I Hit My 3 Wood As Far As My Driver — Explained By Tell Me More Golf

i hit my 3 wood as far as my driver due to inconsistencies with driver shots

Golfers of all skill levels struggle with the driver from time to time. While the driver is meant to hit the ball further than any other club in the bag, inconsistencies and bad swings can lead to big losses in distance. 

Many golfers are much more consistent with fairway woods, and in some cases find themselves hitting the 3 wood just as far as their driver. This can usually be corrected with golf lessons and swing changes, but in some instances, the driver itself is the culprit.

i hit my 3 wood as far as my driver due to inconsistencies with driver shots

Inconsistencies With Driver Causes Loss of Distance


i hit my 3 wood as far as my driver and how the driver club swing is different

Inconsistency hitting the driver off the tee box is common for both weekend golfers and PGA Tour players alike. The big difference is that professional golfers have elite scrambling talent, and can make up for bad drives around the green with their short games. 

Cameron Smith, for example, had the worst driver accuracy of any golfer to make the cut at The Players Championship, hitting the fairway less than 43% of the time.

He would go on to win the tournament and collect a 3.6 million dollar check, the largest payout in PGA Tour history.

For amateur golfers, missing the fairway with their tee shots can ruin an entire round of golf. Hitting the driver consistently can be the difference between having an enjoyable day on the golf course, and looking for golf balls in the woods all day. If you hit your 3 wood as far as your driver, let’s take a look at some of the reasons beginners tend to struggle so much with the big stick.

Many beginners have a tough time getting used to the driver at first. With the largest clubhead of any golf club in the bag, the driver can look a bit intimidating at address. It is also the longest club in the bag, and high handicappers can struggle getting used to the overall size of the club, and having to stand so much further from the ball.

High handicappers who are already comfortable with their favorite driver still tend to get in their own way with this club. They often feel the need to swing hard, in an effort to “hit bombs” far down the fairway like their favorite golfers on TV.

In reality this tendency leads to mishit tee shots and lost yardage more times than not.Hitting the center of the clubface is the number one way to increase driver distance. The thin clubface and hollow clubhead are designed to create a “trampoline effect,” which is maximized at the very center of the clubface. In short, a golfer with a slower swing speed who makes center contact with the ball will hit the ball further and more consistently than a faster swinger who struggles to make solid contact.

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Without a doubt, the most common driver miss for golfers worldwide is the slice. A slice is primarily caused by an “out to in” club path, and is the number one swing fault keeping golf professionals busy during lessons. The driver slice causes a massive loss of distance off the tee box, and is the reason some players are able to hit a 3 wood just as far.

One reason a slice causes distance loss is that the ball does not fly on a straight line, and curves away from the intended target. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that the most direct route between two points is a straight line, and that a ball flying on a curve will be a less efficient path to the target.

The second reason is the backspin and sidespin that a sliced golf ball flies with.

While a draw puts topspin on the ball, causing it to kick forward when landing, a fade/slice does exactly the opposite.

Upon landing, a ball with backspin will check up before continuing to roll. Due to the sidespin, the direction of that roll will not be forward. Instead, a sliced tee shot will roll to the right for a right handed golfer, and left for a left hander.

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How Far Should I Hit My 3 Wood?


While every golfer’s yardage numbers are different, there are some general guidelines when it comes to 3 wood distance. A good set of golf clubs is all about proper distance gapping. 

This means that the average distance between each iron in the bag should be roughly the same yardage. The distance between woods will be a bit more significant, as woods fly so much further. A player who hits the golf ball very far will have a bigger gap between each club than a shorter hitter.

While there is no specific 3 wood distance, the yardage should split the difference between a golfer’s driver distance, and that of the third longest club in their bag. In most cases, this is either a 5 wood or a hybrid. For example, If a golfer hits their driver 250 yards, and their 5 wood 200 yards, a good 3 wood distance would be around 225 yards.

Even with a properly gapped 3 wood and driver, there are some days where the driver just will not cooperate. It is times like this where many will elect to leave the driver in the bag, hit three wood off the tee instead. The shorter shaft length tends to make it easier to control than the driver, and it is better to hit the ball 225 yards in the fairway than 250 yards out of bounds.

I Hit My 5 Wood As Far As My Driver


The 5 wood is most commonly used for longer approach shots due to its high ball flight, and should not go as far as your driver. A 5 wood produces a higher launch angle, causing the ball to land at a steeper angle and stay closer to the landing spot.

The driver produces a faster ball speed and lower ball flight, allowing drives to keep rolling long after they first touch the ground. Even with below average driver swing speed, if a certified club fitter sets you up with the correct driver shaft, a ball struck on the sweet spot of your driver should fly far clear of your 5 wood.

As outlined earlier, the main reason golfers fail to maximize distance is the slice. If you are hitting the ball straight, and still can’t hit your driver further than your 5 wood, the next factor to take a look at is the ball flight. If the launch angle is too high or low, you will not be able to reach your driver’s full potential. An incorrect trajectory could be caused by the wrong attack angle.

If the ball is flying too low, try moving the ball further forward in the stance, and trying to hit up at the ball. If the flight is too high, try moving the ball further back with a more downward angle of attack. Some drivers also have an adjustable clubhead, allowing golfers to try out different configurations to find the best driver loft for their swing.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Why do I hit my three wood as far as my driver?

If you are hitting your 3 wood as far as your driver, the first step is to evaluate whether you are hitting the driver properly. If you hit a big slice off the tee, you are leaving lots of yardage on the table.

This can be corrected with swing fixes, and may take some time on the range or lessons from a certified PGA professional. If you fail to hit a straight ball with the driver further than your 3 wood, it could be due to an incorrect attack angle, or you may be using the wrong equipment

How much further should you hit your driver than your 3 wood?

While there is no specific yardage that a driver should produce relative to the 3 wood, the difference should be significant due to the lower loft of the driver, along with the larger clubhead. For golfers with slower swing speeds, this gap could be 15 yards, while long hitters can have a gap closer to 50 yards.

Should my 3 wood be the same as my driver?

While many golfers elect to go with a 3 wood that matches their driver, there is no reason that the clubs need to be the same model, brand, year, color or have anything else in common. What is important is that your 3 wood and driver have different lofts, and go different distances.

Conclusion: Research by Tellmemoregolf.com

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

If you are having trouble consistently hitting your driver further than your 3 wood, our team of experts at Tell Me More Golf recommend first checking your ball flight. If the ball starts on the intended target line, and then veers off course, you are dealing with either a slice or a hook. 

For right handed golfers, a ball trailing off to the right hand side indicates a slice – the most common shot shape for beginners. If a slice isn’t the issue, it’s time to take a look at the driver’s loft and correct your trajectory.

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