1, 2 and 3-Woods Vs Using a Golf Driver

3 wood-hybrid golf shot

It’s not surprising to know that more and more people want to start playing golf. Golf, in the past, was primarily considered an elitist game. Only a handful of people had access to this game.

Nowadays, almost everyone has access to this sport. It is indeed a fun sport to both play as well as watch as a spectator.

If you’re planning to start playing golf anytime soon, you might be wondering about the various golf clubs and wood being used. Hearing words like 1-wood, 2-wood and golf driver can be really confusing for a person just starting out.

You need to know the correct situations when to use a specific club over another. Learning and practicing is the only way you will sharpen your skills and be good enough to enter tournaments.

Let me help you understand more about the various kinds of woods used as well as how they are different from the drivers.

Read on to understand how using a 1-wood, 2-wood and 3-wood over a golf driver can sometimes be a better choice.


Golf Driver Vs Woods Chart

 Driver/1 Wood2 Wood3 Wood
Loft Angle10 degrees14 degrees15 degrees
Distance (men)220 yards210 yards205 yards
Distance (women)165 yards150 yards140 yards
Length (inches)44"43.5"43"
Accuracy LevelAverageGoodBest

See my complete guide on golf club distances in this article


1 Wood Vs Driver

In the earlier days, all the golf clubs were made out of persimmon wood; hence, they were referred to as ‘woods’. In recent years, woods have been replaced with lightweight metals like stainless steel and titanium. Even though woods are now made from metal, the name ‘wood’ still persists in the golfing community.

1- wood is more commonly referred to as a driver. This club has the lowest loft angle compared to 3-wood or 5-wood. When you are stuck in a tee and need to hit a ball to cover a lot of distance, you look for a 1-wood or a driver. This is the only thing that can be your savior.

Drivers generally have a loft angle between 7 and 12 degrees. So you may be wondering how this affects the game. Well, the lower the loft angle, the higher the trajectory of your ball.

Traditionally golfers preferred lower loft angles. This of course required an exceptional level of skill as it is tough to control the ball and set its course accurately.

As of late, it has been found that increasing the loft angle can actually make it easier to play the game. This is because a higher loft angle can give a higher launch angle along with creating a lower spin rate to the golfer.


2 Wood Vs Driver

After playing golf for some time, you’ll notice that 2-woods and 4-woods are not really used a whole lot. Instead, most people prefer using at least a 3-wood, as they feel they need a higher loft angle.

However 2-woods are still being used on courses all around the world for very specific purposes. It can be a useful club arsenal if you know how to use it well.

Here are the both the advantages and disadvantages of using a 2 wood golf club.


  • 2-woods are designed to give you more precise control of the ball.

  • They’re designed to be more forgiving than drivers. This means a 2 wood is more comfortable, even for amateurs to use.

  • The top area of the club head has a flatter surface to give the player a more natural shot.

  • You can expect more accuracy using 2-wood than most other clubs.



  • Drivers are better when dealing with long shots. On the other hand, a 2-wood can be used to cover shorter distances than drivers.

  • The level of accuracy that can be obtained by using drivers is more significant than those of 2-wood.

  • The loft angle of the drivers or 1-wood is lower than that of the 2-wood.

In general, when you’re on a tee and need to hit around 492 yards (450 metres), you’re better off using a driver. This is why 2-woods are rarely used nowadays.


3 Wood Vs Driver

A lot of people prefer using a 3-wood as opposed to a driver. Both the 3-wood and driver are different in a lot of ways. 3-woods became very popular when Tiger Woods won the championship while rarely using his driver!

A 3-wood is designed to hit the ball off the ground. A driver in comparison is design to hit the ball during the ascending side of the swing. It is imperative that the golfers don’t mix up the uses of both clubs.

Another essential thing which a lot of people have noticed is that switching from a driver to a 3-wood doesn’t greatly reduce shot distance.

Traditionally, it has always been believed that only a driver can be used to hit long distance; however this has proven to be wrong

A recent study comparing the 2 clubs revealed that the difference in the distance covered when the payers used a driver and a 3-wood is just 15.3 yards (14m). This is indeed a negligible amount of distance.

As the loft angle of a driver is definitely lower than that of 3-wood, it’s easier to control your swing using a 3-wood as opposed to a driver. If you’re an amateur who is just starting out, I believe a 3-wood would be the best choice for you.

I have also compared 3 woods to 3 hybrids in this article


Is A 3 Wood Easier To Hit For Beginners?

When a beginner joins a club, they will be advised that a 3-wood is better than a driver. As a newbie, you may be wondering how!

A 3-wood on average 42-44 inches long while the shaft of the driver will almost always be 45 inches long. This is one of the crucial points which make the difference. The length of the shaft will determine how well you can control your swings. This, in turn, will also be the determining factor for the accuracy of the hit.

It’s crucial to know that 3-woods have a smaller club face than drivers. This size difference seems to puzzle most beginners as they’re also told that more club face equals greater forgiveness.

It’s easier to hit the sweet spot using in a 3-wood as Drivers are generally harder to control. The loft angle is lower in a driver and this makes the ball spin more.

A 3-wood has a higher loft angle and thus is easier to hit. A driver is great if you’re planning to implement the hook and spin technique; otherwise, you may find that using a 3-wood is easier to hit the ball accurately.


When to Use a 3 Wood

Now that you know the difference between the various types of clubs and drivers, you may be wondering when to use them. There is no hard and fast rule as to when a particular club should be applied. It all varies from player to player.

Some players find it easier to hit longer distances with a 3-wood as opposed to a driver. Others find that the higher loft angle presented by the 3-wood is more comfortable while also offering more accuracy than a 1-wood.

There are many such differences between these club but just keep the following in mind. The backspin and side spin is more significant in a 3-wood than it is with a 1-wood.

3-woods are generally to be used if you’re just starting out as it’s easier to hit the sweet spot consistently. I’ve seen this first hand as most of my golfing friends find it easier to control a 3-wood compared to using their driver.

At the end of the day, only you can decide which clubs work best for you. You may want to study your strengths and weakness and also try using various clubs before coming to a final decision.


Driver Vs 3 Wood Off The Tee

The new drivers available on the market today can definitely reel you in by looks their looks alone. The designs we have available to us these days are very sleek and attractive, making them very attractive to beginners.

However, before you invest in an expensive driver, understand the differences and find out whether you can handle a driver at your current experience level.

It’s always recommended for a beginner to learn using a 3-wood or even using a set of irons first. This is because these clubs are used to hit the ball on a downward slope.

A driver, on the other hand, is used to hit the ball on an ascending angle. What this means is that if you start out playing with a driver, you may not actually be able to learn the nuances of the game.

If you’ve been playing golf for at least a few months and want to know whether to use a driver to cover longer distances, you can perform a simple test.

Try hitting the ball with the same conditions using both a driver and a 3-wood. If there is a difference of less than 15m, then stick to the 3-wood; otherwise, you may want to try switching to a driver.

Only you can determine which club works best for you. This is something that comes with practice and experience.



The most important take away from this is that you need to analyze your strengths and weaknesses before deciding to use a particular club. You will need to come up with a strategy while playing the games as to whether to use a driver vs one of the woods.

Understand the differences and try out a different set of irons and clubs before investing in them.

As golfing equipment can be expensive, I must recommend that you choose a 3 wood over a driver if you’re just beginning in golf.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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