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Your best 3-wood tips!


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I've tried a couple of 3 woods recently but not really given them enough time to get right so I'm having another go after picking up a Cobra F9 (really like my F6+ driver so seemed like a good choice). 

I know I should get fitted but money is tight & I can't afford a new one, although this one was new off eBay for £70. It will probably replace a 19° 816 hybrid as I tend to use my 22° more often with better results.

What I'd like to do is be able to hit it steady, hit fairways regularly. 

So what are your best tips for consistent 3 wood strikes? 

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Get rid of the 3w and get a 4 or 5w.

More loft is easier to hit, generally produces better launch conditions and the same or better distance along with consistency than a 3w.

second option is to be like Stenson and keep the 3w that works best for you on the bag for as long as possible 

 

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3 hours ago, DStar said:

 

What I'd like to do is be able to hit it steady, hit fairways regularly. 

So what are your best tips for consistent 3 wood strikes? 

I don’t know what hitting fairways regularly means but don’t expect to hit any more than with any other club.  Most people don’t hit anymore fairways with 3 wood than they do with driver.  

simple answer is practice.   Experiment with what works and doesn’t work. 

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3 hours ago, DStar said:

I've tried a couple of 3 woods recently but not really given them enough time to get right so I'm having another go after picking up a Cobra F9 (really like my F6+ driver so seemed like a good choice). 

I know I should get fitted but money is tight & I can't afford a new one, although this one was new off eBay for £70. It will probably replace a 19° 816 hybrid as I tend to use my 22° more often with better results.

What I'd like to do is be able to hit it steady, hit fairways regularly. 

So what are your best tips for consistent 3 wood strikes? 

One of my favorite clubs was a 3w when I gamed a taylormade Burner years ago .. then all of sudden couldn't hit it, so I when with a F9 cobra 5w and I was hitting that off the Tee and the fairway pretty well a lot easier to hit then the 3w. The problem which wasnt a bad one it was mostly an ego problem I couldn't get on in two on par 5s while hitting my second shot with the 5w so I bough the F9 3w and while I would hit that okay from the fairway for a little bit it wasn't as good as a hit as the 5w. But I hit the 3w fairly well off the tee so I keep it in the bag, also its adjustable so I can increase the loft. So to answer your question which I am not really doing but off the fairway 5w would be a better option then a 3w unless you are hitting it off the tee is my good too .. 

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Today they stamp a number "3" on 15° clubs

or even on 13/13.5º clubs because they somehow like the designation "strong-3" more than the simpler designation, "2-wood," which is beyond what I can understand.

Well, I have no choice but to accept that a 15° fairway is a normal 3-wood now, and for me, that's too strong to hit from the deck absent a slightly uphill lie..

I can launch it, usually, but it probably won't carry as much as a slightly more lofted club might.

 

As the early 1980s TaylorMade Original Pittsburgh Persimmon lofts were abandoned by everybody including TaylorMade themselves,

and the new metals took on the stronger lofts, I initially used to think of whatever 17° or thereabouts metal that was in my bag

as my "3-wood" regardless of stamping.

 

Shortly thereafter, however, I completely stopped thinking of club numbers at all as they might pertain to metals.

Titleist doesn't use them, and I think that they have the right idea.

 

So, saying 15° metal rather than 3-wood, I don't bag one, but I might likely be bagging a club of similar loft to an old, wooden 3-wood, or an original  Pittsburgh Persimmon.

 

 

 

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Loft up the F9, and practice with it. Too many people go bash drivers at the range but never work on their fairways. Get comfortable with it, figure out ball position, etc.

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4 hours ago, DStar said:

I've tried a couple of 3 woods recently but not really given them enough time to get right so I'm having another go after picking up a Cobra F9 (really like my F6+ driver so seemed like a good choice). 

I know I should get fitted but money is tight & I can't afford a new one, although this one was new off eBay for £70. It will probably replace a 19° 816 hybrid as I tend to use my 22° more often with better results.

What I'd like to do is be able to hit it steady, hit fairways regularly. 

So what are your best tips for consistent 3 wood strikes? 

How are you not hitting it well?  Pulling, slicing, topping, or ???  Do you want it primarily for tee shots? As we have heard through many threads, 3 woods can be a challenge for many players.  Having moved from a Callaway WB to my current G400 was a game changer.  I am way more consistent with the G400 and find it reliable off the tee and turf.  I believe most of that has to due with the lower face profile and larger, flatter sole.  PING's fairway woods are kind of like a "super hybrid"... if that makes sense?

