Believe it or not, a large number of PGA professionals actually carry a 2 wood rather than a 3 wood, if judging by the loft settings that are implemented during tournament play. This is partially because driver lofts have decreased dramatically over the years, which has introduced the need for a strong 3 wood (around 13 degrees of loft). Technically speaking, a strong 3 wood and a 2 wood are synonymous terms.
In this buyer’s guide, we present two types of 2 wood, namely:
- Driver Replacement 2 Woods
- Compact Head 2 Woods (aka Strong 3 Wood)
Now let’s get stuck into the details.
Table of Contents
Best Driver Replacement 2 Woods
For the past decade, Taylormade has really been leading the charge in this particular category. These clubs are literally designed to replace a driver, and they can be a godsend for players that have the driver yips.
Generally, they start at about 13 degrees, but they go all the way down to about 11 degrees, which puts some of them firmly in driver territory (especially for amateur golfers).
If you are comfortable hitting your current 3 wood off the tee box but have serious issues finding fairways with your driver, these clubs could be the ideal solution for your particular needs.
Taylormade Mini Driver 300
The compact Taylormade 300 Mini Driver relies on advanced multi-material construction to deliver the optimal blend of low-CG performance and high MOI forgiveness. This results in a truly unique design that’s powerful off the tee and playable “off-the-deck.”
|Lowest Loft Version||11.5°|
|Lie Angle||56° – 60°|
Taylormade Original One Mini Driver
The Taylormade Original One Mini Driver features a 275CC head and Twist Face technology. There are two different versions, one with a default loft of 11.5°, and another version with a default loft of 13.5°. Both versions have loft adjustable sleeves, which allow you to increase and decrease loft 2 degrees up and down. Techinically, this means you could deloft the 11.5° all the way down to 9.5°, if you are determined to remove your normal driver from the bag altogether.
|Lie Angle||56° – 60°|
Taylormade SLDR Mini Driver
At 260cc, the SLDR Mini Driver’s footprint is larger, and face deeper, than a 160cc 3-wood. That gives you more stability and forgiveness on mis-hits and allows you to tee the ball higher, which makes the it easier to launch off the tee than a 3-wood. The SLDR Mini Driver has a low-forward CG like the rest of TaylorMade’s SLDR metalwoods, and a Speed Pocket too, which promotes more ball speed and less spin to give you more distance when you loft up.
|Lowest Loft Version||12.0°|
Ping G400 Stretch Fairway Wood
The Ping G400 Stretch is a unique club in the Ping Product Family. With a 193cc head, it is considerably larger than their standard fairway wood offerings. In addition, it also made with a default loft of 13.0°, which makes it the very definition of a 2 wood.
The CG is placed slightly forward, which results in a high launch, low spin beast that can literally go toe-to-toe with some drivers. The G400 stretch also offers ±1.0° loft adjustability, so you can drop it all the way down to 12.0° if you intend to use it as a driver replacement club.
Best Compact Head 2 Woods
It is important to recognize that the following list of 2 woods could also be classified as a ‘strong 3 wood’. This means that they have the face profile and compact head of a modern 3 wood, but they can be set all the way down to 13 or 13.5 degrees.
A large number of PGA tour players actually employ this setup, because it can allow a golfer to get more distance off the tee, while being a potent weapon for approach shots into long Par 5’s.
Callaway Epic Speed Strong 3 Wood
The Callaway Epic Speed Strong 3 Wood is built with Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades. Using A.I. led to a completely new Jailbreak system, which spreads and angles the Jailbreak blades. Along with stiffening the body, the new design allows the forged face cup to flex more. The result is exceptional ball speeds all across the face.
Cobra King RADSPEED Big Tour Fairway
The RADSPEED Big Tour fairway wood features a stronger loft, slightly deeper face, and front-biased internal and external RADIAL WEIGHTING for the lowest CG, lowest spin, and fastest ball speeds possible.
|Loft Adjustability||-1.5° / +1.5°|
Ping G425 LST Fairway Wood
A smaller head and the placement of a tungsten weight position the CG to reduce spin with a flatter, lower-launching trajectory. Two PING innovations, Spinsistency™ and Facewrap™, create more speed and consistent spin, especially low on the face, for added distance to carry trouble and hit more greens.
Ping G425 Max Fairway Wood
As you can see, there are two Ping 2 Woods in this product line-up. Unlike the LST version, the Ping G425 Max is an extremely forgiving fairway metal. It sets up extremely square to the ball, and you should find it very easy to launch the ball high in the air, off the tee and off the fairway.
The default loft is 14.5°, but you can drop this all the way down to 13.0°, given that there is loft adjustability of ±1.5°.
Taylormade Sim 2 Rocket 3 Wood
TaylorMade SIM2 Titanium Fairway Woods are equipped with an ultra-strong, highly flexible, extremely fast ZATECH titanium face. When paired with TaylorMade’s Thru-Slot Speed Pocket, these fairway woods produce rocket-like ball speeds, even when impact happens low on the face.
More importantly, the Taylormade Sim 2 Rocket is the perfect example of a strong 3 wood/2 wood. The default loft is 13.5°, but this can be dropped all the way down to 11.5°, given the 2 degree loft adjustability sleeve built into the club.
|Lie Angle||56.5° – 60.5°|
Titleist TSi2 Fairway Wood
The Titleist TSi2 is built for players seeking incredible speed and accuracy across the entire face. A deeper, lower CG is paired with a new Active Recoil Channel 4.0 to produce a consistently higher, faster launch.
