3 Wood vs 3 Hybrid | What’s The Difference And Which Is Best?

Many players ask themselves what’s the main difference between a 3 wood vs 3 hybrid is, and this article will explain everything you need to know about the two different golf clubs.

In summary, the club length is slightly different, the shafts are quite similar, and the clubhead is smaller for a hybrid, but there is more accuracy, although a 3 wood wins the distance category.

For more details on these discussions, just read on!

3 Wood Overview

A beginner or an average golfer has a driver that is too long, heavy, or lofted to use properly when they first start out, and they discover that the 3 wood is better off the tee.

Although it is not as precise as an iron or a hybrid, the huge, maneuverable face assures good distance, and the club’s face is likewise large.

If you can consistently hit a 3 wood straight, it’s terrific for long distances and getting near to the green, with the pin-hunting precision of an iron but more roll out.

If you’re having trouble with your woods and notice that you’re slicing the ball, the 2 hybrid could be a much better fit for your bag.

The 3 wood is useful off the tee shots, on the fairway, and in the light rough with a good lie. It’s ideal for getting to the green in two on a long par 4 or par 5, and practically every serious golfer has one in their bag.

3 Hybrid Overview

A hybrid is a cross between a fairway wood and an iron, as the name implies. It isn’t as blunt as a 3 wood, but it also lacks the precise precision of a 3 iron.

Long, launch higher, and reliably straight shots are the result. The leading edge is also sharp, allowing it to easily cut through the tough, earning it the nickname “Rescue Club.”

The 3 hybrid is about 10 yards shorter than a 3 wood and about the same as a 5 wood in terms of different distances.

The high ball flight and consistent straightness will let you to hunt the pin more successfully than a wood, which can be employed for green hunting.

Hybrids are becoming increasingly popular

When hybrids, often known as rescue clubs, were originally created, they were thought to be game-improvement tools. Beginners and intermediate players were the ones who mostly used them.

They’re a lot less difficult to hit than the longer irons. The size and design of the head instill a lot more confidence in the golfer at address. They’re easier to launch than long irons, and they’re a lot more forgiving. This should help with precision, consistency, and range.

What’s The Difference Between a 3 Wood and a 3 Hybrid?

A 3 wood has a slightly longer shaft, it is typically the same shaft flex as the hybrid, the clubhead is larger, closer to that of a driver, the accuracy is not as great as a hybrid, but the distance is far greater than that of a hybrid.

Now the hybrid certainly is more forgiving, so it has accurate shots which it trades off for some distance (but it is better to be 20 yards short in the fairway than 20 yards further into the woods), the shaft flex is the same, the head is certainly smaller, and the length is slightly smaller as well.

So that’s the quick answer, but if you would like some more detail, keep on reading as I’ll break it down bit by bit so you can make sure you’re making the right choice about what to carry in your bag.

Club Length

Cobra Golf 2019 F9 Speedback Tour Fairway, Satin Black

Cobra Golf F9 Speedback Tour Fairway 3 Wood

Cobra Golf 2019 F9 Speedback Hybrid, Satin Black

Cobra Golf F9 Speedback 3 Hybrid

At first, when looking at a 3 wood vs 3 hybrid, the club length looks exactly the same between the two different clubs, however, you would really have to inspect or feel the clubs to determine the difference, but there still is a difference after all.

A 3 hybrid is about a half-inch shorter shaft compared to a 3 wood, which really is not that big of a difference. With such a small difference it is not something to really factor into your final decision.

In general, if you would like to remember that there is a half-inch difference in club length, go for it, but in reality, it does not make that big of a difference if any at all.

Club Shaft

Similar to the club length, the differences in the shaft are also extremely small. A 3 wood is just slightly heavier than a 3 hybrid, but it does not make a big difference. Now besides the weight, the material of the shaft and the flex is no different from a 3 hybrid to a 3 wood.

Whatever type of flex shaft you use is the same between the two clubs regardless of the weight. So overall, the only difference between the two shafts is that a 3 wood shaft weighs slightly more than a 3 hybrid shaft. 