I stumbled into the G series after watching a Canadian playing partner a few years back hit a G30 with perfection.  He had me try it and it was a perfect match.  I opted for the G400 just to get newer tech and chose the SFT for slice protection.  It is a nominal 16 degree which, while not the longest 3w out there, strikes a good balance of ball height to carry.

If you want the 3w primarily for tee shots, I'd look at some of the super 3's having a deeper face and larger volume head - the Callaway Mavrik among a handful of them.  Ultimately, you will be best served to go try some out at a DSG's, Golf Galaxy, etc.  Good luck.

 

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56 minutes ago, russtopherb said:

Loft up the F9, and practice with it. Too many people go bash drivers at the range but never work on their fairways. Get comfortable with it, figure out ball position, etc.

I lofted them both up the 3w and 5w .. I think its like closer to a 4w and 6w specs now .. 

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5 hours ago, DStar said:

I've tried a couple of 3 woods recently but not really given them enough time to get right so I'm having another go after picking up a Cobra F9 (really like my F6+ driver so seemed like a good choice). 

I know I should get fitted but money is tight & I can't afford a new one, although this one was new off eBay for £70. It will probably replace a 19° 816 hybrid as I tend to use my 22° more often with better results.

What I'd like to do is be able to hit it steady, hit fairways regularly. 

So what are your best tips for consistent 3 wood strikes? 

Grip it lightly and place it in the trash or your garage, then get a 4 or 5 wood or a 17/18 deg hybrid. 😄 Unless your driver speed is at 105 MPH or above, you are unlikely to get good carry on a club with 15 degrees of loft. Not to mention the misses that go way offline. I tried a 16.5 deg Taylormade M2 HL 3 wood this year to scratch that itch below driver; worse misses than my 17 degree hybrid, 10 yards more distance on perfect shots, same average distance due to the misses and was even worse off the ground. It lasted about 5-10 rounds in the bag. 

I have an F9 driver and love it, it beat or matched all new drivers in a fitting this year. I got rid of my F9 5-6 wood quickly, the groove around the milled face puts a premium on ball striking since the hitting area is so small and the 3-4 wood is the same. I've got old cobra hybrids which have much taller faces than this line of woods that I find much more forgiving. 

One of your hybrids or a driving iron will be a better fairway finder. There will be negligible gain in FWY% with 3W vs Driver and the 20-30 yards of distance with a driver in the rough will often beat a 3W in the fairway behind it. I had a better scoring average with 2 and 4 hybrid off the tee vs 3W this year and driver beat them all. I'm toying with the idea of removing or at least reducing the amount I use the 17 deg hybrid ys the 22 as well since I can hit that 220-240 off the tee. 

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I'm still auditioning clubs for this spot in my bag.  I don't have the swing speed or the skill to reliably launch a 3W anymore.  There are days that I do pretty well with my Titleist TS2 16.5, but I most use my Wilson D300 2H at 17º which is shorter by a little but higher.  If I don't have trouble to carry and not a slight downhill lie, I will use the TS2; otherwise it's the D300.

I am a sweeper not a digger, so off a tee I am good; and I don't hit the ball crooked.  But I think the wider FW sole inhibits my contact off the turf.  I have trouble with downward strikes from the fairway and very poor with shots that are not off flat or uphill lies. Hybrids are better for my swing.  I don't take divots with irons either, but I've been working on that with my swing change.  Getting better.

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1 hour ago, BMart519 said:

Grip it lightly and place it in the trash or your garage, then get a 4 or 5 wood or a 17/18 deg hybrid. 😄 Unless your driver speed is at 105 MPH or above, you are unlikely to get good carry on a club with 15 degrees of loft.

Just to introduce a bit of nuance for some a 3W with 15° degree is a good option if they don't deloft the club much. As someone who does this even when I used to swing driver just under 100 as 3W still had plenty of loft for me as I deliver the wood with probably about the stated loft on the club. Others who deloft the club and turn 15 into 12 or less degrees then yes the 3W probably is not the best option. So that is to say understand your game and delivery and of course see a fitter first. 

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To me, the 3w has a very specific role in my bag, and when I use it for those specific things, it works really well. Every time I try to do something else with it, it's a mess. For me, it comes down to three specific shots:

  • A tee shot that absolutely MUST move right to left. My driver tends to have a slight fade, so if the hole presents a shot with trouble right, and no bail-out by aiming down the left, I use the 3w to hit a consistent draw. It's probably 10-20 yards shorter than the driver, but I know it won't miss right.
  • A tee shot where driver puts trouble in play, length-wise
  • A shot from a perfect fairway lie that is intended to RUN onto a green that's open in front, and where a "miss" with the 3w is no worse than a lay-up shot to a wedge approach distance. Essentially, a green-light par 5 approach in 2 where a terrible 3w is no worse than the mid-iron layup.

