9 Best Fairway Woods 2020 | Buyer’s Guide & Reviews
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 2020 has in the market.
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.
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
Reviews of 9 Best Fairway Woods 2020
Now that we have broken down the important things to consider when looking for a new fairway wood to add to your collection for 2020, let’s look at some of the best options currently available on the market.
There’s some impressive specs on offer here, 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.
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 fairway, 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.
This M2 fairway wood from TaylorMade 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.
The King F8 from Cobra Golf 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.
You will love the new and improved aerodynamic profile of this Men’s 3 Wood from TaylorMade. The revised shape, with 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.
There’s some seriously impressive design innovations at work here. Like all Callaway Epic Flash Fairway Woods, this club 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.
This F9 Speedback fairway club from Cobra Golf 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.
Here, you have a choice of 8 adjustable loft settings to play with, allowing you to handle all launch and spin conditions with ease.
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.
This TaylorMade RBZ fairway wood offers 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 fairway 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.
Frequently Asked Questions on Fairway Woods
What is a Golf Club 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.