3 hybrid vs 5 wood: Which Club Should Go in Your Bag?

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What club do you pick between a 3 hybrid and a 5 wood? This is a common question asked by readers who are looking for consistency with their fairway woods. This post explains how to choose the right hybrid golf club.

In addition to the distance capabilities of each club, I investigate its center of gravity (CG), their moment of inertia (MOI), and their shot-stopping ability. In addition, I examine the best clubs for the deck and tee as well as advising which club to use in windy conditions.

Our post about the differences between 3-woods and 5-woods is a good read for those who prefer fairway-woods.

Compare the 3 hybrids vs 5 wood

Golf Monthly says that the average loft of a 3-hybrid and 5-wood is between 17-and-19 degrees. You may believe that the club construction produces the same results in terms of ball flight and distance, but this is not the case.

PXG, for example, says that amateurs like the shorter hybrid because it’s similar to an iron and requires the same setup. Beginners and high handicappers can therefore hit the ball more consistently.

The longer shaft of a 5-wood makes it easier to hit tee-shots, and offers more yardage and workability than a hybrid. It is less forgiving from rough or other unfavorable lies than a hybrid.

I’ve tested many hybrids over the years, but I personally prefer a 5-wood. It’s because I’ve been using one on the golf course for a long time and have been playing golf before hybrids were even invented. Also, I enjoy the higher ball flight.

Hybrids have revolutionized the game for amateurs and pros alike, regardless of my personal feelings. The optimal turf interaction, the MOI and a high-launch will help you get your ball airborne.


The fairway woods is designed to be hit the second furthest in your golf bag. It is only second to the driver in terms of length.

The fairway wood can be used from the tee, the fairway or even out of the rough if the lie is good enough. The main difference is it has a shorter shaft compared to a driver which makes it easier to control and hit.

Fairway Woods are higher lofts than drivers, but lower than hybrids.

Fairway woods have a center of gravity that is located at the back of the club head to provide more distance. For better control and accuracy, the center of gravity is located closer to club face on hybrid clubs.

The three fairway woods that are most commonly used in golf are the 3-wood, 5-wood and -7-wood. The club you put in your 14-club bag will depend on how much distance advantage you need to cover.

A 3 wood has a loft that ranges between 15 and 18°, a 5-wood between 17 and 21°, and a seven-wood between 21 and 24-degrees, depending on the manufacturer.


The fairway Woods Head is relatively shorter than the golf ball, as you can see in the above photo.

The less forgiving sole can intimidate beginners and intermediate players, as it is more difficult to find the sweet spot with the compact face. It also requires more precision in contact and control at the low point to produce consistent shots that have the right launch, distance and trajectory.

The flatter head shape can also make it more difficult to hit shots from the rough or tricky positions than a hybrid.

Modern fairway woods are often adjustable in loft and lie, allowing players to customize their feel. Many newer fairway woods have weights that can be interchanged, just like drivers. This allows for a more customized feel.

The fairway wood is a great club to use when you want to take a conservative approach or attack a par five that’s long in two shots. Fairway woods hit the ball lower in windy conditions than hybrids.

Fairway woods are a great alternative to hybrids when your driver isn’t working out. They can provide decent distances and still be a weapon if the driver isn’t cooperating. Hybrids, on the other hand, are usually too short compared to drivers to be considered a “weapon”.

Fairway woods are lower in loft than hybrids. This means that the ball flight will be lower and have less spin. It is therefore more difficult to hold greens.


Hybrid clubs, or “Rescue Clubs,” were originally introduced as “game improvement” golf clubs aimed at players who struggled to hit their long-irons.

Hybrids have only recently been added to the arsenal of clubs that a golfer can carry.

Due to the fact that a 3-hybrid is easier to hit than 3 irons, many golf equipment manufacturers offer a 3-hybrid as an alternative to a club set.

Many golfers who struggle to consistently make contact with the ball love hybrids because they are so easy to hit.

Due to their forgiveness and slower swing speed, many senior golfers and ladies use sets that include more hybrids and less irons and woods.

Hybrids have many more loft and name options than fairway woods.

The hybrid golf club is usually named after the iron club that it replaces.


Due to their shorter shafts, hybrids are considered easier than fairway woods.

The hybrid club is a combination of a forgiving sole with loft added and a shaft that’s longer than most long-irons. It’s still short enough to allow it to be controlled, but with less distance.

Hybrids have a more forgiving sole and a higher face profile, making them an excellent weapon to use in rough and tricky lies.

Modern hybrids are equipped with a graphite shaft instead of the steel shaft that is usually found in long irons. This makes them lighter and more easy to swing faster than long irons.

The hybrids are easier to hit and have more spin. They also hold the green better.

Hybrids are more difficult to shape because they’re designed to be straighter and more forgiving. Fairway woods are a better option if you have confidence in your ability to hit the ball and can work it high, low or draw/fade.

Hybrids are often more controlled right out of the box, and sacrifice their ability to be adjusted, such as fairway woods.

Hybrids are best used from the fairway or out of the rough.

What are the differences between a 3 hybrid and a 5 fairway wood?


The loft and lie angles of a 5-wood and a 3-hybrid are similar, so they should produce the same results. Hybrids have a shorter shaft and clubhead offset that promotes straighter shots.

The 5-wood’s thinner and compact head produces a rapid ball speed when it is caught in the sweet spot. This results in increased distance with the fairway wood. The hybrid has a greater forgiveness, but it can also result in a nasty slice or hook if you are not careful.

Shaft’s Length

The average 5-wood shaft is 42.5″, which is two inches longer than a standard 3 hybrid.

A 3-hybrid, on the other hand, produced a low flight of the ball, with less spin and a shallow descend. The ball rolled and released further than with a 5-wood.

