From age 5-9, I had an extremely close best friend. He lived just five doors down from me, he was my partner in crime, my best buddy, and we were inseparable. Then, seemingly out of the blue, his family moved out of state. I never saw him again. It was a shockingly sudden letdown and hard to handle as a nine-year-old. 

From this early loss, I learned that there are few things in life that you can count on permanently. 

What does this have to do with golf you ask? Everything. Golf, much like life, is a series of highs and lows, exhilarating moments paired with devastating letdowns. Hanging on to the amazing highs and learning from the letdowns can teach you many things along your journey in life, and golf. When you find something you can rely on, hang on tight, and don’t let go. 

My 3-wood is one of those things that I can count on no matter what, it’s always there for me whenever I reach for it, it’s the most-trusted club in my bag. I am not ashamed to say I use a completely random Knight Fastrax Anti-Slice 3-wood that I picked up from a K-mart discount bin about 20 years ago. I am not even sure if Knight still makes golf clubs. This junky, dirty, beat-up 3-wood is my security blanket on the course. I may quit golf if that 3-wood breaks. I should probably start scouring garage sales and e-bay for another one, just in case. 

I use my 3-wood for situations most golfers would be embarrassed to admit, but I have little shame, so I have gotten creative with it. 175-yard par 3, I choke up and smoothly stroke that three with a ¾ shot. Low shot to skirt under the trees, put the ball in the back of my stance and sting the three, low and hot. 220-yard par 5 approach shot, you guessed it, 3-wood, full swing with all my might. And, off the tee when I need to split a fairway, I pull my trusty three and lace one. 

If you watch as much golf as I do, then you have also noticed a recent surge in the use of the 3-wood off the tee among PGA pros lately. Pros will switch up their game immediately and revert to the 3-wood if their driver is letting them down. They are more comfortable and confident with their three, they can control the shot better, shape the shot they want, and put it right where they need to almost on command. When they need to win a tournament with a par on the 72nd hole, you will see them pull the three. 

Most famously, Henrik Stenson’s relationship with his 3-wood is known worldwide. Go ahead, Google “PGA Tour 3-wood” and you will see nothing but articles about Stenson and his beloved 3-wood. He used his three masterfully when he took down Phil Mickelson in an epic battle at the 2016 British open. That club, a Callaway Diablo Octane, he loved so much he used it for 8 years on tour, which is unheard of in this day of ever-evolving club technology. He knew he could count on it, it wouldn’t let him down, so he hung on tight. 

Phil Mickelson also used the 3-wood in place of his driver when he won the 2013 British Open at Muirfield, he didn’t even carry a driver in his bag for that tournament. He could rely on the club and it fit the course perfectly. He was shaping shots left and right around the course and won by three shots with a -5 on the final day. 

Obviously the 3-wood will never take over completely for the driver, the driver is still the big dog and always will be, it’s the “drive for show” club. But now, technology once dedicated solely the driver is being applied to 3-woods because of increased use, making them just as good, maybe even a little better depending on the situation. 

I love my 3-wood, pros rely on their 3-woods, and you should start showing it more love too. 

Gone are the days of the 3-wood being a place keeper collecting dust in your bag, go ahead and use it, don’t be ashamed. Maybe you will find it can become your security blanket too. 

Heck, I may even start putting with mine. 

Anything that can help right? 

Mike Joslin

Originally from New York and now based in Honolulu — a golfer's paradise — Mike Joslin is an avid golfer and self-proclaimed Hack, just enjoying the game ... foot wedges, Mulligan, and all. Handicap: Currently averaging 4.2 mulligans per round.