Finding the best fairway woods can be a challenging task. These clubs don’t get as much attention as drivers or irons, but when you need them, they have to deliver. Whether it’s hitting a narrow fairway or going for a long par-5 in two, fairway woods play a crucial role in your game. It’s no wonder that golfers tend to hold on to them longer than other clubs in their bag.

But here’s the exciting part: advancements in multi-material construction and the integration of artificial intelligence in face design have revolutionized fairway woods. The latest models offer enhanced distance and improved consistency off the tee. They’re more forgiving, making them easier to hit from various lies and even around the green.

best fairway woods

To determine the top fairway woods, we conducted comprehensive testing on the course, at the range, and indoors using advanced launch monitors. Our evaluations were carried out with precision, utilizing tools like the Foresight Sports GCQuad and TrackMan, accompanied by Titleist Pro V1x golf balls. In the following section, we’ve compiled our recommendations for the best fairway woods currently available, ensuring that you can narrow down your search and find the ideal club for your game. If you’re looking for specific recommendations, be sure to explore our guides on forgiving fairway woods, options for mid handicappers, or even the best choices for women golfers.

Reviews of Our Best Fairway Woods

TaylorMade Stealth 2

TaylorMade Stealth 2

TaylorMade Stealth 2

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The TaylorMade Stealth 2 fairway wood is highly regarded for its speed, distance, and precision, making it one of the best options in 2023. It outperforms competitors in distance, ball speed, and accuracy, solidifying its exceptional performance.

Pros

Great distance

Highly accurate

Ideal for skilled players with a small head

Excellent height

Helps hold greens with a steep landing angle

Cons

Less confident players may prefer a larger head.

TaylorMade has maintained their reputation for producing fast and long fairway woods since the introduction of Rocketballz in 2012. Although the new Stealth 2 fairway wood may not appear drastically different from its predecessor, our data reveals that it is among the top choices in the market.

Compared to TaylorMade’s wider body HD model, the standard Stealth 2 features a noticeably smaller head size. This characteristic makes it a suitable alternative for those who lack confidence in their fairway wood game.

During testing, the Stealth 2 proved to be the third-longest option, with an impressive distance of 252 yards. However, its exceptional performance goes beyond sheer distance. The club exhibited a ball speed that was 2mph faster than our average, resulting in a higher peak height, steeper landing angle, and slightly less spin. These qualities make it an excellent choice for precise shots into greens, allowing for quick stops.

Furthermore, our professional golfer demonstrated an impressive accuracy by hitting shots into an area that was 34% smaller than our average. This exceptional performance solidifies the Stealth 2 as one of the premier fairway woods available in 2023.

Srixon ZX MK II

Srixon ZX MK II

Srixon ZX MK II

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Srixon ZX MK II fairway wood: Longest in 2023. More forgiving head. Ideal for stronger players. Impressive distance. Tighter shot dispersion. Top performer.

Pros

Unrivaled distance among fairway woods

Remarkable accuracy

Boosts confidence with its large head size

Cons

Requires good clubhead speed due to low spin and height

The Srixon ZX fairways have consistently impressed us in our test sessions, and the new MK II version seamlessly continues their legacy. With a slightly larger and more inviting head design, it appeals particularly to golfers with decent club speed.

In terms of distance, the ZX MK II stands out as the longest fairway wood of 2023, surpassing its formidable competitors by an impressive three yards. This achievement is truly remarkable.

Notably, the backspin and shot height of the ZX MK II were below our average test results, indicating that it suits players with a bit more strength. If you fall into that category, you’ll be thrilled to discover that this model exhibits shots with a 28% smaller dispersion area than our test average. In the hands of a skilled golfer, it proves to be an exceptional performer.

The Srixon ZX MK II fairway wood is a testament to its impressive capabilities and will surely bring delight to those who wield it skillfully.

Ping G430 Max

Ping G430 Max

Ping G430 Max

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The Ping G430 Max fairway wood is a reliable and versatile choice for golfers of all levels, offering forgiveness and consistent performance.

