Fairway woods are an under-utilized part of most amateur golfer’s bags. These clubs can be valuable weapons from the tee box or approaching longer golf holes. The right mix or fairway woods, hybrids, and irons can help make golf easier round-after-round. In this guide, we take you through the different components of fairway woods and how to best fit them to your swing. The following fairway woods rank the highest in our tests and are a great place to start for most golfers. Each of these models has advantages and disadvantages that make them best for different types of players. Knowing how you plan to use each of your fairway wood most often can be the most critical factor when choosing which fairway wood to play.
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 Fairway Woods for Seniors
- 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
- 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
- Thin and thick compartments strategically positioned to provide optimal forgiveness even on off-center hits
- Center of gravity is positioned closer to the face for less spin
- Wider speed channels to create faster clubhead speed
- 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
- 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 aerodynamic
- Baffler rail System utilizes angle of attack
- Ultralight carbon fiber crown-a lighter 5-ply carbon fiber crown saves discretionary weight
- Aero trips positioned around the perimeter of the clubhead improve drag reduction
- 6-layer carbon crown, 450 stainless steel body, and 455 stainless face
- Cone technology protects ball speed across the entire clubface to produce a bigger sweet spot
- Two-tiered sole design provides added playability from all lies
When Do You Use A Fairway Wood?
Fairway woods are designed to be used from almost anywhere on the golf course. They can be used as driver substitutes from the tee box, to approach the green from the fairways and the rough or for chipping around the greens from tight lies.
Finding the Best Fairway Wood(s) for Your Golf Game
There are several factors to consider when finding the right fairway wood for your game. Completing your set with a mix of fairway woods, hybrids, and iron is the best approach to getting proper distance gapping and dialing in your entire golf bag. How often you use your fairway wood and the types of course conditions you typically play will also influence your decision.
How much you can pay for your new club(s) will also need to be considered. Fairway woods are not as expensive as drivers but they can still cost several hundreds of dollars. Due to the fact that fairway woods are made to hit specific distance gaps, getting a used club or a previous generation model can be a great option for players looking to save money without sacrificing performance.
Top Fairway Wood Features
Fairway woods are designed with multi-material club heads that help them to perform like drivers. Their curved soles help give them versatility when coming from the tee, fairways, or rough. Top-of-the-line fairway woods will be outfitted with a shaft and a grip that help you deliver your new club consistently.
Fitting your new fairway wood with the proper shaft can be complex. Most often, players will choose fairway wood shaft(s) that are 10 to 20-grams heavier than their driver shaft. The flex of these shafts is typically the same flex as you play in your driver. Fairway woods are frequently complemented with shafts that have a more active tip to promote higher launch and higher spin when hitting from a variety of lies.
These concepts can be a great place to start. However, these are simply recommendations and you will only know what combination of equipment is best for you by trying different offerings yourself and monitoring your results. Seeing a professional club fitter can be your best bet when purchasing any new equipment.
The head shape and size of fairway woods differ greatly. These differences lead to performance advantages for each configuration. Woods with smaller club heads are often deeper in the face and produce golf shots that spin less and launch lower. Fairways with larger club heads can give players more forgiveness and higher launching shots. The smaller of the two is frequently best suited to players that use their fairway woods off the tee rather than from the ground.
The loft of your fairway wood will determine much of how far the golf ball travels after is it hit. Too little loft can be difficult to launch into the air and depending on your swing speed and technique, you may be able to hit a higher lofted fairway wood further and straighter than low lofted models. Most fairway woods will come with lofts between 13 and 19-degrees.
Frequently Asked Questions
Club buying often comes with questions and we have provided some to help get you started.
Q: Driver vs Fairway Woods: What is the Difference?
A: Drivers and fairway woods can share the same name and sometimes, the same loft. Differences in design help give these two categories their playing profiles. Drivers are larger in the club head and designed to be used when hitting golf balls from a tee. Fairway woods are made with curved soles that help players strike the golf ball from a short tee and different ground conditions. These discrepancies are important to keep in mind when selecting which club to hit.
Q: What is the Difference Between a 3 Wood and a 5 Wood (3 Wood vs 5 Wood)?
A: 3-woods often have lofts between 13 and 16-degrees. 5-woods come between 17 and 18 degrees of loft. While both of these golf clubs can be custom built, 3-woods also come standard with a longer shaft.
Q: What is the Difference Between a Fairway Wood and a Hybrid? (Fairway Wood vs Hybrid)?
A: Hybrids are designed to replace difficult to hit irons. These golf clubs often feature a smaller club head and carry brand names that match them to iron sets. Hybrids and fairway woods can share the same loft but, depending on your swing may produce different golf ball flights. Traditionally, at the same loft, hybrids will produce a lower ball flight with less spin.
Q: How Do I Hit a Fairway Wood?
A: Fairway woods can be difficult to hit. Many players find success by playing the golf ball slightly forward of center and trying to sweep the ball off a tee or from the turf. For players with slower swing speeds, increasing the loft of your fairway wood(s) can also make them easier to hit. You may be surprised to find that you hit higher lofted fairway woods further due to the increased carry and spin.
Top 10 Best Fairway Woods for 2018
1. PING G410 Fairway Wood
Ping has consistently made some of the most forgiving and easiest to launch fairway woods on the market. This season, the are introducing golfers to the G410. The G410 gives players higher launches and more forgiveness by place a tungsten weight in the rear of the golf club sole. Combined with a forged face, this weight helps stabalize the face during off center strikes and provide more distance. By moving the weight slightly forward of previous G400 models, Ping engineers have given G410 more ball speed and lower spin from shots higher on the club face. The result is one of the best-in-class fairway woods this season and the one we would recommend to put at the top of your testing list.
