The 13 Best Fairway Woods 2021 | Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

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Best Fairway Woods

Last Updated on 6 May, 2021 20:41 by Pri

Picking out a new fairway wood used to be a relatively simple affair. However, with the boom in popularity of hybrid clubs, the decision-making process has been made all the more difficult. When it comes to picking out a new club, you have all manner of things to take into consideration. You have got to consider things like loft, shape, materials and more.

Instead of skimming through specs to make your final decision, it is sometimes easier to consider your individual golfing requirement and what you will be using your fairway wood for before parting with your hard-earned cash. Let’s explore further into what specs to look out for when selecting a fairway wood and the best fairway woods 2021 has in the market.

Driver Alternatives

You may be looking for a fairway wood as your port of call for when it comes to hitting off the tee. As they have more loft than the average driver, fairway woods are generally easier to handle. Admittedly, they don’t deliver the same carrying distance as a driver, but a good quality fairway wood handled well can still yield some impressive distances.

Pick a premium 3 wood for example, and you will be able to clear in excess of 200 yards with ease. That being said, a 2 or 4 wood can also be a good alternative to a driver for commencing your golfing rounds. Remember to check our buying guide on best 3 woods.

Looking to Replace a Long Iron?

Woods with a higher loft are often the go-to for those seeking a swap for long irons when hitting from the fairway. If you’re in this camp of golfer, than a fairway wood with a loft of 5 or above is probably the way to go.

Fairway woods have a distinct advantage over long irons with their larger club heads. These larger heads are particularly handy if you are looking to clear more distance without having to over-swing.

You will have to put some thought into what you’re swapping your long iron for, however. If you’re looking to replace a 2 iron, opt for a 5 wood.

Need to swap your 3 iron out for something from the fairway wood category? A 7 wood is the way to go. It is advised you look up a thorough and current iron/fairway conversion table in order to make the best possible decision when it comes to swapping out long irons for fairways.

Make the Right Choice of Material

Despite the name, fairway woods aren’t made from wood. Instead, you have a selection of materials to consider when seeking out the newest addition to your golf bag. Some are conventional materials that have been used in golf club manufacturing for years, while others are more modern alternatives that combine the very latest in material innovations. Picking the right one can have significant implications on your playing ability.

Steel is perhaps the most commonly encountered material when it comes to fairway heads. There’s a reason for this. It’s a relatively affordable material and is a durable option. Most fairway woods you will find on the market will have steel heads and many of these will fall under the budget-friendly banner.

More premium materials are available. Titanium is one such material. It’s a material that’s often turned to when producing clubs with bigger heads. Both drivers and fairway woods with larger profiles are made from titanium, largely down to the fact that the lighter nature of the metal allows for larger sizes.

With these clubs, the centre of gravity can be moved deeper into the head of the club, helping get the ball in the air with less effort. What’s more, the thinner nature of this metal provides the potential for greater carrying distances.

Contemporary Materials in Fairway Woods

More recently, composite clubs have become incredibly popular. Fairway woods made with this multi-material construction usually combine conventional choices like titanium or steel with newer materials like carbon. The newer generation of fairway woods that are ultra-lightweight in nature tend to be made of these composite materials.

As with titanium, these lightweight composites allow club manufacturers to add extra mass in the form of weights within the head. The reason for this is to minimise spin when hits are off-centre. For golfers keen to reduce unwanted spin or for those with less control and precision, composite clubs are definitely worth considering.

Shaft Composition

As with other parts of a fairway club, steel is often used in the construction of golf club shafts. Despite this, more contemporary materials are becoming the standard. The more proficient golfer can still find plenty to love about a steel shaft, but newer golfers will no doubt appreciate the move toward more contemporary materials, such as graphite.

Having said that, if you’ve the appetite for practice to perfect your game, sticking with steel shafts might be something worth considering. Steel shafts can have a better feel that suits a confident golfer’s game, while better sound feedback will definitely appeal to those who value acoustics highly. Handled correctly, a fairway wood with a steel shaft might also be the preferred option for ensuring better levels of accuracy.

