Fairway woods are an important part of any golfer’s bag. The 3-wood can be a valuable weapon when trying to position yourself off the tee or approach long golf holes on your second shot. Getting the right 3-wood can be difficult. Knowing how you intend to use this club and where you need improvement in your game is the best place to begin.
FYI: If you are looking for the Best New Fairway Woods? Then take a look at our latest Best Fairway Wood Buyer Guides for – Beginners, Mid Handicappers, Seniors, Game Improvement , Most Forgiving , High Handicappers, 5 Woods, 3 Woods, and the all around Best Fairway Woods of 2019.
We golf course tested and fully reviewed all of the fairway woods in these guides, and wrote them just for you. Please take a look and let us know what you think!
Top 6 Best 3-Woods of 2019
- Twist Face is engineered to reduce side spin and deliver straighter shots
- New head design with a deep face and larger carbon crown provides optimal distance
- Improved slot flexibility for a larger COR area and better off-center performance
- Get more ball speed and distance by Flash Face Technology
- Face design that promotes increased ball speed for longer distance.
- Face Cup technology to deliver fast ball speed across the face for distance on center- and off-center hits
- Streamlined design optimizes airflow around the club head to increase distance and speed
- Bolder Turbulators reduce aerodynamic drag and create more efficient airflow for distance
- 8-Lobe Trajectory Tuning Hosel allows golfers to fine tune loft
- Twist Face curvature with a corrective face angle on off-center hits
- Deep face and larger carbon crown provides optimal distance
- mproved slot flexibility for a larger COR area and better off-center performance
- Speedback Bafflers improve launch and faster club head speed from any lie
- CNC milled, 455 stainless steel face insert delivers our thinnest, hottest fairway face
- Polymer crown and sole trips direct airflow around the club head to reduce drag for faster club head speeds
Prior Generation – Best Value Fairway Woods
- Jailbreak Technology
- Easy to Launch on a Strong, Straight Flight
- Triaxial Carbon Crown for Distance and Forgiveness
- Speed pocket creates more ball speed across the clubface for more distance & forgiveness
- Ultra-strong ni-co 300 steel face insert allows for optimized ball speed
- 5-Layer carbon crown creates a lower CG by saving 8 grams vs a steel crown
- Weight saved by the ultra-light triaxle carbon crown
- Hyper speed face cup is more efficient at delivering fast ball speed across the face
- Direct Input from aerospace experts to improve aerodynamics
- Baffler rail System utilizes Shallower or steeper rails for improved versaltility
- 5-ply carbon fiber crown saves discretionary weight
- Aero trips positioned around the perimeter of the clubhead improve drag reduction
- New open-channel speed pocket generates distance and forgiveness
- Redesigned sliding weight Track with single 25g tungsten weight
- Drop-step sole shaping; reduces drag through the turf to maintain clubhead speed
Golfers can fit their 3-woods with as little as 13-degrees of loft or as much as 16.5-degrees and beyond. Players that want their 3-wood to use primarily from the tee box may want less loft for more distance. Players that use their 3-wood off the ground to attack long par-4s or par-5s often choice 15-degrees and above to help them get more launch from the ground and rough. No matter what style fairway wood player you are, this guide helps you find your best fit in a new club.
When Do You Use A Fairway Wood?
Fairway woods can be used from a short tee, the ground on fairways and in the rough, and for chipping around the greens. The kinds of golf courses you play on and your skill level will play a large role in when you use your 3-wood.
Finding the Best Fairway Wood for Your Golf Game
The best fairway wood for you will give you a balanced golf ball flight of distance and control. Higher swing speed player may do well with a fairway wood in lower lofts. Slower swing players may get more distance and forgiveness in the higher-lofted models.
How much money you can allocate to your 3-wood is player specific. Because this club must fill a specific role, it is more important that you get a club built for your swing than it is you come away with the newest technology. Used clubs or prior generation models make great options in this category of your golf bag.
Top Fairway Wood Features
The best fairway woods share common features that make them easy to use and high performing. Each fairway will be built with a head style and shape that compliments the loft to the golfer’s swing. A shaft and grip must be attached to complete the build and make each player feel comfortable. More one these parts below.
