Best Fairway Woods For Distance, Control and Consistency

Best fairway woods

Are you looking for the best fairway wood that can you can hit consistently and can help enhance your game? We’ve tested some of the best fairway woods available today and we bring you the top performers.

This guide to the best fairway woods golf clubs is here for you as a resource to help you find the fairway wood that is the best option for your skill level and your budget.

Fairway woods are a balance of driver-like power and forgiveness for making long shots over turf. Both fairway woods and hybrids use lighter metals for a lower center of gravity which helps to launch the ball further, faster, and with less spin. 

If you are looking for a replacement for a long iron or for an alternative driver, then you may need a fairway wood. There are some great options for fairway woods from many of the top golf club brands.

This guide to the best fairway woods wood golf clubs is here for you as a resource to help you find the fairway wood that is the best option for your skill level and your budget.

Top Picks: Fairway Woods

Quick Answers: Best Fairway Woods

1. TaylorMade SIM Max 2 Fairway Wood

Best Overall

TaylorMade SiM 2 Max Fairway Wood

This is our Best Overall Pick for the best fairway wood golf club. We give the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max 5 out of 5 stars.

The innovative design of the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max does not leave much room for debate for us over which product is the best fairway wood.  

The TaylorMade SiM 2 Max fairway wood is one of the hottest selling new releases for fairways. It takes the design of the famously popular TaylorMade SIM Max fairway and improves upon it by adding even more forgiveness.

The features that define the performance of this wood is a low center of gravity, multi-material construction, efficient weight distribution and C300 Steel Face paired with Twist Face for improved turf interaction. With this fairway wood, you can get more distance, higher launches, lower spin, and more forgiveness.

 

What we liked most:

  • Larger head design for more distance and forgiveness
  • Weight distribution perfected for high launch with low spin
  • The V steel design improves turf interaction
  • Low center of gravity enhances performance on long distance shots 
Specs
  •     Flex – Regular, Stiff, Senior, Ladies, Extra Stiff
  •     Shaft Material – Graphite
  •     Grip – Standard
  •     Loft Configurations – 15, 16.5, 19, 21, 24 Degrees
  •     Hand Orientation – Right or Left
  •     Length – Standard

2. Titleist TS2 Fairway Wood

Our Premium Pick

Titleist TS2 Fairway Wood

The Titleist TS2 is our Premium Pick for fairway woods. We give this wood a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.  

If you struggle to achieve high swing speeds then using the Titleist TS2 fairway woods could improve your game. Titleist is a top rated brand for golf clubs and their fairway woods have some innovative features which help them stand out from the competition.

One of the things that we love the most about the Titleist TS2 is that it increases your swing speed and the maximum distance of your shots. It has an ultra-lightweight titanium crown which allows the weight to be redistributed to the head for an increased moment of inertia.

By making the titanium crown thinner and the club face thinner Titleist has created a fairway wood that significantly boosts the speed of shots. There is an active recoil channel (ARC) on the fairway wood which also improves forgiveness for cutting through turf.

What we liked most:

  • Redesigned active recoil channel offers more forgiveness
  •   Thin titanium crown improves weight distribution
  •   Easy to hit high swing speed with this wood
  •   Center of gravity optimized for high launches
Specs
    • Flex – Regular, Senior
    • Hand Orientation – Right
    • Shaft Material – Graphite
    • Loft Configurations –  16.5, 18, 21 Degrees

3. Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood

Best Value

Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood

The Callaway Golf  Mavrik is our top pick  for forgiveness. We give it a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.

The Callaway Mavrik Fairway has a large and expansive hitting area that gives the golfer a lot of confidence when striking the ball. This fairway wood has a progressive leading edge geometry that adds to the design of the speed for your ball.

It uses flash face technology in the club head which is innovatively designed to improve ball speeds. There are multiple weight configurations available for the Callaway Mavrik which makes it a versatile option for many different kinds of players.

