Over the last 5+ seasons, drivers and shafts have become so forgiving that it’s super easy to get fit and find a club that is your money club off the tee. Gone are days you pull 3 wood to “keep it in play.” So why do you still carry one? I say most amateurs can drop it now, and add a hybrid or a wedge to the bag that you’ll get more use out of.
Of course there are exceptions, but very few.
1. You haven’t found or been fit right for a driver you love. Keep looking, but hit that 3 wood if you must.
2. You’ve lost youthful distance. Getting old sucks, but move up some tees so you don’t have to hit 3 woods into par 4s. It’s ok.
3. You’re crazy long. Way to go young buck, you need a 270-280 club to fill the gap between your driver and 5 wood. Work on your putting now.
Everyone else is just fine with maybe a 5 wood, some hybrids, or an extra wedge. How often are you really laying up with a 3 wood, or you are in a position to “go for it” in two on a par 5 with a maxed out 3 wood? Pretty rare, and a 5 wood, hybrid, or even a gripped down driver could get the job done.
I dropped my 3 wood over ten years ago. I’ve carried a 2 hybrid tuned to 15* ever since, and I carry 4 wedges. On shorter par 4s I can hit that hybrid 240 off the tee, or I hit a bunt driver where I grip down (almost to the shaft) and hit a little 250+ yard cut. Off the deck or out of rough that hybrid is more forgiving than a 3 wood, and I can grip down or hit 3/4 shots for gap distances.
I hit more gap wedges than I ever hit 3 woods, and almost always use my 60* around the green. Maybe it’s time for you to reassess your set up and drop some woods? Finding what works for you might be similar to finding the driver you love, but just because the club champ and McIlroy carry 3 woods that doesn’t mean it’s best for you and your game.