When a golf club has a single purpose, say a putter, for example, it becomes a focussed task to find the one most suitable for your game.
Once you start asking more of that club, that’s when things really ramp up in difficulty.
Take the fairway club, for example, the three wood.
Most golfers ask a lot of their three wood. At times, they want it to be a safe and accurate club off the tee, while on other occasions they want to use it to advance up the fairway or help you hit the green on a par five. Or maybe even a long par four.
The issue is that in one shot the ball is normally on a tee while on the other the ball is on the ground. So, as a result, we need versatility from our three wood.
That can often be hard to find. Elusive, in fact.
You hear it time and time again when you survey better players, the ones normally very much in tune with their equipment. “The three wood is the hardest club to find.”
So, what are the key factors in looking for a three wood to add to your bag? With most of the top brands putting out a quality product, what can help you choose one over another? Some of the answers are objective while other factors are more personal in nature.
Fill The Gap
What exactly do you want the three wood to do for you? Do you want it to be a secondary driving option or a club for hitting high, floating shots into long par five holes?
Decide what the purpose is, what yardage you need to go (carry and overall distance), and how it fits into your set makeup.
All About Trajectory
Depending on the normal turf conditions you play on, and the shot you want to use the three wood for most often, you will need to determine with your fitter what you need to see for both launch and descent from your three wood. Does it need to stop quickly on a green, or roll out on a fairway? The clubs loft, centre of gravity location, and spin rate can factor into this.
Many of today’s fairway woods are adjustable, not only in weighting and face angle but, most conveniently, loft. This means one club can be converted to a different use to suit a different course setup or to reflect changes in your swing. The Cobra King F7 3-4 wood, for example, can be set with lofts of 13 through 16 degrees.
It’s Up To You
This is where things get interesting. Golfers are all very individual and even if a club performs well for you it may not be to your liking. Factors like feel, head shape, colour, use of alignment aids, sound, or even weight can take a three wood from being a stud to a dud.
Like all golf clubs work with a proper fitting professional to help you determine your needs and find the perfect three wood for you. It’s out there, I promise.