A 3-wood is a type of fairway wood golf club. This type of club is typically used for shots that require both distance and accuracy, which will usually be on the fairway around the second shot of play.
However, it can also be used off the tee and deck, or for fringe or punch-out shots.
The 3-wood has the longest shaft of the fairway wood family but is shorter than drivers and 2-wood clubs. The 3-wood has a loft between 15 and 18 degrees.
This club is highly versatile and, due to its combination of accuracy and distance, a great club all round. They’re especially good for high handicappers, who may struggle to hit drivers.
If you think a 3-wood could make a game-changing addition to your golf bag, you’re in the right place! We’ve compiled a list of the best 3-woods currently on the market, along with a buyers guide and FAQ to guide you through the decision-making process.
In a hurry? Here’s our top choice:
- Lightweight shaft
- Mass pad for improved launch
- Low center of gravity for loft/trajectory
- Speed pocket for ball speed and distance
- Includes headcover for protection
- Sleek design with alignment detailing
Top 5 Best 3 Wood
OUR TOP PICK
Taylor Made is one of the most popular brands in the golfing world, and the quality of the company’s 3-woods lives up to its reputation.
This 3-wood features a speed pocket which increases the flexibility of the clubface as well as the spin put on the ball. This, in turn, helps to increase the speed at which the ball travels, making for better shots over longer distances.
The incorporated mass pad on the back of the clubface, meanwhile, helps to improve your launch. This also produces a better sound and feel.
The RBZ has a shallow profile, meaning the center of gravity is lowered. This makes fairway shots easier by increasing the loft and trajectory of the shot.
The club’s low center of gravity is complemented by its lightweight shaft, which is designed to increase the speed and distance of your shots.
Finally, if all of this wasn’t enough to convince you, the RBZ 3-wood features a black ‘satin’ finish and classic detailing. These design features aren’t just for aesthetic purposes either - they also help to improve alignment, which will drastically improve the accuracy of your play.
This club includes a headcover for protection when not in use.
- Features speed pocket for better long-distance shots
- Mass pad behind clubface improves launch
- Low center of gravity for increased trajectory/loft
- Lightweight shaft build
- Sleek, black satin design with detailing
- Purchase includes headcover for storage protection
- Some users do not like the ‘hollow’ sound
Next on our list is the Steelhead XR Fairway 3-Wood from Callaway.
This club uses next-generation Face Cup technology to increase ball speed for stronger long-distance shots.
The shape of the clubhead, meanwhile, makes for an easier and cleaner launch, while the fast head speed makes for better speed and distance with every shot.
This is an extremely forgiving club due to its lightweight, J-36 carbon crown, which is designed for providing an easy launch, increasing power, and reducing spin. Because of these features, this club will be suitable for high handicap as well as mid to low-handicap golfers.
The Steelhead XR’s graphite shaft is designed to increase control and power simultaneously, making for accurate yet powerful shots across the fairway.
- Next-generation Face Cup technology increases ball speed
- Classic clubhead shape for easier launch
- J-36 carbon crown increases power and reduces spin
- Graphite shaft improves control and power
- No headcover included for protection
Another club model from Taylor Made, the M6 Fairway 3-wood is highly reviewed, and we can definitely see why.
Taylor Made’s M6 incorporates Twist Face, which is an innovative clubface design that curves in order to correct off-center shots and reduce spin, improving your play.
The multi-material head is made of Carbon and Titanium, which not only ensures durable construction but also facilitates long-distance shots due to the larger surface area of the carbon crown.
The graphite shaft and steel frame improve carry distance and power respectively.
This club also features an Advanced Speed Pocket which complements the Twist Face design with its large COR and improved slot flexibility for better play even on off-center shots and improved turf interaction. The speed pocket also helps to increase ball speed.
Taylor Made’s Inertia Generator feature positions a large amount of mass within the sole of the clubhead, lowering the center of gravity, which helps to increase clubhead speed and the overall forgiveness of the club.
This club comes with a protective headcover.
- Twist Face corrective clubhead design
- Multi-material Carbon and Titanium clubhead
- Graphite shaft for improved loft and carry distance
- Steel frame provides powerful swing
- Advanced Speed Pocket
- Inertia Generator increases clubhead speed
- Includes protective headcover
- Shaft is not adjustable
Callaway’s Mavrik 3-wood club is the longest fairway ever manufactured by Callaway, meaning that this design combines the higher swing speed of a longer shaft with the increased distance provided by a fairway club.
The A.I-Optimized Flash Face of the Mavrik is specifically tailored to each configuration to provide the desired performance and ball speed.
The geometry involved in designing the clubhead enables an easy launch, while the incorporated design technologies make this a forgiving club that provides superior distance.
The weighted sole of the clubhead lowers the center of gravity whilst pulling it back for a high launch and flatter trajectory, which improves both distance and accuracy.
Callaway offers 3 different shaft designs for the Mavrik club: Project X Evenflow Riptide, Aldila Rogue White 130 MS, and UST Helium Black. Each shaft design has its own unique advantages, but the most popular is the Riptide.