The shaft fitting of most 3-woods follow patterns that can help you decide which models you should be testing. Commonly, players use fairway wood shafts that are the same flex as their driver shaft and approximately 10-grams heavier. 3-woods are normally played at 1 to 1.5 inches shorter than your driver as well. This increase in weight helps balance the club with the shorter shaft length.
It is also common to fit yourself into a fairway wood shaft that is slightly less firm in the tip section and allows for more help in launching the golf ball higher, especially when coming from the ground. These are simply guides however, and the best way to know which shaft is best for you is by testing different companies and different bend profiles.
The shape of your fairway wood and its club head size will dictate a lot of the performance it brings. Larger-headed fairway woods often promote higher launches and are best for players that use this club more from the ground. Smaller-headed fairway woods often come in lower lofts with a more forward center of gravity. The result is a fairway metal that is lower launch, lower spinning, and more like a driver.
The loft of your 3-wood will play a large role in how far the ball travels after impact both in the air and on the ground. Matching the loft to your swing dynamics and desired ball flight is critical in building your ideal fit.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is common to have questions regarding your fairway woods and which ones to choose. To help, we outlined some common questions and answers below.
Q: Driver vs Fairway Woods: What is the Difference?
A: Drivers and fairway woods can often look similar and may have similar lofts. Typically, drivers will have lofts between 8 and 12-degrees and fairway woods will have between 13 and 19-degrees. Drivers are made to be used when the golf ball is resting on a tee. This function allows the driver to be larger in head size and longer in shaft length. The smaller head of the fairway woods helps give it more versatility when striking golf balls from the tee box or the ground.
Q: What is the Difference Between a 3 Wood and a 5 Wood (3 Wood vs 5 Wood)?
A: In general, 3-woods will have slightly less loft and are about an inch longer in length than 5-woods.
Q: What is the Difference Between a Fairway Wood and a Hybrid? (Fairway Wood vs Hybrid)?
A: Hybrids replace long irons that can be difficult to hit. The more narrow bodies of the hybrid clubs help them to be slightly lower launching and lower spinning than fairway woods with the same loft. It is not uncommon for players to have both fairway woods and hybrids in their golf bags.
Q: How Do I Hit a Fairway Wood?
A: Golfers who struggle to hit their fairway woods can often have more success by moving the golf ball position slightly forward and trying to sweep the ball off the turf. The sole of your fairway metal should brush the ground as you impact the back of the golf ball. Lifting the golf ball into the air isn’t necessary as the loft on the club face will do that for you.
Top 10 Best Fairway Woods for 2018
1. TaylorMade M5 Fairway Wood
The TaylorMade M5 fairway wood is a supior option for players looking to maximize distance through custom fitting. The TaylorMade M5 is the only club with more than 30% of its weight as a moveable option. The result is specialized performance for each golfer. Twist Face is brought to the fairway metal to help golfer find more fairways off the tee and more greens from the ground. The M5 is the ultimate blend of distance and accuracy and one of the most outstanding fairway woods ever built.
2. Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Wood
Callaway redesigned the club face of their drivers and fairway woods this season. Using artificial intelligence Flash Face was created. Flash Face uses a wave pattern to give players more distance from variable face thickness. Jailbreak is retained to help players as strikes move across the face and the lightweight carbon crown prioritizes weight placement for a supremely balanced fairway wood.
3. PING G410 Fairway Wood
Ping has recently come under scrutiny for their lack of performance in the fairway wood category. The G410 addresses those issues and gives golfers an outstanding option for this season. The G410 fairway wood uses force aligned centers of gravity, a fast forged face, and high-density tungsten to give players more launch, longer distance, and more stability on mishits. A narrow face makes hitting the G410 from the ground easier and makes it one of the most versatile fairway woods on the market.
4. Tour Edge Exotics EXS Fairway Wood
Tour Edge has made one of the most advanced fairway woods for the 2019 season. Priced well below other premium models, the Exotics EXS fairway wood is the perfect option for players looking to improve performance without paying too much. Loaded with technology like variable face thickness, the slipstream sole, and complete carbon toe, the EXS fairway gives players more performance and more value for their money.
