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Why do some struggle with a 3 wood so much?


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On 10/4/2020 at 8:39 PM, BadgerGolfer said:

Id say that for most, its a combination of low loft and not having enough swing speed to get the ball in the air, then trying to make up for that by swinging harder.  For me, Im not a long hitter (87 mph swing speed with driver) and I just don't swing it fast enough for the 3-wood.  I can hit it off the tee OK but off the deck is no Bueno.  I can hit a 5-wood very well though.

Similar high 80s swing speed with driver.  Have had a couple larger head 3 woods over the years and could not use of the deck and not any more accurate of the tee than driver.  My 5 wood is more consistent and better ball flight when I swing about 80% max.

Home course is very hilly and I try to stop myself from hitting 5 wood off anything but reasonably flat ground.  Realized success rate below 50% with some hole killer results.  Pushing myself to take my medicine and stick with a 6 iron for those shots as my confidence level is much higher.

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14 hours ago, Kaplack said:

I have been struggling with my 3 Wood  for 20 plus years, why??

Because I miss the sweet spot and 20 plus years of struggling, is not good for my confidence.

You peaked my curiosity because you say you struggle yet you are a 3 handicap. What do you do to score low despite the 3 wood being the way you described? 

Golf is simple - people are complicated.

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After reading the replies, I have came to the conclusion: some people have a high expectation of their 3 wood.( myself included).

If you hit a bad drive that's short for some reason- Hit the 3 wood 100% power. It'll go as far as a driver, but off the grass. NO it won't for the average hobby golfer.

  Some 3 woods are off the tee type, and some are from the grass.

I usually hit a 5 wood for a 2nd shot at 200+ yards.

If I need 225+, it's a 3 wood.

The 3 wood will roll out.

Many people I am around, myself included, don't realize the limitations of it, and what it is really for.

Edited by Jackal

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Similar high 80s swing speed with driver.  Have had a couple larger head 3 woods over the years and could not use of the deck and not any more accurate of the tee than driver.  My 5 wood is more consistent and better ball flight when I swing about 80% max.
Home course is very hilly and I try to stop myself from hitting 5 wood off anything but reasonably flat ground.  Realized success rate below 50% with some hole killer results.  Pushing myself to take my medicine and stick with a 6 iron for those shots as my confidence level is much higher.
Sometimes you just have to take your medicine and go with the smart play.
I found that my scores really started to drop when I stopped playing hero golf and just tried to hit fairways and lay up to about 120 yards.
I'm a big fan of YouTubeer Golfsidekick and his, "way of the playa" method where you always play safe and conservative unless there's absolutely no risk. He always says, "aim for Texas" (big, safe and conservative).

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On 10/5/2020 at 8:35 AM, cnosil said:


LPGA players swing speeds are in that range and they can hit 3 wood. More technique than swing speed.

You and I have watched them up close enough to know that they also hit the ball on the button waaaaaay more frequently than we do.  I missed seeing them in Williamsburg this year.

You have to take your dispersion pattern and the course design into account.  How much room is there around the green?  Is there really enough room to accommodate your whole shot pattern?  Or will you put a significant number of 3-woods into trouble?  Many of the courses here in central VA are hacked out of forests, and often the corridors narrow around the greens, so you're bringing a significant amount of trouble into play with a 3-wood from the fairway.  I wish I played more courses wide enough to hit 3-woods into par 5s.

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13 hours ago, HardcoreLooper said:

You and I have watched them up close enough to know that they also hit the ball on the button waaaaaay more frequently than we do.  I missed seeing them in Williamsburg this year.

You have to take your dispersion pattern and the course design into account.  How much room is there around the green?  Is there really enough room to accommodate your whole shot pattern?  Or will you put a significant number of 3-woods into trouble?  Many of the courses here in central VA are hacked out of forests, and often the corridors narrow around the greens, so you're bringing a significant amount of trouble into play with a 3-wood from the fairway.  I wish I played more courses wide enough to hit 3-woods into par 5s.

Yes they do hit the center way more than us amateurs; my point wasn't about where they hit it on the face but swing speed.  People were saying that low swing speed is why you can't hit a 3 wood.  LPGA players show swing speed isn't that much of an issue.  Agree with everything else you said about dispersion pattern but that is about choosing to hit the club 🙂

I missed the tournament as well. I am hoping that they are able to hold the tournament next year;  really missed volunteering this year, 

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On 9/28/2020 at 7:45 AM, DaveP043 said:

Players struggle with longer clubs, in general, so its no surprise that they struggle most with a 3-wood, the longest club that we routinely hit off the ground.  Driver falls into a separate category, because the clubhead and available hitting area is so large, and the ball is teed up.  

+1. For me at least, add that it's the club I use the least in my bag, and it's not wonder I don't trust my 3W.

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You peaked my curiosity because you say you struggle yet you are a 3 handicap. What do you do to score low despite the 3 wood being the way you described? 

I know this wasn’t directed to me, but everyone has expectations and as your handicap gets lower. you expect to hit the ball better.

At my level, I don’t hit 3 wood often and depending on the day I can hit it well or top it 30 feet.

Low scores come from decision making and avoiding big scores not because you can hit every shot. Also, Handicap is about potential and not what you shout every week. I saw a great example of this on TV the past couple of weekends. I was watching the LPGA tournament and Anna Nordqvist was repeatedly chunking chip and pitch shots. The commentators were talking about how this was her weakness and she plays around that problem and uses putter from way off the green. I was surprised that a top LPGA player had this big of a weakness.
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3 wood has been a go to since adding it this year. 
I play it typically little further back than driver in my stance. I think before this year I wouldn’t be playing it because I had a very negative AOA but have evened out.

I can comfortable hitting off the deck but had to be a good lie. Above or below the feet is a no go for me with this club

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I suppose I am one of the lucky ones as I am very confident hitting my 3 Wood. Mind you I used to also carry a 1 iron before hybrids came out. The biggest issue I see with longer clubs is that we tend to try to belt the hell out of them instead of relying on the the extra length to generate club speed.

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I can't hit a 3 wood off the tee, because when I address the ball, the head looks too small.

I can't hit a 3 wood off the deck, because when I address the ball, the head looks too big.

 

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I just recently took my 3 wood out of the bag for the first time ever. I had a gapping session that showed no significant difference between my 5 and 3 wood. I never struggled finding the middle, but I always hit it low. That was strange for many reasons including I hit my irons to the moon and back, and I don't have speed issues (106-108mph with driver).

However, a twenty-handicap friend of mine hits his 3 wood the best out of all his clubs. 

In my opinion, it is different for everyone. When I was first learning, I always topped my 3 wood. I believe this is one of the reason's I never really fully bonded with it. If I didn't start hitting 3 wood until I was a better golfer, I believe it would have performed better. 

There is no shame using a 5 wood though; I hit mine 245 carry and get it high in the air. Many other junior golfers would agree with me.

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