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Best Fairway Woods for High Handicappers, Mid handicappers & Low Handicappers


Best Fairway Woods to High Handicappers to Low Handicappers

Welcome to my review of the best fairway woods for beginners or high handicaps, mid handicaps, and low handicap golfers.

Good News: There are awesome fairway woods on the market

Bad News: They are ALL expensive

Silver Lining: You don't need to and shouldn't change your fairway woods out often...at All. I'm talking 6-10 years or more. Unless...

You've got money to burn or you are on tour.

Personally, I don't replace my fairway often. (I'll get to why later in this article) 

Here's what you'll learn in our review:

  • The best fairway wood for Your handicap
  • How to pick the correct club for you
  • The Good stuff and Bad Stuff about each fairway wood in our review
  • Best pricing choices on the internet...if you decide to take the plunge

Our Picks for Best Fairway Woods 

Best for High Handicappers or Beginners

  1. Callaway Mavrik Max (Most Forgiving): Read more
  2. Taylormade SIM Max D (Longest): Read more
  3. Ping SFT (Best Price): Read more

Best for Mid Handicappers

  1. Callaway Mavrik:  Read more
  2. Taylormade SIM Max: Read more

Best for Low Handicaps or Players

  1. Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero: Read more
  2. Taylormade SIM: Read more

Best Budget Fairway Woods (Hurry...These are great older models being phased out)

  1. Taylormade M6: (Mid - Low handicappers) Read More
  2. Taylormade M2: (Mid - Low handicappers) Read More
  3. Callaway Rogue: (Mid - Low handicappers) Read More

Best Fairway Woods for High Handicappers and Beginners


1. Callaway Mavrik Max

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

Callaway Mavrik Max Fairway Wood

The best fairway wood for beginners or mid high handicap golfers is the Callaway Mavrik Max

  • Beginner / High Handicapper: This is a max-forgiveness fairway wood that
    • creates confidence at address...
    • gets the ball up easier...and
    • keeps you out of the junk on the right (or at least trys)

Let's face it...as a beginner or high handicapper (or mid handicapper), you should be using your 3-wood a LOT.

Especially off the tee. Your driver is not yet your friend...yet

The added loft of a 3-wood ads backspin to get the ball in the air while also reducing sidespin to keep you out of the junk. 

The Mavrik Max is just the medicine you need.

It has an oversized head and max draw-bias. It's built for high launch and medium spin. 

It sports all the latest Callaway tech like Flash Face designed by A.I., Jailbreak, and T2C carbon crown.

If you're interested, I suggest you pick it up direct from Callaway or Fairway Golf USA. Amazon would be my last choice, but I'll include that option below too. 

  • The price for brand new clubs is the same everywhere
  • At Callaway you have WAY MORE customization options & the ability to set up a 30-minute consultation with a certified professional fitter.

Callaway offers FREE fitting from a Certified Master Fitter...as well as online options to custom fit your clubs.

Pros

  • Callaway's most forgiving fairway wood
  • Has all Callaway's distance tech
  • Beaucoup anti-slice help
  • Superior help getting the ball in the air
  • Still a very long club

Cons

  • Price. Not cheap.

Trouble with Fairway Woods? BUY THIS FAIRWAY WOOD!

I've tried multiple fairway woods in the past, and we simply have never gotten along. I had mild success with the G410 last year to where I finally feel comfortable having one in the bag. Fast forward to the Mavrik Max fairway woods, and I am smitten. They are so incredibly easy to hit and the face

WHAT I LIKE: launch, Ease of use, feel, Forgiveness

Harry Potter: January 26, 2020

Best Buying Options 


2. Taylormade SIM MAX D

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

Who's the SIM MAX D for...

  • Beginner / High Handicapper: The Max D is the most forgiving fairway wood in the Taylormade lineup.

The SIM Max D has 

  • Talyormade's largest head
  • Max draw bias
  • High launch and high spin 

to easily get your ball in the air and keep it out of the junk on the right.

It's V-sole makes turf interaction smoother and more forgiving for shots from the fairway.

It's also got Taylormade's Twist Face and Speed Pocket tech, so you lose nothing there. 

As usual, I suggest going through the manufacturer when buying the latest models..

  1. New clubs are the same price everywhere
  2. You can communicate with Taylormade experts before purchase
  3. You can get the EXACT club you want with WAY MORE customization options

I have given two other options... just because.

Pros

  • Taylormade's most forgiving fairway wood
  • Supper easy to launch
  • Large club head for confidence
  • Very good distance
  • Slice buster

Cons

  • Not cheap

Very forgiving club and I get more distance from this hybrid than I ever did with previous models.

