Best Fairway Woods for High Handicappers
One of the most fun golf clubs to hit is the fairway wood. It’s great for tee shots when you need a “go-to-club” to hit with confidence for placing a ball in the fairway. It’s great on par-5 holes when you’re trying to reach the green in 2. And overall, I just find it incredibly easy to hit compared to longer irons and the driver.
In this review, I’ll share the best fairway woods for high handicappers and beginner golfers. We explore the best brands who make fairway woods as well as the models best suited for high handicappers.
It’s a long guide but you’ll gain lots of educational insight, especially in the Q&A section at the end. Scroll down to it if you want to learn things like how to choose the right club, why you should play fairway woods more often, which brands are best, and more!
Titleist TS2 Fairway Wood Review
First up on our list of the best fairway woods for high handicap golfers is the TS2 Fairway Wood by Titleist!
Titleist has always been serious with their fairway always employing the highest craftsmanship. They have employed a lot of improvement to design and develop a set of woods that keep up with other top manufacturer’s improvement in distance and speed.
Titleist TS2 comes with the traditional appearance associated with all Titleist. The crown is gloss black with a triangular alignment aid and a little taller face than average hence helps you feel confident with the ball teed up.
When it comes to the feel and sound, Titleist still keeps up with the players’ desire. The sound gives you clear feedback through your hands assuring you that you have struck the right shot. It also delivers a very solid and quiet impact producing a satisfying thwack.
They boast of their Titleist Speed Chassis which they say has taken them a two-year mission to deconstruct to come up with a design customized for greater speed in every aspect of the club.
They also design an Ultra-thin crown which is 27% thinner than the 917 fairways shifting the weight lower and deeper. The face is thinner and more refined to deliver faster ball speeds as well as ensure increased forgiveness.
The refined crown and face work together to drive the center of gravity lower suitable for higher launch and low spin to create a combination of speed and stability.
The SureFit hosel comes with up to 16 settings for loft and lie. It has a replaceable weight in the back of the head used to adjust the swing weight.
While the TS2 may not be one of the highest launching fairway woods in the market, it is sure to put the ball in a playable trajectory even when you get thin shots. This is attributed mostly to its larger Active Recoil Channel that enables more flexing of the face.
The TS2 fairway wood is indeed one of the few fairways from Titleist which suits a wide range of golfers thanks to its easier launch and increased forgiveness. It comes with several options of shaft and loft to give golfers more choice options for the course.
- Suitable for a wide range of golfers
- Delivers increased forgiveness and more ball speed
- Great look
- Improved technology
- Premium priced
- The rounded face may be tricky to align for some golfers
- Less adjustable
Titleist 917 F2 Fairway Woods
If you’re privileged enough to get a chance to use the Titleist 917F2 woods, you will be impressed since they have plenty to offer.
Like any human, the first thing that is sure to grab your attention even before you try it is the size. It is bigger than the F3 and displays a shallower and fuller shape. The crown comes in a silver/greyish tinge. It is indeed a good looking wood for those who care much about the look.
While most of the technology used to design and build this fairway is nothing new to Titleist, they have employed noticeable improvement to ensure you get the best club to improve your game.
The Active Recoil Channel (ARC) is behind the clubface filling the elastomer to enhance the flex and ball speed at impact.
The Radial Speed Face also works side by side with the ARC with variable thickness to maximize ball speed. It is thicker at the center and thinner around the edges hence reflecting more on forgiveness and distance.
While the above technologies may be common to most fairway woods, the SureFit CG comes to give the club some uniqueness. It comes with a 14g weight cartridge that is inserted into the head and a 14g draw-fade weight.
The SureFit adjustable hosel for loft and lie ensures the club is versatile enough for your peace of mind.
All the look and the technology will not be of any good use if not coupled with good performance in terms of forgiveness, distance, and balance. Well, you should cross your fingers that Titleist will never disappoint with the performance of their clubs. The distance is great, and there are a lot of improvements in the forgiveness, off-center hits, and consistency.
