What Is The Most Forgiving 3 Wood?

More and more golfers are making the switch from driver to 3 wood off the tee. For beginners, tee shots can be a little tricky to master. When you’re just starting out you might think that the only thing you should be hitting off the tee is a driver. What if I told you that hitting a 3 wood off the tee can actually be easier to control than a big driver. Some of the most forgiving 3 wood models on the market can put you in good position for your approach shot.

I have actually retired my driver on 95% of the holes I play for a given course. When I was able to get a feel for the 3 wood it was much easier to control around the golf course. The forgiveness you get with a 3 wood is amazing. Shots that would sail left or right stay straighter with a 3 wood in your hands.

There are a lot of companies out there that are making very forgiving 3 woods. The reason being, they don’t want players to get discouraged when they hit a terrible tee shot with their woods.

We have all been there. We try a brand new club for the first time. Take a couple practice swings and line up for the first shot. Take our swing and the ball flies way left or way right. Then we slam the club back into our bag and swear that we won’t ever use it again.

Club manufacturers know this and that’s why they’re making their clubs much more forgiving now. I wanted to highlight my top 5 choices for forgiving 3 woods. Please let me know what you think in the comments below!

Most Forgiving 3 Wood - My Top 5 Choices

Why Do I Need A 3 Wood?

I would have to say that the 3 wood should not be overlooked by any golfer. Sure everyone wants to get up to the tee box, take out the driver and let it rip. The golf companies make it seem so easy. Every brand promises to “get you the added distance you need”.

Well there are a lot of valid reasons why you should have a 3 wood in your bag. Here is a list just to name a few.

  • Holes that are too long to hit with an iron will be perfect for an easy 3 wood shot.
  • A 3 wood is perfect in the fairway or rough when your hybrid clubs won’t reach the green.
  • 3 woods can get the same distance that your driver does off the tee. The benefit is that the woods are easier to control.
  • Your woods are going to be way more forgiving than your driver. Woods have a higher loft which allows your swing to be more forgiving.
  • Woods make it so much easier to reach the green in 2 on very long par 5 holes.
  • Club manufacturers now engineer their clubs to be adjustable so you can get a perfect ball flight every time.

When Is A Good Time To Use Your 3 Wood?

There were many factors that led into me giving up on my driver and opting to go for the 3 wood. One huge thing that changed my mind was how nervous I would get swinging the driver. Whenever I was teeing off and it was a long hole I would get nervous to swing the big stick. The golf ball just never seemed to go where I wanted it to.

I was hitting my 3 wood solid in the fairway so I figured why not give it a shot off the tee. It took me a couple holes to get used to the smaller club head but once I did it was a game changer. My golf balls were going a lot straighter and I didn’t have this fear of hitting the driver off the tee.

Using your 3 wood is achievable in many different situations. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the rough or staring down a tight fairway on a par 5. Your 3 wood is going to be your best friend because the edges of the club head are rounded. This rounded design allows it to slide through grass in situations where an iron would get stuck. Adapting my golf game around my 3 wood is the best thing I could have done.

Can’t I Just Hit A 3 Hybrid Instead?

Unfortunately, a 3 wood and a 3 hybrid are not the same club. Hybrid clubs were designed to make it much easier to hit your long irons from the fairway or rough. So a 3 hybrid is just a substitution for a 3 iron.

If you want to get technical, a 3 wood is essentially taking the place of a 1 iron. A 1 iron is almost impossible to hit for any golfer. The 3 and 5 woods were designed to make hitting a 1 or 2 iron so much easier. Don’t get your woods mixed up with your irons.

What Is The Ideal Loft?

When you’re looking at the different 3 woods you should definitely be focusing on loft. Most of the clubs on the market will sport a 14 or 15 degree loft.

If you’re a beginner and just starting out you should try to look for a 3 wood with a 16 or 17 degree loft. This slight change in loft is going to benefit your game tremendously. You will be able to get the ball up in the air easier and the distance won’t be harmed. The ball will still travel how it would with a lower lofted club. The key is to pop that golf ball up in the air.

If you’re more of a skilled golfer then I would suggest a 3 wood with a 15 or 16 degree loft. I personally think that a 14 degree loft for a 3 wood is a little crazy. It is going to be so hard to really get that golf ball up in the air with that kind of loft. Just make it easier on yourself and get a higher lofted 3 wood. Some of the most forgiving 3 woods on the market have a higher loft to them.

How To Choose The Right Fairway Wood

My Top 5 Forgiving 3 Woods

Cobra Fly-Z XL 3 Wood

The Fly-Z XL by Cobra Golf promises to give you maximum forgiveness but also increased distance on and off the tee. Any beginner golfer looking to get amazing distance should definitely consider the Fly-Z XL from Cobra. This fairway wood is almost similar to the F6 driver introduced by Cobra. The Fly-Z XL has the same mechanics and engineering as some of the other clubs in Cobra’s line. If you’re looking for easy distance with minimal effort then the Fly-Z XL should be in your bag immediately!

Pros

  • A speed channel face has been introduced on the club head. This trench like design surrounds the club face and gives you an increase in ball speed for amazing distance.
  • The clubhead is offset to give the golfer more time to square up the club at impact. This is why this 3 wood is on the list for most forgiving woods. No more slicing or shanking the ball in the woods.
  • The center of gravity weights have been moved to the back of the club head. The low and backed weights increase the forgiveness and allow you to generate a much faster club head speed.

Cons

  • Unfortunately this fairway wood is not customizable. There are a lot of companies on the market making adjustable clubs now. I don’t think you will need to tweak this club because it is perfect right off the shelf.
  • Some golfers actually preferred to use the Cobra Fly-Z XL 5 wood over the 3 wood because the 3 was too long...not really a con but wanted to point this out!