Pros

Eye-catching head shape

Pleasing sound upon impact

Exceptionally forgiving

Highly accurate

Cons

Slightly shorter distance compared to certain other fairway woods

Fairway woods have emerged as the most challenging clubs for club golfers to hit due to the reduced spin of modern golf balls. This characteristic makes it more difficult to launch the ball high off the turf for optimal carry distance. Recognizing this, Ping has made a noteworthy adjustment to their Max’s 3-wood loft, increasing it from 14.5º to 15º this year. This change not only enhances performance but also addresses the mental challenge presented by the 14.5º loft.

At a price of £350 per club, investing in a pair of G430 fairway woods requires careful consideration. However, like many other Ping products, this model delivers reliable performance that will endure over time. Ping equipment seems to retain its quality and relevance for longer periods compared to some other brands.

We are particularly fond of the G430’s low profile and shallow face height, which contribute to its appealing head shape. Additionally, the solid impact sound adds to the overall experience.

While the G430 Max may not have been our longest fairway wood (with a distance of 242 yards), its forgiveness was outstanding. With just a seven-yard drop-off in carry distance, this model proved forgiving for both on-center and off-center hits. Furthermore, shots exhibited exceptional accuracy, with the smallest dispersion area measuring 158.2 square yards.

With the appropriate shaft selection, the G430 Max is versatile enough to suit a broad range of players, making it an excellent choice for a wide audience.

Callaway Paradym

Callaway Paradym

Callaway Paradym

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The Callaway Paradym fairway wood combines style and performance, making it a top choice for Callaway enthusiasts.

Pros

Stunning aesthetics

Impressive ball speed

Solid distances

Adjustable hosel for customization

Cons

Performance alone may not justify the higher price when compared to alternative fairway woods.

The Callaway Paradym fairway wood is undeniably a sight to behold with its stunning aesthetics.

Its head sits impeccably square, the face grooves draw attention to the center of the face, and its size is more approachable than intimidatingly compact.

In terms of performance, the Paradym impresses as the third fastest and joint third longest fairway wood in our testing, reaching a remarkable distance of 252 yards. It truly offers an impressive package.

However, it’s worth noting that the introduction of an adjustable hosel has significantly raised the price of the Paradym, potentially making it less accessible to those who aren’t avid Callaway fans. For Callaway enthusiasts who are willing to invest, though, the Paradym serves as an exceptional all-around fairway wood that delivers outstanding performance.

The Callaway Paradym fairway wood is a compelling option for those who appreciate both its striking appearance and its impressive performance.

TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus

TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus

TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus

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The TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus fairway wood delivers impressive performance with fast ball speeds and long distance, making it a top choice for skilled golfers and tour professionals.

Pros

Exceptionally fast ball speeds

Impressive distances covered

High spin and shot height for improved green control

Cons

Mainly designed for advanced golfers.

For many golfers, the titanium chassis Stealth 2 Plus fairway wood may seem completely unattainable this year, both in terms of price and target market. Realistically, it’s a club that only the extremely affluent or Tour professionals (who receive them for free) could seriously consider playing with.

However, our data reveals undeniable results. The Stealth 2 Plus delivered the fastest ball speeds in our testing, reaching an impressive 154.5 mph. It also tied for the third-longest carry distance, covering 252 yards. These remarkable achievements are largely attributed to the sliding sole weight, which contributes significantly to its performance. Moreover, the Stealth 2 Plus offers versatility with the ability to adjust the loft from a Rocket 3 (13.5º) to a 3HL (16.5º) model simply by using a wrench.

On the professional tour, TaylorMade observes a 50/50 split between players opting for the Plus and the standard Stealth 2 fairway wood.

Those who choose the Plus model primarily value its slightly higher spin, increased shot height, and steeper descent angle, which aid in stopping power on the longest approaches. Our test data confirms these advantages.

Without a doubt, the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus is a brilliant fairway wood. However, it realistically caters to only the most powerful and skilled golfers.

Wilson Dynapower

Wilson Dynapower

Wilson Dynapower

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Wilson’s Dynapower fairway wood provides cost-effective performance for golfers who prioritize results over brand names, with impressive performance and a more affordable price compared to high-end models.

Pros

Appealing aesthetic design

Satisfying sound upon impact

Impressive ball speed, distance, and dispersion

Cons

Not as effortless to launch compared to certain other fairway woods.

For golfers who prioritize performance over brand loyalty and seek reasonably priced golf equipment, Wilson’s Dynapower fairway wood is precisely designed for them.