There is some downside to steel, however. Namely, accuracy isn’t really something you would associate with it. Admittedly, accuracy and fairway woods aren’t usually two things you would associate with one another, so this isn’t really a compromise worth worrying about. If you are not a confident golfer yet and would rather begin with something a little easier to handle, it may be worth going for a graphite shaft.

How To Hit A Fairway Wood

Our Top Choices of the Best Fairway Woods

We review the following Fairway Woods in this article

  1. Cleveland Golf Launcher Fairway Wood
  2. Taylormade SIM Max Fairway
  3. Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Max Fairway Wood
  4. Cobra Golf 2020 Men’s Speedzone Fairway
  5. TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood 
  6. Callaway Golf 2018 Men’s Rogue Fairway Wood
  7. TaylorMade Men’s M2 Fairway Wood
  8. 2018 Cobra King F8 Fairway Black 
  9. TaylorMade Men’s AeroBurner Fairway Wood
  10. Callaway Golf 2019 Epic Flash Fairway Wood
  11. Cobra Golf 2019 F9 Men’s Speedback Fairway
  12. Mizuno GT 180 Fairway Wood
  13. TaylorMade Men’s RBZ Rescue Fairway Wood

Reviews of 13 Best Fairway Woods

Now that we have broken down the important things to consider when looking for a new fairway wood to add to your collection for 2021, let’s look at some of the Best Fairway Wood options currently available on the market.


1. Cleveland Golf Launcher Fairway Wood

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3 Wood (5 Wood option available)
  • Loft : 15 degrees
  • Shaft material : Graphite
  • Grip Type : Lamkin 360
  • Right or Left Handed options available

The Cleveland Golf Launcher is a good option for those looking for a fairway wood that will help them overcome slice. The user-friendly design also makes this a good bet for beginners. The 3-wood model features Turbocharged face cup technology, providing you with a higher overall COR across a wider impact area. This results in faster ball speeds, allowing you to overcome greater distances. The HI Bore Crown also lowers the centre of gravity slightly, allowing you to enjoy better launch conditions, every time you use this club.

The club head of this wood also has a deep weighting, which increases the moment of inertia, driving speeds further. The lightweight hosel and internal weight savings not only allow you to achieve higher launches, but also make the club far more forgiving than many other fairway woods. The shaft has also been counterbalanced, which relocates the centre of gravity higher up the shaft, near to the grip. This results in more substantial mass in the head, which also increases the moment of inertia.

Pros
– Very user-friendly choice of fairway wood
– Looks and handles like a driver
– Will help golfers overcome issues with sliced shots

Cons
– Offset position may be awkward for some golfers
– Loud acoustics/sound feedback may prove distracting
– Not suitable for swinging at higher speeds


2. Taylormade SIM Max Fairway | Best Fairway Woods

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3 Wood
  • Loft : 15 degrees (18, 21, 24 Options available)
  • Shaft material : Fujikura Ventus Blue FW 5
  • Right or Left Handed options available

If you are looking for a forgiving choice of fairway wood that will allow you to cover greater distances, the Taylormade SIM Max is a good option. This user-friendly fairway wood also provides you with the option to fine-tune the club to your preference. This fairway wood includes a carbon crown and steel body construction. This allows weight to be positioned deep within the head, making for a very low centre of gravity. The result is incredible distance potential, high launches and relatively mild spin.

The steel sole design also allows for better turf interaction, with minimal friction to hold you back. This makes the SIM Max a particularly versatile choice of fairway wood. Twist Face technology is also on offer here, with corrective face angles allowing you to overcome the incidence of mis-hits. If you want improve the trajectories of your shots, the SIM Max will help you do exactly that.

Pros
– Easy alignment thanks to contrast crown design
– Draw-biased model available
– Offers higher launches and better trajectories
– Very forgiving

Cons
– Larger club head size can be difficult to work with
– Fairly expensive


3. Callaway Golf 2020 Mavrik Max Fairway Wood | Best Fairway Woods For High Handicappers

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3 Wood (5 Wood Option available)
  • Loft : 15 degrees
  • Shaft material : Project X Evenflow Riptide 60G
  • Right or Left Handed options available

The Mavrik Max from Callaway Golf is an ideal choice of fairway wood for those looking to improve their game. This premium airway wood will also prove useful high handicappers looking to lower their scores. The Mavrik Max features an improved Flash Face, granting you increased ball speeds thanks to a wider and higher moment of inertia. This fairway wood is also relatively forgiving and consistent in performance, making it well suited to less proficient players.

