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Driver, or 3+ wood?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Seems to be an interesting conversation. it used to be driver had everything your 3 wood wanted, and yet also had nothing your 3 wood had. distance being wanted, and control being lost in the driver.

Companies are making 3 woods longer than ever, especially making them FEEL even LONGER!

ive read a few things like "why do i need a 3 wood thats as long as my driver?"...but honestly...why not? im no different as to my 3 is just as long as my driver (off the tee). and its a 15* wood! now im not so sure my driver is as long as it could be due to a god awful shaft. but my 3 is truly a bomber. (Exotics)

 

so do you take the driver out of the bag and use the 3 or even a 3+ wood? 

Or do you get creative and try out a higher lofted driver?

 

 

post #2 of 14

If you know how to properly swing and hit a ball, then the driver will win.  When you have faults in your swing/stance, then a 3w will be preferred since it is more forgiving.  If you really have faults, then a hybrid will treat you better than a FW.

 

I rarely play my driver but now that I am taking lessons and seeing significant improvements, I will be pulling out the driver on occasion and using it when I think it will be best for my game.  Biggest problems are outside-in swing paths, not extending the arms, and failing to fully release.  I'm guilty of these faults as are most amateurs, and it takes a lot of focus to break bad habits.

post #3 of 14

Horses for courses.

 

A 3W and a Driver have completely separate uses depending on the situation you're faced with on the tee. Is it windy? Is your swing performing ok today? Is the fairway wide or narrow? How far do you need to get your tee shot to be able to play the hole as well as you'd like?

 

Perfect example here is my local club's 16th hole. Par 4 281 yards (which I know is short for a par 4 but that's another discussion) and fairly downhill.

 

The longest I've ever hit my driver is 275 yards. Ever. On average I hit it around the 240-250 mark and if I get a bad hit it can be 220-230.

The longest I've ever hit my 3W is 250. On average I hit it 230-240. Bad shots 210-220ish.

 

I could tee off with my driver and if the weather's fine and fairways mown I can roll it up onto the green or just shy of it if I really get a clean contact.

On an average drive I leave myself a 1/4 wedge to the green.

If I don't hit it clean I leave myself a 1/2 wedge to the green.

 

I could tee off with my 3W and if I get a good contact and the weather is as above I leave myself a 1/4 wedge to the green.

On average I'd leave myself a 1/2 wedge to the green.

Bad shots I leave myself a 3/4 wedge to the green.

 

All in all the choice of tee club here is entirely dependent on a combination of how well I'm hitting driver/3W and how confident my in-between wedge distances are. There's no right or wrong choice here; just what will likely score me more points.

 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GJBenn85 View Post

If you know how to properly swing and hit a ball, then the driver will win.  When you have faults in your swing/stance, then a 3w will be preferred since it is more forgiving.  If you really have faults, then a hybrid will treat you better than a FW.

 

I rarely play my driver but now that I am taking lessons and seeing significant improvements, I will be pulling out the driver on occasion and using it when I think it will be best for my game.  Biggest problems are outside-in swing paths, not extending the arms, and failing to fully release.  I'm guilty of these faults as are most amateurs, and it takes a lot of focus to break bad habits.



i know my driver is a proven driver in terms of the company, and my swing really isnt any different.

 

i recently went to florida and played 2 times in the week i was there. my drives were going barely 200. characteristics were a bit higher trajectory and what i can only imagine a little more spin than id like. i'll be honest the stock shaft is a cheap "made-for" shaft. regular flex. consistency is all over and it feels a bit numb...and when the club head is made smaller, lower spinning club. weight is up and towards the face vs. low and deep. im more surprised that it gets held up and hits the ball very high...... up north where im from i can usually get this club to go 235-260 course depending. usually i can release it correctly and it will penetrate a bit more.

 

my 3 has a fujikura motore f1 pulled from an R9 so much better shaft but tour edge exotics has its fans in terms of fairway woods. some people using them in place of their driver off the tee.