Priced at £220, it may not be the cheapest option available, but it offers significant savings of £150 compared to the most expensive models. Opting for the Dynapower allows golfers to allocate those savings towards improving another area of their golf bag, making it an appealing choice.

One of the standout features of the Dynapower is its unassuming head shape and graphics, which are pleasing to the eye. Additionally, the impact sound it produces garners high praise. Even more impressive is its ability to surpass our test averages in terms of ball speed, distance, and dispersion. These remarkable performance attributes make it a standout option for golfers with reasonable club speed.

If your club speed falls around the average range, consider taking a look at Wilson’s Launch Pad fairway wood. It offers slightly easier launch characteristics and was recognized as one of our top-performing fairway woods in 2022.

Titleist TSR 2

Titleist TSR 2

Titleist TSR 2

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Titleist’s TSR 2 fairway wood offers forgiveness and accuracy, making it a welcoming choice for golfers of varying skill levels.

Pros

Highly accurate

Exceptional forgiveness

Attractive appearance

Cons

Falls nine yards shorter compared to the longest fairway wood available.

Titleist has earned a reputation for producing equipment that caters to skilled players, which can be somewhat intimidating for those who are less experienced. However, it’s important to give credit where it’s due. Titleist’s TSR 2 fairway wood, designed to be more forgiving, proves to be exceptionally friendly and forgiving, as evidenced by its performance in our testing. It consistently hit shots into the second-smallest dispersion area among all the fairway woods we tested.

Although the TSR was launched in 2022 and may not be part of the latest wave of new fairway woods hitting the market, it is expected to remain in Titleist’s lineup throughout 2023 and beyond.

While the TSR 2 may not be the absolute longest fairway wood, falling nine yards behind the top performer, its attractive head shape and profile, along with a variety of stock shaft options and a good range of lofts, make it a compelling choice. We can envision how this family of fairway woods can be customized to suit golfers with reasonable swing speed but who may struggle with consistency.

In summary, Titleist’s TSR 2 fairway wood offers a friendly and forgiving experience, even for those who may not possess the same level of skill as the more seasoned players. It presents an appealing combination of performance and adjustability that is sure to benefit a wide range of golfers.

Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond

Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond

Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond

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The Callaway Paradym fairway wood is popular among tour pros but may be challenging for most club golfers due to its larger dispersion area and lower launch characteristics.

Pros

Impressive long distances covered

Accelerated ball speeds

Pro

Cons

Intended exclusively for high-speed elite players.

The Callaway Paradym fairway wood has gained popularity among tour professionals, including esteemed golfers like Jon Rahm, Si Woo Kim, and Justin Rose.

Similar to the Paradym Triple Diamond driver, this fairway wood exhibits impressive speed and distance when struck from the sweet spot. In fact, during our testing, it achieved a remarkable distance of 254 yards, making it the second-longest in the lineup.

However, it’s important to note that despite its attractive appearance and neat design at address, it produced shots that landed in an area twice the size of our average test results. Additionally, it launched shots with 700rpm less spin, flew four yards lower, and approached the ground at a shallower angle by five degrees compared to our test averages. To put it simply, the majority of club golfers may find it challenging to effectively launch and adapt to this model on the golf course.

While the Callaway Paradym fairway wood holds appeal for tour professionals and those with exceptional skills, it may present difficulties for the average club golfer who seeks consistent performance and forgiveness.

Cobra Aerojet LS Fairway

Cobra Aerojet LS Fairway

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The Cobra Aerojet LS fairway wood is a stylish performer, designed for strong players seeking reliability and versatility. With adjustable weights, low spin, and enhanced ball speeds, it offers impressive performance at a reasonable price.

Pros

Sleek, compact head

Ideal for low flight trajectory

Improved acoustics

Cons

Lacks stopping power on greens.

The Cobra Aerojet stands out as one of the most exciting releases in Cobra’s latest lineup of clubs, combining exceptional aesthetics with impressive performance. While undoubtedly appealing to stronger players, its lower price point makes it an excellent choice for aspirational players seeking a club that can aid in their game development. As a replacement for the LTDx Fairway Woods, the Aerojet not only meets visual expectations but surpasses them with its stylish carbon fiber crown, reminiscent of the Aerojet driver. The club’s large footprint at address adds to its visual appeal. Additionally, Cobra has introduced striking blue and red detailing on the sole, replacing the previous red and yellow colorway, lending the club a modern and premium look.

