2 Iron Vs 3 Iron – What Is The Better Club To Carry


A common question mid-handicappers ask me is whether they should carry a 2 or 3-iron? The honest answer is that it depends on your ball striking ability.

Better ball strikers may opt for both irons over fairway woods and hybrids. Whereas slower swinging players generally prefer hybrids and fairway woods over the long irons.

In this post, I am going to break down the pros and cons of the 2-iron vs 3-iron to help you determine which is better suited to your game.

Introduction To The 2 And 3-Iron: Why You The Correct Choice Is Vital

Lee Trevino’s comment that not even God could hit a 1-iron is an accurate statement for the average golfer.

The strong lofted iron makes it challenging for even veteran golfers to get their shots airborne. The next strong lofted irons in your bag are the 2 and 3-irons.

3-irons are more commonly found in sets compared to the 2-iron, given their strong loft. However, many beginners would be better off with a hybrid or fairway wood that enhances their launch.


Overview Of 2 Iron & 3 Iron

A 2-iron offers the equivalent loft of a 5-wood, but the irons do not provide you the forgiveness and launch assistance of the fairway wood.

It is for this reason that you typically find superior golfers with a 2-iron in their bag.

Stock standard 3-irons offer 3 to 4 degrees of additional loft over the 2-irons in their set, making it easier to get the ball airborne.

However, if you feel that your ball striking leaves a lot to be desired, it may be worth looking at a 7-wood or hybrid equivalent instead.


Pros And Cons Of 2 Iron Over 3 Iron


  • Longer distance
  • Well suited to faster swing speeds
  • Ideal for windy conditions off the tee
  • It can be used as an alternative to a 3 or 5-wood off the tee


  • Only suited to better ball strikers
  • It is difficult to get shots airborne
  • Less forgiveness


Pros And Cons Of 3 Iron Over 2 Iron


  • Weakened loft
  • Easier to hit
  • Suited to a broader range of golfers
  • More forgiving


  • Less distance
  • Less versatile than the 2-iron


Who Should Be Carrying A 2 Iron?

As a result of the 2-irons strengthened loft and the difficulty to get shots airborne, it is wise that only superior ball strikers carry this club in their bag.

If you struggle with carry, a 2-iron will not aid your cause, as these clubs are less forgiving.


Who Should Be Carrying A 3 Iron?

Those of you with moderate to fast golf swings can carry a 3-iron in your bag.

While it still requires a solid ball-striking ability, it is easier to get shots with this club in the air and carrying consistently.


What Is The Case For Carrying Both Irons?

The faster swinging golfers in our game may find that they achieve excessive height with a 5-wood.

As a result, a 2-iron would be an excellent alternative for these players to have more control of their flight.

The same principle applies to a 3-iron. Where lower handicappers would rather carry that than a 7-wood.


Should I Carry Hybrids Instead?

If you are a beginner, or your swing is on the slower side, and you have trouble getting your shots airborne.

Then I highly recommend going with hybrids instead of the longer irons. The hybrids are more forgiving and easier to hit. I would not even think about long irons until you are confident in your ball striking abilities.


Loft & Distance Comparison Table

Stock standard 2-irons typically have a loft of 18-degrees, which is on a par with a 5-wood.

The average male golfer hits a 2-iron in the vicinity of 190 yards. Whereas women will manage approximately 170 yards.

In general, a 3-iron carries the same loft as a 7-wood and averages 180 yards with men and 160 with women.




Distance (Men)

Distance (Women)



190 yards

170 yards



180 yards

160 yards


What Is The Perfect Mix Of Irons Hybrids & Woods For High Handicapper?

Higher handicappers have not mastered ball striking and need all the help they can get.

Especially when it comes to getting the ball skywards and achieving consistent distance. Therefore, I recommend steering clear of the long irons and replacing them with hybrids.

Following Butch Harmon’s advice, higher handicappers should not consider a 3-wood and instead swap it for a 5-wood. Therefore a perfect mix would be a 5-wood and a 2 – 4 hybrid.


What About Mid Handicappers?

Golf Hybrids

Mid handicappers should still listen to Butch and discard their 3-wood.

You may want to consider a 5-wood and 3-hybrid, then a 4-iron to kick off your iron set.


What About Low Handicappers And Pros?

Professionals and low handicappers may opt for a 3-wood.

Followed by either a 5-wood or a 3-hybrid. Before kicking their iron set off with a 3-iron.


Which Is The Easiest To Hit?

Given the additional loft on a 3-iron, it is easier to hit. And it aids you in getting the ball in the air, compared to a 2-iron.


What Gives Most Accuracy, Feel, And Control?

Both irons require solid ball striking to deliver consistency in terms of distance and accuracy.

A 2-iron is less forgiving and can send shockwaves through your body if you catch it off-center.

While the 3-iron can also punish your hands for a mishit, it offers a better feel and control to the average golfer.


What’s Best Off The Tee?

Longer hitters may be able to comfortably strike a 3-iron on most par 4’s, putting themselves into a position to score.

However, for the average player, a 3-iron does not provide the distance needed off the tee. Therefore, the 2-iron is better to hit off the tee.


Our Favorite 3 Irons – Mini Review

TaylorMade P7MC 3-Iron

Key Features

  • Buttery soft feel
  • Minimal offset
  • Aggressively crafted grooves for amplified spin
  • Tight leading edge for enhanced turf interaction
  • Best suited to low handicappers and pros

Overall Score 97/100

Check out More Reviews Here:



Titleist 718 AP3 3-Iron

Key Features

  • Titleist’s longest and fastest iron
  • Delivers a high and long launch
  • Provides shot-stopping spin
  • Excellent forgiveness

Overall Score 95/100

Check out More Reviews Here:



Our Favorite 2 Irons – Mini Review

Cobra Golf KING Utility Black 2-Iron

Key Features

  • Customizable loft
  • Wide sole with a trailing edge for improved turf interaction
  • Pwrshell Face Technology provides accelerated ball speed
  • High-density tungsten weighting inserted to increase the MOI and forgiveness on off-center strikes
  • Lower CG for a higher launch

Overall Score 93/100

Check out More Reviews Here:



Ping G410 Crossovers 2-Iron

Key Features

  • Additional tungsten weighting added to improve the club’s forgiveness
  • The irons maraging steel increases the flex of the face to promote accelerated ball speed
  • Hydropearl Chrome finish enhances the irons ability to navigate through the rough and wet surface for improved contact
  • More offset added to achieve a higher MOI

Overall Score 93/100

Check out More Reviews Here:



Conclusion On The 2 Iron vs The 3 Iron

The longer irons in the game are not made for everyone. Beginners or higher handicappers may struggle to get their ball in the air with either club. While both may suit the game of a low handicapper or pro.

In our review of a 2-iron vs 3-iron, we learned that these irons provide lower ball flight than hybrids or fairway woods. That is why faster swingers benefit more from having longer irons in the bag than clubs that provide additional launch assistance.

In conclusion, both irons suit low handicappers. A 3-iron may suit a lower mid-handicapper, and neither iron is recommended for high handicappers or beginners.

If you are in the market for a new 3-iron, check out the TaylorMade P7MC range. And, if it is a 2-iron which you seek. I recommend testing the Cobra King Utility Black option.