Complete 5 Wood Golf Club Guide ([year] Update)

Complete 5 Wood Golf Club Guide (2024 Update)

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The 3, 5, and 7 golf woods are the most important clubs for an early lead in a round. But not all golfers rely on these clubs equally. Those who overshoot their approach shots tend to rely on their 7 woods, while those who want the maximum distance pick a 3 wood. For the average golfer, though, 5 Wood seems to be the most useful for tee shots on long holes.

What is a 5 wood in golf? A 5 wood is a fairway wood that can be used for medium-distance approach shots on long holes and tee shots on short ones. It is higher lofted than drivers and 3 woods. The club is also seen as a viable replacement for a 3-iron.

In this article, you’ll learn about the distance range, length, and loft of the 5 Wood. You will also find out where it ranks on the fairway wood hierarchy and how it performs compared to its alternatives, including the 3-hybrid.

Additionally, we’ll provide some valuable golf clubs tips to help you improve your game.

5 Wood Golf Club: A Brief Overview

5 Wood A Brief Overview

5 Woods are medium-distance driving clubs with large club heads and design specs conducive to long shots. It can be used in long fairways and to tee off early in the game. As is the case with any wood, 5 Wood can hit further distances than 5 irons.

Compared to other woods, 5 Wood’s performance falls between that of 3 Wood and 7 Wood. 7 Woods hit shorter distances than 5 Woods while 3 Woods out-performance 5 and 7 woods in distance coverage and swing forgiveness.

While 5 Woods are considered medium-distance clubs, they can be used for long-distance shots with sufficient swing force. In terms of distance, 5 Woods can have a broad range depending on your swing force. From the goal-oriented perspective, clubs can be forgiving along two dimensions.

If a club is meant to be used for precise pitches or putts, then it can be forgiving in terms of precision. And if it is meant to drive the ball across a long distance, then it can be forgiving in terms of swing force. 

When a club is said to have high forgiveness, it either offsets a less forceful swing by translating it to a long drive or it offsets a poorly controlled swing by translating it to a controlled drive or putt.

5-wood is slightly forgiving across both dimensions but has more swing-force forgiveness (distance) than swing-control forgiveness (precision).

5 Wood Loft

5 Wood Loft

A club’s inherent forgiveness can be seen from three design choices. The club head and loft affect the trajectory and precision of the ball. And the shaft can affect how much control a golfer has over the shot. As mentioned earlier, 5 Woods have a large club head which minimizes the chances of whiffs (missed contact).

5 Woods often have a loft of 18 to 20 degrees. This is higher than the 3 Wood’s 15-degree loft average. Since higher loft translates to shorter distances, it makes sense that a 5-wood is used for medium distances.

The loft doesn’t affect the horizontal distance only. In fact, it influences the ball’s vertical trajectory first. The higher loft can contribute to a higher trajectory, which in turn reduces the frontward roll and facilitates soft impact on landing.

5 Wood Distance

5 Wood Distance

Despite the relatively higher arc of 5-Wood shots, these clubs aren’t meant for pitching. Their natural trajectory, however, is like a cross between a pitch and a drive, which is great on the fairway.

An average male golfer can hit a 5-Wood 180 to 195 yards, while an average female golfer can get 125 to 130 yards out of the club.

Remember, the distance of your shots is also influenced by other factors, including:

  • The ball – The ball’s age, compression, and material dictate its conduciveness to long-distance shots. 
  • The course conditions – The weather, especially wind direction, can add or remove 10 yards from an average shot. 
  • Your physical fitness – How fit you are affects how much force you put behind your swing. 
  • Your age and gender – The force you can put behind your swing comes from upper-body strength which is strongly influenced by your gender and age.

5 Wood Distance Chart

5 Wood Distance Chart

Age, gender, and experience are non-equipment factors that affect the distance you can hit a 5 wood.

Here is how far you can hit a 5 wood based on these aspects:

  • Male Teenager Average – 130 yards to 170 yards
  • Adult Male Average – 170 yards to 220 yards
  • Male Pro Average – 240 yards to 288 yards
  • Female Teenager Average – 70 yards to 115 yards
  • Adult Female Average – 115 yards to 165 yards
  • Female Pro Average – 185 yards to 210 yards

Since no two golfers are exactly alike, you might achieve longer or shorter shot distances. For context, you should expect to hit a 5 wood for a 45-yard shorter distance than your average drive. With all things constant, 5 Woods have a 45-yard lower distance than drivers.

5 Wood Uses

5 Wood Uses

You use 5 wood on the fairway, but if you have an exceptionally strong swing, you can use it to tee off as well. Generally, a 3 Wood would be ideal for long drives and teeing off, but if your tee shot also needs to double as an approach, then you need a medium-distance club like the 5 wood.

