Most Forgiving Fairway Woods

 
Fairway woods can be difficult to hit. Upgrading your current equipment can make this part of your bag better and make playing golf easier. Understanding what makes a fairway wood unique can help you build a club for your swing. Getting a fairway wood that is built for you can give you more options off the tee, more options approaching par-4s and par-5s and more options around the greens.

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 Most Forgiving Fairway Woods

 

Best Overall
PING G410 Fairway Wood
Most Accurate
Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Wood
  • Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Woods are designed to help all golfers get more ball speed and distance, lrf by Flash Face Technology.
  • Flash Face creates a new fairway wood face design that promotes increased ball speed for longer distance.
  • A Forged 455 Carpenter steel construction combines with Face Cup technology to deliver fast ball speed across the face for distance on center- and off-center hits.
Most Distance
TaylorMade M6 Fairway Wood
  • 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
Best Feel
Callaway Epic Fairway Wood
  • 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
Most Popular
TaylorMade M5 Fairway Wood
  • 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
Best Value
Tour Edge Exotics EXS Fairway Wood
  • 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

 

Prior Generation – Best Value Fairway Woods

 

Best Value
Callaway Golf Men's Rogue Fairway Wood
  • Jailbreak Technology
  • Easy to Launch on a Strong, Straight Flight
  • Triaxial Carbon Crown for Distance and Forgiveness
Best Value
TaylorMade M4 Fairway
  • 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
Best Value
Callaway Golf Great Big Bertha Men's Epic Fairway
  • 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
Best Value
Cobra King F8 Fairway
  • 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
Best Value
TaylorMade Fairway-M2
  • 6-layer carbon crown, 450 stainless steel body, and 455 stainless face
  • Cone Technology increases speed across the entire clubface to produce a bigger sweet spot for more forgiveness
  • Two-tiered sole design provides added playability from all lies

In this guide, we take you through the different parts of fairway woods. We will help explain what to look for depending on how you intend to use your new club and we help you make a list of clubs to test once you are ready to begin your fit. Hundreds of options are available and we make starting easy.
 

When Do You Use A Fairway Wood?

when to use a fairway wood
 
Fairway woods are versatile clubs that can be used from a variety of spots around the golf course. Many players use their fairway woods from the tee box. Almost all players use their fairway woods from the fairways and rough. Some golfers elect to use their fairway woods to chip around the greens when striking a wedge is difficult. No matter what kind of golfer you are, isolating where a new fairway wood or woods could improve your game is the best starting place.
 

Finding the Best Fairway Wood for Your Golf Game

Fairway woods come in different makes and models that help tailor them to different swing and playing styles. Smaller headed fairway woods are often much stronger off the tee but can be difficult to get airborne when launching out of the rough. Larger fairway woods or higher lofted models are easier to get airborne but may fly shorter when coming from a tee. Your swing dynamics and skill level will also help determine which clubs are best for you. More on all of that below.
 

Budget

The fairway category often gives players an opportunity to save some money while still upgrading equipment. Because fairway woods are designed to fly a specific distance, many players can find older models or used clubs that fulfill the role they desire. With all clubs, paying more does not always mean receiving more, and this is especially the case with fairway woods.
 

Top Fairway Wood Features

No matter what brand or fairway wood style you choose, similarities exist to help you narrow your list of potential options. All fairway woods will be made with the launch and spin characterizations that tailor them towards certain golfers. Each club must be complemented with a club shaft and grip to deliver them to the golf ball. All of these components must be balanced to get the ideal fit.

Shaft

shaft
Types of Golf Shafts. Source callawaygolf

The shaft of many golfer’s fairway woods become an afterthought and performance is leaked due to the lack of knowledge and information available on the subject. The best club fitting practice is always to test a matrix of club heads and shaft to see what combination is best in your hands. However, some guidelines exist that helps players and club builders know where to start.

Most often the shaft in your fairway wood will be 10 or 20-grams heavier than your driver shaft. They will typically be the same flex as your driver shaft and one and one-half or two inches shorter in length. The bend profile of most fairway woods shafts tends to be slightly more active in the tip section to promote higher launch and more spin when coming from the ground and rough. Be sure to check our other buying guides and shaft reviews to learn more about golf club shafts.