On the course, we were particularly impressed with the Aerojet’s head acoustics. It produced a loud yet solid pitch, avoiding the “tinny” sensation that Cobra has been associated with in the past. It is evident that Cobra has made substantial improvements to this club, incorporating a new PWR-Bridge weighting design that enhances face flexibility while lowering the center of gravity. This leads to improved ball flights and increased ball speeds.

The LS designation on this club represents “Low Spin,” offering penetrating launch angles that are ideal for those seeking to control their shots down the fairway. While it exhibits versatility from the rough, hitting it off the tee provided even more satisfaction. Furthermore, the adjustable weights on the club head allow players to add a draw or fade bias, making it a useful tool for addressing any issues with missing shots to the right. With its attractive price point, adjustability settings, and low-spin characteristics, the Aerojet LS is a fantastic choice for experienced players seeking a reliable fairway wood.

To delve deeper into our insights, we invite you to read our comprehensive Cobra Aerojet LS Fairway Review.

Titleist TSR3 Fairway Wood

Titleist TSR3 Fairway Wood

Titleist TSR3 Fairway Wood

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The 2022 Titleist TSR3 fairway wood underwent major changes, including the removal of the ARC, weight savings, a thicker sole plate, and a new SureFit CG weight track system. It also features full face scorelines for improved alignment.

Pros

Enhanced alignment with full face grooves

Increased speed off the face compared to the previous version

Greater adjustability to modify shot shape

Cons

Weight track does not sit flush to the sole.

Titleist has implemented significant changes to its TSR3 fairway wood for 2022, notably removing the ARC (Active Recoil Channel). In its place, Titleist has reengineered the hosel entry into the clubhead, resulting in substantial weight savings. Additionally, the sole plate has been made thicker, effectively lowering and deepening the center of gravity. This enhancement is a crucial factor in optimizing fairway wood performance, particularly from the turf.

Another noteworthy addition is the new SureFit CG weight track system, now featuring five positions instead of three. This expanded adjustability empowers golfers to finely tune their ball flight and launch characteristics, offering greater assistance in optimizing their game.

Not limited to the weighting system, Titleist has also introduced full-face scorelines, facilitating easier alignment of the clubface and creating a more inviting appearance behind the ball.

To delve deeper into the Titleist TSR3 Fairway Wood and gain a comprehensive understanding, we invite you to explore our full review.

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway

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The Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood features a stunning design, adjustable hosel, and Cortech Chamber technology for powerful and versatile performance.

Pros

Exceptionally forgiving on off-center hits

Pleasing and timeless aesthetics

Adjustable hosel for personalized customization

Cons

Fell slightly short of expected distance performance.

The Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood stands out as one of the most visually stunning options available in the market. It complements a set of the best Mizuno golf irons perfectly, featuring a striking black gloss carbon crown that frames the ball beautifully against its face. Despite its compact head size, it exudes confidence when addressing the ball. Upon closer examination, you’ll notice the carbon fiber finish on the head, adding to its fantastic aesthetic appeal. The adjustable hosel allows for customization, enabling golfers to achieve their desired launch characteristics. Additionally, it offers a straight bias option, providing assistance to golfers who may struggle with a hook or slice.

Similar to the impressive ST-Z driver, this fairway wood incorporates a Cortech Chamber, distinguished by its electric blue colorway on the sole of the club. This innovative technology introduced by Mizuno features a stainless steel weight within the chamber, designed to reduce stress on the clubface during impact and generate additional energy, resulting in more power through impact. During testing, we were highly impressed by the club’s ball speed and yardage, with the Coretech Chamber contributing to reduced spin rates, ultimately producing satisfying flights and a pleasant feel upon impact.

The ST-Z 230 fairway wood exhibits exceptional versatility from various lies, with its added spin proving advantageous when hitting from the rough. Whether off the tee or from the ground, the ball flights were consistently solid, albeit a tad high, which posed challenges in windy conditions. However, the club truly impressed us with its performance on off-center strikes. It displayed remarkable stability, rarely deviating from the intended line, and still delivered remarkable distances.