2. TaylorMade M6 Fairway Wood
TaylorMade rolls out two clubs within each category most seasons. This year, M5 and M6 make their way into the fairway wood sector. The M6 is designed for straight distance and is one of only two fairway metals that feature Twist Face technology. Twist Face uses enhanced curvature to give golfers tighter dispersion from a subset of strikes across the club face. The multi-material construction of M6 mixed with the Speed Pocket design help it to be one of the longest and most forgiving fairway woods in this year’s test.
3. Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Wood
Epic Flash builds on the success of the original Epic line with enhanced Jailbreak technology and a rear positioned weight. The ability to give players more custom options make the Epic Flash one of the best clubs for custom fitters this year. Face Cup forging and the same Flash Face that is present in the Epic Flash drivers, give the Epic Flash fairway more ball speed, longer distance, and more forgiveness across the entire club face. Callaway loyalists will love the traditional appearance of Epic Flash coupled with modern technology that makes the game easier.
4. Tour Edge Exotics EXS Fairway Wood
Tour Edge consistently makes one of the best performing fairway woods in the world. Less known in the American market, Tour Edge Exotics has been producing premium level golf clubs for many years. The Exotics EXS fairway wood is no different and is loaded with technology to help your game. The EXS comes with a carbon fiber toe, variable face thickness, and a slipstream sole. This package results in higher MOI and forgiveness and the ability to generate more club head speed through improved aerodynamics. If you are in the market for a new club this season, make sure Tour Edge makes it into your hands before deciding which product to add to your bag.
5. Cobra F9 Speedback Fairway
Cobra helps players of all abilities play better but their Baffler Rail technology may do more for amateur golfers in the fairway and hybrids categories than any other tech in golf. The use of the rail system to give golfers more forgiveness in and out of the turf helps make the F9 fairway wood one of the best clubs for golfers who struggle to make consistent contact with these harder to hit clubs. Made faster by the 100% machine CNC milled face, the F9 fairway is an absolute must-try for anyone looking to upgrade their fairway wood set this year.
6. TaylorMade M5 Fairway Wood
TaylorMade is not afraid to push the boundaries of club building and give golfers an extremely customizable golf club. The M5 fairway is an engineering marvel that may create a new wave of club building altogether. The M5 features a 65-gram sole weight underneath the golf club. This weight accounts for more than 30% of the total mass of the golf club head. With such a large fraction being able to be placed where each golfer needs it most, the result is a golf club that is truly yours. Not even having mentioned the Twist Face and Speed Pocket, the M5 is unlike any other club built.
7. Callaway Epic Fairway Wood
The best performing fairway wood upon its release, the Callaway Epic fairway wood is still a fantastic option for golfers looking for maximum performance. Fairway woods often persist in the golf bags of better players and high handicappers alike due to their specific and difficult to fit roles. Budget-conscious players can often find improved performance without having to spend too much money in prior generation or used golf clubs. If you are in the market for an older model fairway wood but do not want to sacrifice performance than the Callaway Epic is the clear choice.
8. Titleist 917 F2 Fairway Wood
Another outstanding second hand or previous generation fairway wood is the Titleist 917 F2. The F2 fairway wood is designed to be higher launching, more forgiving, and inspire confidence behind the club head. A larger footprint and active recoil channel help golfers to make their best swings and help them when they do not. The 917 F2 is still one of the most stable fairway wood options available and if you are a player that prioritizes accuracy and consistency above unstable distance then the 917 F2 is an obvious contender.
9. TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood
The M4 from TaylorMade just works. The contrast on the crown makes it easy to align and the larger footprint and lower and back center of gravity make it higher launching and forgiving when misstruck. M4 features a Speed Pocket, split internal weighting, and Geocoustic technology to help players get the most out of their swings. Made cheaper by the recent release of M5 and M6, the M4 is a stellar option for golfers looking to save money but pick up top-of-the-line equipment.
10. Taylormade M3 Fairway Wood
One of the largest hurdles with buying golf clubs off-the-rack or from previous owners is the lack of custom fitting options that come with those clubs. The TaylorMade M3 solves many of those problems by offering golfers a quick and easy way to adjust their new club to their golf swing regardless of when or how they made their purchase. A fuller carbon crown, precisely positioned Speed Pocket, and a sliding weight for the ultimate custom fit help make the M3 the serious golfer’s ideal pick for getting their club built to their unique needs.
What Fairway Wood Should You Buy?
Matching your needs and your swing to a new fairway wood can be a great way to improve your scores and give yourself more options for getting around the golf course. Fairway woods can regularly become a golfers favorite club when adequately fit to their swing.
By choosing an older or used club, you can save money and make your golf bag more robust at the same time. Finding a club head, shaft, and grip combination is paramount in getting a club that is perfectly tailored to your swing. Any of the fairway woods we have provided will make an excellent starting point in your testing for your next golf club. to not be afraid to play with loft and the length of the shaft to sure up your strike and gain performance.
As always, it’s 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 see how you perform with your prospective fairway woods in real time. Happy shopping and thanks for reading!
- Top 6 Best Fairway Woods for Seniors
- Prior Generation – Best Value Fairway Woods
- When Do You Use A Fairway Wood?
- Finding the Best Fairway Wood(s) for Your Golf Game
- Top Fairway Wood Features
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Top 10 Best Fairway Woods for 2018
- 1. PING G410 Fairway Wood
- 2. TaylorMade M6 Fairway Wood
- 3. Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Wood
- 4. Tour Edge Exotics EXS Fairway Wood
- 5. Cobra F9 Speedback Fairway
- 6. TaylorMade M5 Fairway Wood
- 7. Callaway Epic Fairway Wood
- 8. Titleist 917 F2 Fairway Wood
- 9. TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood
- 10. Taylormade M3 Fairway Wood
- What Fairway Wood Should You Buy?