Head Shape

head shape
There many head sizes. Source 2ndswing.com

The head size and shape of fairway woods dictate the center of gravity distribution and the subsequent launch and spin ratios. Larger-headed fairway woods offer golfers more forgiveness, higher launch, and higher spin. These clubs are recommended to players that want to use their fairway woods from both the tee and ground or only the ground. For golfers looking to pick up a fairway wood to use as a driver substitute or rarely from the fairways and rough, a smaller-headed model may be best. These clubs are lower launching, lower spinning fairway woods that can fly further and produce a more driver-like ball flight.

Loft

The loft of your fairway wood will determine how high your golf ball launches and how far it goes in the air and on the ground. Getting the correct amount of loft for your new club or clubs is critical in improving your performance. Many golfers make the mistake of thinking that less loft will equal more distance. Depending on your swing style and swing speed, adding loft may mean adding distance and stability to your ball flight.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about your club buying experience, you are not alone. We have provided some of the most common for your convenience.
 

Q: Driver vs Fairway Woods: What is the Difference?

A: Generally speaking, drivers and fairway woods differ in key areas such as club head size, shaft length, and intended use. Drivers are crafted to be used primarily when striking a golf ball from a tee. Fairway woods can be used equally from a short tee or the ground. The curved sole of a fairway wood is what provides the club with versatility and easier launch characteristics even at the same loft.
 

Q: What is the Difference Between a 3 Wood and a 5 Wood (3 Wood vs 5 Wood)?

A: A 3-wood and a 5-wood will differ in loft. These two clubs can also differ in shaft length or head style but can be custom fit into whatever the player desires.
 

Q: What is the Difference Between a Fairway Wood and a Hybrid? (Fairway Wood vs Hybrid)?

A: Hybrids are created to replace long irons. Hybrids and fairway woods can have the same loft and shaft length but hybrids often produce lower spinning, flatter ball flights than fairway woods when hit with the same swing.
 

Q: How Do I Hit a Fairway Wood?

A: Golf coaches often recommend players to approach hitting a fairway wood by moving the golf ball forward of center and attempting to sweep the golf ball off of the turf. Envision brushing the bottom of your fairway wood along the top of the ground and compressing the back of the golf ball.
 

Top 10 Best Fairway Woods for 2018

 

1. PING G410 Fairway Wood


Not always considered the longest fairway woods, Ping fairway metals have a reputation for being easy to hit and extremely forgiving. This season, the G410 looks to build on that reputation but add distance to players bags. More custom options, a force line center of gravity and faster forged face combine with a dense tungsten weight port to build a fairway wood that is high launching, low spinning, and easy to hit from any lie. Previously going with a Ping fairway meant sometimes weighing your prioritizes of distance and accuracy but G410 gives golfers everything they need this year.

 
 

2. Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Wood

 


The Epic Flash is making waves both literally and figuratively. Flash Face is built by compiling thousands of simulated golf impact using artificial intelligence t create a golf club face that is thicker where it needs to be and thinner in spots of maximum ball speed. This intrinsic wave pattern creates more ball speed as strikes move around the golf club face and Jailbreak is there to help you prevent power leaks in any direction. The Perfect combination of power and precision, the Epic Flash fairway looks to be one of the top performs in this year’s class for golfers of all abilities and handicap levels.

PRODUCTDETAILS
OUR RATING
  • Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Woods are designed to help all golfers get more ball speed and distance, lrf by Flash Face Technology.
  • Flash Face creates a new fairway wood face design that promotes increased ball speed for longer distance.
  • A Forged 455 Carpenter steel construction combines with Face Cup technology to deliver fast ball speed across the face for distance on center- and off-center hits.

 
 

3. TaylorMade M6 Fairway Wood

 


TaylorMade gave M6 all the ingredients to be one of the most forgiving fairway woods they have ever built. M6 uses a multi-material construction and a Speed Pocket to help players retain ball speed as strikes vary high and low and left to right. Twist Face comes to fairway woods for the first time to help players dial in left and right misses with more relief in the heel and toe sections of the golf club. A simple package mixed with top-of-the-line technology makes M6 an obvious choice for players looking for the most help possible.

