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5-Wood Vs 3-Hybrid: Which One Should You Carry & Why

Last updated: April 12, 2023
A golfer carrying his golf bag on one shoulder and holding another golf club in the other. Green textbox on the right contains the text
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Key Takeaways

If distance is what you're seeking, or if you're not satisfied with your tee shots, then the 5-wood may be your best bet. That is also the case if you frequently miss the green on par-4 and par-5 holes or have a slower swing.
The 3-hybrid is a better option for its ease of control and forgiveness. It can help you achieve straighter shots thanks to its shorter length.

The traditional golf bag included a quality driver, a 3-wood, a 5-wood, and a 3-PW with a SW and a putter. But with the introduction of hybrid clubs, Numerous golfers are now unsure whether they should stick to their old woods or go with the new hybrid wave.

With a maximum of 14 golf clubs permissible in your bag, selecting the most suited to your game can be challenging, especially when deciding between a 5-wood and a 3-hybrid.

In this article, we will make the choice easier by answering the question once and for all.

A female golfer preparing for a swing on a golf course with two of her friends watching her

Which One Should I Carry?

Distance plays a significant role in decision-making. In terms of distance, a 17-degree 3-Hybrid is comparable to an 18-degree 5-wood. However, the club's length and head size vary. This can have an effect on swing outcomes such as workability. For instance, a 5-wood may be simpler to hit off the tee, whereas a 3-hybrid may offer a greater variety from the fairway or rough. In the end, the decision frequently comes down to which club provides the player with the most consistency. It would be best to remember that consistency breeds confidence and results in lower scores!

5-Wood Vs 3-Hybrid Comparison

Some clubs in your bag are probably woods and some may be hybrids. Both of them come in different varieties. 


The clubhead of a Titleist Tsi2 5-Wood Driver on white background
Titleist TSi2 5-Wood Driver. Source

Amateur players should carry between two and three hybrid irons in their golf bag to replace clubs such as the 5-wood and 3- and 4-irons. The overall number of hybrids required by a golfer is best decided by clubhead speed, distance gaps between clubs, personal choice, playing objectives, and budget.

The 5 Wood is an excellent club for consistently driving the ball towards the green from a relatively long distance. In addition, having a 5 wood for shorter tee shots and a longer approach shot makes the most sense for an average player.

Easier to hit off of the tee

The 5 wood's size advantage over a 3 hybrid makes it easier to hit off the tee. This gives you an advantage on shorter, narrower par 4s and longer par 3s where an iron club is insufficient.

Apart from the added loft, the 5 wood looks identical to a 3 wood, which might provide confidence when hitting it off the tee. If you are someone who frequently prefers to strike something other than the driver for safety reasons or if you have difficulty with your driver, the 5 wood may be a better option.

However, if you are a frequent pull driver and do not intend to use a 3 or 5 wood, the hybrid may be the best option. If you are looking for quality-made drivers instead you can check out this Stealth Driver Review.

Less Likely to Hook

Professionals and golfers with a low handicap who have little difficulty controlling their ball flight may prefer a 5 wood over a 3 hybrid.

This is because many players are wary of utilizing a hybrid, believing it will draw the ball further than its regular flight path and maybe result in the dreaded hook.

The hybrid's design elements make it easier for players with a greater handicap to hit a power draw. Those with a chronic slice will benefit from a hybrid, while more proficient players who routinely draw will benefit from a 5 wood.

Potentially Bigger Yardage Advantage

The 5 wood may fly further than the 3 hybrid due to the size of the head and the length of the shaft. Once again, a variety of variables are at play here. 

In certain circumstances, such as off the tee or from a perfect lie, the 5 wood may fly further and produce more total distance. However, when confronted with tight lies or thicker terrain, the hybrid may prove to be the superior alternative.


The clubhead of the Titleist TSi3 Hybrid on white background
Titleist TSi3 Hybrid. Source

The 3-wood is a member of the wood family of clubs and has been around for a long period of time. It is designed to provide the additional distance required on long par 4's and par 5's.

The hybrid club is a relatively new addition to the game of golf, developed in response to golfers' struggle to consistently and correctly strike their long irons. The 3-hybrid is not a distance club in the traditional sense.

This club is suitable for everybody; it simplifies long-range approach shots and instills confidence in your long game. The high launch and spin rate will assist you in holding greens from a distance, allowing you to strike from further out. 

Hybrid golf clubs are intended to be used in place of a golfer's 2-iron through 5-iron clubs, depending on the golfer's desire. Many golfers struggle with long irons and therefore opt for a more forgiving hybrid.

Hybrids are designed to be easier to hit than fairway woods.

As the name suggests, a hybrid is a cross between an iron and a fairway wood. In terms of appearance, construction, and function.

The phrases 'hybrid' and 'rescue club' are sometimes used synonymously. They are incredibly adaptable as a club type, providing both distance and a higher launch. Many golfers opt to replace their fairway wood or long iron with a hybrid. 

Increased adaptability in the rough and off of the fairway

While the 5 wood is more forgiving off the tee, the 3 hybrid is a more versatile club in the fairway and rough, as it is capable of being employed in almost any situation.

Certain golfers may even choose to use it to bump and run around the greens. The hybrid appears to have evolved from clubs such as tight lights or rescue clubs, which were meant to allow players with a mid to high handicap to get the ball in the air and play the longer par 4s or par 5s.

Provides higher loft option

Today's hybrids are quite easy to get a loft, which is advantageous if you frequently find yourself in the 180-200 yard zone and need to stop the ball on the green.

Nothing is more disappointing than carrying the ball to your planned landing spot only to have it roll through and off the green. This added loft will assist you in carrying the ball further and increasing your chances of keeping the ball on the green.