The CG adjustability ensures you get optimal trajectory resulting to higher launch. You will not only be impressed by the weight adjustability, but also with the level of balance that you’re going to achieve. The woods are also easy to hit off the tee thanks to the maximum control you’re going to get.
That sound and feel are sensational, and you will get a soft and solid feel at impact with incredible feedback. While some who prefer explosive thumps may find the sound a little dull, you will not find any fault to attribute to it. This is indeed a high-quality set of woods with a fantastic performance that is likely to attract many players.
- Incredible adjustability and versatility
- Soft feel on the clubface
- Very forgiving
- Increases distance and big boost with the Elastomer-filled ARC.
- It is a bit costly
- The look may not appeal to everyone
Callaway Rogue Fairway Wood
Callaway had tremendous success with their Epic fairway woods, Rogue promises to be all that Epic offered and more.
The unveiling of Jailbreak technology in the Epic driver was what gave the driver it’s edge, the Epic driver in particular was a huge hit among golfers of all different levels.
The Rogue fairway woods feature this groundbreaking Jailbreak technology, it is the first time that it is utilized in a fairway wood design.
In addition to Jailbreak the Rogue fairway woods also feature face cup technology, internal standing wave technology and a industry leading aerodynamic design. The Rogue line of fairway woods are packed with technology, has a sleek design and promises to be a great addition to the bag of players at all different levels.
Jailbreak technology refers to the addition of two steel bars within the clubhead in order to stiffen the body of the club. The stiffening of the body places more impact load on the face and as a result higher ball speeds are produced that leads to more distance.
Face Cup Technology
The Rogue fairway woods feature an extremely thin Carpenter 455 steel face, in combination with Jailbreak the face produces very high ball speeds.
In addition to Jailbreak and a thin face all Rogue fairway woods also feature Callaway’s Face Cup technology, this technology produces additional speed on both center and off center strikes.
Regardless if you find the middle of the clubface or not, with a Rogue fairway wood in hand you will always be able to generate high ball speeds for maximum distance.
Internal Standing Wave Technology
Included in all Rogue fairway woods is Callaway’s Internal Standing Wave technology. This technology was pioneered in their irons in order to position the centre of gravity with extreme precision.
The centre of gravity in all Rogue fairway woods is positioned low and forward in the clubhead in order to promote a distance enhancing combination of high-launch and low spin.
The Rogue features an aerodynamic design that promotes speed. Not only is the Rogue packed with technology and has a great design, but it is also available in an industry leading selection of lofts. These loft options include a 13.5, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, and 25 degree option. If technology is what you are looking for then you can’t go wrong with purchasing a Rogue fairway wood, and a added bonus is the 7 different loft options that are available to choose from.
Ping G400 Fairway Wood
Ping are renowned for making some of the best golf clubs on the market, their G400 series of fairway woods are definitely some of the best fairway woods currently available.
The G400 fairway woods feature a sleek design, are packed with technology and they are available in 4 different loft options. If you are seeking quality, technology, and variety then you will have to look no further than the G400 series from Ping.
Maraging Steel Face
All G400 fairway woods feature Ping’s Maraging Steel Face technology. The face on the G400 fairway woods are extremely thin, strong and flexible.
The face which is made from maraging steel (commonly used in the aerospace industry), generates faster ball speeds thus resulting in higher, longer, straight launching shots.
G400 fairway woods also feature the thinnest crown that Ping has ever designed. The 17 – 4 SS crown’s thin design saves weight, resulting in a low centre of gravity and increased total MOI (Moment of Inertia). In addition turbulators increase ball speed and provides a club head with a captured look.
Machined Back Weight
The machined back weight in the head of the G400 is more dense in order to increase total MOI for excellent forgiveness. The weight is also adjustable thus users are able to customise their swing weight to fit their needs.