Callaway has a series of Mavrik fairway woods including the standard, max, and sub zero configurations which are optimized for different levels of golfers.

One of the best things about this series of fairway woods is how it feels when you strike the ball. The sound and the feel from the moment of impact are muted and you can also hit further distances with more accuracy.

We thought the Flash Face SS20 and the Forged C300 Maraging Steel really helped us optimize our performance. Add the jailbreak technology, and you’ve got a beast of a golf club. We highly recommend this fairway driver to anybody looking for the best fairway wood.  

What we liked most:

  •     Really good feel when striking the ball
  •     Maximized ball speed from the unique design of the loft
  •     Pulls CG low and back in the head for high launch and flat trajectory
  •     Nicely combines distance with forgiveness
  •     The head is weighted, allowing your swing speed to increase drastically
Specs
  •     Flex – Regular, Stiff, Extra Stiff, Senior
  •     Shaft Material – Graphite
  •     Loft Configurations – 15, 16.5, 18, 21 Degrees
  •     Hand Orientation – Right or Left

4. Callaway Epic Max Fairway Wood

Top Pick for high ball speed

Callaway Epic Max Fairway Wood

The Callaway Epic Max is our top pick for high ball speeds and we gave it 4.9 stars out of 5.

All of the new fairway woods by Callaway use AI designed flash face technology which works wonders for enhancing ball speeds. The Callaway Golf Epic Max has both a low center of gravity and a forward center of gravity. This improves the aerodynamics of each shot to lower spin and improve distance.

It has an oversized head which makes it more playable for different levels of golfers. It is easier to use a fairway wood with an oversized head than it is to use one with a compact head. You can adjust the weight configuration of this model to make it more suitable for different shots.

Another feature to note about this new fairway wood by Callaway is that it has integrated new jailbreak velocity blades in the club head. This design stiffens the body of the club, which is balanced out by the more flexible club face.

What we liked most:

  •     Oversized head and optimized club face for easier launch
  •     Latest AI technology used to engineer the components
  •     Adjustable weight configuration for different shots
  •     Easy to hit high ball speeds
Specs
    •  Flex – Ladies, Light, Regular, Stiff
    •  Hand Orientation – Left or Right
    •  Shaft Material – Graphite
    • Loft Configurations – 15, 18, 21, 23, 25  Degrees

5. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Fairway Wood

Top Pick for High Handicappers

Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Fairway Wood

We found this to be the Best Fairway Wood for High Handicappers, and we gave it 4.7 stars out of 5!

The Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Fairway Wood is an all-around excellent fairway wood for high handicappers looking to improve their game. This is also a perfect choice for senior golfers and mid handicappers, as well as having simplicity and high performance.

We found this fairway wood to be very forgiving and helped keep our ball in the game. You can achieve some great distance with this club because it also gives a higher moment of inertia due to the counterbalanced shaft design. 

What we liked most:

  • The center of gravity is located towards the grip
  • Provides more speed on longer shots
  • Allows your ball to take flight for longer distances
  • Straighter shots with more ease and controllability
  • Includes external and internal weight reduction     
Specs
  •     Flex – Regular, Stiff, Senior
  •     Shaft Material – Miyazaki C. Kua Graphite
  •     Loft Configurations – 15, 18 Degrees
  •     Hand Orientation – Right or Left

6. Cobra RADSpeed Fairway Wood

Top Pick For High Launch

Cobra RadSpeed Faiway Wood

The Cobra RadSpeed Fairway Wood is our pick for the Best Fairway Wood For High Launch. We gave it 4.9 out of 5 stars.

Another great 3 wood is the Cobra RadSpeed. It employs radial weighting technology which optimizes the club for use on the fairway and off the tee. The edge face design on the Cobra has a 95% larger milled area which increases the ball speeds you can achieve with this fairway wood.

The Cobra also has a carbon crown which improves the weight distribution to center the gravity lower for a better swing. Another feature which has been improved on the Cobra is that it has hollow split rails. The hollow rails work to effectively increase flexibility for more forgiveness and a higher launch.