I use the first shot a LOT. We have 2 holes on my home course that demand such a shot, so generally I'll hit it at least twice a round. I use the second shot periodically when I play other courses, and  almost never the third. That's very situational; maybe once every 20-30 rounds.

As for tips, I'd suggest range time figuring out exactly how your 3w behaves, and what shots it covers for you -- then use it only for those. 

It also works well as a place to hang your towel .... 😁

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14 hours ago, BMart519 said:

Unless your driver speed is at 105 MPH or above

Luckily it is 🙂 

I'm just getting back playing after a long time out so enjoying tinkering with different options. I tried a couple of older 3 woods which I didn't get on with but fancy working over the winter to really try and make it work. 

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I use a Callaway Mini 1.5 @ 16*.  I rarely hit my 3 wood off the deck.  I only use it for holes too short or tight for my driver.  It has a larger head and is easier to hit and more forgiving that a regular 3 wood.

Driver: Cobra:cobra-small: LTDx LS 10.5*   Hzrdus Red 60 6.5

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Lofting up (if your 3w has that capability) is a good start.  Up till this year, gamed a SLDR 3HL (17* loft) - basically a 4w head on a 3w length shaft.  Now using a Ping G410 that is adjustable, lofted up .5 to 15*.  This club carries further and is more accurate than the SLDR.  I have worked to make sure I make contact first with a bruising of the turf after when off the deck.    Getting consistent long penetrating flight.  It has become a regular part of the arsenal.  

WITB? Ping G400 SFT w/Aldila Mamba shaft R flex; Ping G410 3w; Ping G400 3h(19), 4h(22), 5h(26); TaylorMade SLDR 5i (interchanges w/5h)-PW -stock graphite shafts Rflex; INDI FLX-S wedges (50, 54, 58) w/Recoil graphite shafts -Rflex and Odyssey AI-One 7T BD Milled (aka Millie), ball choice tends to be Pro-V1 or simliar 3pc urethane balls. 

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As some others have mentioned, not everyone has the swing speed to hit a 3W any further than they can a 5W. One way to go would be to get a HIGH launch shaft put into all you woods, I did this a long time ago and have not looked back. Grafalloy used to make the Pro Launch Blue FW shaft that was great in all woods. Then they came out with the Epc FW which was even better. I have those two shafts in 4 woods in my bag now. While those shafts are not made today, you can still find them if you look for USED woods on E-bay to look more for the shaft than the head it's in.    But you need to know that the old Pro Launch Blue Driver shaft is NOT the same as the FW shaft used in woods. I have a 15* 3W, a 18* 5W, a 21* 7 W and a 24* 9W in my bag now. All are easy to hit and give me the yardages I need in my bag. Off the tee my 5W gives me 255 yards total on average, and the others are at 15 yards increments for Carry yardage . Just what I like in all my clubs. 

You might also look at a wood with a carbon crown, as those heads  give you a higher launch angle compared to an all metal head design. The old Cleveland Launcher Comp fairway woods are well worth a look and test at the range. 

With many golfers having trouble hitting fairway metals these day, I have no idea why the after market shaft companies don't  make a decent shaft designed just for woods. If they did a lot more golfers would not be having so much trouble hitting the fairway woods. 

D-Star asked to tips on hitting a 3 W, so here are mine. Off the tee, use a ball position that is the same as you use for your driver. In my case, that means up by my left heal, and tee it high enough to hit up on the ball, but NOT too high, as that would mean a different swing than when hitting off the deck.  When hitting off the deck position the ball back about 3-5 inches so you can swing close to LEVEL to the ball and NOT up at it, being as the ball is on the ground, kind of hard to swing up at it without hitting the ground well behind the ball which is NOT good at all. And PRACTICE both shots at the range until you get a feel for them and can hit them well enough that you have some confidence in hitting both shots when you need to. 

I hope this helps a litter. Good luck with your woods next time out. 

All my clubs are custom built with aftermarket shafts that have been spine and FLO aligned for max performance every swing. 

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1st outing with the Cobra 3W on Friday but only used it on a couple of holes - I did hit a dozen on the practice ground just to get a feel for it.

I did watch a couple of videos on ball position etc and they seemed to help really well. Both shots off the tee, ball a couple of inches more central to my driver and both were really pleasing shots at around 270 yards in the fairway. 

Currently have it up at 16° so will have a session on the GC2 sim to have a look at my gaps for D-3W-Hyb to make sure they are good.

 

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