The geometry of the leading edge has also been designed to provide you with easier launch conditions. You also have a choice of weighting options with this fairway wood, allowing you achieve varying rates of spin and launch angles. Both draw-biased and neutral approaches to play can be benefited by this club. The oversized club head may prove a little bulky for advanced players, but those looking to polish up their technique will be able to put the Mavrik Max to good use.

Pros
– Stripped-back design makes for easy address
– Very forgiving choice of fairway club
– Encourages increased club head and ball speeds

Cons
– Oversized head is not for everyone
– Will not suit players who tend to hit draws


4. Cobra Golf 2020 Men’s Speedzone Fairway

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3 Wood (5 Wood Option available)
  • Loft : 14.5 degrees (18.5 degrees option available)
  • Shaft material : MCA Tensei AV Blue 65
  • Grip Type : Lamkin Crossline Connect-Black
  • Right or Left Handed options available

If you are struggling to cover significant distances, the Cobra Golf Speedzone is something to think about adding to your golf bag. The CNC milled face of this fairway wood is far more precise than many other clubs on the market. However, it still falls in line with regulation. The Cobra Golf Speedzone also features Flex Zone hollow rails that flex significantly more than the solid rails found on other clubs. This results in a much larger sweet spot that will allow you to achieve higher launches consistently. You will also have little trouble ensuring ball speeds are as fast as possible.

This fairway wood boasts baffler rails that make the Speedzone a particularly stable option. Even when swinging at speed through the turf, this fairway wood remains stable in its patch. The traditional profile and centre of gravity placement makes this fairway wood easy to handle. It is also a very forgiving club, making it a good fit with the less confident golfer.

Pros
– Good turf interaction
– Very forgiving when hitting from turf
– Multiple models to choose from

Cons
– Standard fairway model offers limited distances
– High spin will not appeal to every golfer


5. TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood 

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3 Wood (5 Wood, 7 Wood Options available)
  • Loft : 15 degrees
  • Shaft material : Graphite
  • Right or Left Handed options available

There’s some impressive specs on offer with this M4 TaylorMade Fairway Wood, such as the ultra strong steel face insert to provide optimised ball speed and the speed pocket that delivers enhanced ball speeds across the entire club face, improving distances and providing more forgiveness.

The 5-layer carbon crown also deserves a mention, creating a lower overall centre of gravity that drives higher launches and minimises spin. You can also look forward to improved acoustics, with the fluted hosel providing superb sound feedback and enhancing the feel further.


6. Callaway Golf 2018 Men’s Rogue Fairway Wood | Best Fairway Woods For Beginners

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3 Wood (4, 5, 7, 9 Wood Options available)
  • Loft : 15 degrees (Other options available)
  • Shaft material : Synergy, 60G
  • Right or Left Handed options available

Callaway claim the Rogue is the most powerful fairway wood it’s ever created. Why? There’s two key factors at work here, namely Jailbreak Distance Technology and Face Cup technology. There’s two Jailbreak bars made from steel that stiffen the body of this Callaway Rogue fairway wood, with the result being more impact load on the face, which produces an increased overall ball speed and increases distance.

Face Cup technology and an ultra-thin face combine for faster speeds, be it an off-centre or on-centre hit. This is particularly appealing for golfers looking to achieve increased ball speeds and longer overall distances.


7. TaylorMade Men’s M2 Fairway Wood

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3 Wood (5 Wood Option available)
  • Loft : 15 degrees
  • Shaft material : Graphite
  • Right or Left Handed options available

This M2 TaylorMade fairway wood is made from a multi-material composite, with a 6-layer carbon crown, stainless steel face and a stainless steel body. The result is an impressive lower centre of gravity. Ball speed is also protected across the entire club face thanks to inverted cone technology, providing you with a larger sweet spot and a more forgiving handle.

What’s more, enhanced acoustic technology is standard here, with advanced shaping and a two-tiered sole that makes for a user-friendly club that scores highly in terms of sound and feel.