5. TaylorMade M6 Fairway Wood
The TaylorMade M6 fairway is the higher launching M series fairway metal and perfect for players looking for more help in this part of the bag. The M6 comes standard with Twist Face, a Speed Pocket, and perimeter weighting for increased MOI. The M6 is simple and easy to use and doesn’t make the golfers hassle with too many customizable parts. Players looking for straight and simple distance can find a point-and-shoot fairway wood this year with the M6 from TaylorMade.
6. Cobra F9 Speedback Fairway
Cobra is taking a different approach to giving players more distance this season. The F9 fairway wood line from Cobra uses advanced aerodynamic properties to help player swing faster. More club head speed means the potential for more ball speed and more distance. Not only fast, but the F9 fairway wood is also forgiving. The Baffler Rail technology and fully CNC milled face ensure that the F9 fairway wood helps player retain ball speed and makes their worse swings less punishing. Loud in its colorway and performance, the F9 from Cobra is a must-try this season.
7. Callaway Epic Fairway Wood
Still one of the best fairway woods on the market, the Callaway Epic fairway is perfect for players looking for top-of-the-line performance at a fraction of the premium price. The Callaway Epic was largely celebrated as the best fairway wood of its class during its release almost two years ago. The Epic uses a carbon crown, speed step system, and fourth generation face cup technology to give players ball speeds and forgiveness factors that rival even the newest fairway models. If you can find one, the Callaway Epic fairway is an outstanding golf club.
8. Taylormade M3 Fairway Wood
Still, in the golf bags of many PGA Tour pros, the TaylorMade M3 fairway wood is an outstanding performer. The M3 gives players the ability to customize their own golf club by moving the sliding weight to their ideal impact location. More weight where you need it and less where you don’t means more ball speed for longer distances and more forgiveness for your misses. A variety of hosel settings and weight positions make the M3 one of the best options for serious golfers that want to save money going with a club that is not brand new.
9. TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood
The TaylorMade M4 fairway is the perfect complement to M3. The M4 is simple and straight forward and uses split internal weighting to help golfers dial in their miss and get more performance from their best swings. The M4 is friendly at address and makes hitting shots from a variety of lies a breeze. Another superb option if you are in the market for prior generation golf clubs, the M4 from TaylorMade should not be overlooked.
10. Titleist 917 F2 Fairway Wood
One of the most successful fairway woods in Titleist’s long history is the 917 F2. The 917 F2 features a large club head that packs more distance and higher launches from a Variable Thickness Face insert and an Active Recoil Channel. The most forgiving option the F2 and F3 line from Titleist, the 917 F2 is still a fantastic choice for the top of your golf bag. Extremely versatile and easy to hit, amateur players looking to improve their golf can get everything they need in the 917 F2 all for less than $200.
What 3-Wood Should You Buy?
3-woods are very player specific and often persist in golf bags for many years. Due to the multi-purpose function of these clubs, finding the right balance of distance and control can be difficult. Knowing how you use these clubs most often will lead you in the direction of which model to buy.
If you are a golfer that likes to use their fairway wood off the tee then a smaller headed low spin option with less loft may be perfect. If you plan to use your fairway wood to attack longer golf holes on your second shot then a larger club head and more loft may be your friend. No matter what club head and style you choose, make sure to match it with a shaft and grip that make you feel comfortable.
As always, testing different club and shaft combinations is the best way to know which blend is right for your game. Get yourself to see a professional club fitter and let them help you narrow your choices. Be sure to ask questions if you do not understand why they are giving you clubs with specific lofts or shaft options. Using club buying as an opportunity to understand more about your game is a great plan for getting better fast. Thanks for reading and see you again soon!
- Top 6 Best 3-Woods of 2019
- Prior Generation – Best Value Fairway Woods
- When Do You Use A Fairway Wood?
- Finding the Best Fairway Wood for Your Golf Game
- Top Fairway Wood Features
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Top 10 Best Fairway Woods for 2018
- 1. TaylorMade M5 Fairway Wood
- 2. Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Wood
- 3. PING G410 Fairway Wood
- 4. Tour Edge Exotics EXS Fairway Wood
- 5. TaylorMade M6 Fairway Wood
- 6. Cobra F9 Speedback Fairway
- 7. Callaway Epic Fairway Wood
- 8. Taylormade M3 Fairway Wood
- 9. TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood
- 10. Titleist 917 F2 Fairway Wood
- What 3-Wood Should You Buy?