2 Wood Vs. Driver — Which is Best for Your Golf Game?

2 wood vs driver which is best off the tee from golf instructor advice to you at tell me more golf

Golfers love to hit bombs with the driver from the tee box right down the middle of the fairway. 

However, for most golfers, hitting the driver frequently on the golf course offers more risk than reward. Because of how hard it can be to hit the driver well, some golfers are turning to a classic club, the 2 wood.

Are you interested in what’s better off the tee for your game, the 2 wood vs. the driver?

The Tell Me More Golf team is going to take a look at the 2 wood and the driver, which is better off the tee, and if putting a 2 wood into your bag might be something worth considering.

2 wood vs driver which is best off the tee from golf instructor advice to you at tell me more golf

Driver Vs. 2 Wood

2 wood facts and data from the findings of tell me more golf instructors

Today’s modern drivers have a shaft length of between 45 and 46 inches, their head size can be no larger than 460cc, weighs approximately 200 grams, and have a loft between 8 and 11 degrees.

The modern 2-wood, sometimes called a mini-driver, has a shaft length of 43.5 to 45 inches, they have a club head between 180-300 cc, weighs around 200 grams, with a loft between 11.5 and 13.5 degrees.

The shorter length of the shaft, the smaller clubhead, and the higher loft results in the 2-wood being 10-20 yards shorter than the driver.

However, the factors that reduce the total carry of the 2-wood make them easier to swing and more accurate for many golfers, especially beginners.

You don’t see many 2-woods or mini-drivers in the bags of PGA Tour players. Their swing speeds and hitting the center of the clubface make the added distance they can get from the driver too much of an advantage compared to a 2 wood.

However, for the high-handicap golfer who struggles to hit his driver into play off of the tee consistently, the 2 wood is a great option. Because they don’t lose too much distance but will have much better control over the club, and they can also hit it from the fairway just like they can any other fairway wood.


Driver and fairway woods start at 1 with the driver and go as high as an 11 wood. As the number of fairway woods increases, so does the club’s loft.

Here are some standard lofts for woods:

Wood NumberDegrees Loft
1-Wood (Driver)7.5-11.5°
2 Wood 11.5-13.5°
3 Wood 13.5-15°
4 Wood17°
5 Wood18°
7 Wood21°
9 Wood25°
11 Wood29°

Many drivers and fairway woods today are customizable, allowing players to adjust the lie and loft angle of the club. In addition, the adjustability of the hosels of the clubs makes it easier for players to fine-tune the club to maximize their ball flight for incredible distance and accuracy.

In the past, many players on the PGA Tour played with lower lofted drivers, around 8 degrees.

However, many pro golfers have moved to higher lofted drivers between 9 and 10.5 degrees.

It’s common for golfers to use the higher woods, from 7 up, as replacement clubs for the long irons in their bag because they can be easier to hit than the same lofted iron.


2 Wood Explained

The 2-wood, or “Brassie” as it used to be called because manufacturers made the soleplate of the club out of brass, is a club that you don’t find too often in a golfer’s bag today.

Today’s 2-woods are often referred to as mini drivers. They are called this because they come with a club head between 180-300 cc, which is not quite half the size of a driver on average, with a shorter shaft, a loft between 11.5 and 13.5 degrees, and around 200 grams of weight.

Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping, Morsh, and Thomas Golf make versions of mini-drivers or 2 woods.

The 2 wood is an excellent club for golfers who want a club that gives them nearly the distance of their driver and the forgiveness of a 3-wood. A club that they can hit from both the tee and the fairway.

The combination of the shaft length, the club’s weight, the smaller clubhead, and the higher loft makes it easier for many golfers to make consistent contact with the golf ball.

Many golfers might be reluctant to take the driver completely out of their bag. However, the distance, forgiveness, and versatility of a 2 wood might allow them to replace their 3 or 5-wood instead.

2 Wood Distance

According to stats from the USGA, the average golfer drives the ball 216 yards. Based on that average, with a 2-wood distance typically between 10 and 20 yards shorter than the driver, a comparatively hit 2-wood will go about 196-206 yards compared to hitting the driver.

