Often, the 3 wood can feel easier to hit than the driver off the tee.
While this is partially because the shorter 3 wood shaft makes it easier to control the clubface, it’s also down to the extra loft angle on the face.
This extra loft can increase launch, and make the 3 wood a reliable option off the tee. However, it will always lack distance due to the shorter shaft length.
So, can you put a driver shaft in a 3 wood?
Will this make the 3 wood the ultimate club off the tee, or is it a mistake?
In this article, I’ll show you why I think there are better ideas when it comes to tinkering with your golf equipment and shaft setup.
Let’s get into it!
Can You Put a Driver Shaft in a 3 Wood?
You can put a driver shaft in a 3 wood, and the club will still be deemed legal according to the USGA Golf Equipment Rules. However, the longer shaft will make it harder to control the clubface, resulting in less accuracy and versatility.
In fact, it’s a better idea to go the other way and use a 3 wood shaft in the driver.
That way, you’ll get the distance and forgiveness from the larger driver head, with the ability to stand closer to the ball for better control and precision.
Now, let’s compare the specs of a 3 wood shaft and a driver shaft.
3 Wood Shaft vs Driver Shaft
The primary difference between a 3 wood shaft and a driver shaft is length.
On average, a driver shaft is around 44 or 45 inches long. On the other hand, a typical 3 wood shaft is around 42 to 43 inches in length.
This two-inch gap can make all the difference on the golf course.
However, there are some other key differences to consider:
Despite being shorter, 3 wood shafts are heavier than driver shafts.
The driver is hit as part of your upswing in golf, and it is lightweight and designed to be swung at the fastest speeds.
While the 3 wood is still a distance club, there are frequently times when you’ll be hitting it out of the rough or from a fairway lie.
Since the 3 wood has a bit more versatility and is typically used as a club that provides both control and distance, the weight is a bit heavier.
Take a look at your driver shaft weight and your 3 wood shaft weight. There are probably at least 10-15 grams of difference between the two.
Another important distinction is the variation in ball flight and trajectory.
Drivers are designed to launch the ball relatively high. So, most drivers will have a lower kick point in their shafts. The launch trajectory is vital as it contributes to the total distance we can get achieve off the tee.
By contrast, the 3 wood should have a more penetrating ball flight. With this lower flight, you can generate some extra roll and keep your golf ball straight.
However, when you put a driver shaft in a 3 wood, controlling the ball’s flight can become a challenge. You may see shots moving more from left to right, and you can lose that sense of control when it comes to overall performance.
Also, a 3 wood shaft is slightly less flexible than a typical driver shaft.
This is actually a reason why some golfers will put a stiff shaft in their driver but have a regular shaft in everything else.
With the difference in flex between the two shafts, you should feel more control with the 3 wood. With the driver, it’s more about generating distance.
When the driver shaft is combined with a 3 wood head, you lose a little of that control in the flex. To me, it feels much less stable.
There’s something strange about having a small clubhead with a long shaft!
In my experience, it feels as though I don’t have as much control of the clubhead, and for longer approach shots that can be a bit of a daunting feeling.
In addition, you’ll need a little extra effort to swing the club around and get the clubface squared up at impact. This can definitely impact your accuracy.
Once I move down in length from the driver, I’m happy to prioritize a feeling of control in my shots, as opposed to outright distance.
Finally, modern 3 wood and driver shafts are made from graphite.
Players generally use steel in their irons and wedges, but the best choice is graphite in the longer clubs for its lightweight properties.
However, if you do enjoy the feel and performance of your driver shaft, you can look for similar specifications for your 3 wood shaft.
It doesn’t have to be the same exact shaft — most companies make driver and fairway wood models with a little less length and more weight.
My Recommendation: Custom Fitting
Consistency in the golf shafts you use will only help you get more comfortable on the course and hit the different types of shots you need.
If you have questions or concerns about which shaft to use, I highly recommend you go for a professional custom fitting and see what they say.
I currently have a different shaft in my driver, 5 wood and 4 hybrid. However, I’ve previously had the same shaft brand and model in each club.
The key is to use the data you can access and maximize your potential.
Check out the video below for an example of a custom fairway wood fitting:
I would not put a driver shaft in your 3 wood. Everything you currently love about your 3 wood will go out the window when you do this shaft replacement.
The 3 wood is there for control, consistency, and accuracy — let it do its job!
Find a way to learn to hit your driver’s head, or simply use the 3 wood as it is off the tee. However, putting the driver shaft in the 3 wood is not worth it.