To explore our comprehensive insights, we invite you to read our detailed Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway Review.

Callaway Rogue ST Max Fairway

Callaway Rogue ST Max Fairway

Callaway Rogue ST Max Fairway

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The Callaway Rogue ST Max fairway wood, part of the Rogue ST range, has received an Editor’s Choice award for 2022. With A.I.-optimized Flash Face designs and a redesigned Jailbreak system, it delivers impressive ball speed, accuracy, and low spin.

Pros

Premium and appealing aesthetics

Offset face and slight draw bias enhance forgiveness

Achieves the highest ball speed among all tested fairway woods in 2022

Cons

Unnecessary speedometer graphics on the crown.

Once again, the Callaway Rogue ST range makes an appearance on this esteemed list, this time with the Max version, which has received one of our coveted Editor’s Choice awards for 2022.

The “ST” in its name stands for Speed Tuned, showcasing Callaway’s utilization of artificial intelligence (A.I.) to optimize its Flash Face designs, ensuring an exceptional combination of launch, spin, and ball speed. The ST heads also boast a redesigned Jailbreak system, where the dual “batwings” have been strategically positioned toward the face’s perimeter, enhancing face flex and promoting better ball speeds.

During our testing, the Callaway Rogue ST Max exceeded expectations. Its low spin and mid-launch characteristics off the fairway made it a truly remarkable performer. Notably, it achieved an average ball speed of 152.7 mph, the highest among all clubs in our test, while maintaining an impressive average distance of 247.3 yards. Additionally, its dispersion and accuracy were outstanding, further solidifying its prowess.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the Callaway Rogue ST Max Fairway and discover more about its exceptional qualities, we invite you to delve into our full review.

Ping G425 Max Fairway Wood

Ping G425 Max Fairway Wood

Ping G425 Max Fairway Wood

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The Ping G425 fairway wood boasts a one-piece face for increased ball speeds and forgiveness. With three head options and an adjustable hosel, it offers a precise fit and impressive performance.

Pros

Highly forgiving across the board

Three models available to accommodate various player types

Cons

Dot system on the crown may not be universally appealing or suitable for everyone’s visual preferences.

The Ping G425 fairway wood sets itself apart from its predecessor with a one-piece face, eliminating the steel face insert. This design change has resulted in increased ball speeds of up to 1.5mph, enhancing the G425’s performance as one of the most forgiving fairway woods available while also delivering notable distance gains. The lineup offers three different heads: the Max, LST, and SFT, ensuring there is an ideal option for every golfer. The Max head serves as the versatile choice, and Ping has refined its appearance by removing the turbulators from the crown, creating a sleek and clean matte aesthetic.

With its adjustable hosel featuring eight settings, the G425 enables precise customization of both loft and lie. This flexibility allows golfers to fine-tune the G425 to meet their specific preferences and requirements, making it one of the top choices among Ping’s lineup of fairway woods.

To delve deeper into our insights and analysis, we invite you to read our comprehensive Ping G425 Max Fairway Wood Review.

Cobra LTDx Fairway

Cobra LTDx Fairway

Cobra LTDx Fairway

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Cobra’s LTDx fairway woods feature a carbon fiber crown, compact head, and adjustable design for golfers of all levels. With a forgiving and accurate performance, they offer versatility and a satisfying feel at impact.

Pros

Unbeatable feel off the clubface

Outstanding forgiveness and straightness

Adjustable features for shaft fitting and loft customization

Cons

Golfers looking for maximum length or a backup to their driver may need to pursue custom fitting.

The new Cobra LTDx line-up introduces a range of three adjustable fairway metals, each thoughtfully designed with progressive features, head shapes, and sole rails to cater to golfers of all skill levels. These LTDx fairways succeed the highly acclaimed Cobra Radspeed model, which claimed the top spot as the overall best performer in our annual test of the finest fairway woods.

Sporting a carbon fiber crown with a sleek black matte finish, the LTDx fairways exude a sense of sophistication. The compact head design sits beautifully square at address, exuding confidence. While the trademark sole rails may be absent in these models, they are compensated by the inclusion of a 12g fixed weight positioned at the back of the head, maximizing forgiveness and facilitating high launch.

