What is a 3-Wood and What is the Best 3-Wood for High-Handicap Golfers?


If you are a high handicap player trying to shave a couple of shots off your game, a 3-wood can be a game-changing addition to your golf bag setup. The 3-wood, a member of the family of golf clubs called fairway woods, is the second-longest club among fairway woods and offers an impressive combination of forgiveness and distance.

This article will illuminate the 3-wood golf club, explaining its function and offering the best options for high handicap players.

Understanding the 3-Wood

The 3-wood is characterized by its loft and length, falling in a 15-18 degree loft range with a shorter shaft than a driver. The loft angle of a club plays a significant role in determining the launch angle of the golf ball. In the case of the 3-wood, its loft allows for a relatively high launch angle, helping easily get the ball airborne.

Moreover, the shorter shaft of a 3-wood compared to a driver can offer better control and solid contact, which is often a challenge for high-handicap golfers—this can be a huge difference-maker, particularly for those struggling with fat shots or finding the center hits consistently.

The lofted woods, including the 3-wood, are designed to work with a sweeping swing, making it easier to maintain the correct setup and hit the ball from various lies. The design of a 3-wood, with a larger club head than hybrid clubs and lofted irons, also provides added confidence to golfers who may find the large-headed, long-shaft clubs daunting.

club and ball

Best 3-Wood Options for High Handicap Golfers

When selecting the best 3-wood for high handicap golfers, several factors need consideration. Among them are degrees of loft, shaft length, and club head size. Lofted fairway woods or 3-woods with extra loft can be more forgiving, helping golfers achieve successful ball flight and avoid ballooning shots.

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure Notice: It is important to also note that the owner of https://golfonlinetoday.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, endless.com, smallparts.com, myhabit.com, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, this site earns from qualifying purchases.

Club manufacturers innovate to cater to all skill levels, especially high-handicap players. They provide golf club options that emphasize forgiveness, leading to better results for off-center hits and enabling most players to get more distance from tee shots.

A high-handicap golfer might benefit from a 3-wood with a built-in draw bias club design to help combat a slice, a common shot shape struggle for amateur golfers. Adjustable lofts can also be a significant benefit, allowing golfers to alter the loft angle better to match their swing style and conditions on the course.

Average Distance of a 3-Wood

While professional golfers like Bubba Watson or Dustin Johnson can achieve astounding distances with their 3-wood, the average distance for amateur golfers is considerably less.

For an average golfer, the expected distance from a solidly struck 3-wood shot would typically fall into the 180 to 220 yards range. The huge club heads seen on the PGA Tour are not always the best choice for the everyday golfer, as larger does not always mean better.

Factors like the player's skill level, swing speed, ball speed, and ball position at setup can greatly influence the average distance achieved with a 3-wood. It's worth noting that the lofted clubs can be particularly useful for long-distance shots out of the fairway or from the rough, where a driver would not be suitable.

Making the Right Choice

Choosing the right 3-wood for your game is highly personal and depends on your individual needs and style of play. Don’t get swayed by the club that Dustin Johnson or Bubba Watson uses; remember, they are professional golfers with different swing speeds and skill levels compared to recreational golfers.

Try out a few different options under the guidance of a club fitter or a skilled golf coach. They can help you find the perfect loft, shaft length, and club head size to maximize your 3-wood’s effectiveness. Clubs designed for maximum forgiveness and with a high center of gravity can benefit high-handicap players.

The 3-wood is an incredibly versatile and valuable golf club that delivers significant advantages to high-handicap players. While the best 3-wood for a particular golfer will depend on individual swing characteristics and skill level, a well-selected 3-wood can provide the extra loft needed to achieve solid contact, improve ball flight, and ultimately lead to lower scores on the course.

Our Picks

Callaway Paradym Fairway

Callaway introduces an impressive game-changer with the Paradym Fairway Woods, a stunning blend of technological innovation, quality design, and performance. Engineered with a promise of a Paradym shift in distance and forgiveness, these fairway woods truly cater to a wide range of golfers seeking to improve their game significantly.

Callaway's Jailbreak Batwing Technology showcases its artificial intelligence prowess. The structure pushes the club's perimeter, enhancing the body's stiffness without hindering face flex. It's a feature that screams speed and stability.

Callaway has always been at the forefront of utilizing materials to their utmost potential, and their use of Forged Carbon in the sole of these fairway woods is no exception. This patented approach leads to unparalleled weight redistribution, optimizing distance and offering a higher moment of inertia (MOI).

The claim that this is their 'longest fairway wood ever' is not just marketing hype; it's the real deal that amateur golfers and professionals alike can truly appreciate.

What stands out in the Paradym Fairway Woods lineup is the inclusion of a Tungsten Speed Cartridge. It's a combination that makes these fairway woods not just confidence-building clubs but ones that pack a powerful punch.

The most striking feature of the Paradym Fairway Woods is the new A.I. designed high-strength face cup. With a unique face pattern customized for each model and paired with the high-strength C300 maraging steel face cup, it optimizes speed, launch, and spin. The impressive speed and consistency across the face make it a standout feature likely to attract a broad range of players.

The Callaway Paradym Fairway Woods are a superb addition to any golfer's arsenal. The blend of innovation, progressive shaping, and robust offerings makes it a highly appealing choice for those who desire a high-launching fairway wood with a neutral ball flight.

With a focus on speed, stability, optimal launch, and maximum distance, it’s clear that Callaway has delivered a Paradym shift in fairway wood design and performance.

