5 Wood vs 3 Hybrid Differences and Similarities

Since hybrids became a realistic option for many golfers, the 5 wood vs 3 hybrid question is common. Hybrids looked like they were going to make fairway woods obsolete at one point, but the trusty 5 fairway wood is still in a lot of golf bags.

So what is best? Can we finally answer the question "which should I carry a 5 wood or a 3 hybrid?"  

In this guide we're going to look at 3 reasons why you would carry either club to help you make the decision. We'll see if new technology has made the game easier for most golfers. We're going to look at it this issue from the amateur golfer perspective and examine some real world situations, not BS the golf manufacturers peddle.

Let's dive in and find the right hybrid or fairway wood for you and your golf bag.

5 wood vs 3 hybrid

Which one should I carry a 5 wood or a 3 hybrid?  

In my opinion most golfers should play a 3 hybrid.

It is going to be easier to hit from a variety of lies and is one of the most versatile clubs. I'm not ruling out a 5 wood though - the shorter shaft and smaller iron shaped head will suit some people for accuracy and those golfers who slice the ball.

Top 3 reasons to carry a 3 hybrid

  1. Shorter shaft = more forgiving
  2. Will promote a draw shape - upright angle
  3. Can be used for multiple shots

Top 3 reasons to carry a 5 wood

  1. Easy to hit from multiple lies
  2. Longer shaft means it will go longer
  3. Anti hook

Top 3 reasons for a 3 hybrid golf club

Easier to hit out of the rough

There is a reason that the hybrid can also be called a rescue club. It is a versatile club which can get you out of trouble time and time again.

The way that hybrids are designed keep the weight of the club low and back in the head, making it easier to get the ball airborne. The shape of the head and width of the sole also allows the club to cut through the rough with ease. The length of the shaft also promotes a steeper angle of attack which helps with shots for the long grass.

Joe who contributes to the site games two Sonartec hybrid golf clubs. This is a brand which most won't have heard of, but they were one of the first companies to produce a hybrid golf club which got adoption on the PGA tour. Joe uses his 17 degree hybrid for many shots out of the rough as the depth and width of the face make it very forgiving.

Promotes a draw shape

Hybrids and rescue clubs have made a draw shot more accessible for golfers, especially those with a high handicap.

I have seen so many players that struggle with a slice keep persisting with a 5 wood when a 3 hybrid could revolutionize their game. Yes it is more than possible to play good golf with a fade and slice, but not when you are losing distance for no reason.

Many golfers need to hit the ball longer and club that can encourages a draw with help this. The shorter shaft, in built offset and naturally more upright lie angle of a hybrid mean that there are more things in you favor when attempting to hit a draw. If you don't believe me, test a three hybrid and see if the ball wants to move right to left.

Shorter shaft, more forgiving

Many guys I play with are comfortable hitting their mid irons, but as soon as you put a long club in their hands, they can't find the middle of the face.

Modern 3 hybrids are very forgiving and easy to hit. They have a shaft the length of a long iron but the same loft as a 5 wood. This makes it a great club for players who don't want to lose distance as the length of the shaft increases.

Golfers of all ability levels are turning to the hybrids as a solid option not only due to the great versatility, but also because of the ability to hit the target on a a green and hold that shot on the green.  Many LPGA players are playing hybrids with great success. 

I believe that the LPGA is more relatable to most players as they have swing speeds which aren't over 115mph and yet they are so accurate and efficient. I have played against many lady professionals on my channel and they are in a different league when I comes to accuracy, they always find the sweet spot. 

Top 3 reasons for a 5 wood

Easier to hit off of the tee

We all know that tee shots often make or break a round of golf, so we need a club we can rely on to get the golf ball in play. A 5 wood is a dream to hit off the tee, especially on days when the driver isn't working.

golf sidekick likes 5 woods

Personally, I've found that a 5 wood made more sense as a go to tee option as they are so much easier than 3 woods to hit. The added loft and slightly shorted shaft makes me feel more in control and the size of head inspires confidence. I also don't feel like I can hook a 5 wood (see more below)

Longer shaft, more distance

A 5 wood will usually have a longer shaft than a 3 hybrid giving it a built in distance advantage. Also, the size of the club head will mean there is more mass being delivered to the ball which also means more distance. If you are confident with longer clubs, the 5 wood is probably the better option for you.

An anti hook golf club

As we covered above, the way a hybrid is designed promotes a draw shape. In some players, this can turn into a destructive pull hook. the length of the 5 wood shaft and its flatter lie angle will promote more of a fade and generally a more controllable shape. If you have the tendency to turn the ball over, stick with the 5 wood.

Important information comparing 5 wood and 3 hybrid

Hybrid vs wood distance chart

The 5-wood and 3-hybrid are similar in carry distance. Both 5 wood and 3 hybrid carry about 180-190 yards for male golfers and for females, 160-170 yards.


5 wood

3 hybrid

Ave male distance

185 yards

180 yards

Shaft length

41 to 42 inches

40 inches

Shot shape tendency




Tee shot, Fairway, Rough

Tee shot, Fairway, Rough, Punch, Chip and run

5 wood or hybrid for high handicapper

Hybrids have shorter shaft lengths typically and when you are new to the game this can make all the difference. The longer the club, the harder it is to swing correctly and right behind your driver, your fairway woods come in as your longest club.

Hybrids have much shorted shafts, typically like an iron and most people would find an iron easier to control and hit straight, especially as a beginner.

And the winner is? 5-Wood vs 3 Hybrid

It's a close one to call, but I think most players should game the 3 hybrid. It's very versatile piece of golf equipment and will help with a number of different on course situations. Put one in the golf bag and see if it works for you. If you don't feel confident that you know how to hit a hybrid, a 5 wood is always a good option. Loft and distance are the big deciders. 

Last Updated on February 10, 2023 by Matt