8. 2018 Cobra King F8 Fairway Black 

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3/4 Wood (5/6, 7/8 Wood Options available)
  • Loft : 13 degrees
  • Shaft material : Graphite
  • Right or Left Handed options available

The King F8 Cobra Fairway Wood is a go-to for those seeking a fairway that scores highly in every department. A Progressive Baffler Dual Rail System makes for improved versatility thanks to its shallow and steep rails, while forgiveness is assured, regardless of the lie.

An Ultralight Carbon Fibre Crown is also bound to impress, with a lower centre of gravity that produces higher trajectories and also makes for increased forgiveness. Speed and distance is also boosted by the forged stainless steel insert, which maximises flex across all sides.


9. TaylorMade Men’s AeroBurner Fairway Wood

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3 Wood (3HL Wood Option available)
  • Loft : 15 degrees
  • Shaft material : Graphite
  • Left Handed

You will love the new and improved aerodynamic profile of this TaylorMade Aeroburner driver . The revised shape of this M3 fairway wood has a raised centre crown and shallow face, not to mention an innovative hosel fin. There’s also new Speed Pocket technology on offer to increase the sweet spot size whilst minimising spin.

Incredibly robust super alloy material has been used in the construction, making for a fairway that scores highly on strength. Alignment is also made more simple thanks to a matte white finish and linear crown graphic.


10. Callaway Golf 2019 Epic Flash Fairway Wood

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3 Wood
  • Loft : 15 degrees
  • Shaft material : Graphite
  • Right Handed

There’s some seriously impressive design innovations at work here. Like all Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Woods, this Callaway Epic Flash 3 Wood is designed to help golfers achieve longer distances and faster ball speeds thanks to Flash Face Technology as standard.

Ball speeds are further enhanced by a combination of forged 455 carpenter steel used in the construction and Face Cup technology. This improved speed is guaranteed with both on and off-centre hits. What’s more, there’s Jailbreak Technology on offer here, stiffening the body and ensuring greater impact loads on the face. Again, the result is faster ball speeds.


11. Cobra Golf 2019 F9 Men’s Speedback Fairway

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3/4 Wood (5/6, 7/8 Wood Options available)
  • Loft : 14.5 degrees
  • Shaft material : Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec Blue 7
  • Right or Left Handed options available

This Cobra F9 fairway wood packs some premium features. For one, there’s incredibly lightweight crown trips made from polymer material, as well as durable steel sole trips particularly positioned to airflow direction around the head of the club.

The result is reduced drag and an overall increase in club speed. There’s also an Optimised Rail Design to enjoy. This lowers the centre of gravity of the club, without compromising on turf interaction that might let your game down. Finally, there’s MyFly8 with Smart Pad Technology.

The Cobra F9 Speedback fairway has an option of 8 adjustable loft settings to play with, allowing you to handle all launch and spin conditions with ease.


12. Mizuno GT 180 Fairway Wood

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3 Wood
  • Loft : 13.5 degrees
  • Shaft material : Graphite
  • Right Handed

The MizunoGT 180 fairway wood has some top-tier specs to savour. For a start, there’s an ultra-strong steel face that makes for an incredibly thin face to provide faster initial ball speeds and improved overall distances.

There’s also Fast Track technology that delivers a Track System with high levels of precision. You can also turn to the quick switch adaptor to make swift and precise adjustments to loft and lie angles.


13. TaylorMade Men’s RBZ Rescue Fairway Wood | Best Budget Fairway Woods

Key Features

  • Configuration : 3 Wood (4, 5 Wood Options available)
  • Loft : 19 degrees
  • Shaft material : RocketFuel 65 Graphite
  • Right or Left Handed options available

The TaylorMade RBZ fairway woods offer some seriously impressive spec to suit golfers of all experience. There’s the legendary speed pocket serving up high launches and increased distances, while the carefully positioned mass pad makes for optimal launch conditions, superb sound feedback and a better overall feel.

The shallow profile of this TaylorMade RBZ Rescue makes for a low centre of gravity that makes this a particularly ideal club for playing from the fairway. Need more convincing? The 55 RocketFuel shaft is lightweight and engineered for boosting speed and distance, while the premium detailing of the satin black finish is just the ticket for improved alignments.