The G400 is one of the best fairway woods currently available on the market. Ping produce high quality golf clubs packed with technology and the G400 follows in the footsteps of its predecessors. If you are looking for new fairway woods then you can’t go wrong with the G400 range.
TaylorMade M4 Fairway Woods
TaylorMade is well known for its focus on technology, always coming up with new innovations with the best approaches. It doesn’t leave anything to chances with their M4 Fairway woods either, and that’s why this great club is one of the best Fairway woods for handicappers.
It all starts with the new Geocoustic design which ensures the M4 comes with a less hollow space than its predecessors and is specifically designed to improve the sound.
The Speed Pocket is also revised to result in a thin, springy clubface that gives great distance. It is also larger and more open hence increase speed on balls struck low and reduced spin.
The carbon composite crown technology saves and redistributes weight in all the desirable areas. The fluted hosel is also known to save weight and improve the feel and the acoustics of the club. It lowers the center of gravity to enhance the effectiveness of the Speed Pocket.
The white/carbon look gives M4 fairway wood a super cool look that comes with a confidence-inducing profile. In terms of sound and feel, TaylorMade M4 fairway wood is one of a kind.
The forgiving face results in nice whap sound and feel that you’ll surely love. It gives an active feel without sacrificing response and awareness.
If you’re looking for a fairway wood that combines forgiveness and great distance, then TaylorMade M4 fairway wood should be first in your list.
- Very forgiving fairway and easy to use
- Comes with all the modern high-tech design
- Improved sound
- Good ball speed
- Consistence distance
- Has limited shaft options
- Quite expensive
Callaway Great Big Bertha Men’s Epic Fairway
The Great Big Bertha will impress you with the look and feel and also deliver great distance and forgiveness.
The Triaxial carbon crown is extremely light at only 6 grams. It redistributes the mass lower down in the clubhead hence lowering the CG, increases MOI and enables the high launch angle and optimizes forgiveness.
The Face Cup technology is another incredible aspect you’re going to like in this club. The updated version is thinner than the previous versions and is designed to boost speed. The face can flex during impact to make the sweet spot bigger for very fast ball speed even on mis-hits. The Face Cup technology itself is new giving you all the more reasons why you should try it.
Speed Step crown, just like Face Cup, is nothing new to Callaway fairways. It also adds something useful in the quest for distance with more focus on the aerodynamics and head speed adding more to its benefits on playability and forgiveness.
While all the technology used to build this fairway club is what every golfer is looking for, it will be of no use if they don’t add to the performance of the club.
Well after trying several, you will come to the conclusion that their launch is extremely generous and you will be surprised at the forgiveness it offers for mis-hits.
It is highly responsive with the signature feel of the Callaway. However, the sound may not be what you expect since it uses carbon composite instead of steel resulting to dull sound. This, however, doesn’t prevent it from still delivering a good click at impact.
If you’re looking for consistency, forgiveness and an elite feel, the Great Big Bertha Epic Fairway is what you should go for.
- Gives exceptional distance thanks to the Hyper Speed Face Cup technology
- Excellent forgiveness and easy to play with from any lie
- Excellent feel
- Features a clean, stylish look
- Appears a bit hollow with a less-indigent sound at impact
- Does not have the Jailbreak rod
Callaway Men’s XR16 Fairway Woods
The XR16 is another great fairway from Callaway which has earned a place in the heart of many handicappers, and it’s not only great, it comes at a very affordable price suiting golfers of low budget.
Though XR16 comes in a modern, updated look, it still maintains the basic principle of the Big Berth which has since become a legend since it was introduced.
It comes with a reintroduced Warbird sole, a pronounced contour on the sole from front to back and a smooth rounding from heel to toe.
The designing of the sole gives it a great look at the address as it nestles comfortably behind the ball inspiring confidence. The midpoint is also lower to make the club more playable on long grass.
The XR16 Fairway Wood is easy to use from all lies and slopes hence players will find it fun to have them.
