Since the 3 wood is shorter than the driver, it frequently becomes a go-to club for many players off the tee. The shorter shaft can make it easier to find the center of the face.
However, if you don’t have the correct 3 wood shaft weight for your swing, you might be leaving some distance and accuracy out on the course.
I recently tested several 3 wood shafts and was really surprised that the weight had more of an impact on the ball flight than the flex of the shaft.
In this article, I’ll explain why 3 wood shaft weight is important.
So, without further hesitation — let’s get into it!
3 Wood Shaft Weight
Typically, amateur golfers will use a 3 wood shaft that weighs in the 60-70 gram range. Conversely, professional golfers often use 3 wood shafts weighing more than 75 grams, and sometimes over 90 grams. For women, the 3 wood shaft weight is often less than 50 grams.
|Shaft Name||Flex||Weight (Grams)|
|Fujikura Ventus Blue 5||Regular||58.5|
|Fujikura Ventus Blue 6||Regular||65|
|Fujikura Ventus Blue 5||Stiff||59|
|Fujikura Ventus Blue 8||Stiff||86|
|Fujikura Ventus Blue 7||TX||79.5|
|Fujikura Ventus Blue 8||TX||85|
Fujikura is a Japanese golf shaft manufacturer, producing some of the most popular fairway wood shafts in the game — used by pros and amateurs alike.
As you can see from the table above, there are several different 3 wood shaft weight options depending on the flex you play according to your swing speed.
In general, shaft weight directly correlates with shaft flex. The heavier the shaft, the stiffer the flex. This impacts trajectory, ball flight, total distance, and accuracy.
Driver vs 3 Wood Shaft Weight
Some golfers play with the same exact weight in their 3 wood and driver shafts. But, it’s more common to have about 10 more grams of weight in the 3 wood.
When you choose to have a little extra weight in the 3 wood, it can help control overall ball flight and keep the ball on a straighter path.
Let’s not forget that the 3 wood shaft is a little shorter than the driver shaft. So, we should be able to go after it a bit more through impact as we can trust the strike.
For some players, finding this correct balance of weight between the driver and 3 wood can be a challenge. I’ve seen some golfers stick with the same weight in the 3 wood and the driver, while others have their 3 wood shaft 25 grams heavier than the driver.
Ultimately, it’s up to personal preference. I recommend you test out a few different shafts at your local golf shop, to find one that feels right for your swing.
Check out the video below by True Temper Golf, which explains the differences between driver and fairway wood shafts:
Why Is Shaft Weight Important?
Recently, I tested a few 3 woods using a Foresight GC3 launch monitor. I was really surprised at how much of a difference the shaft was making when I was hitting the same exact clubhead.
Interestingly, it was the shaft weight that I was changing — not necessarily flex.
In the end, I found a stiff shaft in a slightly lighter weight was a better fit for me than a regular shaft in a heavier weight. This is why club fitting can be so vital.
Here are a few things that make shaft weight so important:
Ball Flight and Trajectory
The heavier the shaft, the lower the ball flight.
With this lower trajectory, you can also expect some more spin. Although a nice penetrating ball flight is a good thing with the 3 wood, it’s also important that we get enough height to maximize distance.
Many golfers struggle to get enough launch with the 3 wood from the fairway. Having too much weight in the shaft makes this even harder.
Swing Speed and Shaft Weight
The faster you swing the club, the heavier the shaft should be.
For instance, a slow swing speed golfer may need a 60-gram shaft in the 3 wood to achieve maximum distance and keep the ball straight.
A higher swing speed player could have 90 grams in their 3 wood shaft before achieving maximum distance. When faster swing speed golfers try to use a shaft that is too light, they can actually lose power, and they may balloon the golf ball a bit.
Matching your swing speed to the proper 3 wood shaft weight is crucial.
Shaft Weight and Shaft Stiffness
Stiffer shafts usually weigh more, but this is not always the case.
There are many cases where a TX (extra stiff) is actually a few grams lighter. At a certain point, as the shaft gets stiffer and the weight gets heavier, it loses a bit too much forgiveness.
One of the things I have always found most helpful for golfers deciding between two shafts is choosing the one that you can still swing well on the 18th hole.
For instance, if a stiff 70-gram shaft feels great on the first hole, but you are leaving it a bit to the right on the back nine, it may not be the right fit. How about something like a regular flex 75-gram shaft or even a stiff flex 65-gram shaft?
You have these two variables to play with in order to achieve the right ball flight and consistency for your game.
Tip Stiff 3 Wood Shaft?
Another factor to play into here is the stiffness within the shaft.
Some 3 wood shafts have a slightly stiffer tip that helps to reduce spin and ball flight.
However, if you are swinging a stiff or heavy golf shaft, it may make sense to go with something a little less tip stiff to get the ball in the air more easily.
Again, this would be a tough one to figure out without using a launch monitor and interchangeable shafts in the same clubhead as a point of reference.
With the 3 wood, the shaft material selection is really simple (graphite), but the rest of this club selection process takes a bit of knowledge and data.
If you want the most distance, combined with some accuracy, schedule a club fitting, or try to try out some golf clubs and record data.
The bottom line is that great swing mechanics can make up for many shortcomings in equipment.
However, with more and more 3 wood shaft weight options reaching the market each year, it’s smart to find something that fits your golf game.