This model of fairway wood is a good choice if you are looking to increase the launch height of your long distance shots.

What we liked most:

  •     Hollow split rails for more flexibility
  •     Ultra lightweight carbon crown improves weight distribution
  •     Large milled area on the club face increases the ball speed
  •     Radial weighting system effectively launches balls higher
Specs
  •     Flex – Regular, Stiff,
  •     Hand Orientation – Left or Right
  •     Material – Stainless steel  
  •     Shaft Material – Graphite
  •     Loft Configurations – 14.5, 18.5, 22.5 Degrees

7. TaylorMade Golf M4 Fairway Wood

Top Pick For Forgiveness

TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood

The TaylorMade M4 is our pick for the Best Fairway Woods for Seniors. We give this club a 4.6 out of 5 star rating.

Another great fairway wood by TaylorMade is the M4 fairway wood. The sole of this fairway wood has been reimagined for improved playability. The sound and feel of this fairway wood are extremely comfortable. It is an easy to control fairway wood which appeals to many golfers.

It has a carbon crown which is a common feature among the TaylorMade fairway woods. The lighter crown allows for the weight to be redistributed for a lower center of gravity. Low center of gravity helps to launch balls high in the air with minimal spin.

One great thing about the TaylorMade M4 is that the shaft is extremely flexible. Even with a low speed swing the golf ball is propelled high and far. People who are typically low hitters can improve their game by switching to the TaylorMade M4.

What we liked most:

  •     Carbon crown for improved weight distribution/low center of gravity
  •     Flexible shaft for maximum forgiveness
  •     Easy to use for seniors
  •     Steel club face increases ball speeds while minimizing spin

 

Specs
  •     Flex – Regular, Stiff, Senior
  •     Shaft Material – Graphite
  •     Loft Configurations – 15, 18, 21, 24 Degrees
  •     Hand Orientation – Right or Left

8. Callaway Mavrik Max Ladies Fairway Wood

Top Pick For Women

Callaway Golf Mavrik Max Ladies Fairway Wood

We found the Callaway Mavrik Max to be the perfect Fairway Wood for Women Golfers, and we gave it 5 stars out of 5!

The Callaway Mavrik Max Fairway Wood is the perfect fairway wood for any lady wanting to improve her game and get ahead of the competition. Keep in mind that this fairway wood comes with all the latest and greatest technology, putting it one step ahead of all the rest.

We loved how the incredible jailbreak technology really upped the amount of ball speed and gave an outstanding performance. The adjustable weights are a nice feature for anybody wanting to tweak the weight of the club.  

What we liked most:

  • Super easy to strike with the more expansive clubface and sole
  • Huge sweet spot with maximum forgiveness
  • It gives the ball a mid to high launch that sends it sailing down the fairway
  • Encourages more distance with the lower loft
  • Adjustability with the launch angle and the spin rate 
Specs
  •     Flex – Ladies, Regular, Stiff, Senior
  •     Swing Weight – NA
  •     Shaft Material – UST Helium 40G
  •     Loft Configurations – 18 Degrees
  •     Hand Orientation – Right or Left

Buying Guide For Best Fairway Woods

In the past fairway woods were “one-size-fits-all”, but manufacturers are now moving towards having more options that fit different kinds of golfers. There are many good golf club brands that make fairway woods, but it can be hard to determine which fairway wood is right for you.

Some of the goals of the manufacturers of fairway woods are to improve playability by making a versatile replacement for driver or a long iron.

Fairway woods are optimized for achieving higher swing speeds, ball speeds, better forgiveness, and better turf interaction. All of the features work together to help you make long distance shots with more accuracy.

Fairway woods take the elements that you love about drivers and improve them for landing shots on the green. Some of the engineering elements about fairway woods that are important to note is that they use angled soles, heat-treated steel or titanium, and smoothed down curves. 

