5-woods have fallen out of favor in modern golf bags due to the presence of hybrids and the resurgence of driving irons. Some golfers, however, can find a better fit by dialing in the correct 5-wood for their game. Many times amateur golfers, especially slower-swinging players, can even benefit from replacing their 3-wood with a 5-wood option.
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 10 Best 5 Woods
Getting the loft and face angle correct is the best place to start with your 5-wood. Getting something that is easy to launch and flies the proper distance can give you more confidence and better performance. In this guide, we take you through the various parts of the fairway wood golf club and 5-woods specifically to help you find the ideal club for your game.
When Do You Use A Fairway Wood?
Fairway woods are most often used off of the tee on shorter par-4s or very long par-3s and from the ground when approaching the greens of par-4s and par-5s. Fairway woods can also be useful around the greens when chipping if you struggle with your wedges.
Finding the Best Fairway Wood for Your Golf Game
What you need in a fairway wood will determine which model is best for you. 5-woods especially will fit into your entire set and fill a need for your specific distances. Your swing type and skill level will play a large factor in the different fairway wood components you choose.
Fairway woods can be expensive. However, due to their purpose of flying a specific distance, they can also be a great place to save money while still upgrading your equipment. Buying prior generation models or used fairway woods can be a great way to cut down your spending and still leave enough left over to practice or play golf.
Top Fairway Wood Features
The best fairway woods are versatile and each to hit from a variety of lies around the golf course. Finding the right golf shaft can help make your club more effective and more consistent. Finding the right head size and style, particularly in a 5-wood loft is important to give yourself a balanced flight.
The shafts of fairway woods are often 10 to 20-grams heavier than a players driver shaft. That means that if you have a 60-gram driver shaft, often you will be fit into a 70-gram fairway woods shaft. For 5-woods this can be even heavier. It is not uncommon to see 5-wood shafts in the 80 or 90-gram ranges. The flex of these shafts are often the same as your driver or other fairway metals.
Players often use a golf shaft with an active tip section to help them elevate their fairway woods and get the correct golf ball flight. To understand more about the complexities of shafts and their fit be sure to check out our shaft reviews.
The head shape of fairway woods often gives insight into the profile of its performance. Fairway woods with a smaller head shape are great options in 5 or 7-woods due to their lower spinning characteristics. Larger club head shapes are used in lower lofts to help elevate the golf ball and provide the club with more versatility.
5-woods typically come with 17 to 19-degrees of loft. The exact loft you will need depends on your swing speed and how you intend to use this club. Remember that your fairway should be set up to fly a specific distance and adjusting the loft is the best way to get that number. More loft tends to lead to less distance but that is relative to your club head speed and technique.
Frequently Asked Questions
Club buying entails weight a significant amount of information. We have provided some quick questions and answer to get you started.
Q: Driver vs Fairway Woods: What is the Difference?
A: Drivers and fairway woods often share names, color schemes, and even lofts. Differences between these two categories help players to decide when to use each club. Drivers have a larger and deeper club face that is best when hitting a golf ball from a tee. Fairway woods use a narrow club face and curved sole to propel the golf ball from a short tee or the ground. The versatility of fairway woods is what makes them so unique.
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 less loft and a longer shaft than 5-woods. Depending on your swing and delivery conditions, you may fit better to one club or another. A common mistake amateur golfers make is thinking that a 3-wood is better for them when their swing demands the benefits of a 5-wood instead.
Q: What is the Difference Between a Fairway Wood and a Hybrid? (Fairway Wood vs Hybrid)?
A: Hybrids are made to replace golf irons. These clubs use a very narrow body and club head to give golfers more options when coming from difficult lies around the golf course. Fairway woods and hybrids can have the same lofts and shaft lengths but will often produce slight differences in balls flights. Hybrids tend to launch the golf ball lower and spin less than fairway woods of the same length and loft.
Q: How Do I Hit a Fairway Wood?
A: Hitting a fairway wood can be difficult. Commonly, the most loft a golf club has, the easier it is to hit. The best way to improve your ability with your fairway woods without making a swing change is to increase the loft and shorten the shaft. During your swing, attempt to sweep the golf ball off the ground by brushing the sole of your golf club along the top of the turf. Playing the golf ball slightly inside of your front heel can help you sure up contact and get better results.
Top 10 Best Fairway Woods
TaylorMade M5 Fairway Wood
The TaylorMade M5 thrives on its ability to become whatever the golfer needs it to be. The role of a 5-wood is often much different than a 3-wood. What each player needs from this club also differs depending on their swing style and skill levels. The adjustable sole plate and hosel system of the M5 fairway amke it ideal for playres needing an exact fit. Great distance, balanced spin rates, and a more compact shape make the M5 superior in specific aspects in lofts that are common with 5-woods and higher.
Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Wood
The Epic Flash continues to shine regardless of the loft you select. The implementation of Flash Face and Jailbreak combine to create faster ball speeds and more forgiveness across the entire golf club face. Epic Flash is interchangeable to build your exact face angle, loft, and weight preferences. Players regardless of handicap can find an Epic Flash fairway wood that helps their game.
TaylorMade M6 Fairway Wood
The higher number in the TaylorMade equipment lines often denote the larger headed and more forgiving option of their two premium models. The M6 fairway wood follows that tag line by giving golfers more surface area, a larger profile, and more forgiveness when it counts. M6 uses Twist Face to help players find more accuracy and in the higher lofts, continues to outperform other options in term of speed and distance. A simple approach to club making, the M6 is designed for straight distance and delivers on that promise.
PING G410 Fairway Wood
Ping is often criticized for not being the longest in the fairway wood category. That criticism was well heard and became the inspiration for the G410 fairway. The G410 uses a faster-forged face and optimally placed center of gravity to produce more ball speeds than any Ping fairway wood model. In the 5-wood category, Ping has always stood out thanks to their control and consistent flights. The G410 gives the same stability and control with the added horsepower of a rear tungsten weight and force aligned CG.
Cobra F9 Speedback Fairway
The F9 line from Cobra was built for speed through advanced aerodynamic properties. The use of carbon and a fully CNC milled face gives the F9 more explosive distance more consistency. Baffler Rail technology returns to help players clean up their strike through the turf while maintaining a low center of gravity. Players can expect high launch and low spin from the all-new F9 fairway wood. Cobra is making loud claims in their choice of colors and production material, but we attest that it is supported with performance and outstanding feel.
Callaway Epic Fairway Wood
A familiar name on the list of most impressive fairway woods, the Callaway Epic still rivals even the newest releases as one of the best options in the fairway wood category. Epic uses a triaxial carbon crown, fourth generation face cup and a speed step carbon crown to deliver more club head speed, more consistent ball speed and longer distances. 5-wood options allow players to dial in loft and face angle to help them navigate the golf course and shoot lower scores. The standout option for players that want to save money by choosing a previous generation model, the Epic is a must-try if you can find it.
Tour Edge Exotics EXS Fairway Wood
Tour Edge makes another option for players looking for the latest release without paying too much money. The Exotics EXS fairway wood packs premium technology into an easy to hit profile. The slipstream sole gives players the opportunity for more club head speed while the all carbon toe and variable face thickness pattern make sure to retain ball speeds even if strikes move away from the sweet spot. If this is your first introduction to Tour Edge and the Exotics line, the EXS fairway will be a welcomed surprise.
Taylormade M3 Fairway Wood
The TaylorMade M3 is a fully customizable fairway woods option that is outstanding in the 5-wood lofts. The M3 is a lower launching, lower spinning club that still persists in the bags of some of the world’s greatest players, including Tiger Woods. The M3 fairway ensures that your golf shots do not balloon to high or spin off-target too far. A simple adjustment of the sliding weight can give you control over your misses and help you find more fairways and greens. At a recently reduced price due to the release of the M5 and M6, the TaylorMade M3 is perfect for golfers looking at new 5-woods this season.
Titleist 917 F2 Fairway Wood
The Titleist 917 F2 fairway was one of the most popular selling fairway wood during its release. Another older model fairway metal, the 917 F2 is perfect for players looking to get more performance for less money. Currently available for less than $200, the 917 F2 fairway wood can be the most improvement for your money this season. Paying less does not mean getting less as the Variable Thickness Face insert and Active Recoil Channel are still some of the most decorated fairway wood technology of recent years, the 917 F2 leaves nothing to be desired.
TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood
The TaylorMade M4 fairway wood is simple yet powerful. The M4 uses lower centers of gravity and split internal weighting to give players a higher launch and more spin. The M4 is a great option for players struggling to get the ball into the air or who need more height in their longer clubs. The M4 is complete with a Speed Pocket for maximum distance and Geocoustic technology for a tour-caliber look, sound, and feel. Players looking for a low cost, maximum forgiving 5-wood option should seek out the M4 from TaylorMade.
What Fairway Wood Should You Buy?
Golf club buying is highly specific to the individual. Many players enjoy going through a formal fitting process to see which golf clubs are best for them. Now, indoor facilities exist that help players purchase equipment that is tailored to their golf swing.
Beginning with the knowledge in this guide and other reviews is the best way to initiate your search. Understanding what you need from a golf club and how it can help your game will ultimately driver your buying decision. For 5-woods, realizing that hitting a specific distance and finding a club for that job is essential.
Matching a club head, loft, shaft length, and grip to your golf swing is ideal. Any club you buy should be better than what you are currently playing and make the game easier. Golf is hard enough without having to fight your equipment as well. Do not be scared to ask questions in your pro shops or at retail stores. Use this process to learn more about your game and to understand why one club works better than another for you. Thanks for checking out our guide and good luck!