Excellent hybrid. This has become my go to club from whatever lie I may have. I have so much confidence in it. Highly recommended.

Mike: April 4, 2020

Best Buying Options  


3. Ping G410 SFT

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

Ping G410 SFT Fairway Wood

Who are these for...

  • Beginners / High Handicapper:  This is Ping's most forgiving fairway wood

The Ping SFT achieves extra forgiveness in 3 ways:

  • Extra heel weighting to promote easier closing of the club face
  • Larger club head to higher MOI
  • 1.5* higher lofts to promote easier ball launch

Ping has really come on in recent years with their woods. The G410 also happens to be the cheapest 2020 model fairway wood in our lineup. 

Pros

  • Super Long
  • Ball gets up easy without balooning
  • Holds greens with ease
  • Free shipping & returns from Callaway
  • 0% Financing available

Cons

  • Though less expensive than the rest...Still a chunk of change

AWESOME CLUB

I HAVE THIS IN THE 3, 5 AND 7 SFT WOODS. LOVE THE WAY THE SHAPE INSPIRES CONFIDENCE OFF THE TEE AND FAIRWAY BOTH. I RATE THESE WOODS THE EASIEST TO HIT WITH. I ORDERED MINE WITH THE SENIOR FLEX AND ITS WORKED OUT GREAT. THESE WOODS ARE VERY POWERFUL.

Best Buying Options 


Best Fairway Woods for Mid Handicappers


1.Taylormade SIM Max

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

The best fairway wood for mid handicappers is the Taylormade SIM Max

  • Taylormade made the SIM Max with the mid handicap golfer in mind, but the Max is also played by tour pros

Key Attributes of the Taylormade SIM Max:

  • Mid size clubhead for confidence at address 
  • Ultra-low CG for easier ball launch
  • V-shaped sole for easier turf interaction to stop from digging
  • Twist-face for added forgiveness when missing the sweet spot
  • Speed Pocket for added distance

Taylormade isn't letting up on their dominance in the fairway wood and driver market. I'm convinced that you can't go wrong if you get a Taylormade product properly fit to you.

As usual, I suggest going through the manufacturer when buying the latest models..

  1. New clubs are the same price everywhere
  2. You can communicate with Taylormade experts before purchase
  3. You can get the EXACT club you want with WAY MORE customization options

Pros

  • Notoriously long
  • Very Forgiving
  • Easy to launch
  • Online fitting tool & customization
  • Free shipping at Taylormade

Cons

  • Not cheap.

Best Buying Options 


2. Callaway Mavrik

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood

Who are these for...

  • Mid handicappers...interested in max distance, forgiveness, and performance
    • Callaway's longest fairway wood
    • Launches the ball high with a flat trajectory 
    • Slight draw bias
    • All other Callaway wood tech: A.I., Flash Face, Jailbreak, Progressive leading edge for better turf interaction. 

This is Callaway's longest fairway wood (which is saying something) and is an all-around gamer. There's plenty of forgiveness and the club seems to want to draw the ball for you.

If you're interested, I suggest you pick it up direct from Callaway or Fairway Golf USA. Amazon would be my last choice, but I'll include that option below too. 

  • The price for brand new clubs is the same everywhere
  • At Callaway you have WAY MORE customization options & the ability to set up a 30-minute consultation with a certified professional fitter.

Callaway offers FREE fitting from a Certified Master Fitter...as well as online options to custom fit your clubs.

Pros

  • Callaway's longest
  • Easy launch & slight draw bias
  • Confidence w/ Midsize clubhead
  • Free shipping & returns from Callaway
  • 0% Financing available
  • Free fitting w/ Certified Master Fitter

Cons

  • Not Cheap

Good bye TS-3

This is an amazing 3 wood.. Long , tight Draw..easy to hit..

outperforms my TS-2 big Time...

jimmy: February 22, 2020

Best Buying Options 


Best Fairway Woods for Low Handicappers


1. Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero Fairway Wood

The best fairway wood for low handicappers is the Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero

  • The sub zero has Callaway's most compact head, a neutral face, and gives the player the ability to finetune launch angle and spin rate.
  • It can also be considered by good ball strikers in the mid-handicap range that are more comfortable with a smaller fairway wood club head.

The Sub Zero is a killer club for the better ball striker. You will love the more compact look and superior performance.

It's going to have a more penetrating ball flight by design...so, you will need to be able to elevate your shots from the fairway a little more on your own. 

