5 Wood vs 3 Hybrid: Which One Should I Carry?


New technology is supposed to make the game easier, right? When golfers are presented with new options, they often wrestle with when to make the change and whether or not the new technology is actually good for them. 

Many people have asked which one should I carry a 5 wood or a 3 hybrid.  

Below we provide our top 3 reasons you might carry a 5 wood and the top 3 reasons to carry a 3 hybrid.

I am here to help you decide and settle the ongoing debate of 5 wood vs 3 hybrid.  

The great thing about technology today is that the golfer has plenty of options, but it can be a tough decision on which route to go.  The standard golf bag used to be Driver, 3 wood, 5 wood and then a 3-PW with a SW and a putter.  

Now golfers have so many options between hybrids and the plenty of options available in the wedges between the 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60 degree wedges that golfers can plug and play with.

Many of us dream about golf! Make sure you are playing with the right equipment!

Which one should I carry a 5 wood or a 3 hybrid?  

The majority of golfers should select the 3 hybrid.  It provides great versatility both off the tee, out of the fairway and out of the rough. However, some golfers may still prefer the 5 wood for several reasons.  There are pros and cons to both clubs and the decision is ultimately based on the strengths and weaknesses of your game.

Here are the pros of both the 5 wood and the 3 hybrid.

Top 3 Reasons to carry a 5 wood.

  • Easier to hit off of the tee.
  • May have a bigger yardage advantage.
  • Won’t hook as easy as the 3 hybrid.

Top 3 Reasons to carry a 3 hybrid.

  • Greater versatility out of the fairway and rough.
  • Potentially provides a higher lofted option.
  • Will be easier to hit a draw with.

Below we will provide greater detail on each of these reasons listed above.  Here we go!

5 Wood: Easier to hit off of the tee

The size of the 5 wood compared to a 3 hybrid makes it easier to hit off of a tee.  This provides an advantage on those shorter, narrow par 4s or longer par 3s where an iron just won’t cut it. 

With the 5 wood looking similar to a 3 wood, other than the additional loft can provide the confidence needed when hitting it off of a tee.  If you are someone that often likes to hit something other than the driver for safety or if you struggle with your driver, than the 5 wood might be the better option. 

However, if you are often pull driver and don’t see yourself going with a 3 wood or 5 wood than the hybrid might be the better option.

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5 Wood: May have a bigger yardage advantage

Due to the size of the head in addition to the length of the shaft, the 5 wood might fly further than the 3 hybrid.  Once again, there are several different factors that come into play here. 

In some situations, such as off of the tee or the perfect lie, the 5 wood might fly further overall and provide greater overall distance.  However, out of tight lies or thicker rough the hybrid may end up being the better option.

5 Wood: It won’t hook as easy as the hybrid

My experience with the hybrid and one of many lower handicap players and the pros is the fear of the hybrid over drawing and turning into a hook. 

The design of the hybrid makes it easier to hook than the 5 wood, which can make the 5 wood a better option if you often fight the hook.  Many amateur golfers would love to have an anti slice club, which is why the hybrid is sometimes a better option.

Want a complete overview of what a hybrid is. Check out this post.

3 Hybrid: Greater versatility out of the fairway and rough

While the 5 wood can be easier to hit off of a tee, the 3 hybrid provides such great versatility out of the fairway and the rough.  The hybrid is one of the most versatile clubs in the bag and provides you with an option from just about any situation. 

Some players might even decide to hit a little bump and run around the greens.  It appears that the hybrid evolved from clubs like the tight lights or rescue clubs that were designed to give the mid to high handicap the ability to get the ball in the air and have a chance on longer par 4s or the par 5s that we all face.

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3 Hybrid: Potentially provides a higher loft option

The hybrids of today are very easy to get up in the air, this can help if you often find yourself in the 180-200 yard range and you need to stop the ball on the green. 

Nothing is more deflating than to carry the ball to your intended landing area and have the ball roll all the way through and off the green.  This additional loft will help you carry the further and have a better chance of holding a firm green. 

Golfers of all ability levels are turning to the hybrids as a solid option not only due to the great versatility, but also because of the ability to hit the target on a a green and hold that shot on the green.  Many LPGA players are playing hybrids with great success. 

The reality is that even the average male amateur swings more similar swing speed wise to an LPGA professional vs a PGA professional. 

Many of us should model our games more after the women professional golfers as their games and swing speed provide a better model versus the exceptional athletes that play on the GPA tour where they are swinging over 115 miles per hour with the driver.

3 Hybrid: Easier to hit a draw with it

Many golfers struggle immensely to find get rid of the slice or the power fade and start to draw the ball.  I think that when many people start off, they dream of hitting that beautiful push draw that starts right and curves towards the target. 

The hybrids of today provide an excellent setup to finally hit a draw or at least to stop the slide.  The shorter shaft and offset allows for a setup that promotes a draw. 

I see way too many golfers fight the slice and lose so much distance from the over spinning cut shot that devastates the total distance a golfer can hit a club.

Looking to hit a draw as your stock shot. Check out this post!

Final Verdict: 5 Wood vs 3 Hybrid

Go with the 3 hybrid! I don’t think you can go wrong with the 3 hybrid. The overall versatility makes it a wonderful club for golfers all all ability levels. You will not be disappointed.

What To Do Next?

Go Out and Test It Out

Still undecided or even leaning towards a certain club. I would recommend to go out and test both clubs.  Head to your local golf store that has a simulator and test both out. 

Items to watch for include club speed, ball speed, curve and spin rate.  Be careful the spin rate isn’t too high.  The range should be between 3500 and 5500 on spin rate.  Anything more and you are losing distance and have too much on the spin rate for a club in this category. 

The most ideal is to find a friend that has a 3 hybrid or a quality 5 wood and test the different.  Try to hit at least 5-10 shots to get comfortable to see what is best for your game.

Maybe Get Both Clubs

How do you hit your long irons?  Do you struggle to make solid contact and get them in the air?  You might be best off carrying multiple hyrbrids of mid range fairway woods.  Check out the clubs in a LPGA players bag and see how many hybrids they are carrying. 

Many seniors, as their swing speed decreased, might be best off getting ride of the 3-6 irons and replacing with the appropriate hybrid options.  The hybrid is an easy to hit club that gets the ball in the air and can be played more like an iron as far as holding a green is concerned.

Be Honest

Set the ego aside and make sure you maximze the 14 clubs allowed in the bag.  Too many golfers stand over that 3 or 4 iron and really have a very limited chance of hitting a quality shot. 

Go with the technology that allows you to shoot the best scores and stop worrying if you are hitting a hybrid on a par 3 when you golfing buddies are hitting long irons. 

At the end of the day, you have to put yourself in position to play your best and shoot your best scores, regardless of stigma of hitting hybrids or fairway woods when the others are hitting the long irons.  The scorecard will speak volumes at the end of the round.

Are You A Single Digit Handicap Player?

I have see the shift to many of the driving irons that are 2-3 irons with a bigger clubface and a longer graphite shaft that might take the fear of the hook shot away from the hybrid. 

It seems that more and more professional golfers are utilizing these driving irons to provide great accuracy without losing any distance.  Once again, do not have too much ego to play a non blade iron if that gives you the best opportunity to hit you shot at the right time in the round.

Looking to get better?  We have the right formula for you.  It is a combination of steps you can take.  Here is the process we believe in below:

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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