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5 Wood vs 3 Hybrid

Updated On December 11, 2022

When trying to decide if a 5 wood or 3 hybrid is the right club for you, there are a few things to consider. The main factor to consider is how far you hit your current clubs. If you are a beginner or you hit your clubs less than 200 yards, then a 5 wood is the right club for you. On the other hand, if you are an intermediate or advanced golfer and hit your clubs over 200 yards, then a 3 hybrid is the right club for you.

Overview of The 5 Wood vs. 3 Hybrid

Here we’re going to quickly go over 5 wood vs. 3 hybrid. Golf Monthly suggests that the average loft angle of a 3 hybrid and 5 wood is 17 degrees to 19 degrees. Contrarily, since the 5 wood has a longer shaft, it’s easier to swing on tee shots. In addition, it offers better yardage and workability over the 3 hybrid golf clubs.

Differences Between a 5 Wood and a 3 Hybrid


A 5-wood and 3-hybrid are similar when it comes to lie angle and loft profile, which in theory, should produce the same result. Additionally, TXG, also known as Tour Experience Golf, explains that a hybrid’s broad, deep face produces excellent forgiveness on those heel and toe mishits. Additionally, the compact, thinner head of the 5 wood creates rapid ball speed when you hit the sweet spot. This rapid speed results in more distance.

Shaft’s Length

The average shaft length of a 5 wood measures 42.5”. This is two inches more than a common 3 hybrid.


The standard loft of a 3 hybrid is 19 degrees, and the standard loft of a 5 wood is also 19 degrees. However, we would like to mention that both a 5 wood and a 3 hybrid can have lofts that range anywhere from 18 degrees to 21 degrees. 

You would think that since they both have the same loft, they would fly the same distance. Right? Not necessarily. 

Ball Speed

The ball speed is faster with the 5 wood because it generates accelerated ball speed off the clubface. That also helps increase your distance.

Spin RPM

Spin RPM is influenced by the apex and distance of your shot. The 5 wood is more likely to have a forward spin that encourages the ball to roll more and achieve a greater distance. 

The 3 hybrid allows for more control when it comes to how you hit the ball. This means you will notice more backspin on your shots. 


There’s one primary reason why people like to use a 5 wood over a 3 hybrid. That is because a 5 wood is more forgiving than a hybrid. However, when you put a 5 wood up against a 3 hybrid, the club won’t feel as forgiving to the majority of people. 

However, the forgiveness can be tricky when you compare these two to other clubs because a 5 wood is one of the more forgiving fairway woods, and the 3 hybrid is one of the least forgiving hybrids. 

We can tell you from experience that the amount of forgiveness each golf club has is really similar. For reference, they’re both better than trying to swing a 3-iron. That’s all any beginner player needs to know! 


Most people find that their fairway wood sends the ball a bit farther than their hybrid does. Since the clubs have the same loft, we know that’s not why. The difference in the distance actually comes from the length of the golf club. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that the distance is a mix of a center strike on the golf club, ball speed, and equipment.

Top Reasons to Use a 3 Hybrid

More Versatile

3 hybrids are more versatile than 5 woods. Some call a 3 hybrid the rescue club because of its versatility. It can definitely get you out of trouble.

Hybrids are designed to keep the weight of the club low and in the back of the head. This makes it easier to get the ball up in the air. The width of the sole and shape of the head also grants the club to easily cut through the rough. The length of the shaft allows for a steeper angle of attack, which can help with shots in the long grass.

Easier to Hit a Power Draw

With a 3 hybrid, it’s easier to hit a power draw. For those who don’t know what a power draw is, a power draw is when you hit the ball with a lot of power but with a reduced swing arc. This makes it easier to hit the ball further, but it is more difficult to control the ball. 

Higher Loft Makes a Hybrid Easier to Get Airborne

3 hybrids have a higher loft in the clubface, which creates more air resistance. You probably guessed it; this makes getting the ball up in the air easier. This is why many players prefer to use hybrids with a higher loft since they provide more consistency and make it easier to get the ball airborne.

Top Reasons to Use a 5 Wood

Easier to Hit Consistently off the Tee

If you want to improve your golf game, one of the things you can do is work on your tee shots. A good way to do this is to make sure your club is set up correctly and that you are using the correct swing. When you are able to hit your tee shots consistently, it will be easier to make birdies and pars.