PRODUCTDETAILS
OUR RATING
  • TWIST FACE: Twist Face is a revolutionary face curvature with a corrective face angle on off-center hits, engineered to reduce side spin and deliver straighter shots
  • MULTI-MATERIAL CONSTRUCTION: New head design with a deep face and larger carbon crown provides optimal distance with excellent playability; Discretionary mass is concentrated low in the head to optimize CG while maintaining high MOI
  • ADVANCED SPEED POCKET DESIGN: Improved slot flexibility for a larger COR area and better off-center performance, especially on low-face strikes; New TPU slot insert is more flush with the surface for improved turf interaction

 
 

4. Callaway Epic Fairway Wood

 


The only prior generation fairway wood model to make it inside our top 5 for the most forgiving fairway woods this season, the Callaway Epic fairway wood is an absolute steal for its current price. Epic was one of the most successful golf club lines in history, not only for Callaway but for every equipment manufacturer to date. The Epic fairway uses Face Cup technology, a speed step system, and a triaxial carbon crown to deliver players more distance and forgiveness than any fairway wood in its year. With performance that still rivals even the newest releases, the Epic fairway cannot be recommended enough.

PRODUCTDETAILS
OUR RATING
  • Weight saved by the ultra-light triaxle carbon crown (78% lighter than steel) is repositioned to increase MOI and lower the CG for easy launch and added power
  • The latest generation of our hyper speed face cup is more efficient at delivering fast ball speed across the face, especially on mis-hits, for increased average distance
  • Fast head speed from speed step technology - developed with Direct Input from aerospace experts to improve aerodynamics for fast swing speed and distance without extra effort

 
 

5. Tour Edge Exotics EXS Fairway Wood

 


Tour Edge loaded the Exotics EXS fairway wood with traditional technology and new age innovation. The carbon fiber toe section helps move weight back and down for higher moments of inertia and more forgiveness. The variable face thickness gives players the most ball speed they can legally generate from their club head speeds and the slipstream sole tries to give players even more club head speed from improved aerodynamics. Tour Edge may be less advertised or less known but their performance takes a backseat to no one and their products are priced so that players can get the most from their hard earned money.

PRODUCTDETAILS
OUR RATING
  • Tour Edge EXS Fairway Wood
  • The EXS fairway metal head features premium exotic metals; a brand new United States manufactured, high-density Carpenter steel. The hyper-strength strength steel is quench-hardened, a special heating technique that takes 750 degrees to provide an extreme amount of strength while allowing for a thinner face. This cup face design allowed for Tour Edge to make the face thinner than in any previous model for a greater energy transfer.
  • An ultra-premium Tensei CK Blue 2G shaft series by Mitsubishi Chemical is the chosen stock shaft for the EXS fairway metal. Extremely light yet extremely stable throughout, the Tensei Blue CK features advanced materials like Carbon Fiber and Kevlar mixed with other lightweight materials that weigh in the 50-70 gram range depending on flex.

 
 

6. Cobra F9 Speedback Fairway

 


Cobra F9 fairway wood is built for speed but carried signature technology to help golfers during their worst swings. Cobra revolutionized fairway wood forgiveness by applying the Baffler Rail system to larger headed fairway metals. The result is higher ball speeds and a club that survives impacts with the ground more easily than other models. The result of this diminished impact is more speed into your golf ball and better results from your worse swings. If you are a player who frequently hits the ground before your golf ball with your fairway woods, the F9 can be the perfect option for squeezing out more distance and better results from your swing.

PRODUCTDETAILS
OUR RATING
  • Speed back Baffler Technology-Re-engineered BAFFLER rails and a low, back tungsten weight optimize turf interaction and lower the CG for improved launch and faster club head speed from any lie
  • CNC Precision Milled Face-Golf's first fairway to feature a CNC milled face. A forged, and precision milled 455 stainless steel face insert delivers our thinnest, hottest fairway face
  • 360 Aero Technology-Polymer crown trips and titanium sole trips are positioned relative to the direction of airflow around the club head to reduce drag for faster club head speeds

 
 
 

7. TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood

 


The TaylorMade M4 fairway wood is simple distance and extreme forgiveness in a confidence inspiring package. Split internal weights and the Speed Pocket work in tandem to give players higher ball speeds from misstrikes and better results when their swing lets them down. Made better by the improved sounds and feel thanks to the Geocoustic insert technology, the M4 fairway is an excellent choice for players looking to pick up a new club without spending too much money.