This is because the Riptide shaft (made of graphite and available in 50g or 60g) provides greater distance and is designed for consistency, making it ideal for a 3-wood club.
- Longer shaft for increased swing speed
- A.I-Optimized Flash Face design
- Weighted sole with low center of gravity for high launch and flat trajectory
- Distance-improving geometry
- Multiple shaft options
- Riptide shaft provides distance and consistency
- Includes headcover for protection
- No headcover included with 3-wood model
- Some reports of shaft breakages
The PGX Offset 3-Wood from Pinemeadow makes our list due to its play-improving design and incorporation of golfing technology.
So named because of the clubface’s increased offset, the PGX Offset 3-wood allows for longer and straighter shots, making it perfect for use on the fairway.
The offset face is complemented by Pinemeadow’s use of Anti-Slice technology, which helps to reduce handicap during play.
The use of a graphite shaft with a stainless steel clubhead provides an ideal combination of a lightweight shaft for increased swing speed and a heavier clubhead for improved power and distance.
This club includes a headcover to keep your clubhead protected when not in use.
- Uses Anti-Slice technology
- Increased offset clubface
- Lightweight graphite shaft for improved swing speed
- Stainless steel clubhead for power and distance
- Includes protective headcover
- Reports of missing headcover
Best 3 Wood Buying Guide
As you can see, whilst all the clubs on our list are 3-wood clubs, there is a great deal of variety between clubs in terms of material and design technology.
This buyers guide will walk you through some of the key factors you should consider when buying a 3-wood golf club, so you can be sure you’re making the best possible purchase to enhance your play on the fairway.
The materials incorporated in your 3-wood club will play a big part in determining how well it performs, so it’s important to take these materials into consideration before purchase.
In terms of shaft material, graphite is the popular choice for 3-woods as well as for drivers. This is because graphite is a lightweight material that helps to improve swing speed, clubhead speed, and the overall distance covered by the resultant shot.
Steel shafts are also an option, and these have the benefit of providing vibrational feedback in the aftermath of the shot.
For clubheads, there are a few popular material combinations that help to improve play in different ways.
The most popular clubhead materials are stainless steel, carbon, and titanium. Often, these materials are combined within a clubhead design to maximize benefits.
Stainless steel is heavy and dense, and may be used in fairway club frames. The weight of the material helps to launch the ball further and at an increased speed. However, stainless steel has an increased risk of cracking compared to other clubhead materials.
Carbon is a useful material to have in your clubhead as it can help to increase the power of a shot, especially when used in the crown.
Finally, titanium is a very strong material that will improve the durability of your club whilst providing added power and clubhead speed.
Golf club manufacturers incorporate a wide range of golfing technologies into their clubs to help improve their performance.
The incorporation of advanced technology is an important factor to consider when purchasing a 3-wood club because this can make all the difference in terms of play.
Anti-Slice technology, for example, is useful for high-handicap players who tend to ‘slice’ their shots, meaning they struggle to execute a straight shot. Anti-Slice technology helps to correct this by altering the weight distribution inside the clubhead.
Face Cup technology, as demonstrated by Callaway, helps to retain face flex by adjusting the way the clubface joins to the clubhead, improving ball speed and shot distance.
Of course, the primary reason for buying a 3-wood club (or any golf club, for that matter) is to increase the quality of your play.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style for practicality. Golf is a sport in which players typically take great pride in their equipment (after all, golf clubs aren’t cheap), so the ideal golf club will both perform and look good.
As the 3-woods featured on our list demonstrate, it’s absolutely possible for a golf club to combine high-quality dynamics with a sleek and stylish design.
The detailing featured on Taylor Made’s RBZ 3-wood, for example, is not just attractive but also functional, as it helps to improve alignment for better form and greater accuracy.
With all the new design technology now available on the golf market, you should have no problem finding a 3-wood club that enhances your play and looks great on the course.
The main additional feature included with golf clubs is a headcover.
Some of the clubs on our list don’t include a headcover, which isn’t the end of the world since they can easily be purchased separately.
However, a headcover is a very useful feature that will help to protect your clubhead and possibly even extend the longevity of your club, so it’s a good feature to consider before making your purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a 3-wood and a 3-hybrid?
Don’t let their similar names fool you - the 3-wood and 3-hybrid are two quite different types of golf clubs.
Hybrid clubs have come onto the golf market as an alternative fairway woods. They are generally considered to be easier to handle, so they are often favored by beginners or high handicap players.
A 3-hybrid has a higher loft angle than a 3-wood, which has a flatter trajectory.
The 3-hybrid also has a more forgiving sole and a center of gravity nearer to the clubface, which makes it easier to hit accurate shots when combined with its typically shorter shaft.
The 3-wood, however, provides greater distance, which is helpful on the fairway.
Although the 3-hybrid is generally easier to achieve accuracy with, it is definitely possible to hit accurate shots with a 3-wood with enough practice, and the additional distance will really come in useful during fairway shots.