Ultimately, the best place to use a 5 Wood depends on how long one can hit it. If you can comfortably cross 200 yards with the club, then it makes sense to use it for tee shots on long holes. But if you hover around 120 yards with the club, then you can use it for the second shot of the hole.

Female golfers usually pick the 3 Wood in the context where the male golfers choose the 5 Wood. Regardless of your experience, age, or gender, switching clubs can always help add or remove yards from your shot. But if you’re consistently 5 to 10 yards short of your target, changing your club’s shaft flex and length might be better.

5 Wood Standard Length

5 Wood Standard Length

The 5 Wood is 2.5 inches longer than an average iron. And while the club’s length is contingent on the golfer’s height, most 5 woods are 42 to 43 inches long. This is an inch shorter than an average 3 Wood.

7 Woods are 2 inches shorter on average, but it is also possible to get a shorter 5 Wood for better control. If your swing is too forceful and you find that your 5 Wood functions more like a 3 Wood, making the latter redundant, removing an inch from your 5 Wood’s length can contribute to better distance control.

Many golfers use the 5 Wood as a shorter-shaft version of a 3 Wood. You can pick longer and shorter shafts and can customize your club to be much shorter than those on the market. But remember that picking a shorter club because of its ease of use comes with sacrificing distance. Longer clubs generally tend to drive the ball further.

How to Pick a 5-Wood Length?

How to Pick a 5-Wood Length

Picking a 5 Wood length shouldn’t be contingent entirely on ease of use or intended distance. You can add distance with shaft flex and make club use easier by altering the grip. If it is feasible, you can always get fitted for a 5 Wood. But if you can’t, then you can use the following methods to figure out the best 5 Wood length for you.

Use Existing Clubs For Reference

If you have a 3 Wood or a 7 Wood, choosing a 5 Wood length might be fairly straightforward. Try using a 5 Wood that is one inch shorter than your 3 Wood. If it hits further than you want, then subtract another inch and give the club a try. 

Similarly, you can try a 5 Wood that’s an inch or two longer than your 7 Wood if you don’t own a 3 Wood. Of course, this method has its limitations. It requires that you already have a 3 Wood or a 7 Wood to begin with. Moreover, you need to be in a physical store that allows you to test the clubs.

Stance-Length Fit

Get in your natural and comfortable stance that you would use on the fairway. Hold the 41, 42, and 43-inch 5 Woods and see which one feels right. Try to swing each club and watch out for divots and whiffs. More importantly, look for clean contact. 

Again, this method requires your presence in a physical golf store, but you don’t need to be able to make test shots. The swing alone can tell you if a club is too long or short for your height, stance, and swing.

How to Hit a 5 Wood

How to Hit a 5 wood

To hit a 5 wood, you need to be far enough away from the ball to accommodate clean contact but must have the ball further for lift at impact. Here are the steps to hit a 5 wood

  • Position yourself properly – The club head should reach the ball. 
  • Assume your natural stance – Position the ball further but as forward as you would with a 3 Wood. 
  • Have a low and long swing – Trust the club to do the job. 
  • Swing and hit – Clean contact is crucial

5 Wood vs. 3 Wood

5 Wood vs. 3 Wood

While one golfer may hit a 5 wood further than another hits a 3 Wood, a 5 Wood is used for shorter distances than 3 Woods. Here’s how a brief comparison of these clubs.

  • Length – A 5 Wood is one to two inches shorter than a 3 Wood 
  • Distance – A 3 Wood can hit further than a 5 wood by 10 to 20 yards 
  • Usage – Both 3 Woods and 5 Woods are used early on, though 3 wood would be ideal earlier than a 5 wood and on longer fairways than ones that would require a 5 wood.

5 Wood vs. 3 Hybrid

5 Wood vs. 3 Hybrid

Hybrid clubs are considered to be further driving than their iron equivalents and more precise than their wood ones. Offering a mix of precision and distance, hybrids are most relevant on the fairway and for approach shots. Since 5 Woods can replace 3 Irons, you might wonder if a 3 Hybrid might make a 5 Wood redundant.

5 Wood can be used to hit the ball further than a 3 Hybrid. The 3 Hybrid has a lower loft and 20-yard lower horizontal distance coverage than a 5 Wood.

Final Thoughts on the 5 Wood Golf Club

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a weekend golfer or a serious hobbyist, you should have a club to hit 200+ yards on the fairway.

In case you already have a 3-Hybrid, 4-Wood, or 3-iron, you might not really need a 5 Wood. But if you don’t have a medium-distance wood for the fairway and tee shots and you’re next best club is a 3 Wood or a 7 Wood, you should get a 5 Wood.