A fairway wood can be tricky to hit for beginner and high handicap golfers – easier than a long iron but harder than your driver! In this guide, I’ll show you the best fairway woods for high handicappers and beginners and go over the key features you should look for to hit your fairway wood further.
A fairway wood provides a longer distance shot on the fairway but can be more challenging to control with your hands due to its longer shaft, so it is a step-up challenge wise from a typical iron.
For each wood, I’ll go over:
- Key features
- How to buy
- How they can lower your handicap score
If you are ready to go to the next level of golf, but still struggle with high handicaps, then this list is for you. In this list, we will cover woods good for players with a high handicap that plan to use the club for shots off the fairway as a complement to your driver off the tee.
The Absolute Best Fairway Woods for High Handicappers
- TaylorMade M6 Fairway Wood (Best Overall) “The TaylorMade Golf M6 Fairway Wood has a wide array of features that makes it a great choice for high handicappers. It has a large head and forgiving face making it easy to hit the ball straight. An aerodynamic design helps with more swing speed, improved distance, and has a higher ball speed while staying very smooth. All these features can help high handicap golfers improve their game significantly and are something they will look forward to getting out of their bag.”
- TaylorMade Stealth Fairway Wood (Longest Distance)
- Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood (Most Forgiving Fairway Wood)
- Orlimar Escape Fairway Wood (Best on a Budget) “If you’re on a budget, you can check out Orlimar Golf Escape. It can helps high handicapper on the launching their ball higher with accuracy and confidence.”
- Cobra F9 Speedback Fairway Wood (Best for Women)
- Cleveland Launcher HB Fairway Wood (Best for Seniors)
- Callaway X HOT Fairway Wood (Best for Lefties)
Best Fairway Woods for High Handicappers
- The head design makes it easy to hit the ball
- Aerodynamic design gives more swing speed and distance
- Increased ball speed from a hotter face cup
The TaylorMade M6 Fairway Wood is at a sweet spot of wood for the golfer who needs to step up their game with a club that is still forgiving.
To start, the M6 has a big head with a lightweight crown, aerodynamic sole, and low center of gravity. These features are essential to any golfer, let alone one who needs to make up ground while on the fairway.
The head’s overall shape is also designed to help out high handicap golfers, finding a great balance between increased swing speed and forgiveness. The help can be felt at impact with more speed transferred to the ball going for a greater shot distance, making this wood a great choice for use off the tee as well.
The complaints about the TaylorMade M6 are few and far between. This club is nearly perfect in every way and is a happy purchase for anybody looking to improve their handicap that they won’t regret.
- TWIST FACE: Twist Face is a revolutionary face curvature with a corrective face angle on off-center hits, engineered to reduce side spin and deliver straighter shots
- MULTI-MATERIAL CONSTRUCTION: New head design with a deep face and larger carbon crown provides optimal distance with excellent playability
- ADVANCED SPEED POCKET DESIGN: Improved slot flexibility for a larger COR area and better off-center performance, especially on low-face strikes; New TPU slot insert is more flush with the surface for improved turf interaction
- Package weight:2.47 lb
TaylorMade Stealth Fairway Wood
- Carbon fiber face
- Inertia generator for more club speed
- Deep sound at impact
- Tons of forgiveness
The TaylorMade Stealth fairway woods, unlike the Stealth irons, retain the same carbon head as the Stealth driver. This is awesome for those looking to generate more distance with their fairway wood because carbon is heavier than traditional carbon.
Carbon driver faces add more flex to the head. TaylorMade claims that the Stealth transfers more power back to the golf ball, allowing it to travel a further distance at slower swing speeds. In addition, TaylorMade claims that users will swing between 3 and 5 MPH faster than they did with traditional titanium fairway woods.
The head of the Stealth woods is encased with a polyurethane cover. It helps to make sure your club performs well in wet conditions, where pure carbon is compromised. According to TaylorMade, for enhanced forgiveness on strikes, the Nanotexture face technology works alongside the company’s Thru-Slot Speed Pocket and Twist Face.
You have to hit the Stealth in order to understand how these new features work. This is the best fairway woods for high handicappers looking to add more distance.
