alternative #4 wood and 7 wood set make up

What is the perfect golf club set up?

Golfers are always looking to make the most of the 14 allowable golf clubs you can carry in the golf bag.  Strong golfers who are not overcome with distance problems but do occasionally need one club that allows them to hit a long way to reach par 5’s in two or play that controlled shot off the tee. Instead of deciding between carrying a #3-wood or #5-wood, it makes it simple to select a #4-wood (a club of approximately 17 degrees of loft). This gives the player the option of carrying an extra wedge or possibly a hybrid for better course management.

Acer XDS 4 woodAcer XDS 4 wood

Another advantage of carrying a 4 wood is for ladies or senior golfers who use a high-lofted driver. A #3-wood probably won’t have adequate loft to get the ball airborne due to the slower swing speed. Equipped with a higher lofted #4 wood won’t have that same problem. Then that same player can skip to a #7-wood to have a nice separation of loft and distance. A beginning golfer can also benefit with a driver, 4 wood, 7 wood set make up as it will be easier to get the ball airborne off the fairway or rough; one of the biggest challenges for those just learning the game.

Set Make Up
Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
Driver Driver Driver
3 Wood 4 Wood 4 Wood
5 Wood 7 Wood 2 Hybrid
3 Hybrid 4 Hybrid 3 iron

History Lesson

What’s a Baffy you ask?  Well, it is another name for a #4-wood. In 1935, Gene Sarazen hit that famous club that made the shot heard ‘round the world. Three down with four to play, Sarazen came to the par 5 #15 at Augusta National. His perfectly struck #4-wood holed out from 235 yards to score a double-eagle (or albatross). His historic feat at the Masters catapulted him into a tie which later Sarazen went on to win in a Monday playoff against Craig Wood.

Why are there only odd numbered fairway woods?

The simple answer is they are not needed anymore. Odd numbered fairway woods vary by 3 to 4 degrees between clubs. If you added even numbered fairway woods, then you would only be seeing a separation of loft 1.5 to 2 degrees apart from their odd numbered counterparts. There wouldn’t be enough differentiation between clubs so only the odd numbered fairways remain sans the #4 fairway wood.

A Comparison of Fairway Wood Lofts

Well, many years ago it was quite common that a set would come with a #4-wood (with a loft of @ 19 degrees) which would be the modern-day equivalent of a #5-wood. Here is a chart showing what the loft of fairway woods were through the years. The designation n/a means it was either not available or there was too few available to obtain an average.

Loft Comparison
  Traditional Lofts Modern Lofts
  1950- 1970 1970 -1990 2010- today
Club Degrees Degrees Degrees
Driver 11 10 10.5
3 Wood 16 15 15
4 Wood 19 18 17
5 Wood 22 21 19
7 Wood n/a 27 21
9 Wood n/a n/a 24


It might be time to revisit the option of carrying a #4 wood in your bag. Who knows, maybe the lowly, oddly-even 4-wood golf club might make a resurgence again.