When it comes to feel, the forged face of the Cobra LTDx fairway wood outshines its competitors, providing an immensely enjoyable hitting experience. It delivers an undeniable sense of satisfaction upon impact. Notably, during testing, it proved to be the straightest fairway wood, showcasing the tightest dispersion. The Cobra LTDx fairway wood is highly forgiving and offers extensive adjustability, making it a highly appealing option.

To delve deeper into the remarkable qualities of the Cobra LTDx Fairway Wood, we invite you to explore our comprehensive review.

Tour Edge Exotics C722 Fairway Wood

Tour Edge Exotics C722 Fairway Wood

Tour Edge Exotics C722 Fairway Wood

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Tour Edge’s Exotics C722 fairway wood: Long distance, forgiving, and sleek design. Ideal for low- and mid-handicap players seeking power and accuracy.

Pros

Impressive distance performance

Surprisingly forgiving

Cons

Off-center strikes result in high-pitched acoustics.

Tour Edge has built a strong reputation for crafting high-performance fairway woods catered to skilled players, and the Exotics C722 continues that legacy with excellence. During our testing sessions, we were immediately drawn to the captivating shape and overall aesthetics of this fairway wood. However, its true brilliance emerged in terms of distance, as it proved to be remarkably long both off the tee and from various turf conditions.

While distance stood out as a remarkable feature, the C722 pleasantly surprised us with its forgiveness during testing, particularly regarding dispersion. Even on less-than-perfect strikes, the C722 demonstrated an impressive ability to stay on target. The design of the C722 aimed to deliver low spin, but the inclusion of a 90-gram sole plate also contributed to higher launch, resulting in well-struck shots soaring to satisfying heights. Overall, this fairway wood is best suited for low- and mid-handicap golfers who generate substantial clubhead speed and consistently strike the ball at the center of the face.

To explore a comprehensive analysis of our experiences, we invite you to delve into our detailed Tour Edge Exotics C722 Fairway Wood Review.

Mizuno ST-Z Fairway

Mizuno ST-Z Fairway

Mizuno ST-Z Fairway

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Mizuno’s ST-Z fairway wood: Underrated and improved. Impressive launch height, adjustable features, and high forgiveness.

Pros

Introduces hosel adjustability, a first for Mizuno fairway woods

Clean and classic crown design with carbon fiber details

Cons

Limited selection of available models.

Mizuno fairway woods often fly under the radar, despite their remarkable performance, and the new ST-Z model has truly raised the bar compared to its predecessor, the ST2000. One standout feature of this model is its impressive ability to launch the ball high, making it an ideal fairway wood for players looking to attack greens, particularly as a second shot on par 5s.

In addition to its exceptional launch characteristics, the ST-Z offers a generous amount of adjustability, a feature that was lacking in the ST2000. This adjustability allows you to fine-tune your ball flight and distance, ensuring optimal performance for your individual swing. As for the ST-X model, it serves as another enticing option in Mizuno’s new range, encompassing all the benefits of the ST-Z with the added advantage of a draw-bias weight strategically embedded in the head. Consequently, the ST-X is recognized as one of the most forgiving fairway woods currently available in the market.

To delve into a comprehensive analysis of the Mizuno ST-Z Fairway Wood and uncover more insights regarding its exceptional qualities, we invite you to explore our detailed review.

Callaway Rogue ST LS Fairway

Callaway Rogue ST LS Fairway

Callaway Rogue ST LS Fairway

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Callaway Rogue ST LS Fairway: Designed for faster swingers. Low-spin with a compact head and advanced weight placement. AI-designed face for increased ball speed and fade flight. Impressive distance, speed, and tight dispersion.

Pros

Eye-catching premium aesthetics

Enhanced sound and feel when compared to the Mavrik and Epic ranges

Designed to promote a fade for improved accuracy

Cons

Unnecessary speedometer clock-style graphics on the crown.

Callaway has introduced the Rogue ST LS Fairway, specifically tailored for players who possess superior swing speeds. The “LS” in its name signifies its low-spin design, featuring a compact players head complemented by a 28g Tungsten speed cartridge and a single weight screw that strategically positions the center of gravity (CG) lower and farther forward in the face. Utilizing artificial intelligence (A.I), the clubface has been meticulously shaped to maximize ball speeds and promote a controlled fade flight, granting players enhanced command over their shots.