The average 3-wood is about 186 yards, so a comparatively hit 2-wood will be about 10 to 20 yards longer than a 3-wood at 196-206 yards.

With a nearly 30-yard gap between the average driver and 3 wood distance, you can see where the 2 wood could be an attractive club to put in your golf bag.

1 Wood Vs. Driver

A 1 wood and a driver are two different names for the same club. The 1 wood, or driver, is the club in a golfer’s bag with the longest shaft and lowest loft.

The driver is typically used to hitting the ball when it is teed up on a tee box, thanks to its lower loft and larger club head. Unfortunately, this can make hitting the golf ball off the fairway difficult for many golfers to hit consistently.

Historically, golf club manufacturers have put numbers on the soles of their golf clubs to make them easily identifiable when in the golf bag. This practice became more frequent when golf club sets became mass-produced.

Because of this numbering practice, the driver is sometimes referred to as a 1 wood.

FAQ Section

When would you use a 2 wood?

If you struggle getting off the tee box consistently, using a 2 wood is a great option. The shorter shaft, smaller head, and higher loft make the club easier to swing and more forgiving on mishits.

The 2-wood’s average distance of 195-215 yards is 10 to 20 yards longer than the average 3-wood. So the golfer can use it off the tee and not lose all of the yardages they would from hitting their 3-wood or 5-wood.

A 2 wood is also a great choice when hitting a long shot from the fairway. Like a second shot into a par 5, thanks to its extra distance over the 3 wood.

How far should a 2 wood go?

On average, a well-hit two-wood should go between 196 and 206 yards. This distance is 10-20 yards shorter than the driver’s and 10-20 yards longer than the average 3 wood.

It’s important to remember that, like a 3-wood, you can also hit a 2-wood from the fairway. That extra distance could make the difference between hitting the green in two shots or coming up 10-20 yards short.

Is a 2 wood a fairway wood?

Yes, a 2 wood is a fairway wood. While not as popular as the 3-wood or a 5-wood, the 2 wood is a great golf club for high handicappers looking for more consistency off the tee box.

Some golfers consider only 2, 3, and 5 woods fairway woods. Any wood above the 5-wood would be regarded as a utility wood. The Tell Me More Golf team feels any wood that a golfer can hit off the fairway comfortably to be a fairway wood.

Is it hard to hit a 2 wood?

It is not hard to hit a 2 wood. The design of the 2 wood with a shorter shaft length, smaller clubhead, added loft, and similar weighting to a driver makes it easier to hit both off the tee box and from the fairway.

For golfers who struggle to hit their driver or 3 wood off the tee box, the 2 wood is an excellent compromise between the two clubs. 

You might give up some distance off the tee compared to hitting a driver, but you’ll keep more balls in play and throughout a round that will help your score.

Conclusion: Research by Tellmemoregolf.com

black tell me more golf compressed logo with mottled background information for golfers

To recap, drivers have a longer shaft, a larger clubhead, a bigger sweet spot, less loft than 2 wood, and are typically only used to hit teed-up tee shots from the tee box.

A driver has a heavier club head than a  2 wood club which weighs less.

A 2 wood will have a shorter shaft, a smaller clubhead, a sweet spot, and more loft and can be used both off a tee and off the deck on the fairway.

If you hit your driver well, then the added distance you can get from it makes it the better choice versus the 2 wood.

However, if you don’t hit your driver well, and are more comfortable hitting your 3 wood, then a 2 wood might be worth looking at on the tee. The 2 wood is 10-20 yards longer than the 3-wood, and a golfer can hit it from the tee and the fairway.

The 2-wood is a versatile club that high handicappers should consider putting into the bag as an option for their driver, 3-wood, or 5-wood.


Patrick Corley

From a golf scholarship to a Southern California University, to a private golf coaching career and an instructor position at a nonprofit organization, I’m here to help you get better at golf! With my 50+ years of golf experience; I bring you Tell Me More Golf. A golf coaching website that helps your game with instructional golfing content that’s ultimately geared toward making you a better golfer and having more fun!
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