The length of the shaft also affects your stance, and where you place your golf ball. When setting up a 5-wood compared to a 3 hybrid, you will need to position the ball closer to your forward foot.

You may be convinced that the 5-wood is a superior option. I agree. The 5-wood flies further and stops quicker, which gives you more control when playing long. It is not all roses.

You may find that a hybrid is more forgiving if you tend to hit the ball with the heel or the toe of your club. You will stay in the game with the extra MOI, and a straighter ball flight. You can lose a lot of distance and accuracy if you miss hit the small-profile 5-wood.

The Loft

According to a Golf Monthly article from 2021, the average loft for a 5-wood would be 18 degrees. The average 3-hybrid is slightly higher in loft than a standard 5-wood. It has an average of 19-degrees.

Ball Speed

A 5-wood’s thinner face generates accelerated ball speeds off the club face. This helps you to increase your distance. We found that the 5-wood produced 4-mph more ball speeds than a hybrid.

It can give you a few more yards, even though the speed is slightly faster. It depends on your backspin speed and the conditions in which you play.

Data says that ball speed is the key to gaining additional length. When your spin rate increases it can result in a higher ball speed and reduced yardage. The ball will descend quickly and abruptly, which reduces roll.

Spin RPM

Data says that spin rate affects the height and distance of your shot. Excess spin can lead to a ballooning of your shot and loss of yards. Too little spin can lead to a low launch, which will result in a loss of distance.

The 5-wood produced over 500 rpm more than the 3-hybrid. The difference was marginal but was reflected in the steep descent, the higher trajectory and the launch angle. The hybrid launched at 13 degrees, while the 5-wood launched 14.3 degrees.

The 5-wood landed only 1-yard short of the hybrid despite the increased spin. Both clubs also averaged a roll of 10 yards. The overall result of the game is the same but the ball’s path to the goal is different.


A hybrid is better in this area, even though fairway woods have game-improvement technology that boosts forgiveness. The hybrid’s heavier clubhead produces a higher MOI, which optimizes forgiveness.

The MOI helps to reduce the chance of a slice and produce straighter shots. The profile of most rescue clubs is slightly offset, encouraging a right-to-left ball flight or draw. This shape helps to limit the amount of sidespin, which can lead to a fade.


The 5-wood’s higher spin rate, despite increasing ball speed, reduced the distance and carry of its 5-wood. In both cases, the 5-wood was still only 1 yard off of the hybrid. The hybrid rolled ten additional yards and carried 244 yards. The 5-wood carried 244-yards, and rolled an additional ten.

The results between the two were very minimal, as you might expect from a good golfer.

Which club is more likely harder to hit?

Theoretically, you should be able to hit both clubs the same distance. This depends on your swing speed, and how well you can strike the golf ball. If you can generate enough speed on your downswing, and hit the golf ball with a clean strike, you will be able to hit a hybrid golf club and fairway wood similar distances. The hybrid clubs will have a higher ball flight and the golf ball will land on the green softer.

A hybrid may be more effective for ball strikers who are less consistent and have slower swing speeds. This is due to its greater forgiveness and wider profile. A beginner or high handicapper is more likely than a fairway-wood to hit consistently long shots using a hybrid.

Low handicappers and professionals will achieve similar distances with both clubs.

What club is considered easier to hit?

A hybrid is much easier to hit because it offers more forgiveness. You can hit it in either the heel or the toe and still get the ball up.

The offset profile on a hybrid also helps to improve accuracy by generating straighter shots.

Do you need both clubs in your bag?

You do not have to carry both clubs in your bag. You may have to change your wedge selection if you carry these two clubs. If you have too many long clubs, it means that you will need to sacrifice your wedges. This can affect the performance of your short game.

What Club Is Right For You?


Forgiveness is the best way to find out what club will work for you. You will need to use a long forgiving club head

Fairway Woods vs. Hybrids: How Many Differences Can You Tell?

Most beginner golfers do not know what club they can pick based on the fairway 5 wood and 3 hybrid. The main differences are in fairway woods which have a longer head and sole, allowing you to strike more on a flatter trajectory. The hybrids are gentler and easier. This comparative comparison demonstrates how fairways are made compared to hybrids. We will explore it. The Fairway wood is excellent for defending the par 5 from a very far away.

If you are not yet mastered in the art of hitting the ball and you make the occasional mistake. A club that compensates for strikes off-center to provide consistent accuracy and distance.

Matt’s 5-wood was consistently hitting the sweet spot in the TXG Test. This is why Matt had a straighter ball flight.

If you catch your 5-wood on the toe or heel, it will create side spin which can cause a hook or slice. In this position, golfers are better off using a hybrid with a high MOI to achieve consistent accuracy and distance.

Launch Angle

You may consider the 5-fairway wood if you want a ball that launches high and has a consistent carrying distance. To achieve this, you must hit it on the sweet spot.

Low and mid handicappers will be able to handle the 5-fairway wood’s reduced forgiveness, but beginners and high handicappers should stick with the hybrid.

Backspin RPM

This may not be a good thing for most golfers who are naturally inclined to generate excessive spin when playing with a 5-wood. This additional backspin can lead to inflated shots, loss of distance, and a lack of control in the long game.

A hybrid can offer players consistent spin and speed for a powerful launch. However, most golfers are better suited to a 3-iron or different long irons.

The hybrid is a great option for golfers with slower swings who have trouble generating enough speed or spinning off the face.


Accuracy is the final factor you should consider when comparing a 3 hybrid vs a 5-wood. Consider your shot dispersion. How far apart are your ten balls if you have hit them? The balls that land far apart highlight inaccuracy and erratic distribution.

It is best to use a club that will allow you to make mistakes and still maintain consistency. A 3-hybrid is the best golf club to use instead of a 5-wood.