It doesn’t disappoint either on the technology side since it is designed with one of the best technologies in the industry and that’s not new to Callaway.
It starts with the Hyper Speed Face Cup technology which enables the face to flex at impact resulting in a trampoline effect and incredible distance.
The feel and sound of the club are one of a kind. It is very responsive with a light and pleasant vibration at impact. It delivered a solid thwack when you struck hits giving you confidence that you’ve indeed pulled out a wonderful swing.
The looks aren’t deceiving either and just at a glance before even playing with it, you’ll probably love its stock Fujikura Speeder Evolution 565 in red, which is also light and stable, matching well with the head.
It’s a little disappointing that it doesn’t feature the new carbon composite technologies in the other fairways making it an average distance club. The forgiveness is also reduced with the low flight trajectory.
However, comparing its price, it features more than you should expect at such a low price. So, for handicappers who are looking for versatility in an affordable club, the Callaway Men’s XR16 Fairway Wood is a great choice.
- Very versatile
- Excellent feel and sound
- The pear-shaped design gives it stylish looks
- Very affordable
- Low flight trajectory
- Lacks carbon composite technologies hence gives medium distance
Cobra King F6 Fairway Woods
Cobra has come out with recent F8 and F9 models but we still love the F6 Fairway Wood for high handicappers and beginners! It’s also much cheaper since you’re buying an older model.
While Cobra is not so popular among golfers like the Callaway, TaylorMade, and others, its incredible work geared towards innovations, new technology, and wonderful designs continues to earn them space among golfers hence contributing to its popularity.
They continue to prove they can also make it in the market by producing great clubs one of them being the Cobra Fly-Z fairway wood which is the predecessor of the Cobra King F6.
The F6 comes with a lot of improvements featuring a movable weight and adjustable hosel ready to give you a wonderful golfing experience.
The 20-grams of tungsten in an aluminum shell can move forward and backward across the two positions of the sole. The movement alters the center of gravity with the backward movement increasing the spin with a higher flight trajectory and vice versa.
You will get more enticed when you realize you can change the loft by removing and re-positioning the head at the position of your choice thanks to the adjustable hosel and the MyFly8.
You have three options at your disposal which include, a 3 wood head that you can move from 13 to 16 degrees, 5 wood head adjusting from 17 to 20 degrees and a 7 wood head that covers 21 to 24 degrees.
The MyFly8 provides 5 loft settings in a 4-degree range and 3 loft setting to enable you to hit a draw. The F6 adapts easily to different swings and needs thanks to the adjustable loft, weight placement, and the head options.
The weighted perimeter design ensures maximum stability and forgiveness. This is indeed one of the best looking clubs in the market designed with modern high-tech with good sound and feel.
Its adjustability nature sales it out as a very versatile club with great performance at all lies. Overall, you’ll love the F6 Fairway Wood which is perfect for high handicappers!
- The adjustable hosel and movable weight makes it a versatile club
- Covers great distance with medium trajectory
- Excellent feel and sound for a good hit
- Great looks thanks to its pear-shaped design
- It takes time to get used to the adjustable features
- Not so forgiving compared to other models in the list
Questions and Answers About Fairway Woods
Why should I use fairway woods?
Fairway woods are made with stronger lofts and designed in a way that provides great distance. They are mostly used for long shots off the fairway or tee shots.
The head shape of fairway wood is rounded to fly and roll out further giving a wonderful experience. Their longer shafts also enable them to generate more speed.
Should I choose fairway wood or hybrid in?
When it comes to fairway wood and hybrid, most players get confused in which one to carry to the course as a complete golf bag carries both fairway and hybrids. One of the most significant features that separate the two is the distance and lofts.
Fairway woods come with stronger lofts, and they hit the ball further than hybrids. They are suitable for long and tee shots. They come with a shape and design that enable them to fly and roll further than the hybrids of similar loft.
In general, if you use fairway woods, you are going to get more distance than what you would get with your hybrid.
