Most golfers will agree that fairway woods are the most difficult club to strike properly from the deck. It is slightly easier off the tee where you can tee it up. Hybrid clubs were brought to life to aid golfers with the difficulties that they have experienced hitting their long irons. Many manufacturers have now excluded the 3-iron from their sets of irons and made the 3-hybrid an optional purchase.
The 3-wood is part of the wood family of clubs and has been part of the industry for a long time. It is aimed at getting that extra distance that you require on long par 4’s or par 5’s.
The hybrid is a relatively recent addition to the game of golf as golfers experienced problems striking their long irons consistently and accurately. The 3-hybrid is not an out and out distance club.
Hybrids Grow in Popularity
When first introduced, hybrids, or rescue clubs as they are sometimes called, were seen as game improvement equipment. They were mostly used by beginners and intermediate players.
They are infinitely easier to hit than the longer irons. The size of the head and the design give the golfer a lot more confidence at address. They are easier to launch and a lot more forgiving than long irons. This should improve accuracy, consistency, and distance.
Hybrids have grown in popularity and are now used by players at all levels of the game, including many pros.
3 Wood vs 3 Hybrid
For starters, the loft angles on the 3-wood and the 3-hybrid differ substantially and therefore you are unlikely to hit the ball the same distance with both of these clubs. The trajectory and the distance that the golf ball travels is dependent on the loft angle of the club.
Loft angle on a 3-wood is frequently between 15 degrees and 18 degrees and a 3-hybrid loft angle is mostly between 22 degrees and 23 degrees. This should indicate that the two clubs are not competing with each other but provide you with two vastly different options.
3-Woods are commonly manufactured from similar materials that go into the construction of a driver, but many manufacturers still use stainless steel for their 3-woods. The 3-hybrid club is harder and made from a combination of graphite, iron, and steel.
The length of the shafts on the 3-wood and the 3-hybrid is remarkably similar. The shaft on the 3-wood is often only ½ inch longer than the shaft of the 3-hybrid. The shaft of the 3-hybrid is normally slightly heavier than that of your driver and 3-wood.
Unlike irons that generally come standard with steel shafts, the 3-wood and 3-hybrid both generally come standard with a graphite shaft to make it lighter.
While some 3-wood hosels are adjustable you will not find the same adjustability on the 3-hybrid hosels. This is likely to change in the future to make hybrids more flexible.
A clubhead on a 3-wood has more volume than a 3-hybrid. The clubface of a 3-wood is larger and provides a larger sweet spot than the clubface of the 3-hybrid. The sole of a 3-hybrid is more forgiving than that of a 3-wood.
The center of gravity (CoG) of a 3-wood is located towards the back end on the clubhead to achieve the longest distance possible and the CoG of a 3-hybrid is located closer to the clubface for better control and accuracy.
Accuracy and Consistency
A shorter shaft and well-balanced clubhead make the 3-hybrid better for accurate shots consistently rather than push for extra distance. Good golfers can hit a 3-wood perfectly accurate, but it is more likely to go offline on a slight mishit.
The distance that you can achieve with a 3-wood is far greater than that of the 3-hybrid, provided it is struck correctly. As the 3-hybrid is a replacement for the 3-iron you can expect to achieve somewhere between 180 and 210 yards with a 3-hybrid.
The 3-wood is aimed at making it possible to reach the green of a par 5 much easier and it can achieve a distance of up to 240 yards. Although some golfers can hit it further the distance quoted is probably the maximum that most golfers will achieve. Roll-out distance with a 3-wood is greater than that of a 3-hybrid due to the apex difference between the two clubs.
There is a stark difference between the design and aim of a 3-wood and a 3-hybrid. The 3-wood is a fairway wood that keeps the ball lower than a hybrid and travels further. You are more likely to hit accurate and precise shots with your 3-hybrid than a 3-wood.
You are likely to have both a 3-wood and a 3-iron or 3-hybrid in your bag but not a 3-iron and a 3-hybrid. The 3-hybrid should replace your 3-iron if you wish to add the hybrid to your collection.
Get to know your equipment and your swing so that you have a good understanding of what options to carry and when to put them to use.
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.