When I first started learning to play golf, I carried a 3 wood and a 5 wood in the bag.
In hindsight, these are not the easiest clubs to hit off the fairway or out of the rough when you are learning the game!
Time moved on to offer more forgiving clubs like the hybrid clubs carried by many club golfers and even professional players today. I don’t mind admitting I quickly added a couple of hybrids to my setup to try and improve my scores.
In this article, I’ll help you decide between a 2 hybrid vs 5 wood. Understand when to use each club on the course, compare the specs, and make your choice!
Ready? Let’s jump into it.
2 Hybrid vs 5 Wood
A 2 hybrid has a loft of 18-22 degrees. It offers great turf interaction and a high launch to help get the ball airborne. The 5 wood has a similar loft of 18-21 degrees, offering faster swing speeds and a more traditional look, but less forgiveness out of the rough.
What Is a 2 Hybrid?
A 2 hybrid gets its name from being a mix of fairway wood and iron. In short, it has a similar length to a 2 iron but with a larger head. The head shape resembles a fairway wood, albeit smaller in size than what you’d find on a 3 wood or 5 wood.
Escaping the Rough
Hybrids are usually designed with technology that helps the bounce on the sole of the club, meaning it can skip through longer rough without getting snagged in the grass as much as an iron or fairway wood.
This makes the hybrid a good club selection to escape from challenging lies.
A 2 hybrid can also be hit from many other types of lies including the fairway, off the tee, and even out of a bunker. This makes it a versatile club to carry in the bag.
In general, most golfers find hybrids easier to hit than long irons or fairway woods off the deck. This is especially true for higher-handicap players.
Ultimately, the 2 hybrid is very capable of providing a reasonably high-launching and straight ball flight — with great forgiveness and consistency of strike.
That said, there are a few downsides to consider.
Firstly, since a hybrid uses a shorter shaft than a fairway wood, it generally produces slower clubhead speeds. Also, the compact head can be off-putting to some.
What Is a 5 Wood?
A 5 wood is most commonly used for long approach shots from the fairway. However, it can also be a great driver alternative off the tee. A 5 wood is typically constructed with a lightweight carbon crown, offering slightly more distance than a hybrid.
High Launch and Soft Landing
Typically, a standard 5 wood is supplied by the manufacturer with a shaft length of 41 to 42 inches. It’s around an inch shorter than the length of a 3 wood.
For this reason, a 5 wood is probably a bit easier to hit and control than a 3 wood. And when struck correctly, it offers a high-launching ball flight with a soft landing.
In a recent test, Golf Digest found that most everyday golfers actually hit the ball further and more consistently with their 5 wood than their 3 wood.
Although, these golfers would likely benefit from the extra forgiveness of a hybrid.
Differences Between a 2 Hybrid and 5 Wood
|Specs||5 Wood||2 Hybrid|
|Shaft Length||41 inches||39.5 inches|
|Distance||180-225 yards||175-220 yards|
|Avg. Club Speed||85 mph||82 mph|
As we can see from the table above, the typical shaft length in a 5 wood is around 1.5 inches longer than a 2 hybrid, allowing for greater swing speed.
The standard loft of a 5 wood is between 18 and 21 degrees. By comparison, you’ll find a very similar loft in a 2 hybrid — though it varies between each manufacturer.
Extra Forgiveness vs Control
Both the 5 wood and 2 hybrids are fairly forgiving clubs, especially when compared with long irons or a longer wood like a 3 wood.
A hybrid has a wide, and relatively deep face that is very forgiving for off-center hits.
In contrast, the larger club head on the 5 wood produces rapid ball speed when you catch it in the sweet spot, delivering extra distance. However, this sweet spot is harder to find consistently and can result in nasty slices or hooks with poor contact.
The 2 hybrid is the easier club to hit out of the rough. Although, better players who can often find the center of the 5 wood might not feel the need to carry a hybrid.
Ball Speed and Spin Rates
With a longer shaft length and advanced head technology, the 5 wood can deliver faster ball speeds than the 2 hybrid — while offering extra spin and workability.
Due to the extra spin levels, the 5 wood is capable of reaching a higher apex. This can make it easier to stop the ball on the green, even with longer approach shots.
Conversely, 2 hybrids typically have lower spin rates. This produces a flatter launch trajectory, bringing in the risk of the ball running off the back of the green.
The obvious caveat here is high-level golfers don’t need the help and forgiveness that a hybrid offers, as much as a mid to high-handicap player might need it.
How to Choose the Right Club For Your Game
For better players, a 5 wood might be the better option allowing more speed, distance, and control. For amateur golfers, the hybrid offers more forgiveness and helps to escape long rough with far more ease than a fairway wood or iron.
Personally, my hybrid is one of my favorite clubs in the bag. I used it almost exclusively on any shot over 200 yards, and even off the tee when the driver is feeling cold.
When choosing between a 2 hybrid vs 5 wood, it’s worth considering the type of course you play and the conditions. If it’s a parkland-style course with little in the way of long rough, then you might get away with using fairway woods.
Ultimately, it’s always a good idea to get a club fitting to test how each one feels. Also, you can compare the numbers you get out of each club with a launch monitor.