During our testing, the ball seemed to explode off the face with an incredible burst of energy. It emerged as one of the longest and fastest fairway woods in our trials, showcasing above-average ball speed and overall distance. Notably, its dispersion results were impressively tight, instilling confidence in achieving precise shot placement. The Rogue ST LS Fairway unmistakably encouraged a gentle, well-controlled fade trajectory.

For a comprehensive examination of our experiences and insights, we invite you to delve into our detailed Callaway Rogue ST LS Fairway Review.

How we test fairway woods

At…, we maintain a consistent and thorough testing approach across all golf products to ensure our reviews are informative, transparent, and comprehensive. When it comes to evaluating the best golf clubs, we actively participate in product launches, providing us with the opportunity to engage with the manufacturer’s research and development experts and gain in-depth insights into the new technologies incorporated.

Once we have a solid understanding of the clubs, our initial testing phase usually takes place in an indoor simulator, such as the one offered by Foresight Sports. This controlled environment allows our team to conduct precise assessments using premium golf balls and the GCQuad launch monitor. Additionally, we utilize TrackMan at various golf facilities throughout the UK. Subsequently, we proceed to outdoor testing, primarily conducted at renowned golf ranges like West Hill Golf Club in Surrey, The Wynyard Club in Teesside, and Brancepeth Castle Golf Club in Durham. It is during these sessions that we put the clubs into practical play on the golf course.

For fairway woods specifically, our product testing is led by Matthew Moore, who is supported by our technical editor, Joel Tadman. Both Matthew and Joel are accomplished golfers with low handicaps, allowing them to efficiently evaluate the most significant product releases and effectively convey the intricacies of equipment technology and product features to our diverse golfing audience.

What to consider when buying the best golf fairway wood

Loft

To determine the ideal loft for your fairway wood, assess the specific gap you need to fill in your golf bag. Consider the distances covered by your driver, longest irons, or hybrids. This knowledge will guide you in selecting the appropriate loft for your fairway wood.

Forgiveness

Fairway woods vary in forgiveness, as manufacturers often create different models targeting different player skill levels. For instance, Cobra offers three different LTDx fairways with varying head sizes and shapes designed for different golfers. If you require maximum assistance, a larger head will suit you. However, if you’re a better player with consistent strikes, forgiveness may not be a significant factor for you.

Adjustability

Most modern fairway woods offer some degree of adjustability, including options for loft adjustments, movable weights, or shaft fittings. Consider how important adjustability is to you, as it allows you to modify a club’s performance characteristics with ease. Alternatively, you can opt for a non-adjustable model with a stock shaft that suits your swing.

Versatility

Fairway woods should perform well off the tee, from various lies on the ground, and even around the green. If your current fairway wood excels in only one of these areas, upgrading to a more versatile option can provide significant improvement and flexibility.

Looks

The visual appeal of a golf club, especially when addressing the ball, is crucial. Fairway woods can be challenging to hit, which is why you need a club that instills confidence and even elicits envy from your playing partners. We recommend selecting several models, assessing their appearance and feel in your hands, and testing them in various situations and lies.

Budget

Keep your budget in mind when exploring fairway wood options. You can choose from more premium models like the TaylorMade Stealth Plus or Callaway Rogue ST LS, or opt for more affordable designs such as the Wilson Launch Pad. Regardless of your budget, our fairway wood guides will provide you with valuable advice for purchasing a new fairway wood.

FAQs

What are fairway woods?

Fairway woods are versatile clubs designed to provide distance and can be used from various positions on the golf course, including the tee, fairway, and light rough. They resemble drivers in appearance but have smaller heads and slightly more loft.

Unlike drivers, fairway wood heads typically range from approximately 140cc to 180cc in size, offering a more compact profile. The faces of fairway woods are shallower than those of drivers, resulting in a lower center of gravity (COG) that helps launch the ball into the air. This design feature also enhances forgiveness compared to long irons, making fairway woods a popular choice among professional golfers and amateurs alike.

Who are fairway woods for?

Fairway woods are designed for all golfers, from beginners to professionals. Brands offer different versions of fairway woods to cater to various needs, including low-spin options, forgiving models, and draw-biased designs. Additionally, modern fairway woods often feature adjustable hosels, allowing players to customize the loft and lie angles for optimal performance.