PRODUCTDETAILS
OUR RATING
  • Speed pocket creates more ball speed across the clubface for more distance & forgiveness. Split-weight mass pads provide increased MOI & perimeter weight distribution
  • 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, driving higher launch while reducing spin

 
 

8. TaylorMade M5 Fairway Wood

 


One of the longest fairway woods in our test, the TaylorMade M5 is built for customized distance. The largest movable weight ever put into a fairway metal, the 65-gram sole plate of the M5 gives players more options to build their new club for their unique swing patterns. Twist Face is present to help players dial in their left and right misses and the compact shape helps players get more versatility in a variety of lies. Not the most forgiving fairway wood this year but definitely worth a try if you are looking to pick up yards this season.

PRODUCTDETAILS
OUR RATING
  • TWIST FACE: Twist Face is a revolutionary face curvature with a corrective face angle on off-center hits, engineered to reduce side spin and deliver straighter shots
  • MULTI-MATERIAL CONSTRUCTION: New head design with a deep face and larger carbon crown provides optimal distance with excellent playability
  • ADVANCED SPEED POCKET DESIGN: Improved slot flexibility for a larger COR area and better off-center performance, especially on low-face strikes; New TPU slot insert is more flush with the surface for improved turf interaction

 
 

9. Titleist 917 F2 Fairway Wood

 


One of the easiest to hit fairway models to date, the 917 F2 is still an outstanding option for many player’s bags. Titleist hit a home run with their design of the 917 F2 fairway wood. The Active Recoil Channel and Variable Thickness Face insert help make the 917 F2 both long and forgiving. One of the largest club head profiles as well make the F2 more inspiring off thee and easier to launch from the turf. Traditional looks, sounds, and feel help make the 917 F2 one of the most well-produced fairway metals in recent history and a must-try for players that can still get their hands on one.

 
 

10. Taylormade M3 Fairway Wood

 


TaylorMade makes outstanding golf clubs, especially in the metal wood categories. The M3 fairway is made for customized distance but can also offer outstanding forgiveness characteristics depending on the way it is set up. The ability to dial in hosel settings and shot shape preferences to your swing patterns can help you eliminate your big miss and tighten up dispersion. Not often praised for their forgiveness profiles, the odd-numbered TaylorMade golf clubs can still provide plenty of performance to golfers of all ability and handicap levels.

PRODUCTDETAILS
OUR RATING
  • Lighter 5-layer carbon crown and sole frees up 8g of weight for a lower more powerful CG location. Lengthened speed pocket provides more flexibility and more ball speed low on the face
  • Improved playability: new Track overhang delivers precise and consistent turf interaction
  • Personalization: more left-to-right adjustability due to a heavier, 29g movable weight. More streamlined, 12-position 4 degree loft sleeve

 
 

What Fairway Wood Should You Buy?

The best fairway wood or woods for your bag will depend mostly on what the other golf clubs in your bag are. How you plan to use your new wood(s) will also dictate what models and lofts are best for you. Slower swinging players may need more loft to get more height and more distance, especially when hitting shots from the ground.

No matter what kind of fairway wood you are looking for, it is important to test different sizes, lofts, and centers of gravity to see what is best for your swing. Match your club head of choice to a shaft that you feel comfortable with and that helps you make your best swings more often. Round that out with your grip of choice and you will be on your way to lower scores.

Remember that fairway woods should be built to fit a specific role and you should know how these clubs may help your game before you head to the point of sale. As always, testing them in your hands is the best way of knowing what you enjoy the most. Do not be afraid to ask questions and use this process as an opportunity to learn about your game and improve. Happy testing and thank so much for reading!

 

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