Fairway woods can be a valuable club to have in your golf bag. They can provide another option off the tee or a chance to reach long golf holes in two. Getting the right fairway wood means balancing the different roles they can play and matching your playing style to your clubs. The differences in fairway wood styles and the range of lofts and length they come in can make knowing which one is right for you difficult.
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 Fairway Woods for Mid Handicap Golfers
We have created this guide to help mid-handicap golfers find fairway woods that match their swing characteristics and playing needs. While there may be no one fairway wood that is perfect for every golfer, there is a fairway wood or a set of fairway woods that can help make an immediate improvement in your game. This guide takes you through all the starting points of buying your next fairway wood golf club.
When Do You Use A Fairway Wood?
Fairway woods are used off the tee and from the ground. This diversity means that each club is multi-purpose and must fill the needs of different lies around the golf course. Fairway woods can also be used to chip around the greens when the lie is tight and striking a wedge is challenging.
Finding the Best Fairway Wood for Your Golf Game
The best fairway wood or woods for you will depend on how you intend to use your new clubs, the set makeup of your entire golf bag, and your comfort level with your driver. Players looking to switch their new fairway wood for their driver when accuracy is a premium may need one option while players that need help reaching the green in two may need another. Golfers that are comfortable doing both but need a fairway wood for holes that demand a layup or trying to dial in eagle opportunities may need a combination of both fairway wood categories. No matter how you play your fairway woods, building a club head, shaft, and grip combination that gives you confidence and matches your swing is the only way to get the most from any golf club in your bag.
Budget can dictate which fairway models are available to you. Luckily, fairway wood technology progresses more slowly than driver technology and great fairway woods can be found in the previous generation or used models. Budget-conscious golfers should explore all options when looking to replace their current equipment.
Top Fairway Wood Features
The best fairway woods all share common features that help players identify their playing profiles. Club head size and shape will tell you a lot about where that fairway wood is strongest and where it may let you down. The correct shaft will complement the club head and deliver the club to the ball in a repeatable fashion most often. Understanding some common principals can help you when putting these different pieces together.
Fitting a fairway wood shaft is a difficult process of trial and error. Some general guidelines exist to tell you where to begin. Most players opt for fairway wood shafts that are one to three inches shorter than their driver shaft. The flexes of these shafts are the same as your driver most often. Fairway wood shafts weight between 10 and 20-grams more than the weight of a players driver shaft due to the shorter length.
Experienced club fitters outfit fairway woods with shafts that are slightly more active in the tip section that driver shafts due to the added launch needed when playing these golf clubs from lies in the fairway or rough. To understand what shaft models may be best for your fairway wood we recommend seeing our reviews and buying guides and trying different weight, flex, and bend profiles in-hand to get instant feedback.
Head shape and size in a fairway wood often relate to that club’s performance. The smaller the club head the lower it will launch and the less it will spin. Larger heads will promote higher launches and more spin. These differences often lead players to choose a head style based on when they use these clubs most often. Fairway woods hit primarily from the tee are smaller in size. When hitting shots from the ground, the larger the head, the easier the shot is to perform.
Getting the correct loft angle of each of your fairway woods is critical for distance gapping and maximizing performance. A mistake handicap golfers often make when choosing a fairway wood is thinking that less loft will mean more distance. Without enough swing speed, too little loft will not launch high enough and fall out of the air quickly. If you are struggling with your fairway metals, adding loft may be the relief you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
We searched the internet to find a few of the most common questions for golfers when looking to purchase their new club. Here are some frequently asked questions that may get you thinking about a few of your own.
Q: Driver vs Fairway Woods: What is the Difference?
A: The biggest differences between a driver and a fairway wood are its head size and purpose. These clubs may share the same loft or length but often differ in these as well. Drivers are designed to be used when the golf ball is resting on a tee and are difficult to strike effectively when the golf ball is on the ground. Fairway woods have shallower faces and curved soles that help them to increase their versatility and strike the ball effectively from either a shorter tee peg or various ground conditions.
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 about half an inch longer shaft length than a 5-wood. This may result in a 3-wood playing about 7-10 yards longer than a 5-wood but will depend on your swing speed and delivery conditions.
Q: What is the Difference Between a Fairway Wood and a Hybrid? (Fairway Wood vs Hybrid)?
A: Hybrids are designed with the characteristics of an iron. Hybrids and fairway woods can have the same loft but produce differences in ball flights. Hybrids tend to be lower launching and lower spinning than fairway woods of comparable static lofts.
Q: How Do I Hit a Fairway Wood?
A: Amateur golfers have success hitting fairway woods by pushing th ball position slightly forward of the center of their stance and setting up naturally. As you approach the golf ball sweep the bottom of the golf club against the top of the ground.
Top 10 Best Fairway Woods for Mid Handicappers
Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Wood
The Epic Flash is already being highly touted as one of the most outstanding fairway woods of this season. Flash Face was created using artificial intelligence to give players more ball speeds from strikes across the face to give players more distance and more forgiveness. Jailbreak appears for the first time ever in an Epic fairway wood and gives players more relief stirkes high and low in the club face. Players looking for more distance and accuracy this season should look to the all-new Epic Flash fairway wood.