However, there are reasons why both fairway woods and hybrids have a space in your bag, they both have different purposes and are equally helpful. So, you don’t need to decide on which one to carry since they are both beneficial in one way or another.
How can I choose the right fairway wood in 2021?
Like any other golf equipment, choosing the right fairway wood is not an easy thing to do. You want something that will improve your game and get value for your money; then you should go for the best. So, why do I know which one is the best and which one is not? Here are some of the features you should pay attention to when buying a fairway wood.
Flight trajectory and distance depends on the loft. When you have a high loft, you’re going to get the highest flight trajectory, and the ball will travel shorter. Higher lofts are easier to hit than stronger ones. 3 wood lofts come at around 14, and 16 degrees, 5- wood have lofts ranging between 17 to 20 degrees while the highest 7-, 9-, 11- etc. are called specialty woods. The higher the number of woods the higher the loft.
Higher club numbers and high lofts give rise to a shorter length. For instance, if you’re using 3-woods, you will need to have long shafts so that you get enough clubhead speed which will be able to drive the ball in the air. 5- Wood comes with higher loft hence will only need shorter shafts to get the desired club head speed and launch angle.
The material used to construct the fairway wood is also an important consideration since they also dictate the size and type.
- Stainless Steel
Most fairway woods are made from stainless steel since they are the most common and very affordable. This material makes the club strong but also heavy as compared to others in the market hence limiting the clubhead size.
Titanium is used in making larger fairway woods and drivers for hitting from the tee. As compared to steel, titanium is lighter but also strong. The material allows the manufacturers to push the center of gravity deeper towards the clubhead to give higher flight trajectory. Some manufacturers make the faces thin for better distance.
With the improvement in technology, manufacturers have realized that they can combine materials such as steel with titanium or carbon with titanium to benefit from all the advantages associated with these materials.
They, therefore, come up with lighter, larger and more forgiving clubheads with better performance. The weight is also distributed to the perimeter head hence there is no twisting on mis-hits.
These clubs are known for delivering the best results though they can be quite expensive.
What are the benefits that high handicap golfers get from fairway woods?
Fairway woods for high handicappers are designed with a bigger head, moving weight towards the perimeter and bigger sweet spot. This design is put in place to increase forgiveness and give the best off-strike distance.
Other benefits are the center of gravity (CG) positioning and thinning the face so that it can flex more.
How is the adjustability of the fairway woods important? What forms of adjustability should I look for?
Adjustability is the newest trend in making different golf clubs, and fairway wood manufacturers are also making use of it to provide golfers with more benefits. Players can adjust their clubs to fit their swing and conditions hence still come up with the best shots in a variety of situations.
Here are three different forms of adjustability in fairway woods and how they are going to help improve your game.
- Movable Weights
- Face Angle
- Adjustable Loft
The ability to adjust the weight of your club is increasingly becoming popular to help you move the center of gravity. Fairway woods are also adopting the norm slowly following its success in drivers. When you adjust the weight of your club, it affects the center of gravity and hence affects forgiveness, distance, and flight trajectory.
This is the angle of the face at address. Fairway woods allow you to adjust the face angle and this has a significant impact on ball flight. A closed clubface is suitable for players who struggle with slice while open face club impacts the player’s position and help players with the tendency of hooking the ball.
Most fairway woods come with adjustable hosel to help players modify the loft of the fairway. The player can remove the head then reposition it on the shaft with the desired loft settings. It then increases or decreases the loft by 1-3 degrees.
With an adjustable hosel, you get an optimized ball flight, distance, and trajectory. There are different loft settings, and the more you get used to your club the easier it will be for you to determine which angle suits you best.
What are the things that differentiate fairway woods for high handicappers?
There are different types of fairway woods suitable for different types of golfers. For high handicappers, there are two things that matter in their choice for fairway woods; this is maximum forgiveness and high launch.