 

 

my man reason for this thread honestly was people who use a 3 15* or even a 3+ 13* wood and their experience with it off the tee instead of a driver...so i appreciate the post! =)

 

 

anybody else live by the 3 off the tee?

post #5 of 14

I played a 12 degree driver for a few months in the 90s but the face was too shallow. It reminded me of my favourite wooden 3-wood. I used various metal drivers but went back to persimmon in about 1994 and played that until [relatively] recently. Then I moved "up" to a BB Warbird driver (10 years after they were first introduced). Neeless to say that after discovering my new in 2009 Cleveland Launcher 3-wood (Fukujura Red S - great stock shaft*) went just as far, I was in the market for a different driver. The PING G10 that replaced my BB Warbird was ~ 20 yards farther on average and occasionally one would almost explode off the face.  Since then I've purchased 3 used clubs with S and/or Tour S Fukijura shafts (980F 5-wood, X-Tour 3-wood, MP-600 Driver) that all appear to be stock (or custom orders - they don't appear to be reshafts) and all of them are awesome.

 

 

 

*  I'd say that shafts in entry level drivers are meant for entry level golfers with entry level swing flaws. Stock shafts in "players" is a little different. Aftermarket shafts are always going to be a bit better on average, but I'd suggest it's actually in ruggedness and consistency where they excel. It is possible to get a fantastic stock or "made for" shaft.

 

 

post #6 of 14

Actually, I responded because I primarily use a 3w or 2h off the tee even on par 5s.  My point is, however, that if your swing is largely without fault, you will be able to use any club in your bag.  We all need to be working on our swing, not clubs.  It is an injustice to be placing band aids on our faults and that is exactly what we're doing by only using certain clubs because others produce erratic results.  If the issue is lack of consistency, it is likely not the club that is the issue but rather the golfer.

 

Anyway, as it stands most amateurs I know, including myself, that use a 3w or 2h off the tee can generally hit further than other amateurs that insist on using a driver.  A few months back I created a thread inquiring how many people on here actually use their driver, and it was surprising how many have given up on it in favor of playing fairway woods, hybrids, or even a 2-3i off the tee.  Sure, you'll come across people wondering why on earth you refuse to tee off with a driver but it usually does not take long for them to shut up when they realize you are more accurate off the tee with an unorthodox 3w or 2h than they are with their driver.

 

 

post #7 of 14
post #8 of 14

I bought a strong 3 wood --- Tour Edge XCG4. Great 3 wood.....but

 

For driving, height is a rainmaker when I try to play a fade.......but as advertised this Tour Exotics is quite long....

post #9 of 14

You have to separate club loft, head shape, and shaft into their separate parts and what they do for the golf shot.

 

Shaft is primarily going to determine spin, launch angle, and head speed.  If you're a slower swinger, you're going to need a lower kick shaft to create high launch.  If you're a strong player, then you may want a high, medium, or low launch depending on your preferences.  I live in a very windy climate, so I try to keep the ball down as much as possible.

 

Head shape (i.e. driver vs. 3-wood) is going to make a huge difference in forgiveness and whether you can hit it off the turf or unfavorable lies.  A driver is much better on off-center hits than a 3-wood, but you can't hit a 450-cc driver off the deck.

 

Loft plays a factor in launch angle, trajectory, and distance, obviously.  In combination with shaft, it can add or reduce distance.

 

You want to find 3, 4, or 5 clubs that compliment your swing and maximize your options.  I've played at times with only a 3-wood, 1-iron, 2-iron.  Other times I've played with just a driver and strong hybrid.  Right now I've got a driver, strong 3-wood, and 2 hybrid which covers everything from 225-yards and up.

 

With club options now you can have everything in just a few clubs.  I've got a Titleist 910F at 13.5 degrees, but adjustable up to 15-deg.  If you're looking for a flexible club, the 15-deg can be adjusted in the 14-16 degree range without really changing the way the sole sits.  Could be a good option if you wanted to take the driver out of the bag one day and add an extra wedge.