When to Buy a Fairway Wood

Fairway woods are a club that is somewhere in between a driver and a hybrid. They offer a specific set of benefits for hitting certain shots with accuracy. The design of the fairway wood is focused around offering the same power as a driver while also improving turf interaction to prevent interference from the grass.

For Playing From the Tee

You can use a fairway wood both from the tee and from the grass. If you are planning to use the fairway wood as an alternative/replacement for a driver then keep in mind that the fairway wood will not hit as far as a driver. The benefit of using a fairway wood from the tee is that a fairway wood is easier to play with. 

As a Replacement for Long-Irons

Long-irons can be a difficult golf club to master and so some people use fairway woods as an alternative. The club head of a fairway wood is larger and has a larger sweet spot than that of a long-iron which helps to improve the playability. Anyone who is struggling with using long-irons should consider fairway woods or a hybrid as a replacement.

For Impressive Long-Distance Shots

If you want to impress with your long shot at a tournament or at a round of golf with your buddies then a fairway woods is good to have in your arsenal of clubs.

Some long distance shots are only possible with a good driver and fairway wood. Shallow club heads are preferable for woods that will be mostly used on the fairway.

For Tournament Play

If you plan on playing in tournaments then you need to make sure that all of your clubs are approved for tournament play. Some fairway woods are made for practice or casual playing, and are not at an appropriate level for pro-golfers at tournaments.

Whether or not the club is tournament ready should be among the features listed in the product description when you’re shopping.

Tour ready fairway woods are designed with professional, serious golf players in mind, but some skilled amateurs also use them.

Regular, non-professional golfers should stick to regular fairways which have a larger club head, more forgiveness, and larger sweet spots because they are far less intimidating.

Fairway woods vs drivers

Fairway Woods vs. Drivers

Fairway woods are commonly used as a replacement for a driver. While fairway woods are designed for fairway play, they also offer some benefits from hitting from the tee.

They can be used interchangeably in some cases and a lot of golfers appreciate how much easier it is to control a fairway wood than a driver.

A fairway wood really stands out in how it performs on the turf. The design of the club head and face is geared towards keeping turf interaction low with less contact points.

Drivers have a larger sweet spot than fairway woods which is why some people enjoy using them on the fairway as well as from the tee.

Some people say that using a fairway wood will help to minimize penalty shots. Even though they can’t launch a ball with as much power as a driver, they are more accurate and also can achieve good distance.

  • Slow swings work better with a fairway woods, faster swings perform better with a driver.
  • It is easier to control a fairway wood which improves accuracy.
  • Drivers have a larger sweet spot than fairway woods.
  • Turf interaction is more important for a fairway wood

Fairway Woods vs. Long-Irons

Long irons are preferred by golfers with a fast swing speed. A lot of lower handicap players are also a fan of using long-irons rather than the alternatives.

Compared with hybrids and long-irons, fairway woods can hit further both from the tee and from the fairway. Hybrids, fairway woods, and long irons can be used interchangeably.

  •     Fairway woods hit balls faster and further
  •     Hybrids offer high launch with maximum forgiveness
  •     Long irons are best for when a low launch height is appropriate

When is the Best Time to Use a Fairway Wood?

To be completely honest, fairway woods are  quite versatile. They can be used anywhere around the greens when chipping if your wedges aren’t exactly easy for you. But what it’s used primarily for is off the tee – like for short par 4s and the really long par 3s.

A fairway wood is also handy when you are approaching the standard par 4s and, of course, the par 5s. You can’t go wrong with carrying a fairway wood in your golf bag at all times because it can make a difference in your end game.

Just be sure to choose a fairway wood that compliments your skill level and swing type. This will help you achieve the desired results for distance and speed.

club shaft options

What is the Difference Between a Hybrid and the Fairway Wood?

While the hybrid looks very similar to a fairway wood, they are actually constructed very differently and play very different roles in the golfer’s game.

When you think about using a hybrid, you generally think about replacing an iron for that shot, not a fairway wood. A golfer might reach for their fairway wood instead of their iron because the club head of the fairway wood will give a lot more options when dealing with some difficult shots.