PING G410 Fairway Wood
Amateur golfers constantly rely on Ping fairway woods and drivers to give them more help and more performance. In recent years, players have had to choose between distance or forgiveness by choosing a Ping fairway wood. This year, G410 breaks that mold. G410 is both longer than any fairway wood Ping has ever created and more forgiving. The combination fo a fast forged face, tungsten weight, and a precisely aligned center of gravity make the G410 easier to launch and less punishing on your worst swings. Handicap golfers looking for the optimal balance of distance and forgiveness now get both in a Ping club.
TaylorMade M6 Fairway Wood
Known for making extremely long fairway woods, TaylorMade has improved the M6 model for forgiveness and playability. The M6 fairway wood has been engineered with Twist Face to help players find more fairways and greens. The larger profile and deeper center of gravity in the M6 helps players get higher launches and spin for more carry and total distances. TaylorMade is promising golfers simplified distance in an M6 model that is built to be easy to play.
Tour Edge Exotics EXS Fairway Wood
Tour Edge has been creating some of the best performing fairway woods in golf for a number of years. Lesser known to the North American sector of golf equipment, the Exotics range of woods continues to improve and make its way into more and more player’s bags. The EXS line is fully loaded with technology engineered to make hitting your fairway woods easier and with better results. A slipstream sole has been crafted to help give you more club head speed and the potential for more distance. With more speed comes more variation of strike and Tour Edge bolsters forgiveness with a variable face and fully carbon toe. The result is more impact force and more stability on every shot.
TaylorMade M5 Fairway Wood
Depending on your needs as a mid-handicap player, the TaylorMade M5 can be perfect for your game. The M5 is fully customizable with the largest movable weight ever placed in a fairway wood. The M5 can be built for distance or precision and can fill whatever gaps your current setup has given you. Twist Face helps you retain accuracy and a more compact shape give M5 explosive distance and more versatility in a number of lies. Do not be afraid to test and try the M5 fairway as it can be built to help your game regardless of your current skill level.
Cobra F9 Speedback Fairway
One of the best bridge fairway woods in golf, the Cobra F9 packs speed and stability into an impressive looking fairway wood. The F9 is outfitted with loud colors and wind cutting aerodynamics. The installation of Baffler Rail technology along the sole of the F9 fairway wood helps give players more relief through the turf and better results to golfers that hit their fairway woods fat. Not often thought of as a fairway wood company, Cobra is looking to make a play for every part of the golf bag this season.
Callaway Epic Fairway Wood
The Epic line of woods from Callaway still stands as one of the highest performing lines in history. Released two full golf club cycles prior, the Epic fairway wood is still an outstanding option for players looking to get the most out of their game. The Epic uses a lightweight carbon crown, speed steps, and fourth generation face cup technology to give players more distance, more feel, and more speed through the hitting zone. The Epic fairway is a bargain for price but premium in terms of performance.
TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood
The larger of the two prior generation TaylorMade fairway woods, the M4 is built for simplified use. The M4 helps players get more performance in a confidence inspiring package. Geocoustic technology helps make the M4 sound and feel better and was derived from tour player feedback. The M4 is a great option for players looking to get a higher performing club this season without paying full MSRP prices.
Titleist 917 F2 Fairway Wood
The Titleist 917 F2 fairway wood is an exceptional older model club option. The F2 fairway is consistently the most popular selling fairway wood in the Titleist lineup and can help your game tremendously. The 917 F2 uses a Variable Thickness Face insert to give players more speed and more distance. The Active Recoil Channel helps maintain launch and spin from strikes that come from the bottom of the club face. This is especially helpful if you plan to use your fairway metal from the ground frequently. Players looking to save money but not skimp on performance can get the best of both worlds with the 917 F2 from Titleist.
Taylormade M3 Fairway Wood
The TaylorMade M3 fairway wood shines in an area that is often overlooked when buying older generation golf clubs. The M3 is fully customizable in the hands of every golfer. The adjustable siding weight and precision fit hosel system help golfers to dial in launch, spin, and shot shapes. The compact shape of M3 makes it an excellent driver substitute off the tee and more versatile around the golf course. Do not overlook the M3 as it made it into the golf bag of some of the game’s best players last season.
What Fairway Wood Should You Buy?
Choosing from a variety of different fairway woods available can be a difficult task. Luckily, each fairway woods comes with different strengths and weaknesses. Matching the strengths of your fairway of choice to your swing will be key in making the biggest impact on your scores.
The most effective way to decide which fairway wood to buy is to base what you value most and your unique skills and needs. For example, if you plan to use your fairway wood mostly from the tee you may prefer a smaller club head with less spin. If you fairway wood will be hit mostly from the ground then a larger footprint and higher loft may be better.
Regardless of which club head you decide on, matching it to your shaft and grip of choice will help improve your consistency and give you more confidence with your new club. It is best to try a club out for yourself before making your final decision. Take an hour or two to visit a driving range or indoor fitting facility to hit clubs from different manufacturers and be sure to check out our other reviews and buying guides for more info. Happy testing and see you again soon.