​Cobra King F8 3 Wood

Golf Digest gave the F8 an award for the best fairway wood. Receiving this gold medal is nothing to glance over. The king F8 gives you maximum playability from any kind of lie. It truly doesn’t matter if your in super long grass or dead center in the fairway. This 3 wood is going to perform the same way every single time. You will be using this club all the time thanks to its versatility.

Golfers with a 5 to 25 handicap will find the benefits of this club. This goes to show you that it truly doesn’t matter what your skill set is to hit this club. Also it doesn’t matter what your swing speed is either. You can have a slow or super fast swing speed. The engineering team designed this wood to adapt to any situation.

Pros

  • The engineering team has designed a “Baffler Rail” to increase your swing speed and get you out of any tricky lie. The rail gives you the added help you need while swinging.
  • The team at Cobra has made this club super forgiving. The made everything on the club more centered in the club face. This will give you improved consistency and accuracy.
  • The bottom of this club is very innovative. The team has designed it in a way to reduce drag and interference when you make contact with the ground. Now your club will slide easily through any situation.

Cons

  • A handful of golfers found it harder to tweak the settings on this club. Some of the screws were hard to loosen at first.
  • The grip on the golf club could be improved slightly. I found the club moving around a little when I made contact. This is a very easy fix.

Taylormade golf has always had a place in my heart. I grew up with their clubs and they have treated me very well on the course. The M1 woods would be an amazing addition if you paired them with the Taylormade M2 driver. The M1 is by far Taylormade’s longest fairway wood on the market. You will easily see a 15 to 20 yard increase to your distance.

The customization is advanced and the performance is next level with this club. There are so many things packed into this little club that it will be hard to cover in this article.

Pros

  • The 450 stainless steel body makes this a lightweight club that packs a powerful punch upon impact. Your golf ball will have incredible distance off the tee or in the short grass.
  • The lower center of gravity gets you the added height you need to get the ball down the fairway.
  • The speed pocket engineered on this club reduces wind drag and increases your club head speed. If you want to get more distance you need a faster swing.

Cons

  • Some golfers may find the amount of customization options a little overwhelming. Once you get the hang of everything it is very simple to tweak.
  • Dialing in the correct weight for a draw or fade takes some time. This won’t happen overnight.

Taylormade Aeroburner Black 3 Wood

The burner line of clubs by Taylormade has won countless awards. Their clubs are built well and perform above a lot of expectations. The Taylormade aeroburner black woods will feel eerily similar to their aeroburner driver. The aeroburner driver was one of my top rated drivers.

Golf instructor Hank Haney talks about the many benefits of the aeroburner woods.

The aeroburner black is built for speed and provides a significant amount of launch when struck correctly. Don’t worry because the engineers have made their largest sweet spot ever. You will notice that the shape of the aeroburner woods are unique. The design is more compact and sleek. You don’t get the same look as 95% of the other woods on the market. The compact design allows you to easily glide through the grass.

Pros

  • Aeroburner black woods sport the largest speed pocket. This pocket has been engineered to give you a faster swing speed and it also enlarges the sweet spot on the club face.
  • The club face has been engineered to reduce ball spin on contact. A quick spinning golf ball doesn't travel as far as a slow spinning one.
  • Sleeker club head design was made to cut through wind and grass. This ability will allow you to get out of any tricky situation.

Cons

  • These woods do not have any customization options available. No way to tweak loft and weight. Remember what I said earlier about increasing the loft slightly.
  • Some golfers get discouraged with older model clubs. Everyone needs to have the biggest and best club. Don’t let this stereotype change your mind.

The Taylormade JetSpeed woods were created to surpass their older RBZ woods. The JetSpeed isn’t talked about a lot in the golf community. Everyone likes to discuss the more popular brands on the market. Everyone wants to be swinging what the pros are swinging on tour. The JetSpeed definitely runs under the radar but it is a very well built club. I was lucky enough to have this club in my bag for a season. The woods did what they needed to do and they were very forgiving out of any situation. If you can get your hands on this club you won’t be disappointed.

Pros

  • Curved speed pocket on the bottom of the club is ahead of its time. No companies were able to figure out that curving the speed pocket will give you an added boost to swing speed.
  • The club head was designed to dampen vibrations and slide so smooth through the grass. With the expertly crafted club head you won’t get the woods stuck in the grass or in the rough.
  • This 3 wood is very forgiving in any condition. The team at Taylormade was able to engineer a club crafted for any skill set.​

Cons

  • This club is also not adjustable. Some golfers prefer a club that has an adjustable hosel. Unfortunately this one does not have one.
  • There is no precise aiming line on the top of the club head. Some found lining up the ball with the center of the club a little hard to do.

Let’s Sum It Up!

Sometimes it is better to take the easier road and swing a 3 wood instead of trying to kill it with your irons. I tried to highlight some of the most forgiving 3 wood clubs on the market. Every club that I have highlighted in this guide will give you the comfort and skill needed to lower your score.

One thing that I want to highlight again is when deciding on a wood you should opt in for the higher loft. Something in the 16 or 17 degree range would be best. It may be more of a challenge to find but once you do you will be so grateful.

Let me know what you think in the comments below! Did your favorite woods make the list?

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2 thoughts on “What Is The Most Forgiving 3 Wood?”

    1. Thanks for the quick note Cindy. I don’t put prices on the articles because the number fluctuates so quickly. It would be a constant struggle to keep up with all the pricing changes everyday.

      I do appreciate the comment though and it is definitely something we will look into for the future.

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