Hybrids and some woods might have some of the same shafts and loft lengths, but they will usually produce some very different launch flights, especially when it comes to the spin. The hybrids are known for launching the ball lower than the woods and have lower spins.

How to Choose the Best Fairway Woods

Fairway woods combine some of the best design innovations from drivers, hybrids, and long-irons to perform a specific job: to perform amazing on the fairway.

The features of fairway woods are all centered around driving balls further with higher launch and faster ball speeds, while also having good turf interaction.

Consider the Following Things When Shopping for the Best Fairway Woods

  •     Game Improvement
  •     Ball Speed and Distance
  •     Sweet Spot
  •     Turf interaction
  •     Speed Pocket
  •     Launch Angle
  •     Low Center of Gravity

In order to understand which fairway wood is the best for you, consider what skill level you have, whether you plan on using it from the tee or only on the fairway, if you want a tour ready model, or if you prefer an adjustable model.

Look for these features:

  • Construction:  Fairway woods use thin, heat-treated steel or titanium to create the club face. This makes the weight distribution of the wood more effective for easily hitting long distance shots with low spin.
  • Clubhead: The soles on fairway woods have an angled construction. This along with having smooth and recessed curves makes the club perfect for using on the fairway because it minimizes turf interaction.
  • Shaft: The shaft of the fairway driver is an important feature which plays a huge part in the playability, versatility, and forgiveness of the club. Some fairways have adjustable shafts. The shaft should be made out of a lightweight material such as graphite so that the center of gravity remains low for more powerful launches.

 

Materials Used in Construction

There are a variety of materials which are commonly used in the construction of fairway woods. You will find that most of the new models on the market use graphite for the shaft.

Using graphite for the shaft allows for more of the weight to be distributed to the clubhead. Lightweight, flexible shafts increase forgiveness for difficult shots.

Carbon crowns are also another common feature of modern fairway woods which make them easier to use by improving the center of gravity.

Carbon is an ultra lightweight material, which optimizes the weight distribution by allowing less of the weight to be stored in the crown.

Steel and titanium are two metals which you will find are commonly used in the construction of fairway woods. Titanium club faces are made out of much thinner metal than steel, which can improve the performance of the club.

The club face should be made out of titanium, steel, or another hard metal to drive the ball to the highest speeds with low spin.

Pay attention to what materials are used in the construction of different elements of the fairway wood because this is the main contributing factor to how the weight distribution works.

The Shaft

The shaft of a fairway wood is going to be longer and more lightweight than a driver. The longer shaft means that there needs to be a different stance used by the golfer and can include taking a divot.

Most fairway wood golf clubs have a graphite shaft because graphite is both lightweight and durable. Not only does the lightweight graphite shaft help to keep the center of gravity low for propelling balls further and faster, it also helps to improve the flexibility of the shaft.

Having a flexible rather than a stiff shaft is a preference that many golfers have because the flexibility allows for slower swings. With a stiff shaft the golfer needs to swing the club faster to reach the same level of impact. The shaft and the clubhead work together to create the weight distribution of the club.

The Club Head and Club Face

One of the most important features on a fairway wood is the club head, crown, and club face. The shaft of the fairway wood will be lighter and longer than a driver so that the center of gravity is focused lower.

The heaviness and hardness of the club head paired with the low center of gravity is how you achieve a high arch and long distance shot.

Pay attention to all of the features of the club head, including the club face material, grooves, and any special features which are unique to the particular model. The club face is typically made out of either titanium or steel, with pros and cons to both.

Titanium can be applied to the clubface in a thinner layer than steel which has some benefits. Both titanium and steel are effective materials for the clubface because their hardness creates maximum impact for the golf ball.

The crown is another important part of the clubhead to consider. Carbon crowns are best for promoting a low center of gravity.

The design of the clubhead should be optimized for maximum aerodynamic function. There can be differences in the size of the clubhead. Some fairway woods have an extremely compact head which can be intimidating for beginner and intermediate golfers.

