Should You Join The 3-Wood Revival?

They're long...really long

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Tour Edge XCG5
Believe it or not, all golfers don't crave maximum distance. In fact, many better players don't want their 3-wood shots traveling as far as their tee shots. They know their shot direction is more likely to go astray, as the club is less forgiving. Instead, they want a ball advancing a consistent, predictable distance down the middle. So are these new, strong 3-woods for this type of golfer?

"The answer really lies with the player," says Nike's Moody. "Most everyone wants more distance from every part of their game—outside of putting—and the majority of metalwood sales over the last few years have gone to those products that have delivered more distance. I don't think we have come close to the limit yet where the majority of consumers want us to pull distance back. It's also not uncommon for better players and touring professionals to want to hit every club in their bag a specific distance. But as a percentage of total golfers, they are among the precious few who are satisfied with their distance."

TaylorMade's Olsavsky thinks that when you get a fairway wood that's longer and easier to hit, it's hard to turn away the extra distance. "Even though good players say this, they will likely still change to RocketBallz," predicts Olsavsky, who has personally experienced that phenomenon with the company's Tour pros. "Initial Tour exposure suggests that some longer hitters will change the specs by going to a slightly higher loft than normal, since the RocketBallz spins lower than traditional designs. Shorter hitters on Tour are going all in. And many are looking for a driver with some added distance, to keep the gaps reasonable."

The entire scenario is reminiscent of better players initially not gravitating toward hybrids, roughly a decade ago. Now you'd be hard-pressed to find a Tour pro who doesn't play at least one. And club manufacturers are hoping that the same destiny plays out with the revival of the 3-wood.


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