Golfers of all abilities are embracing hybrids as a viable option, not just for their versatility, but also for their ability to hit the target on a green and retain the shot. Numerous LPGA golfers are having considerable success using hybrids. 

Many of us should model our games more after professional female golfers, as their games and swing speeds are more comparable to the elite athletes, who swing the driver at speeds exceeding 115 miles per hour.

Here's an informative video (12 minutes 21 seconds) from James Robinson Golf's YouTube Channel. Watch to see the actual difference between a 3-hybrid and 5-wood when in action.

Factors to Consider

Your height, body type, and physical strength are all critical factors to consider. As a general rule, taller players require a longer shaft to perform optimally. Additionally, you should analyze the shaft flex and how well it fits your swing. Other factors include: 

A hand holding one of the golf clubs in the golf bag on the golf course

Swinging technique

When using a fairway wood, a golfer's swing should be more straight. The clubface should be parallel to the ground as it strikes the ball off the fairway.

A hybrid club enables the golfer to approach the ball from a steeper angle, similar to the way an iron club is struck. A well-placed hybrid shot can leave a divot that extends slightly beyond the point of impact.

Drawing ability

A draw is a challenging shot for the majority of amateurs, but with a few easy tweaks, any player can execute it. Not only does it carry further, but it also rolls further. Draws generate greater topspin, which results in an increased rollout once the ball hits the ground. The further you can hit off the tee, the closer you will be to approach shots and, consequently, the lower your score will be.

Hybrids provide an ideal environment for finally hitting a draw or stopping a slice. 

It's fantastic to see hybrids come out with designs that are more conducive to drawing. Draw-promoting features like shorter shaft lengths and more offset lie angles can be difficult to incorporate into a design that still performs well off the tee.


To begin, hybrid clubs are far more forgiving to handle than a wood or a driver. While a 5-wood will normally have a loft of around 18-19 degrees, a 3-hybrid will typically have a loft of around 21 degrees. That implies that when you strike the ball with a wood, it's much more difficult to lift the ball into the air due to the golf club’s more acute angle of contact.

Hybrid golf clubs provide players with a far higher MOI (moment of inertia) [1] and a significantly lower center of gravity, which results in a much more fluid relationship with the golf ball and prevents the clubhead from twisting or turning during impact.

Of course, you have a ton of golf clubs to choose from. It's better to be informed about the different golf clubs available on the market before making a purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the frequently asked questions regarding 5-Wood vs. 3-Hybrid. 

Who Should Use a 5-Wood?

We already know that the five wood is a fantastic choice for people seeking distance.

If you're having difficulty achieving the performance you require off the tee and are searching for an alternative, the 5-wood is an excellent solution.

Another reason to carry a five wood is if your swing is slower and you frequently miss the green on par four or par-five holes. Senior, female, and junior golfers alike frequently carry a five wood in their golf bag.

Golfers who may choose to avoid the 5- wood are those who frequently find themselves in the rough and those who wish to shoot at a pin.

Who Should Use a 3-Hybrid?

3-hybrids are popular with golfers who want a long club to approach pins.

These are low handicappers who hit the ball far and require an approach that allows them to position themselves for an eagle putt. Lower handicappers choose hybrids because they are easier to deal with and can perform similarly to an iron.

Hybrids are also ideal for beginner golfers and golfers who struggle to hit the ball straight off the tee. Due to the ease with which a hybrid may be used to navigate across uneven terrain, the hybrid is an excellent choice.

Even if the ball is slightly buried in a poor lie, the three hybrid may advance you significantly further down the fairway than some other golf clubs in the bag. Because the three hybrid is shorter than a five wood, it is significantly easier to control. This improved control is beneficial for an average golfer who is still learning how to hit the ball straighter.

In general, a golfer's choice will depend on a combination of personal preference and skill level. Numerous LPGA players carry hybrids and have excellent success with them.

Take note of how the ladies perform magic with their hybrids from all across the course. 

How Do I Choose Clubs?

If you decide to purchase the clubs, assess the distance you carry your long irons and the quality of your contact and launch.

Players with sluggish swing speeds are typically better off abandoning their low to mid irons in favor of hybrids. The consistency will be improved, and you will grip the greens as if you were holding an iron. Furthermore, keep in mind to maintain and clean your chosen club since dirt can affect how you play.

Whether you're still unsure or perhaps leaning toward a particular club, we would urge that you give both clubs a try. Visit a local golf store with a simulator and put both to the test.

Consideration should be given to club speed, ball speed, curve, and spin rate. Take care that the spin rate is not excessive. The spin rate should be between 3500 and 5500. Anything more results in distance loss and an excessive spin rate for a club in this category.

The ideal situation is to find a friend who has a 3 hybrid or a high-quality 5 wood and compare the two. Make at least five to ten shots to gain confidence and determine what works best for your game.

We have an article that will tell you the best period to purchase your golf clubs. Get the top-tier golf clubs at the best price possible.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the appropriate bag makeup for your game is straightforward: The more you experiment with, the more data you will have, and the more educated conclusions you will be able to make. As is customary, the answer is found in the data. 

Personalize your bag's appearance. There are no established rules. Take complete control of your game by determining the optimal golf iron combination for you.


  1. Why is MOI Important to My Game?. PGX. Retrieved from
Jacob Jensen
Jacob Jensen
My name is Jacob, a self-diagnosed equipment and golf enthusiast. I've been golfing since I was 15. Golf has always been my passion. I'm a bit of a golf equipment nerd and I've been that way since the moment I picked up a club for the first time. As someone who's been on both sides of the game, I know what it takes to be a good golfer. Of course, you need good equipment, but you also need to know how to use it. I hope sharing my experience with you will help you improve your game.

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