Stealth 2 TI Fairway

TaylorMade continues to pioneer the golfing world, and the Stealth 2 TI Fairway Woods demonstrates why. Building on their renowned Inverted Cone Technology legacy, TaylorMade introduced enhancements in 2023 that amplify the club's speed, performance, and overall resilience.

One of the striking features of the Stealth 2 TI is the advanced face design, which is thinnest at the true center and around the edges, with a thicker mantle surrounding the center face. This engineering feat maximizes speed across the face, ensuring consistent high performance even on off-center hits.

Additionally, the increased durability of this design makes the Stealth 2 TI an investment that can withstand the test of time and rigorous gameplay.

The Stealth 2 TI is a testament to TaylorMade's commitment to advanced materials and design. The strategic blend of lightweight titanium, carbon, and steel optimizes weight distribution in the 170cc head. This advanced construction promotes balance and feels, allowing for the groundbreaking sliding weight track design. This adjustability allows golfers to fine-tune their club to personal preferences or course conditions.

The advanced laser alignment system is another standout feature of the Stealth 2 TI Fairway Woods. Stretching across the top of the face, this system offers a subtle yet powerful alignment tool to enhance accuracy and consistency. The strategic placement of the laser-etched pattern maintains a clean and minimalistic look on the crown, proving that high performance doesn't need to come at the expense of aesthetics.

TaylorMade Stealth 2 TI Fairway Woods serves as an excellent example of TaylorMade's commitment to innovation and performance. With its high-speed face design, advanced materials, unparalleled adjustability, and user-friendly alignment system, this club is a potent addition to any golfer's bag in 2023.

Titleist TSR2 Fairway Wood 15 HZRDUS BLK 70 Stiff

The Titleist TSR2 Fairway Wood 15 HZRDUS BLK 70 offers impressive speed, launch, and forgiveness that can help improve your long game.

With an ultra-low, face-centered Center of Gravity (CG), the TSR2 minimizes backspin and maximizes speed and launch. The open hosel construction aids in boosting the forgiveness of this club, giving you an extra margin for error on mis-hits.

The club head is made from high-strength carpenter steel, a material known for its durability and ability to maintain its integrity even after repeated impact, ensuring the club's longevity.

One of the standout features of the TSR2 is its SureFit Adjustability. You can fine-tune the club with five positions to match your swing characteristics and the day's conditions. This feature gives you more control over your ball flight, allowing you to adjust to different course layouts and wind conditions.

The model number 660RG distinguishes this particular model within the Titleist range.

Whether you want to reach the green in two on a par 5 or need a reliable club to use off the tee on a narrow par 4, the TSR2 is an excellent addition to your bag.


For many golfers, the fairway wood holds a sacred spot in their golf bag. Whether used off the tee for control or off the turf for distance, this club often distinguishes between a successful hole or a poor score. If you're looking for an exceptional 3-wood that can deliver power and precision, the PING Fairway Wood G425 MAX ALTA J CB SLATE is well worth considering.

Designed for right-handed golfers, the G425 MAX ALTA J CB SLATE is an extraordinary club that expertly blends aesthetics and performance. With a loft angle of 14.5 degrees, it offers optimum balance between distance and control, essential for high-handicap players and those looking to improve their game.

One of the notable features of this 3-wood is the use of unique materials in its construction. The face of the club (forged Marine copper C300) is renowned for its resilience and ability to deliver exceptionally responsive and solid contact with the golf ball—this directly translates to impressive ball speed and increased distance.

On the other hand, the club's body is composed of 17-4 stainless steel. This material is known for its superior strength-to-weight ratio and durability, which means this 3-wood can withstand the rigors of regular use while maintaining top performance.

The ALTA J CB SLATE Carbon shaft is another standout feature of this 3-wood. The shaft plays a crucial role in the overall performance of any golf club, and this particular model doesn't disappoint. The carbon material used in the shaft ensures a lighter weight, making it easier to swing the club while still providing the stiffness required for optimal energy transfer to the golf ball.

With a total weight of approximately 309 grams, the club is comfortable to wield, promoting better swing control and potentially improving shot accuracy.

The PING Fairway Wood G425 MAX ALTA J CB SLATE is an excellent choice for golfers looking to improve their fairway game significantly. From its superior materials to its thoughtfully designed features, this 3-wood delivers exceptional performance round after round. 

What is the Best 3 Wood? Every Golfer is Unique

We hope you enjoyed reading What is a 3-Wood and What is the Best 3-Wood for High Handicap Golfers.

In wrapping up, every golfer's journey towards skill improvement is unique, and the club that works wonders for one golfer may not be the best fit for another. However, for high handicap golfers, certain clubs rise to the top for their innovative design, forgiveness, and ability to improve the long game.

The Callaway Paradym Fairway, with its cutting-edge Jailbreak Batwing technology and unrivaled weight redistribution, provides excellent distance and high-speed performance.

TaylorMade's Stealth 2 TI Fairway Woods are renowned for their advanced materials and design, ensuring enhanced speed and durability. The Titleist TSR2 Fairway Wood stands out for its ultra-low CG and adjustability, helping to fine-tune your performance under varying course conditions.

The PING Fairway Wood G425 MAX ALTA J CB SLATE impresses with its blend of high-grade materials and optimized design, guaranteeing durability, distance, and accuracy in a single package.

As we look at these picks, remember that trying out different clubs under professional guidance is always advisable, as personal comfort and feeling play a significant role in making the best choice.

Whether you choose one of the options reviewed here or discover a different club that works wonders for your game, the most important thing is to enjoy your time on the course. Golf is, after all, a game to savor.

Good luck with your game!

About the author 


When Scott is not on the green, he's managing a sales team in the city.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}