 

Also, I am personally against super-long clubs.  The driver and 3-wood have already grown 2 inches in the last 10 years.  Hitting the ball in the middle of the face is the best way to gain distance, and that is really hard to do with a 47" shaft.

post #10 of 14

As long as you have a decent swing speed you should be hitting driver if you have the skill to hit it reliably.  With a lower swing speed a 3 may be longer than a driver because you can't take advantage of the lower loft (the same could be said of the 3 and 4 iron too) and your distances are similar.  If swing speed is not the issue and it is your shaft, then you should try to correct that so that you can pick up 15-20 yards.  Why wouldn't you? 

 

Each club has a job, and I contemplated a strong 3, but couldn't justify it and went with the 15 degree.  The strong 3 was just a few yards shy of the driver  but produced a slightly flatter trajectory that would make it tougher to hold the greens.  With the 15, I gave up 10 yards from there but got a club that would do the job from the fairway and the tee.  My driver carries @ 255-260, the 3+ was 245-250, and the 3 was 235-240.   Here is a post I made in my blog about the experience.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TourSpoon View Post

I went to see my club guy and explained the inconsistency with the 3 wood. He put it on the frequency machine and told me that it plays one flex higher (X) than the rest of my clubs. We discussed reshafting, but it would be just as easy to look into some new technology.  He loaned me a mint Titleist 909 F2 to try with the Diamana shaft.  I took it to the range and found it to be a great looking club.  I wanted to like it, but it launched very high and I was hitting it closer to my 2H losing distance. 

 

A few days go by and I see that my local shop is having a sale. I know the manager there and explain the deal to him.  He frequencies the clubs and comes to the same conclusion.  I decide to look at what he has and check out the Callaway Octane Tour 13 and 15 models (I have the driver).  He checks out the shafts on the machine and they come out very similar to what I have in my driver and hybrids.  He said that he thought that Fuji made the shaft and that the Tour model would be a lot tighter and fit my swing better than what I was playing.  I go to the monitor and hit from the mat and launch the 13 with a 245-250 carry and 260 total.  I then try the 15 and carry it about 235-240 for a  250 total.  The second I hit the 15, he said "That's the one".  Based on the numbers, he explained that the 13 would launch a tad low and would have a hard time holding a green, while the 15 had optimal launch but was not as long.  It was not any longer than the old club either, just more consistent, which is what I was looking for. The club sets up beautifully with a neutral stance and an all black head.  I have him throw on a .580 Tour Wrap and told him to ring it up. Luckily the club was on sale and there was another discount so I saved over $70.  

 

I went to the course and up to the range and hit 2 balls with a medium trajectory and a straight and piercing flight. I knew instantly that the 15 was the right choice. On the course I hit it from the tee 245, 255, and 260 (downwind).  From the fairway I got 240 into the breeze. I hit it a few other times and even the slight misses are more consistent than the old wood. On the last 2 holes, I hit 2  tee shots with it and the last one translated into a birdie. This 3 wood has made the cut and is officially in the bag! 



Now, the other day I put the driver away and played the last 5 holes with the 3 wood.  I hit every fairway, but had longer clubs in, and resigned myself to play the par 5 as a three shot hole.  It was nice to be able to do that, but it would have been better if I could have hit the driver on a couple of holes, especially the par 5 and the holes that were playing into the wind. 

post #11 of 14

Before I upgraded my clubs I didn't even carry a 3 wood. I had a driver and a 5 wood. And would use the 5 wood off the tee over the driver if the driver was acting up (which was most of the time back then). Now I have a 9.5* driver, a 13.5* strong 3, and a 18* 5 and will hit all when needed. Driver definitely is longer off the tee then the 3+ and has a lower launch which I personally prefer. The 3+ and 5 are more controllable, and will be used on tight fairways where the driver is too risky, but simply launch too high for my liking as a driver replacement.

 

Last year and early this year, I wasn't playing too frequently and struggled with the driver. And as such would grab the fairway wood instead. But as I've gotten out a lot more this year, my swing has improved. I have a lot more confidence with the driver and can consistently hit it well, and will reach for that far more often on longer holes than a fairway wood.

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by k-troop View Post

You have to separate club loft, head shape, and shaft into their separate parts and what they do for the golf shot.