- Providing vital contrast between face and crown, the laser etched alignment aid is designed to highlight directional alignment for boosted confidence and accurate aim.
- Refined weight distribution for enhanced forgiveness while maintaining optimal launch properties. It stays true to its heritage by improving turf interaction and versatility.
- Uses corrective face angles designed to overcome inherent golfer tendencies on mishits and to produce straighter shots.
- Our most flexible Speed Pocket design is engineered to maximize ball speeds and produce additional forgiveness on low-face strikes.
- High launch
- flash face design
- high strength maraging steel face
The Callaway Mavrik 3 wood is the best fairway wood for high handicappers looking to improve their distance. There are different models of Callaway Mavrik, the standard, Callaway Mavrik Max fairway and the Sub Zero. Among the three models, the Callway Mavrik stands out in this category. The most important features of this fairway wood are the Jailbreak technology, FaceCup and the Flash Face technology.
The jailbreak put back the lost energy and then put back to the golf ball for more distance. The face has a unique design with whiter grooves in it. There are several options on what your shaft will be for this fairway. On top of that, it is also available on different shaft flex that will match the swing speed of the player.
With several weighing options for more launch, spin or draw bias, these fairway woods can help even for someone with slower swing speed. Callaway’s golf clubs are one of the best in the market, including with fairway woods category.
- MAVRIK is the longest fairway wood that Callaway has ever made.
- The new A. I. -optimized Flash Face SS20 is forged from exotic materials, which are uniquely designed for each model and loft to maximize ball speed and performance.
- We’ve combined our industry-leading technologies to deliver distance, forgiveness and performance from every club.
- A unique leading edge geometry in every model for easy launch.
- MAVRIK provides numerous weighting options to provide different launch angles, spin-rates and neutral or draw bias for a wide range of players.
Orlimar Golf Escape
Best on a Budget
- Shallow head yet forgiving
- Higher launch design for improved distance
- Very affordable
The Orlimar Golf Escape Fairway Wood is a great choice for a golfer looking to get a good club without breaking the bank. The Escape is the cheapest fairway wood on our list today, but it still checks a lot of the boxes that make a good club and comes with a variety of features essential to a golfer’s game
To start the club head has a shallow head design, yet a large footprint. This gives you a good launch angle and chance to get to the ball while giving you a lot of room for forgiveness and stability on impact.
Having similar features to the fairway woods on our bestof the list is all well and good, but what sets it apart is that it also is capable of a higher launch. This is thanks to a design choice that allows for higher launch angles, especially when hit low on the face plate of the club and from the tee.
While this club doesn’t quite perform up to the standards of the M6, the Orlimar Golf Escape Fairway Wood is not much behind and achieves that at a much lower price point. For the features and the price alone, this fairway wood may very well be the best choice for many beginner golfers.
- WIDE RANGE OF LOFTS - The Orlimar Escape Fairway Woods are a series of specialty clubs all the way to a 15-wood! Long before there were hybrid golf clubs, high-lofted fairway woods existed to cover a wide range of distance overlapping hybrids and irons.
- SHALLOW FACE HEIGHT - Extracts the ball even from tight lies in the fairway yet promotes accuracy and confidence for those not as comfortable with hybrids or irons as much as their fairway woods.
- LOW CENTER OF GRAVITY - Orlimar Escape fairways feature a shallow face height to launch the ball high and allow the golf ball to land softly on the green.
- SOLD INDIVIDUALLY - Escape fairways can be purchased as a set or as a single specialty club(s) for that shot on your home course. Covers distances from traditional #3 wood down to an 8 or 9 iron. Includes matching form fitting head cover.
- [#9 WOOD SPECS] Loft: 26 degrees, Square face angle, Length: 41.5 inches, Flex: Regular, Shaft: Orlimar Escape Superlite 60 graphite, Grip: Orlimar custom velvet.
Cobra F9 Speedback
Best Fairway Woods for Women
- available in 3,4,5,6,7 and 9 settings
- Significant improvements accuracy
- Perfectly designed for women’s play
With the combination of exceptionally lightweight, ladies flex, and hottest fairway face, the Cobra F9 Speedback Fairway Wood for women will help high handicappers and beginners improve their score.