Club Head

TaylorMade Men's RBZ Fairway, Black, Right Hand, Regular Flex, 3 Wood, 15 Degrees

Taylor Made Men’s RBZ Fairway 3-wood

TaylorMade Men's RBZ Rescue, Black, Right Hand, Regular Flex, 3 Rescue, 19 Degrees

TaylorMade Men’s RBZ 3 Hybrid

Now one of the biggest differences comes with the two different club heads of the options. A 3 wood has a much larger club head than a 3 hybrid, making it look closer to a miniature driver.

While a 3 hybrid club has a much smaller club head size in relation to a 3 wood, it is still larger than a 3 iron. Hence, the hybrid name is slightly larger than a 3 iron but less than a 3 wood.

Besides the size, a 3 hybrid head is weighted more towards the back end of the clubhead. A 3 wood has weight evenly split throughout, but a 3 hybrid certainly has the weight towards the back end of the club.

In summary, as you can see in the images above, the club head is larger for a 3 wood than a 3 hybrid, but a hybrid head is weighed more in the back of the head than a 3 wood.


This is the biggest difference between the two clubs by far. A hybrid is much more accurate than a 3 wood is, because it is designed to be more forgiving.

This is why the a great club head has a center of gravity much further back because it adds more forgiveness and accuracy. Now, this does trade off some distance, but that is something we will discuss shortly.

This is often why newer players prefer to hit hybrids instead of 3 woods, and even why some professional players have begun putting them into their bags.

It really is the increased accuracy that makes a 3 hybrid different from a 3 wood and is the greatest benefit you could get from making the swap in your bag.


Callaway Golf 2019 Epic Flash Sub Zero Fairway Wood, 3 Wood, 15.0 Degrees, Left Hand, Mitsubishi...

Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero Fairway 3 Wood

Callaway Epic Flash Hybrid (Right Hand, 3 Hybrid, 18 Degrees, Stiff Flex, Adjustable Hosel) , Black

Callaway Epic Flash 3 Hybrid

Now with increased accuracy comes decreased distance. A 3 hybrid comes with a little less distance than that of a 3 wood, roughly about 20 yards less. Now would you rather be 20 yards shorter and in the fairway, or 20 yards closer to the hole in between some trees?

Of course, I would pick the fairway, but it depends on each player’s skill level and what their specialty is. It is a little bit of a difference, but it really affects professionals more than the average weekend golfer.

So a 3 wood will hit the ball a little further, but may not be as accurate, so that is a tradeoff for you to decide.


While all fairway woods used to be made of wood, most golf club manufacturers now create their 3 woods out of stainless steel or titanium. The majority of businesses create three woods out of the same material as their drivers.

Three hybrids are created by combining three different materials: iron, steel and graphite shaft.


Why does a three-wood fly so much farther than a three-hybrid? The main reason for this is that the 3 hybrid has a lower loft than the 3 wood.

Less loft means more distance, which may seem contradictory. A higher loft allows you to hit higher shots, which is useful on approach shots.

Most three woods have a loft of 10-16 degrees, while three hybrids have a loft of 18-23 degrees.

Hitting the Ball

When you actually hit the ball there is a little difference, because of the club head size. A hybrid glides through the rough much smoother than a 3 wood head, while a 3 wood may be easier to hit on the fairway.

When you address the ball, you play the 3 wood slightly further up in your stance than you would for a 3 hybrid, which is played towards the middle of your stance. Overall, the 3 hybrid glides through the grass better and is played towards the middle of your stance, while a 3 wood is further up in your stance and is mainly specialized for the fairway.

What is the Average 3 Hybrid Distance?

A 3 hybrid golf club has an average distance of 180 yards (160 metres).

When Should You Use a 3 Wood?

If you have a terrific 3 wood but rarely use it, it’s time to figure how how to use these versatile club. There are several circumstances in which we frequently find ourselves, and a 3 wood club can help you get out of them and back on track.

Punch Shots

Assume you’re playing in the fairway and you’re stuck near a tree. Shoot the ball as close to the ground as possible until you reach a safe region. A 3 wood club is ideal for hitting a short-distance lob shot in this situation. The biggest advantage of a 3 wood is that it won’t go too high no matter how hard you hit it.

On a Grass-Free Surface

Another situation in which the 3 wood can be your salvation. It’s time to pull out the 3 wood if you’re stuck in a place where the ground is exceedingly dry and there’s little to no vegetation. The broad head of 3 wood clubs stops the ball from bouncing around too much.