 

Shaft is primarily going to determine spin, launch angle, and head speed.  If you're a slower swinger, you're going to need a lower kick shaft to create high launch.  If you're a strong player, then you may want a high, medium, or low launch depending on your preferences.  I live in a very windy climate, so I try to keep the ball down as much as possible.

 

Head shape (i.e. driver vs. 3-wood) is going to make a huge difference in forgiveness and whether you can hit it off the turf or unfavorable lies.  A driver is much better on off-center hits than a 3-wood, but you can't hit a 450-cc driver off the deck.

 

Loft plays a factor in launch angle, trajectory, and distance, obviously.  In combination with shaft, it can add or reduce distance.

 

You want to find 3, 4, or 5 clubs that compliment your swing and maximize your options.  I've played at times with only a 3-wood, 1-iron, 2-iron.  Other times I've played with just a driver and strong hybrid.  Right now I've got a driver, strong 3-wood, and 2 hybrid which covers everything from 225-yards and up.

 

With club options now you can have everything in just a few clubs.  I've got a Titleist 910F at 13.5 degrees, but adjustable up to 15-deg.  If you're looking for a flexible club, the 15-deg can be adjusted in the 14-16 degree range without really changing the way the sole sits.  Could be a good option if you wanted to take the driver out of the bag one day and add an extra wedge.

 

Also, I am personally against super-long clubs.  The driver and 3-wood have already grown 2 inches in the last 10 years.  Hitting the ball in the middle of the face is the best way to gain distance, and that is really hard to do with a 47" shaft.


i see what your saying and unfortunately the driver i have is fairly unforgiving. also a realization of the "MOI" came into mind. the driver i have is a deep face, low spin driver. not the most forgiving and i guess from the taylormade superdeep description (i dont have the TM my club is easily comparable) it says that the MOI is not as high as say the R9 460.

now from hitting this club...its much more forgiving than i originally thought it would be. but forgiveness with this club comes at a price of distance loss....but my contact has been rather good on this club.

i also noticed its a 10* loft and opened what looks like maybe 1-2 degrees in the face angle. i know a lower spinning driver means higher lofts can be used but with this club id think 10* loft would be more than enough for a player of my skill level...i obviously dont need a 7.5 or 8.5 degree loft...unheard of!

the shaft length is about standard for the market, even though standard is changing with these longer shafted clubs, about 45.5 inches in length. that seems just about right for me in my mind...but i DO agree...the longer shafts may distance but control is simply non-existent.

 

 

my 3 wood is a tour edge exotics cb2 15*....made a little more for lower spin in the 3 wood category, and a much lower penetrating flight that sails out straight and drops quickly downward much later in the ball flight. off the deck is sometimes a hassle with this "arss" of a club but when hit right it goes for miles. im more worried about getting a 3+ 13* wood because of control...i know it would be a bit harder to get up in the air and keep from going right or left of my target...off the tee im considering it though..my 3 now is long, especially off the tee. i know my best distance with the driver is only maybe 10 yards longer than my best with the 3 wood. thats if i happen to get the driver in the fairway consistently..in which im almost set on the thought that i need to get fit for a shaft that fits my swing and body and so on. the flex might be too soft which is why i cant seem to consistently find my target line.. i think the shaft is killing my distance at contact because it flexes quite ALOT and might be holding in a bit of the energy im creating.

 

 

ive been considering a 13 degree 3 wood and simply dropping the driver all together...or at least till i know for sure i need it. right now i have an extra space in the bag for what was supposed to be a 50* wedge considering im using a 19* hybrid as a long iron and 5 wood together. but now im considering adding another wood/hybrid...

 

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlf16507 View Post

Try a Thriver!     http://www.hirekogolf.com/hireko/orderportal/catalog_presentation/by_group/0/1852/0/0/0/0/0  Make sure you click on more info link at bottom of page   http://info.hirekogolf.com/acer/xds/xds-insider-titanium-thriver-driver/



ive seen those clubs all over but never knew they were connected to hireko...hell...idk who hireko is! haha

are they as cheap as theyre priced? any experience with them mlf?