The Sub Zero has all the Callaway Mavrik tech tucked in a player profile. It's monster long and workable

I can strongly recommend the Mavrik Sub Zero if... you have the game to handle it. You will not be disappointed.

If you're interested, I suggest you pick it up direct from Callaway or Fairway Golf USA. Amazon would be my last choice, but I'll include that option below too. 

  • The price for brand new clubs is the same everywhere
  • At Callaway you have WAY MORE customization options & the ability to set up a 30-minute consultation with a certified professional fitter.

Callaway offers FREE fitting from a Certified Master Fitter...as well as online options to custom fit your clubs.

Pros

  • Exceptional distance
  • Great workability
  • Compact clubhead
  • Free shipping & returns from Callaway
  • 0% Financing available
  • Free fitting w/ Certified Master Fitter

Cons

  • Not Cheap

Best Buying Options 


2. Taylormade SIM

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

Taylormade SIM Fairway Wood

Who are these for...

  • Players or low handicappers that like a more compact clubhead, working the ball, and don't need as much help getting the ball airborne

Thanks to its titanium face, the SIM is Taylormade's hottest fairway wood, and...like all other fairway woods from Taylormade, it has

  1. V-shaped sole for better turf interaction
  2. Twist Face for more forgiveness
  3. Low CG for easier launch
  4. Speed Pocket for...Speed

Plus a 2 degree Sleeve.

The SIM is Taylormade's best "player" fairway wood and is used by most of their tour players. 

I'm only a 10.8 and I prefer more compact clubheads. So, none of this is set in stone.

As usual, I suggest going through the manufacturer when buying the latest models..

  1. New clubs are the same price everywhere
  2. You can communicate with Taylormade experts before purchase
  3. You can get the EXACT club you want with WAY MORE customization options

Pros

  • Longest wood from Taylormade
  • Compact and powerful
  • Very workable

Cons

  • Expensive
SIM wood customer review

Best Buying Options In Order


Best Bargain Fairway Woods 


1. Taylormade M6

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

Taylormade M6 Fairway Wood Sole Plate

The best bargain fairway wood is the Taylormade M6.

  • I recommend it for mid to low handicappers looking for great performance that want to save a couple bucks

The 2019 M6 is an all around great performing fairway wood you would be happy to have in your bat.

It packs tons of distance, forgiveness, and playability in a great looking chassis. 

Your best options for buying the M6 fairway woods online will be from Taylormade or  Amazon.  

Pros

  • Great distance 
  • Very Forgiving
  • Easy launch and workable
  • On sale Now. 

Cons

  • A few complaints of the face scratching easily

Outstanding feel, distance and performance

Solid and LONG. I've previously played the HL 3 wood and was worried that I wouldn't get a high enough trajectory with the 15 degree M6. No problems thus far. Has a really solid sound and feel, much less tinny than the Callaway or Tour Edge Exotics. Rolls a long way too. Love it so much I bought the 5 wood

a year ago  

Best Buying Options In Order


2. Taylormade M2

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

Taylormade 2019 M2 Fairway Wood Sole Plate

Best for...

  • Mid to low handicappers looking a little more forgiveness without having to give up elite distance and playability

The 2019 M2 is designed for greater playability from different lies and for best-in-class sound and feel. The new M2 is also an absolute mauler.

This one will definitely be around new for much longer. It's priced to move and available from Taylormade or Fairway Golf USA.  

Pros

  • Great distance & forgiveness
  • Great looking club
  • Very Low Price for a new fairway wood

Cons

  • Getting harder to find

High and Long

I've only had the club about a week and a half but have played two rounds with it. It's as easy to hit as my Callaway X Hot 5 wood but is longer. Has a different sound than what I was used to but that's a good thing. I got this HL 3 wood along with the new M2 driver. I had Taylormade cut them both to custom lengths. I love them !

New Drawer

Best Buying Options In Order


3. Callaway Rogue

To learn more about what the "Approved" symbol means, please click here. (It pretty much means this stuff is 100% LEGIT!)

Callaway Rogue Fairway Wood

Best for...

  • Mid to low handicappers looking a little more forgiveness without having to give up elite distance and playability

The Rouge is the first of Callaway's exceptionally long fairway woods featuring 

  • Jailbreak technology,
  • Face Cup  technology, and a
  • Triaxial carbon crown 
  • Ultra-low CG

All to make the Rogue extremely easy to launch from the fairway with low spin for max distance and accuracy.

This one will definitely be around new for much longer. It's priced to move and available New or Used from Global Golf.