On the Edge of a Fringe

When your golf ball is trapped on the fringe, it’s difficult to play consistent shots. With a wedge or a driver, getting the perfect angle to make this shot is nearly hard. Using three woods will make swinging a clean shot much easier. You’ll be able to carefully guide the ball towards the hole.

3 wood vs 3 hybrid: Which is the Best Club?

If I had both in my bag, I would use a 3 wood when I was on the fairway and had a wider room for error. While I would use my 3 hybrid coming out of the rough from a far distance or a smaller area to work with for increased accuracy.

If I could only keep one of these clubs in my bag, I would choose the 3 hybrid, because I am just a weekend golfer, so the increased accuracy is worth it for me much more than the distance. I hope you found this article helpful, and you know now the differences between a 3 wood vs 3 hybrid!


Is It Easier to Hit a 3 Wood or Hybrid?

It depends on the circumstances. The broad club face of the 3 wood makes it simpler to make firm contact than the 3 hybrid when hitting the ball off the tee.

You’ll be able to hit the ball with the same sweeping motion as you would with your driver. The 3 hybrid is easier to hit if you’re hitting the ball off the deck.

This is due to the hybrid’s greater loft, which makes it simpler to get the ball in the air. In addition, most golfers find it difficult to make consistent contact off the deck with the full swing required by a 3 wood.

When Is It Better to Hit the 3 Wood Instead of the 3 Hybrid?

If distance is your major issue, go with the 3 wood as long as you feel comfortable hitting it. Let’s say you’re on a long par 5 and you’re hitting your second shot. Hopefully, you’ve smashed your driver off the tee and are attempting to make it home in two.

Hit your 3 wood if the hole is quite wide open and you don’t mind slicing or hooking the ball out of bounds. You’ll gain more distance and have a smoother roll out. You’ll also have a better chance of making an eagle.

When you’re having trouble finding the fairway with your driver, hitting your 3 wood instead of your 3 hybrid is a solid option. When the “big dog” continues letting you down off the tee, the 3 wood will give you with similar distance and accuracy.

Should I carry a 3 wood, 5 wood, or 3 hybrid?

Like lots of decisions in playing golf, this one comes down to personal preference and comfort level. Most golfers carry a 3 wood and at least one type of hybrid in their bag. 

The answer is also depends on the type of course you intend to play. If there are a lot of lengthy par 5s on the golf course, you’ll definitely want the 3 wood in your bag. If the course is short, on the other hand, you may want to skip the 3 wood and have both the 5 wood and the 3 hybrid in your bag.

Is it possible to replace a 3 wood with a 3 hybrid?

No, a 3 hybrid is not a direct replacement for a 3 wood. Some players may opt to ditch their 3 wood in favor of a 3 hybrid. Though there’s nothing wrong with that choice, keep in mind that you’ll be sacrificing some distance.

In terms of distance, the 3 hybrid is more similar to (and potentially replace) a 3 iron. Because many golfers have trouble hitting the long irons (3,4,5), a hybrid is usually a preferable option due to the extra forgiveness and broader sweet spot.

Remember that the hybrid is the ideal combination of a fairway wood and a long iron.

When are you better suited to hit the 3 hybrid instead of the 3 wood?

If accuracy is your primary priority, hit the 3 hybrid rather of the 3 ood. The 3 hybrid’s greater loft and slightly shorter shaft length will allow for more precision and forgiveness than the 3 wood. Going with the 3 hybrid won’t cost you anything in terms of mileage.

Let’s say you’re on a lengthy par 4 and you’re hitting your second shot. To your right are woods, while to your left is water. In other words, the second shot will be a nail-biter.

It’s safer to hit your 3 hybrid because you’ll have a better chance of staying out of trouble that way. With a 3 hybrid, you’ll be able to gain more height and have a higher chance of landing your approach shot on the green.

Final Thoughts

The design and purpose of a 3-wood and a 3-hybrid are vastly different. The 3-wood is a fairway wood that goes further and keeps the ball lower than a hybrid. With a 3-hybrid, you’re more likely to hit accurate and precise shots than with a 3-wood.

A 3-wood and a 3-iron or 3-hybrid are unlikely to be found in your bag, but a 3-iron and a 3-hybrid are. If you want to add the hybrid to your collection, you should replace your 3-iron with the 3-hybrid.

Get to know your gear and your swing so you’ll know what alternatives to bring and when to use them.

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