Choosing the right fairway wood is important for any amateur golfer looking to improve their game.
Fairway woods are versatile clubs designed to help you achieve distance and accuracy off the tee, from the fairway, and sometimes from the rough.
This guide will walk you through the important factors to consider when buying a fairway wood, helping you make an informed decision to find a club that suits your game.
TL/DR – This is what we are going to be covering
Understanding Your Needs
Before Buying a fairway wood, it’s important to know your playing style, skill level, and overall objectives.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- How often do you use a fairway wood?
- Are you primarily seeking distance or accuracy?
- Do you plan to use it mostly off the tee, fairway, or both?
- Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player?
Loft and Launch Angle
The loft of a fairway wood determines its launch angle and trajectory.
Consider your swing speed and ball flight tendencies when choosing the club
Lower lofted fairway woods (around 13-15 degrees) provide more distance, while higher lofted ones (around 18-21 degrees) offer more control and are easier launch higher
In my experience lower lofted fairway woods are easy enough to hit off the tee, but if you don’t have enough swing speed they are harder to hit off the deck and usually your consistency and control suffers.
Low sliced shots are often the result.
If this is what happens with you, then you would be better suited to higher lofts.
Size and Shape
Fairway woods come in different sizes and shapes.
Larger clubheads often offer a larger sweet spot, increasing forgiveness and ease of use.
Traditional clubhead shapes suit more experienced players, while more forgiving designs benefit beginners.
An offset clubhead can help correct a slice by essentially allowing extra time for the clubface to square up at impact.
Fairway wood shafts are typically made of graphite or steel.
Graphite shafts are lighter, enhance swing speed, and provide more flexibility, making them suitable for most amateurs.
Steel shafts offer greater control but require more strength to hit effectively. These are less popular these days with most manufacturers sticking with graphite shafts.
The flex of the shaft affects the ball’s trajectory and feel during the swing.
Choose a flex that matches your swing speed—regular, stiff, or senior/ladies—based on manufacturer recommendations.
But bear in mind that there are no industry standards and what may be a regular flex with one manufacturer may not be with another.
Consider getting custom fitted for your fairway wood.
Professional club fitters can assess your swing characteristics, body measurements, and other factors to recommend the ideal club specifications for your game.
This tailored approach helps to optimise the performance of the club when matched to your swing and help to get the best club for your money.
Brand and Model
There are lots of reputable brands that produce high-quality fairway woods.
As with anything you buy these days, take a look at the available options and consider factors such as brand reputation, customer reviews, and player feedback.
Popular fairway wood models include those from Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, Ping, Cobra, and Mizuno.
Fairway woods are available in a wide price range.
Work out your budget beforehand and try to get a balance between quality, performance, and affordability.
Consider buying last year’s models or searching for discounted options to save money without compromising on performance.
I often buy last years models on the same day the new version is released, often saving myself 30% or more
Try Before You Buy
Whenever possible, try to test the fairway wood you’re considering before buying it.
Go to a golf store or a driving range that offers equipment demos and hit shots with several different clubs.
Try to pay attention to feel, distance, accuracy, and overall comfort.
Don’t be afraid to do this a few times before you hand over all your money
Buying a new fairway wood requires some consideration of factors such as loft, clubhead design, shaft selection, and your personal needs as a golfer.
By understanding how these things affect you and your golf swing, you can make an informed buying decision and find a fairway wood that enhances your game and brings you closer to achieving your golfing goals.