Titleist TSi3 Strong 3 Wood
The Titleist TSi3 strong 3 wood is built for players who desire incredible speed with more precise flight control. The TSi3 features a new SureFit CG Track Technology for advanced CG adjustability and the new Active Recoil Channel 4.0 to produce a consistently higher, faster launch.
The strong 3 wood option comes in a default loft of 13.5°, which can be increased by 1.5° and decreased by 0.75°.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the loft of a 2 wood?
The loft of a 2 wood is usually between 12-13 degrees, which places it directly between a driver (9-10 degrees) and a 3 wood (14-16 degrees). The loft of a 2 wood is usually between 12-13 degrees, which places it directly between a driver (9-10 degrees) and a 3 wood (14-16 degrees).
2 Wood vs 3 Wood - What's the difference?
There are a number of key differences between a 2 wood and a 3 wood.
1 – Lower Loft
A 2 wood should offer a loft setting that is 2-3 degrees stronger than a 3 wood. As a result, a 2 wood should travel further than a 3 wood, with a slighly lower trajectory.
2 – Larger Head Size
Even though modern-day fairway woods generally have a large head, a modern-day 2 will typically have an even larger head. In some respects, Taylormade’s decision to classify their 2 wood as a ‘mini driver’, makes this concept easier to understand. A 2 wood is a bit like a driver with a smaller head that can be very versatile off the tee box. A 3 wood will have a significantly smaller head than a driver, and it is versatile off the tee, and off the fairway.
3 – Hitting off the deck/fairway/rough
There are only two clubs more difficult to hit off the deck than a 2 wood, that being a driver, and a 1 iron. For most amateurs, it is pretty much understood that a 2 wood is a tee box club.
Conversely, a 3 wood is significantly easier to hit off the fairway and out of the rough. This is mainly because the smaller head combined with the additional loft should make it easier for you to set up comfortably behind the ball and make good contact at impact.
4 – Distance
Provided you make good contact, a 2 wood will go further than a 3 wood in most cases. The only exception is downwind, where the additional height offered by a 3 wood might actually work in your favor.
Is a 2 wood hard to hit?
The answer to this question depends on whether or not you tee the ball up.
When you put the ball on a tee, you should find that a 2 wood is almost as easy to hit as a normal 3 wood. Also, some people have mental scars with their driver, and a 2 wood offers a viable option for them to hit the ball almost as far, and removes the need to play a driver off the tee.
However, a 2 wood is difficult to hit off the deck, without a tee. Elite amateurs and professionals shouldn’t have too much difficulty with this task, but a typical amateur will find this challenging. Because the clubhead is so large, it can be quite intimidating to hit a 2 wood when the ball isn’t elevated. You basically have to approach the ball with a super shallow swing plane, while imparting a mildly descending blow. Sweeping the ball off the turf cleanly can be tough.
With that being said, if you are comfortable hitting a 3 wood off the fairway, you should find that you can adapt to the loft of a 2 wood quite quickly.
Does anyone still make a 2 wood?
There is a misconception floating around that golf equipment companies don’t really manufacture 2 woods. While this may have been true before loft adjustability became the norm, it is no longer the case in this day and age.
Put simply, an adjustable 3 wood can be easily transformed into a 2 wood. For instance, the latest range of Ping fairway woods can be adjusted down to 13 degrees, and the latest range of Titliest fairway woods can be adjusted down to 13.5 degrees. That puts them right in the middle of 2 wood territory.
In addition, loft adjustability means that a 3 wood can effectively be transformed into a 2 wood by lowering the loft, or even a 4 wood by increasing the loft. In this respect, modern-day golfers are literally spoilt for choice.
How do you hit a 2 wood?
When hitting a 2 wood off a tee, it is generally helpful to tee the ball slightly higher than you would with an iron.
For most players, the sweet spot will be somewhere between 0.25 and 0.5 inches off the ground. This is significantly lower than you would tee the ball with a driver, which is usually about 1.5 inches off the ground, depending on the preferences of the player.
Teeing the ball about 0.25 inches off the ground allows you to hit the ball with a slightly ascending blow, but you can also approach the ball with a neutral angle of attack, or even a descending angle of attack.
When hitting a 2 wood off a tight fairway, it is helpful to approach the ball with a neutral angle of attack. Most good players talk about ‘sweeping’ the ball cleanly with a fairway metal. Put another way, you want to approach the ball with a shallow angle of attack, and hit slightly down on the ball at impact. Instead of the steep angle of attack that you might employ with a wedge, the shallow angle of attack can help you achieve crisp contact with a 2 wood in your hands.
If you are having difficulty hitting your fairway metals off the turf, one of the best things you can do is to find an old driver and practice hitting driver off the deck. When you switch back to a 2 wood or 3 wood, you will appreciate the benefits of the shallow head and additional loft (relative to a driver). This trick is a bit like setting the difficulty level to 10/10, and then dialing it down to 7/10 when you go back to your fairway wood.
This is definitely an ‘alternative’ golf tip, but it could be a game-changer if you are willing to give it a shot.