What shots can I use a fairway wood for?

Fairway woods are incredibly versatile clubs that offer various shot options on the golf course. They can serve as an alternative to the driver off the tee, allowing you to position the ball strategically or achieve a specific yardage into a green.

When on the fairway, fairway woods excel at sweeping the ball cleanly off the turf. They are particularly useful for approach shots on long par 4s and par 5s, providing the necessary distance and control.

Fairway woods can also be employed to navigate shots from light rough. It’s important to assess the lie before proceeding, ensuring the conditions are suitable for the shot. If the ball is well-positioned and the club can be comfortably placed behind it, you can confidently play the shot. However, if the ball is buried or in thick grass, it may be wiser to opt for a higher lofted club to safely get back into play.

Furthermore, some players utilize fairway woods around the greens, capitalizing on their sweeping action to run the ball onto the putting surface. This technique can be advantageous for certain shots, as demonstrated by Justin Rose’s memorable usage of a fairway wood during his victory at the 2013 US Open at Merion.

What loft should a fairway wood be?

Manufacturers offer a diverse selection of fairway wood head styles and lofts to cater to golfers’ individual needs and preferences. This range encompasses powerful three woods with loft angles as low as 13.5°, as well as 7, 9, or 11-woods designed specifically for players who struggle with launching mid and long irons. These clubs provide a confidence-inspiring solution for those seeking increased distance and improved performance.

Every golfer possesses unique characteristics, including physical fitness, skill level, and approach to the game. The availability of various fairway wood lofts ensures that players of different demographics, such as seniors, women, and juniors, have alternative options to replace longer irons. It’s worth noting that many accomplished professional golfers have included 7-woods in their bags during tournaments, particularly when course conditions necessitate high, soft-landing shots on crucial par-5 holes or long par-3s.

What fairway woods should I carry?

The answer to this question depends on three key factors.

Firstly, consider your ability level. Fairway woods offer greater forgiveness compared to long irons, making them an excellent choice for beginners or high handicap players. If you fall into this category, we recommend including as many fairway woods as necessary in your bag, ensuring the lofts and yardage gaps are appropriate. On the other hand, if you are a more skilled player, the fairway woods you carry will be determined by the following two factors.

The second factor to consider is loft and yardage gapping. Fairway woods play a crucial role in bridging the gap between your driver and irons. To determine which fairway woods to carry, it’s important to know how far you hit each club. Working with an experienced PGA professional or custom-fitter using a launch monitor can provide valuable insights in achieving the right yardages and loft configurations.

Lastly, take into account the type of golf course you predominantly play on. If you frequently play links-style courses, you will likely need fairway woods that can produce lower, penetrating shots. Conversely, for inland or parkland courses, you’ll benefit from fairway woods that generate higher shots, allowing for softer landings on the fairway or green. Fairway woods are generally better suited for parkland golf, which requires greater precision and control, whereas fast-running links courses may favor long irons or driving/utility irons due to their lower launch and better wind resistance.

Don’t solely rely on the fairway woods favored by professional golfers on tours like DP World and PGA, such as TaylorMade’s Stealth 2, Callaway’s Paradym, Ping’s G430, and Titleist’s TSR. While these models are popular among pros, it’s essential to choose fairway woods that align with your budget and personal preferences. Take the opportunity to thoroughly test different options and find the ones that suit your game and eye. Remember, the selection process should be tailored to your needs rather than solely relying on pro endorsements.

What fairway woods do the world’s best golfers use?

In our guide to what’s in their bags, we highlight Rory McIlroy’s choice of two TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus fairway woods. Meanwhile, Jon Rahm opts for two Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond fairway woods, and Scottie Scheffler uses the TaylorMade Stealth 2. Tiger Woods, on the other hand, incorporates older models, specifically the TaylorMade SIM Titanium and TaylorMade M3. In the women’s game, Lydia Ko prefers the Titleist TSi2, while Nelly Korda relies on the TaylorMade Stealth 2.

Conclusion on the Best Fairway Woods

In summary, choosing the best fairway woods comes down to finding one that suits your needs, preferences, and playing style. Consider factors like forgiveness, adjustability, loft, versatility, and budget when making your decision. Ultimately, the goal is to find a fairway wood that enhances your performance and brings confidence to your game.

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