Less Likely to Hook

If you’re known to hook your shots, this is reason alone is why you should use a 5 wood over a 3 hybrid. The design of the hybrid is what promotes a draw shape. For some golfers, this can be detrimental. The design of the 5 wood, including the length of the shaft and its flatter lie angle will promote more of a fade and a more controllable shape. If you tend to turn the ball over, we recommend sticking with the 5 wood.

Edge in Distance off Tee

When playing golf, the distance between you and the ball can affect the shot. If you are too close, you may not have enough time to hit the ball properly. If you are too far away, you may not be able to reach the ball. Finding the right distance off the tee is important for a good golf shot.

Other FAQs

Which Club Typically Hits Further?

It can be argued that you should be able to hit a ball with a 5 wood and a 3 hybrid an equal distance. However, this is not always the case because swing speed and ball-striking ability that  influence how far you hit a ball. If you can generate enough pace on your downswing and cleanly strike the ball, you should be able to hit both these clubs at a similar distance. However, the ball will get there in different ways.

Those who aren’t as consistent with their strikes or those with slower swing speeds may be able to hit further with a hybrid than a 5-wood. This is because of hybrids have a wider profile and superior forgiveness. Fundamentally, someone with a high handicap or a beginner golfer is more likely to regularly hit long shots with driving irons or a hybrid compared to a fairway wood.

However, professionals and those with low handicaps should be able to achieve similar results when it comes to distance with both clubs.

Which Club is Considered Easier to Hit?

No question, a hybrid is easier to hit than a 5-wood. This is because of how much forgiveness it provides. Whether you strike it low, high, in the heel, or in the toe, you will be able get the ball in the air and enjoy an acceptable carry distance.

Do You Need Both Clubs in Your Bag?

No, you do not need both clubs of these clubs in your bag. We would not recommend that you carry both of these golf clubs. This is because it may impact your wedge selection. Having more long clubs means that you’ll need to sacrifice a wedge. You don’t want to do this because it will hurt your short game performance.

How Do You Figure Out Which Club is Right for You?


Have you not yet mastered the art of ball striking? Do you mishit the odd shot? If you can say yes to either of those things you will need a long club that’s forgiving. A club that compensates for off-center strikes is perfect for those who are looking for more distance and better accuracy.

When you catch a 5-wood off the heel or toe, it can create side spin. You don’t want this because it causes the ball to hook and slice. 

Launch Angle

If you’re looking for consistent carry distance and the ability to get the ball in the air, you may want to consider using the 5-wood. However, we would like to mention that you’ll need to be able to hit the sweet spot to achieve this.

Those with mid to low handicaps will be able to deal with this reduced forgiveness. But beginners and those with high handicaps should stick with the hybrid due to its consistency.

Backspin RPM

If you’re someone who has trouble naturally generating excess spin then we recommend you play with a 5-wood. However, if you’re someone who can naturally add spin then we can’t recommend you use a 5-wood because the additional spin could lead to loss of distance and control.

Golfers with slower swings what want to add more speed and spin off the face of the ball will benefit from the consistency that the hybrid offers


The last thing we suggest you take into consideration when looking at which club is right for you is accuracy. Think over what your shot dispersion rate is. In other words, if you hit nine balls, how far apart do they land from one another? Balls that end up far apart from one another highlight inaccuracy and erratic dispersion.

The best way to overcome that issue is to find a club that offers more consistency and is forgiving. The best example of this is a 3-hybrid over a 5-wood.

Which is Better for a High Handicapper?

Someone with a high handicap might think that a 3 wood is the best club to use because it is easier to hit with. However, this is not always the case. The 5 wood is the better club for those with a high handicap because it is more forgiving and has a longer shaft.

About the author 

Bobby Hurst

Bobby Hurst Is the founder of He has been an avid golfer and instructor for over 20 years. He has always been passionate about the sport for as long as he can remember and considers the site as a passion project where he gets to share his love of golf with other avid golfers. He considers golf to be a sport that exercises both the mind and body; which is why you will constantly find him out on the course at least once a week. On his games, he enjoys trying out new techniques, and equipment. You can find his golfing tips, and reviews on some of the best golfing equipment on the site.