Which Fairway Woods Replace Which Irons

Last updated: September 3, 2021

Golfers are allowed to carry a maximum of 14 golf clubs in their bags. In most cases, the putter and the driver remain constant for every golfer. However, the configuration of the remaining 12 spots is different for most players. 

Golfers have to choose from golf clubs belonging to three categories: irons, fairway woods, and hybrids, making it very complicated. Of these, hybrids are the latest to make an entry into the modern golf bag.

As the name suggests, they act as a combination of irons and fairway woods, hence the name hybrids. This also means that hybrids can be easily exchanged for a number of irons and fairway woods.

Meanwhile, traditional golfers usually keep complete sets of fairway woods and irons in their golf bags. Modern golfers who gravitate more towards playing with hybrids often want to make more room for them by eliminating either one or two irons or fairway woods. 

Some of you might be thinking fairway woods and irons are completely different golf clubs and are used for different purposes. So there is very little chance that any of the fairway woods could act as a replacement for irons. Surprisingly, certain fairway woods can replace long irons. 

The practice of choosing either a fairway wood or an iron to make room for more hybrids is relatively new. Modern hybrid golf clubs come with highly advanced features with multidimensional purposes and enhanced versatility. 

If you’re among the golfers who want to replace their fairway woods with irons and vice versa, you’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss everything about the same, including why people generally prefer to replace their fairway woods with irons, how it helps and what to look for when doing the same. 

Why People Replace Their Fairway Woods And Irons

If you’re a millennial golfer, chances are you have never seen 1 or 2-iron. These are the longest irons and are practically extinct from the golfing world. Only a handful of senior golfers and traditional golfers prefer using these two irons. 

The pattern doesn’t stop here; the other two long irons, the 3 and 4-irons are also fading away with time. Modern golfers want to simplify their game as much as possible and want more versatile golf clubs.

That is why they replace their long irons with hybrids and fairway woods. We have already done a piece on why hybrids are an excellent replacement for long irons. You can read it here.

As far as fairway woods are concerned, the reason people opt for them instead of long irons is quite similar to that of hybrids. Long irons are the most difficult clubs to hit, and it takes years of practice to master the technique. In contrast, a high lofted wood would be easier to hit and will help in reaching the green more effectively than a long iron. 

Like hybrids, fairway woods have a large clubhead that makes it easier to hit longer distances without making too many adjustments in your swing pattern and technique. On the other hand, the technique to hit a long iron is vastly different from other clubs, including a fairway wood. 

Even though fairway woods cover larger distances than long irons, you might face difficulty in one aspect. Fairway woods shots are more penetrating and have a higher ball flight than long irons.

This means it is harder to control the final trajectory of the ball and make it land gently on the green with fairway woods.  The ball is more likely to bounce away when it hits the green due to the high speed. 

Which Fairway Woods Replace Which Irons

If you reached this far, it means you’ve made up your mind and are serious about swapping your irons with fairway woods.

You should note that unlike swapping irons for hybrids, the number of choices is limited when exchanging irons and fairway woods. The primary reasons are the significant difference between the two clubs, including their design, construction, purpose, and playing technique.

The most obvious contenders for long irons replacement are high-lofted woods, including the extremely rare 11-wood. 11-wood is the highest lofted fairway wood and can be used in place of the 5-iron. Notably, the 5-iron is the shortest iron to be replaced by fairway woods.

Similarly, 9-wood is a replacement of 4-iron, and 7-wood is of 3-iron. If you want to go even further, you can also use your 5-wood, where one would generally use a 2-iron. 

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