Pros

  • Very long
  • Easy to launch
  • Very workable and accurate
  • Plenty Forgiveness
  • On Sale Now

Cons

  • Getting harder to find

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How To Choose The Best Fairway Woods for Your Golf Game 

These are the key factors to consider when picking the best fairway woods for your game

  • Price
  • Shaft flex
  • Lofts
  • Manufacturer

Pricing your Fairway Woods

Buying the latest model...

Pricing is a bit less of a factor when buying this year's model. The top brand manufacturers are basically in line with their pricing these days, with a couple notable exceptions.

Ping prices their G410 series at $259
Cobra prices their latest models at $279

Buying New but Not the latest model...

Manufacturers are producing new models so often these days that they are bound to have their last models, or even 1 or 2 iterations before those, still available new.

The only problem comes with inconsistent availability and a lack of customization options from the manufacturer. 

Buying Used...

This could be anything from returns to floor models, to trade-ins. The pricing will vary with the wear and tear on the club. 

Honestly, I've never spent $200 or $250 or $300 for a fairway wood. I've got fairway woods I really like (Taylormade R9) and woods were much cheaper when I got those.

The upside, as I said earlier in this article, is that you can keep fairway woods a long time once you find ones you like. 


Best Fairway Woods: How to Choose the Best Shaft


You will have two major choices when choosing your shafts:

  1. Shaft material
  2. Shaft flex

Shaft material is a bit of a false choice...

You are going to choose graphite because that is all that is offered these days. I used to have fairway woods and drivers with metal shafts. They are now in my attic.

So, we are left with shaft flex...

Shaft flex options generally include:

  1. Senior- self-explanatory who these are for
  2. Women's- see above
  3. Regular- the preferred choice of beginners and high handicappers. Even low handicap seniors will use regular flex shafts
  4. Stiff- approach 100 mph driver swing speed and this will be your likely choice. 
  5. X-stiff- approaching 110 mph with your driver swing and X-stiff should likely be your choice.

Basically, the faster you swing the stiffer shaft you will need. Generally speaking, the better the player the faster the swing.


How to Choose the Correct Loft for your Fairway Woods


High handicappers and Beginners

The basic fairway wood set is a 3 wood and 5 wood. You will want to stick to 15*-16* for your 3 wood and around 18*-19* for your 5 wood.

Higher loft will get you a couple things. 

  • More forgiveness
  • Easier to get the ball in the air, especially from the fairway

You will have to put in work at the range and on the course to learn how to hit your fairway woods of the deck. No way around it.

As of this writing, my handicap is 10.8, and lofts on my fairway woods have been consistent for years. They are:

3 wood- 15*
5 wood- 19* 

Lower handicaps will occasionally use lower lofts to maximize ball flight and distance. They can do this because they don't have issues hitting the ball high from the fairway. 


Choosing a Golf Club Manufacturer


All top manufacturers make great clubs these days...Callaway, Taylormade, Ping, Titleist, Cobra, etc.

It's going to come down to aesthetics, price, and testing.

You have to like what you see when looking down at your club sitting behind the ball. This gives you initial confidence.

Then you have to hit balls with it to know if it will perform for you. This is the acid test. How does it perform in your hands?

Like I said above, the latest models will cost about the same with the exception of Ping and Cobra. Beyond buying the latest model, you are just going to have to dig around a bit. 


Should I get Fitted?


I've got a simple philosophy for this

  1. Not mandatory and most golfers don't get fit
  2. Has the potential to help you play a lot better. (Except if you are a beginner)

**Beginner: maybe get a static fitting to get the right grip size and maybe shaft length. NOT a full-blown fitting. You don't even have a swing to fit yet. 

Everyone else:

It's a matter of priorities.

Do you just want to get on the course, drink a few beers, and forget about the world for a minute? Don't get fitted

Are you competitive and striving to play better? Get fitted. It doesn't cost that much...about $100 or so


Our Picks for Best Fairway Woods are...

Best for High Handicappers or Beginners

  1. Callaway Mavrik Max (Most Forgiving)
  2. Taylormade SIM Max D (Longest)
  3. Ping SFT (Best Price)

Best for Mid Handicappers

  1. Callaway Mavrik 
  2. Taylormade SIM Max

Best for Low Handicaps or Players

  1. Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero
  2. Taylormade SIM

Best Budget Fairway Woods (Hurry...These are great older models being phased out)

  1. Taylormade M6: (Mid - Low handicappers) 
  2. Taylormade M2: (Mid - Low handicappers)
  3. Callaway Rogue: (Mid - Low handicappers)

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