If you’ve read any of my past articles, you might pick up on the fact that I don’t like to switch golf clubs often.
I especially don’t like switching three woods. I’m super nit-picky when it comes to that club, so I don’t do it lightly.
Here’s a backstory:
My first “special” three wood was a Nike Sasquatch. The three woods I used prior were usually stuff I picked up from a box set, and I never gave it much of a thought. Well, the Sasquatch changed that.
I really liked that club, because it met my most important criteria: it can’t look as big as my driver. There was a problem with it, though: I bought the wrong loft.
The club was 13*. Now, how many of you are asking “So? What’s the big deal”? Well, when my next-lofted club was a 20* hybrid, that means there’s too much of a yardage gap.
I’ve written about yardage and loft gapping in the wedges before, but I don’t think many appreciate the fact that there should be some consideration in the longer, lower-lofted clubs, as well.
Hopefully, this post changes that.
When your three wood and next-shortest club has a big gap between them, you face the same inconsistencies as you do with your wedges.
That’s why it’s important to find a three wood you trust, that fits within the rest of your long clubs.
It’s tough to be stuck at a yardage where you have to decide between throttling back on a three wood or trying to crush, say, a 20* hybrid. It’s best to just avoid putting yourself in that position.
That’s where I was at. So, I did what any sane person would’ve done: bought a new club. This time, it was to the Acer XK, from Hireko Golf. It was the “standard” 15*.
Now, I’m at a 9.5* driver, 15* three wood, and 20* hybrid. Not a perfect 5* spacing, but close enough. That’s the loft combination I maintain to this day.
Of course, I’m a
club ho tinkerer, so of course I had to do more experiments. Yes, I decided to switch golf clubs again.
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The next three wood was a Turner True Speed Ablaze, from Diamond Tour Golf. Unfortunately for me, this was a big-headed club, and I couldn’t get used to it. When I hit it, I hit it well, but I could never get comfortable setting it up behind the ball.
So, another change occurred. This time, it was a Ping i15, also at 15*. It looks like this:
A good club, no doubt. A good size for me, as well. I paired it with a Wishon S2S Black 85 (S), and it’s served me well. I still use it, from time to time.
Of course, me being the… tinkerer… that I am, I found myself switching again. Remember, this is all for your benefit- at least, that’s what I’m going to ask you to tell my wife! If you want to start tinkering, as well, I have a list of stuff that’ll help get you started!
This time, it was more of a personal, emotional, change. You see, I’m on Twitter– follow me, if you’d like!- and one of the first people (??? entities? Twitterers? I don’t know what to call it, exactly) to follow me was Tour Edge Golf (click here to see their Twitter feed).
I didn’t go to them, they came to me! I was honestly dumbfounded; how would a company as big as Tour Edge want to bother with someone like me?
So, I did what I thought was a show of appreciation: I bought a Tour Edge three wood:
As you can see in the picture, it’s also 15*. This one, I paired with a XVG (“S”) shaft, which is 90 grams uncut. Yes, I like heavier clubs with higher swing weights… but as I say, it’s important to be fitted!
The thing I noticed is, it’s bigger than my Ping. Not by a lot, but it’s noticeable. The face height, however, is only slightly taller.
Compared to the Turner, it’s small- especially in the area that messed me up, the face height. Let me introduce Exhibit A:
Now, Exhibit B:
So, while it has a bigger “footprint” (measured from face to back edge) than the Ping or XK, the smaller face height actually offsets that for me. I’m completely comfortable addressing the ball with the Tour Edge.
If you’re keeping score, that’s five times I’ve changed out my three wood, for five different reasons:
- I wanted to “upgrade” (box set to named brand)
- I screwed up my purchase (bought too little loft)
- I wanted to tinker (using brands not seen on Tour)
- I figured out what I like in a three wood (smallish head size)
- I made an emotional purchase
I think that’s actually a small amount, given the number of years I’ve been playing. Another thing I’d like you to notice: only the first purchase was what you could consider “willy-nilly”. The rest were all done with purpose.
What I’m getting at is, much like buying a driver, a three wood is a personal choice. The same criteria apply:
- Do you like how it looks? In this instance, do you like the head size?
- Can you afford the new club? There’s no point in pining for it if it’s out of your pay scale.
- Do you plan on getting custom-fitted for it? If you’ve been reading for a while, that should be “yes”!
As I always say, custom-fit matters. It isn’t just finding the right length, grip size, etc., but figuring out how the loft of the new (or new to you) three wood fits within your current set.
I’m a firm believer in not getting yourself “stuck” in between clubs. The full swing is easier to pull off than some choked-down half-swing. Yes, it makes sense to practice that, but when it comes to lowering your scores, there’s no reason to put yourself in bad situations if you can help it.
When in doubt, use the KISS method!