Hybrids and fairway woods with extra-large club heads are easier to use for most players.

Price Range

The price of a fairway wood can vary depending on the materials used and the manufacturer. If you are a new golfer who is still at an intermediate/beginner level then you will probably want to stick with fairway woods that are on the lower end of the price range.

For as low as $30-$50 you can find some fairway woods that offer surprisingly good performance.

For the top rated and best selling models of fairway woods available you can expect to pay upwards of $150, ranging up to about $400.

Considering the many golf clubs you will need in your arsenal to take on tournaments, you can invest quite a bit of money into your clubs. For this reason you want to make sure that the purchase is covered by a warranty.

What Are the Advantages/Disadvantages of Fairway Woods

There are both pros and cons to using a fairway wood, but it is a club that you should keep in your arsenal.

Benefits of Fairway Woods

  •     Lower center of gravity
  •     Hit balls further distances with more accuracy
  •     Flash face technology
  •     Faster ball speeds
  •     High launch
  •     Good forgiveness

Disadvantages of Fairway Woods

  •     Can be intimidating for beginner/intermediate golfers

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Still have questions about fairway woods? Reading the answers to the most frequently asked questions may help.

Q1.What is the easiest fairway wood to hit?

The easiest fairway wood to hit is going to be one that has a larger and heavier clubhead. When shopping for a fairway wood that is easy to hit you should focus on models for beginner/intermediate players. Some of the most popular new models of fairway woods have multiple options for weight distribution and length.

Q2. Should I carry a fairway 3 wood or 5 wood?

The 3 wood club is the one that you need to use to successfully land long distance shots. When approaching from the tee, the fairway 3 wood is the better option. Many golfers prefer to carry both sets of clubs so that they can have more versatility.

The 5 wood club is more lofted than the 3 wood. The fairway 3 wood club also doubles as a driver which is one benefit. Fairway 3 woods and 5 woods both offer good forgiveness, but if your goal is to achieve longer shots then a 3 wood is your best bet.

Q3. Should I buy a fairway wood or hybrid?

If you struggle with swinging a long iron effectively then a hybrid may be the better option for you. Hybrids are also more versatile than fairway woods which grants them more playability. You can use hybrids for multiple types of shots which allows you to carry less clubs on the course.

For people who consistently struggle to achieve clean impact with a fairway wood or long iron the hybrid options offer more forgiveness. You are more likely to make an impact with the ball when using a hybrid than with the other kinds of fairway woods.

The clubhead of a hybrid is larger and heavier which is why it is easier to get the ball into the air. To determine whether a hybrid or a fairway is the best option for you, consider what kind of swing stance you most commonly use.

Q4. Should you take a divot with a fairway wood?

You should take a divot from the point beyond the ball when using a fairway wood. It is okay, and sometimes best, to take a divot with a fairway wood.

Q5. Should beginner golfers choose to use fairway woods?

Short answer, absolutely! Choosing to use a fairway wood when you’re a beginner golfer is an excellent idea. Most fairway woods are much easier to hit with than some of the other clubs found in a golfer’s bag.

Plus, the fairway wood is the best club for maximizing your distance and achieving better control over your swing.

Best 3 wood

In Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed reading our guide to the best fairway woods wood golf clubs. Our pick for the number one fairway wood currently available on the market is the TaylorMade SiM 2 Max. The runner-up to  is the Titleist TS2. Both of these woods take the best features from previous models and improve them for better performance.

The main features of note from these best selling fairway woods is that they have a low center of gravity, are optimized for maximum forgiveness, and enable you to hit the ball harder, faster, and more accurately. Fairway woods are made for hitting balls with a high launch and fast ball speeds.

It can be hard to determine which golf clubs are the best with so many options on the market which is why we put together this handy guide to help. After reviewing the best products on the market, the answers to frequently asked questions about fairway woods, and the features to consider when shopping you should have a better idea of where to start.

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