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TourSpoon View Post

As long as you have a decent swing speed you should be hitting driver if you have the skill to hit it reliably.  With a lower swing speed a 3 may be longer than a driver because you can't take advantage of the lower loft (the same could be said of the 3 and 4 iron too) and your distances are similar.  If swing speed is not the issue and it is your shaft, then you should try to correct that so that you can pick up 15-20 yards.  Why wouldn't you? 

 

Each club has a job, and I contemplated a strong 3, but couldn't justify it and went with the 15 degree.  The strong 3 was just a few yards shy of the driver  but produced a slightly flatter trajectory that would make it tougher to hold the greens.  With the 15, I gave up 10 yards from there but got a club that would do the job from the fairway and the tee.  My driver carries @ 255-260, the 3+ was 245-250, and the 3 was 235-240.   Here is a post I made in my blog about the experience.

 


 



Now, the other day I put the driver away and played the last 5 holes with the 3 wood.  I hit every fairway, but had longer clubs in, and resigned myself to play the par 5 as a three shot hole.  It was nice to be able to do that, but it would have been better if I could have hit the driver on a couple of holes, especially the par 5 and the holes that were playing into the wind. 


something recently caught my attention and just a second ago i made the connection between these two thoughts..

 

i hit my drives very well. i know i have faults but in a none arrogant way, i assure you my swing is not at fault in terms of distance with my driver. i manage to hit range balls with my driver further than my 3 in most cases. i think that might be only because of the ball itself is alot like the hard "top rocks" of yesteryear that were hard and flew VERY far. but thats neither here nor there.

 

i know for a fact that the stock shaft is hurting my capabilities with this club. at contact it feels like i could use the 65g Motore "Exotics" reg flex shaft to tag a 8 point buck, like a bow and arrow. (im referring to how much bend the club has as contact...its rediculous!) ive been looking around for new shafts from the fuji rombax, motore f1/f3 and motore speeder, to the aldila rip alpha/beta/gamma shafts but my top hope is the projectX 6.0 shaft. im nervous about the pricing though considering im a college guy and money is tight. i will probably end up getting a print out on a launch monitor, find out the motore exotics stock is wrong for me, and use the numbers to find the best fit from any number of those shafts i just mentioned.

 

THE BIG THOUGHT i had though, was technology itself.

 

drivers are held back by the chains of a USGA regulation. a regulation on the COR. now i dont even remember what the abbreviation stands for other than "restitution" but in short it took away the spring like faces that companies were developing in drivers not long ago. most of the time people can find japan versions of each US model that doesn't conform to the USGA C.O.R. regulation. most recently i was looking at a mizuno mp-001 "C.O.R."...in short a non-comforming driver.

BUT, all 3 woods by USGA standards are NOT held back by a C.O.R. regulation...which is why they feel a bit heftier and more explosive.

 

now there are driver shaving processes that you can use but those make clubs illegal. i find clubs that aren't shaved, but are made with "spring like" tendencies are considered NON-COMFORMING ...not illegal although they are considered such. and illegal clubs are the clubs that have SHAVED FACES...

again...neither here nor there.

 

 

my last note is on the company that makes the 3-wood i play now. tour edge exotics cb2.

has anyone actually hit a tour edge exotics fairway? i know many have...but to the people who haven't...you dont know what your missing...

i feel as if they truly make the longest fairway club today. and that includes clubs that have adjustability like titleist 910F or even the hideous TM r11..

 

you havent truly experienced any sensation of power, feel, explosiveness, distance, or control in any other club. which is why i think using one of their 3+ woods is still in my mind...3 woods without a COR limit with the R&D dept. of Tour Edge Exotics...they make fairways as long as drivers...in some cases...LONGERRR..

 

 

just some opinions of mine...im not here to put down your information because i have made notes of it and hope to look into it further down the road....but for now i'll be kicking the driver out of the bag until i...A. get shaft fit for it...orrr...B. get a strong 3wood (13*) to replace it.

 

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