Best Fairway Woods | FAQs

What is a Fairway wood?


In golf, Fairway woods are often the go-to for those looking to tackle longer distances. While they can yield impressive results from the hits from the Fairway, they can also be put to good use from the tee itself. Compared to other types of club, Fairway woods have a smaller overall head size. This is a key difference from drivers, with the smaller club head size allowing for better levels of precision from your shots. However, this often requires a little more practice and a higher overall skill level. As such, Fairway woods are often a popular pick with more experienced golfers.

Fairway woods are not a world away from drivers, however, with the design relatively similar. Fairway wood clubs are a good bet for those looking for more loft, faster ball speeds and higher trajectories. There’s a range of woods to choose from, with Fairway options beginning at a 3 rating. A 3 wood is in many ways similar to a driver designed with high launch in mind. 5 woods and 7 woods are also popular and the most commonly encountered on the golf course.

What are iron-wood golf clubs?


An iron-wood is another name for a hybrid club. Simply put, a hybrid club combines an iron shaft with a fairway wood club head. An iron-wood hybrid tends to offer better distance control than lower irons. If you are interested in investing in hybrids, you need to bear in mind than many manufacturers produce hybrids with numbers that correspond to the irons they are intended to replace.

This might seem a little confusing at first, but due to the fact that hybrids tend to perform better than irons in regard to distance control and forgiveness, making the right decision for your game is relatively straightforward.

Which golf wood to use?


When deciding on which wood to use, you are best advised to follow the crowd and look to 3 and 5 woods as the standard. These two types of wood will deliver a good range of loft between them, with a 3 wood offering 15-18 degrees of loft and a 5 wood offering 20-22 degrees of loft. Together, these two wood clubs are casually called Fairway woods. The reason for this is that they often come into play at the second shot of a game. This is the point in play when most golfers will be in the fairway.

Generally speaking, woods are the type of club you want to be reaching for when you are looking to hit longer shots. As a rule, you will want to use a wood when you are more than 170 yards away from the green. You may also need to bring out a wood at the start of a round of golf if the tee is at a sizeable distance from the green. To determine which wood to use at any given time, just bear in mind that the higher the wood number, the higher the loft.

Golf woods or hybrids?


Golf beginners may find deciding between Fairway woods and hybrids a challenge. Historically, woods were the way to go for those struggling to use long irons, but the advent of hybrids has changed things significantly.

Hybrids have only been around since 2000, so they are a relative newcomer in the grander scheme of things. Hybrids differ from conventional woods in that club heads are not as deep. However, they boast a bigger overall sweet spot thanks to a deeper and lower centre of gravity. This key spec makes for higher ball trajectories and less ball roll. Hybrids also tend to have shafts that are shorter in length than Fairway woods.

If you are looking to cover all bases, it is best advised to incorporate both hybrids and Fairway woods into your golfing arsenal. However, specific play scenarios demonstrate the specific strengths of woods and hybrids. A Fairway wood is a goo choice if you are playing on a green with less hazards. They are also the way to if you are playing into the wind, or you are on the fairway and have a good lie.

If you are playing from the rough or stuck in a bunker, a hybrid may be called for. If you are playing downwind, a hybrid is once again a good bet. For players looking for higher overall trajectories and softer landings, the hybrid is once again the way to go. Furthermore, hitting over hazards is made easier thanks to a hybrid.

Golf woods or irons?


Irons do have some advantages over Fairway woods. Irons are the way to go if you are looking to clear distances of less than 200 yards. The closer you get to the green, the higher number of iron you want to be reaching for. Most players tend to find that lower irons, such as 3 irons and 4 irons, are more difficult to wield than high-numbered ones.

As such, more and more golfers are swapping out their lower number irons with high-numbered woods. If you are finding your 3 and 4 irons hard to handle on the course, it might be time to consider reaching for woods with a higher loft. This is certainly the case if you are looking to bring down your handicap. With some practice, you can swap out a 3 iron with a 7 wood. Likewise, a 4 iron can be swapped out for a 9 wood. Used correctly, a higher-lofted wood can clear the same distances as the lower-lofted iron it is substituting for.


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