an Honest Assessment of Your Game

A golfer is allowed to carry 14 clubs in their bag for a reason.

Utilize every club.

Don’t be the kind of player who insists on hitting a 2-iron on a long, narrow par 3 if you know you have very little chance of actually pulling it off.

Don’t worry if the rest of your group is hitting an iron. Grab a hybrid and swallow your pride.

You’ll have a better shot of getting the ball airborne and keep it on its intended line to the green.

You’ll enjoy yourself infinitely more and the results will show on the scorecard.

The single-handicap or better player can use a driving iron, which is basically the same in loft as a 2-iron but a larger clubface and longer shaft.

For players of this caliber that may worry about a hook that a hybrid could promote, a driving iron might be a better option than a 5 wood.

The driving iron might not be the attractive choice, but it’s still best to be modest and use the club that will produce optimal results.

Your Golf Game – Your Decision

Weighing the pros for both the 5 wood vs 3 hybrid, the choice is clear.

The best all-around choice is the 3 hybrid.

This is mainly due to its versatility.

Why not choose a club that you can get airborne with ease from the tee, fairway, and rough?

You can even be creative and use it around the green.

What more can you ask from a club?

Try the 3 hybrid and you’ll be surprised how much it will benefit your game!