While it is also designed for speed with a low center of gravity, don’t expect any magic on shot distance. The area where you will see markedly improved results is accuracy – a feature significant for those with higher handicaps.
The Cobra F9 Speedback Fairway Wood is designed for better performance on any terrain you might end up in, whether that terrain is the shorter grasses of the fairway or the tall brambles off into the rough. A great companion for your 18 holes and a great next step, and a great choice, for a fairway wood user. It is also one of the best fairway woods for high handicappers who are budget conscious but still want to get the best wood.
- Speed back Baffler Technology-Re-engineered BAFFLER rails and a low, back tungsten weight optimize turf interaction and lower the CG for improved launch and faster club head speed from any lie
- CNC Precision Milled Face-Golf's first fairway to feature a CNC milled face. A forged, and precision milled 455 stainless steel face insert delivers our thinnest, hottest fairway face
- 360 Aero Technology-Polymer crown trips and titanium sole trips are positioned relative to the direction of airflow around the club head to reduce drag for faster club head speeds
- Ultralight Carbon Fiber Crown-A lightweight carbon fiber crown saves discretionary weight to move the CG lower and deeper for higher launch and increased forgiveness
- MYFLY8 with Smart Rail- 8 easily adjustable loft settings help you manage trajectory and fine tune launch conditions to maximize distance
Cleveland Launcher HB
Best Fairway Woods for Seniors
- other player’s don’t like the crisp sound upon impact
One feature that makes the Launcher HB a good choice as a fairway wood is its new HiBore crown, which lowers the weight of the club head to promote high launch ball flight. This is one of the struggles of beginners and high handicappers that Cleveland Launcher addressed to. It has unique flex fins that flex faster and, therefore, reduces energy loss at impact.
This combination of technology and materials makes it easier to launch the ball into the air, providing a good loft for your fairway shots.
The crown of this fairway wood is also designed with ball speed and reduced spin in mind. The crown is made to save and distribute weight, allowing an improved, lower center of gravity that will make your ball fly farther and straighter down the fairway.
The shaft is longer than on others and comes in regular and stiff so that you can pick your preference. With many features that will no doubt up the ante in your golf games, including an improved ball distance and speed.
- HiBore Crown
- New launcher cup-face
- Unique flex-fins
- Includes Headcover
Callaway X HOT Fairway Wood
Best Fairway Woods for Lefties
- large sweet spot for more forgiveness
- precise center of gravity position
- falls short on power
The Callaway X HOT Fairway Wood not only boast a decent price point and cool design but also has more forgiving features than any other club on the list today.
It has a very precise center of gravity, which allows a consistent launch of the golf ball while still being very forgiving due to the special head shape.
But that isn’t all, as the club is also designed to assist in the area of speed and forgiveness. This is due to the club head’s thin, shallow face that also boasts a large sweet spot, providing fast, high flying, and accurate shots.
While these features are good, if you are looking to absolutely maximize the speed and distance of your shot, the Callaway X HOT Fairway Wood does fall a little short, as it just does not produce the same amount of power. But even so, the amount of potential that this club alone can add to your game makes it easily one of the safest choices on this list for high handicappers.
- Long distance, fast ball speeds & a forgiving head shape
- Perfectly suited for a variety of shots
- Precise center of gravity positioning for consistent launch
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do you differentiate fairway woods from hybrid clubs?
If you’re a beginner player and have difficulty distinguishing fairway woods from hybrids, we will help you know the difference between the two.
Fairway woods face looks similar to golf drivers, while the hybrid looks like an iron. The main features of the two that can help you determine which is which is the club head size. The club head size of the fairway wood is bigger compared to the hybrids. It also has a longer shaft compared to the hybrid.
Which is better for high handicappers, a 3-wood or a 5-wood?
Confused about which of these two you should pick? The best factor to consider is adjustability. You can choose something that can be adjusted to almost 4-wood.
