Why Hit A Three Wood Off The Tee

I often thought that hitting a 3 wood off the tee was ‘the smart shot’. I was told that it was the safe shot and that it provides a better opportunity for hitting the ball in play off the tee. Apparently, according to Mark Crossfield, this is a misnomer. There is a very slight difference in the ball in play percentage between the 3 wood and driver, yet the distance is fairly significant. So I ask again, why hit the three wood off the tee?

To be fair, some players do hit their 3 wood better than their driver. I cannot say why because the factors are almost limitless, so speculating would not be very beneficial. After watching Mark Crossfield’s video, I now know why I hit my driver whenever I have the opportunity. I wonder if it is the same for you?

What Crossfield espouses is correct for my game. I do not hit my 3 wood better off the tee than my driver. I actually hit my driver more consistently and farther. I can, however, shape my 3 wood better than my driver, thus making my 3 wood a good choice for course management purposes. If I do not need the distance or require a shaped shot, then my 3 wood is my club of choice. It makes complete sense to me that hitting driver when I can fits perfectly into my game.

There are some players who naturally hit a 3 wood better than any other club off a tee. Statistics suggest otherwise, but results do not lie. Personally, I hit driver whenever I can because I am more consistent and produce more distance. I do use my 3 wood from the teeing area, but that is solely for course management purposes. How about you? Why do you hit your 3 wood off the tee?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


8 thoughts on “Why Hit A Three Wood Off The Tee

  1. Jim, 3WD off the tee is my secret weapon, especially in match play against longer players. On long par-3 holes where I know I’m going to hit 3 or 4 iron, if ‘m hitting after my opponent, I’ll take out my 3WD and show it with a few practice swings. Often my opponent will club up because he thinks the hole is playing longer than it should. On the tee of tight longer par-4s, sometimes I’ll hit the 3WD just to get it in the fairway. This most definitely gets in the head of a bomber who’s got to hit driver on every hole. I’ve found that nothing frustrates a longer player more than an opponent who is always in the fairway and doesn’t make mistakes.

    Now do I hit more fairways with my 3WD than driver? Not sure, so I’d say it’s mostly a psychological advantage I’m looking for.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      I am just the opposite. I hit the fairway as often with my driver and hit it whenever I can. That seems to demoralize my opponents because I am in play way more often than not. Regardless, either is a good option. Spring is coming and hopefully I will be on the links in 30 days.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Modern drivers are often the easiest long club to hit straight. In my case the driver is much easier to hit straight especially if gripped down a few inches. I have more confidence with my “fairway finder” driver setup than a fairway wood off the tee.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m playing what I think is the tightest course in the area tomorrow and my 3 wood will be my go to club off the tee more often than the driver there. It’s simply going to keep me out of trouble better.

    I do ‘get’ what he’s saying about the bigger face real estate, but there is also a shaft length difference and I am sure I am finding center face when I hit more often with the 3 than the driver. And that fact means the distance gains I might see from the driver aren’t as much as Mr. Crossfield is going to see when looking at my averages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      I think he means that hitting he face of the driver is easier the the lower profile 3 wood. It really depends on how you make contact. You using your 3 wood tomorrow makes sense because it is for course management purposes. Let me know how it goes.

      Cheers Jim


      • The only real reason I have to be skeptical is confidence. Sometimes it just makes sense to accept the fact that you’ll have a 2 club longer shot into the green when you can’t generate enough confidence to pull out the driver. Whether you’re looking at the tight fairways I’ll be playing tomorrow or the wide open ones we play on other courses there are times when confidence with the driver is hard to come by. So I think confidence levels should be part of the equation when choosing our club.

        I’m one who gets a ton of practice with his fairway woods off the tee. The home course has 5 holes that driver is just too much club for me. 3 wood can be too much club. And I’m not finding fairways on those holes, I’m pin seeking. So if confidence with the driver is low, it’s just natural for me to fall back on those two fairways that I put in use so often. I mean, at best, the driver would get me two clubs closer. It could also get me in the water or the woods and out of play. Even on a wide open fairway. lol So if confidence is gone it makes perfect sense to move to something we do have confidence hitting. That’s partly how we build confidence back isn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin,

        Yes, hitting clubs well (even clubs that are shorter) is a way to build confidence for sure. There really is not wrong way as long as it works for your individual game.

        Cheers Jim


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