2 Iron vs 5 Wood: Which One Should I Carry?

There are typically two different types of golfers when it comes to golf club selection:

  • The golfer that selects their 14 clubs and stays with it for a season or several.
  • The golfer that owns more than 14 clubs and is constantly tinkering with their club set up.

Whatever category you fall into, it is essential that you have the best 14 clubs setup for your golf swing and your golf game to help you score your best.

I have found recently, that a simple club change can save a golfer 3-5 strokes per round.  When I swapped out my 3 hybrid for a 2 utility iron, I saw a big difference in my quality of shots and the confidence I had standing over each shot.

I hit 2 par 5s in 2 shots and stuck a 210 yard par 3 to 10 feet.

I couldn’t have hit these shots with my previous 3 hybrid.  What does this all mean for the typical golfer? That it is time to ensure you have the right clubs.  This specific post will jump right in to explore the 2 iron vs the 5 wood and which is best for your game.

Below, I will highlight the strengths of each club, break down who might prefer each club and break down how you can assess what is best for your same and your game!

Get your 14 clubs set up best for your game! Check out how to assess your game below!

2 Iron vs 5 Wood: Which One Should I Carry?

The majority of golfers, ranging from a 5 handicap and up, will typically hit the 5 wood higher and further than the 3 iron.  Due to the design and the technology of the 5 wood, the majority of golfers will benefit from the fairway wood design compared to a 3 iron.  The more elite golfer, seeking precision and accuracy might benefit from the 3 iron.

Many times, it comes down to two factors:

  • Your ability to hit the ball on the center of the club face frequently.
  • Your overall club head speed.

The weaker you are in either of the two bulleted items above, the more you should lean towards the 5 wood over the 3 iron.

Benefits of the 5 Wood

The 5 wood is a great club option for many golfers.  It has many benefits that include the following:

  • It provides great versatility from the rough, fairway, fairway bunker or off the tee.
  • It helps the golfer launch the ball higher and further.
  • Helps produce quality shots on shots hit on the toe or heel

Resource: 5 wood vs 7 wood


The 5 wood is a go to club for many golfers.  It has enough loft, and forgiveness to help most golfers get the ball airborne and allow the ball to fly for a decent amount of distance.  The ability of the club to hit out of the rough without it twisting and causing a real ugle shot is important to those that might lack some overall swing speed or strength to really hit a quality shot out of the deeper rough.

Resource: When to use a 5 wood

Higher and Further

The design and technology behind a 5 wood is rather impressive.  The larger size heads, but with a lower profile gives the golfer the confidence to make an aggressive swing at the ball without fear of hitting a really ugly shot, resulting in a poor outcome.  The 5 wood is design to send the ball flying higher and further.  The shaft is slightly longer and the overall forgiveness is rather impressive.


The 5 wood provides some quality forgiveness on those shots hit on the toe or the heel.  There is nothing worse than the duck hook or the vibrating shot that can come through on some longer irons when the ball is not hit on the center of the face.  Those that lack swing speed will appreciate the ease at which the 5 wood can be swung and still create some impressive results.

Resource: 3 wood vs 5 wood

Whatever club you decide on, make sure you practice!

Benefits of the 2 Iron

The 2 iron is a viable option for the low handicap golfer. It has several benefits that include the following:

  • Accuracy and precision
  • Ball flight control
  • Workability

Accuracy and Precision

It is one thing to hit a ball 215 yards, but if you hit the ball 205 yards one time, 225 the next and 215 only one time out of 3, the elite golfer may struggle on certain approach shots on reachable par 5s, long par 4s or those 200 yard plus par 3s. 

The key is to be able to control the carry distance and reach a level of precision that allows the best golfers to control their distance with a 5-7 yard range on these 200 yard pus shots.

The start line with the 2 iron may supersede that of the 5 wood.  The extra weight, shorter shaft and the ability to control the swing path and club face allows the golfer to better control their start line.

Resource: 5 wood vs 3 iron

Ball Flight Control

Overall, the best golfers want to be able to flight the ball. When they have a shot into the wind, they want to be able to hit the low, stinger-like shot to keep the ball out of the wind.  When they need to launch one higher, they want to be able to execute this shot as well. 

Overall, the 2 iron is easier to control the ball flight of the ball when compared to a 5 wood.  The 5 wood may have a tendency to fly too high in those situations where it is essential to keep the ball low.


The elite golfer will want to hit a draw on demand and then turn around and hit a fade on demand on the next hole.  The 2 iron is the better option for the golfer that wants to work their way around a course with precision and working the ball both ways. 

When a golfer takes into account the ability to work the ball both ways, this could lead to several saved shots during a round.  Oftentimes, for the best golfers, it is more about the quality of the misses vs the how great the best shots are.  The 2 iron can be a great option for this.

A 3 iron might look rather intimidating to some. The 5 wood can provide plenty of confidence!

5 wood: Who should select the 5 wood

The golfer with a slower swing speed that struggles to find the center of the club face at least 90% of the time.  With the newer technologies in both fairway woods and hybrids, most golfers will select the 5 wood and with good reason. 

Over the course of 18 holes and beyond the ability to hit the ball higher and further and the higher quality out of poor lies will help the golfer save several shots per round.

2 Iron: Who should select the 2 iron

The golfer with the more elite swing speed, around 105 miles per hour plus with the driver.  And the golfer who often finds the center of the clubface.  I would highly recommend those selecting the 2 iron to consider the utility iron style of 2 iron. 

I have found my 2 utility to be one of my favorite clubs on par 5s, short and narrow par 4s and those 200 yard plus par 3s.  

The unique design of the utility irons is rather impressive and worth checking out.  My only regret was that it took so long to stop being stubborn to spend the money and go with the utility iron.  It has been a game changer!

Assessing Your Game

All golfers should assess their game, whether they set their bag for a season or more or tinker from round to round, golfers need to collect data and make decisions.  They might be surprised by the results and make changes they wouldn’t have expected.

Our number one recommendation is to consider purchasing a launch monitor. These 500 to 2000 dollar portable devices are a game changer.  They can provide the following information:

  • Carry and Total Distance
  • Ball Speed
  • Launch Angle
  • Spin Rate
  • Spin Axis

Whether you are setup on a golf mat and net in your garage, you take the device with you to the range or you setup a golf simulator space in your garage, house or basement the instant feedback and ability to measure what is best for your game can start saving you shots really soon.

I have been able to select the best golf clubs, create a distance chart and practice everyday in my golf simulator setup.  This combination has helped me reduce my score by 4-6 shots on average where I now shoot in the 70-74 range on average.  I will continue to work, learn more and more and find ways to lower my score.

Here are the top 3 options to check out:

5 Trackman Alternatives: Get Started Today!

One of the greatest advantages is to be able to create a distance chart with your wedges or even your entire golf bag.
ClubCarry Distance (100%)90%80%
Pitching Wedge128118108
Approach Wedge118110102
SW Club1059791
LW Club908274
Practice your game 365 with a golf simulator setup! I built mine around a SkyTrak. See the links below for more info!

2 Iron vs 5 Wood: Final Thoughts

Golf is a game that is now filled with plenty of analytics.  Even the amateur golfers can take advantage of the swing data that can be at a finger tips.  The ability to simply understand your distances and the quality of shots you are hitting with each club in your bag can help you save shots as early as your next round.

Stop guessing what is best for your game or how far you hit a club and have actual data and feedback to help you on your journey to play your best golf yet!  Stop settling for the barrier you are struggle to get past and invest in your game!  The hours of practice and fun from a launch monitor can bring about some quality results!

Get started today!

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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