The 3-wood is a great alternative to the driver and is the most common wood used by players for their tee shots. However, for high handicap players, the 5-woods would be a great option. It is used by golfers who are looking forward to hitting the ball from 180 to 250 yards. As for your 5-wood, this is also a great alternative to your 2-iron.
When can I use fairway woods?
Golfers are continually looking for game improvement clubs are striving to gain more carry distance but also with accuracy. If you don’t want to use your driver or irons for long par 3s, then fairway woods can be your best friend. The fairway woods can help golfers with their approach shots. The average distance that you can expect for your 3-wood would be 120 to 240 yards, the higher your wood, the lower your average distance. But of course, this is just an estimate. It also depends on the player’s skills and the club head speeds.
How beginners and high handicappers hit using a fairway wood?
High handicappers and beginners can hit the fairway wood like they are using with their drivers in the fairway. A wider stance would give you a solid foundation before swinging your clubs. Make sure to position your ball nearer to the middle of the stance. The upper body is in line with the club with the golf ball facing the club’s face.
Testing Criteria Used for Evaluation
When picking a fairway wood that is right for you, as well as any other club, you should always take into consideration what would make the clubs a viable choice in your game. These factors vary considerably due to the wide range of drivers available, and all are essential when making the correct choice for your game.
Center Of Gravity
For fairway woods, one thing to consider is the center of gravity the club has. A low center of gravity on your fairway wood helps to drive the ball a further distance down the fairway, allowing you to make it to the green under par.
A high loft will also provide the same benefits and is another factor you should look for when buying a fairway wood. Both these factors also allow for more backspin and straighter shots, while the loft also puts the ball high in the air. Beginners and high handicappers have a slower swing. The higher lofted fairway wood is ideal for them. Woods with a higher loft promote straighter golf ball flights and get the ball into the air for more distance.
If you are looking for a fairway woods for beginners, the one that allows high handicapper adjust the loft and lie angle would be better. It is better to understand when to use it. Clubs that have adjustability features cost you a little bit. But if you are looking for a bigger picture, it actually saves you money in the future because you don’t need to buy a new one if you want to change the loft and lie of your clubs.
High handicapper tends to miss the sweet spot of the clubface. It is also essential to look for a club with features that can help golfers with their mishit. Even if the high handicapper players have a poor swing, a forgiving wood still provides distance.
Materials of which the fairway wood is important as well. Fairway woods in the market use the three types of material. Below are the three materials that the fairway woods are usually made of.
This is the most well-known material for fairway woods. It is strong and a little bit heavier but not too expensive.
Most of the drivers are opting to use this kind of materials, so do with woods. This is lighter compared to steel. This allows the manufacturers to add more features to help high handicappers and players with slower swing speeds to get the ball to the maximum distance. The price of wood made from this material was a little bit expensive compared to the steel.
Nowadays, manufactures are now trying to use this material on the club head. Multi-material is usually a combination of steel and titanium. The combination of the two materials will result in having very lightweight fairway woods. Manufacturers can now optimize the head to help players reduce their off-center hits.
Same with drivers, it is also important to choose the right shaft for your fairway wood, especially if your high handicapper. Most of the fairway wood shaft materials are made from steel. However, other that are made from graphite, which is lighter than steel. It is also essential for you to chose the right flex. Fairway woods for beginners must have more flex. They can go after with ladies, senior or regular flex.
Due to the variety of features a fairway wood can provide, it is also important when deciding your purchase as to which features will benefit your game the most. For this, you should focus on the problem areas that you have, such as if you have trouble in the rough or if getting to the green quicker is essential due to the strokes your putting game may require.
Now that you know what to look for when you can make an informed decision and pick your best fit for our list of the right clubs for you.
As you can see, there are a lot of really great fairway woods for beginners and high handicappers. These clubs have the same forgiveness of a driver but are designed to be hit off of the fairway and rough.
It is hard to predict what each golfer’s individual needs may be, and with a wide choice of fairway woods available in the market, we hope you can make the perfect choice for you.
If you buy any these fairway woods, comment down at the bottom and let us know what you went with!
Thanks again for reading, and I’ll see you on the fairway!
Last update on 2023-03-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API