Since different manufacturers are doing their best to satisfy the desire of every golfer, they have employed different techniques and approaches to achieve this. Here are some of the features that you should expect to get in the best fairway wood for high launchers.
Larger head size
Fairway woods for high handicappers incorporate larger heads sizes which is able to accommodate bigger MOI that in turn increase the forgiveness.
Technologies for forgiveness
Since forgiveness is an important factor in fairway woods for high handicap golfers, the manufacturers employ different technological aspects to achieve this.
The technologies vary greatly between these manufacturers as they employ different tactics and come up with new things to help golfers get the best experience and of course, choose their clubs.
One of the most common techniques that they use is manipulating the center of gravity and allowing more face flex for a bigger sweet spot.
Technologies for increased distance
The goal of every golfer, be it a beginner or a professional, is to cover as much distance as possible.
This is only possible with the best equipment customized with the best technologies. Most manufacturers for fairway woods are employing the best technologies that will optimize distance.
The adjustability features of your club give you a better chance of optimizing your distance. You also need a lighter clubhead with a flexible clubface that increase the distance.
Are fairway woods suitable for beginners?
Due to their lightweight, fairway woods are the easiest to use. They generate good clubhead speed and come in a more forgiving size. The low center of gravity is also helpful for beginners to launch the ball in the air. Golfers of every level find it easy to use fairway woods than any other type of golf club.
What are the best brands for getting good fairway wood?
There are so many brands of golf equipment that offers the best fairway woods in the market. Sometimes it even becomes a little tricky to choose because the brands are too many and each one of them claims to offer the best equipment.
The choice of your fairway wood will mostly depend on your personal preferences and the club’s ability to inspire confidence. Well, it can be quite overwhelming to sample different brands before you finally come up with the best.
To help make your work easier, here are some of the top brands you should try out and the chances are that you will get one that suits you soon enough.
When you mention TaylorMade among golfers, it immediately rings a bell in their minds as the most recognized, and no doubt the best manufacturer of golf equipment.
This manufacturer is always at the top with the best technologies and designs that impress golfers starting from beginners to professionals.
Their woods and drivers are well known to maximize forgiveness and provide incredible distance. These are some of the best qualities you’re supposed to get in fairway woods, and you will never go wrong when you choose TaylorMade.
Callaway is the biggest rival of TaylorMade, and sometimes it even surpasses it with the best innovations and technologies for golf equipment.
It also makes use of modern technologies and classic designs to come up with woods and drivers that provide great distance and improve forgiveness.
They also ensure they design their equipment with the best looks and feel so that they give golfers the more reason to choose their clubs. You will never go wrong if you choose to use fairway wood made by Callaway.
Ping is one of the recent companies to step up and excel at making drivers and fairway woods. Their G400 series has been a huge success and they followed it up with the G400 Max.
PING is an American manufacturer of golf equipment, based in Phoenix, Arizona. Ping was founded by Karsten Solheim, following a career as an engineer at the General Electric company. In 1959, he started making putters in his garage in Redwood City, California.
With up to two of their products topping the list of the best fairway woods for high handicappers, we cannot forget to mention it as one of the best brands in the market.
Titleist ensures they come up with the best technology and notable improvements every year offering something new for golfers to try out. They are committed to satisfying the needs of golfers of all levels, and this can be seen in the type of equipment they make.
So, if you need to improve your performance with incredible distance and maximum forgiveness, Titleist fairway woods will not disappoint you.
When you see some of the world’s best golfers such as Rickie Fowler using Cobra woods and irons, know that it’s one of the best brands in the market.
Cobra woods may not be a big fish in golf equipment like TaylorMade and Callaway, but you can never go wrong with their fairway woods. They employ the best technology and adjustability features in their fairway woods to ensure every golfer gets the best experience in the golf course.
You Did It!
Congrats, you’ve read our entire guide on the best fairway woods for high handicappers and beginner golfers! It was a huge guide and I hope you learned a lot as well as gain insight into which fairway wood you want to pursue!
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