Best Fairway Woods – 2021 Guide

With the popularity of hybrids, the fairway woods often get pushed to the side in today's golf world. However, on a day where your driver is not your best friend, or you have a long approach to a par four, the fairway wood is essential. While the hybrids have been gaining popularity, the fairway woods have been improving their technology. We have pulled the best fairway woods on the market across several different categories. There is sure to be an option on this list that will work for your game!


Our Best Fairway Woods in 2021



Best Fairway Woods

Callaway Mavrik Fairway Wood

Best Overall

KEY FEATURES

  • One of the best fairway woods for distance
  • Good driver replacement if needed
  • Flash Face, Face Cup, and Jailbreak Technology
  • Optimized center of gravity
  • Price is starting to come down
  • Created with Artificial Intelligence
  • Not as streamlined of a look as the Epic Flash

The best fairway woods on the market are the Callaway Mavrik Fairway Woods. There are not enough positive things we could say about these woods and what they have done for mid to high handicappers. The Mavrik fairway woods come in three versions the Max, the Mavrik, and the Mavrik Sub Zero.

The Sub Zero is for lower handicappers and will have a smaller profile and a bit better feel. The standard Mavrik is for mid handicappers, and it is one of the best fairway woods on the market. The Mavrik Max is the more forgiving draw bias version that makes an excellent choice for a 3 wood.

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Part of the reason the Mavrik Fairway woods are the best fairway woods is because of the combination of all of their technology. Callaway has been on to something the last few years with the Jailbreak, Face Cup, and Flash Face technology. However, with the Mavrik, they finally put it all together.

Whether you need a backup for your driver or you leave yourself long approaches to greens, the Callaway Mavrik Fairway wood will end up being your favorite club in your bag. The ball feels as though it skyrockets off the clubface. The low center of gravity also helps to improve launch and get better overall distance on your shots. It’s truly going to be challenging to find a fairway wood with more technology than the Mavrik.


TaylorMade M6 Fairway

KEY FEATURES

  • Speed pocket technology
  • High launch
  • Forgiving even from light rough
  • Traditional looking club head design
  • Not quite as much speed as the SIM2 Max

High handicappers are typically looking for lots of forgiveness in a fairway wood. The problem with high handicappers is they often need the distance that the best fairway woods provide; however, they don’t know when and where to hit the fairway wood. When your ball is buried in a deep lie in the rough, unfortunately, it is not a time to hit a fairway wood. A high handicap golfer needs to learn when and where to pull out the fairway wood.

Luckily the M6 fairway is one of the longest and most forgiving options on the market. In addition, this club has also started to drop in price. If you can find an M6 with your specifications, now is the time to purchase one.

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As always, TaylorMade features their incredible speed technology in all of their golf equipment. This is one of the best fairway woods for easy distance. Golfers that are working on tempo and controlling the speed of their swing will have quite a bit of luck with the M6 fairway in play.

This TaylorMade M6 is offered in a number of different loft variations. We highly recommend going with something that is closer to a five wood loft. The few degrees of extra launch will make this an even better fit for the higher handicapper.


Callaway Mavrik Max

Best 3 Wood

Callaway Mavrik Max

KEY FEATURES

  • Has the forgiveness needed in a 3 wood
  • High ball speeds
  • Jailbreak technology
  • Helps hit the ball further
  • Created using artificial intelligence
  • Optimal center of gravity placement
  • Club head is huge and a bit bulky

With the Callaway Mavrik Fairway wood winning the top choice for the best fairway wood in golf, it probably comes as no surprise that the best three wood is the Callaway Mavrik Max. The Mavrik and the Mavrik Max are very similar. The main difference that you will notice is that the Mavrik Max tends to be a bit more forgiving because of the larger club head.

When you put a there wood in your golf bag, forgiveness needs to be considered. The best 3 woods are also going to have low spin from the tee and plenty of roll. The new Mavrik Max fairway wood is created using Artificial Intelligence and the Flash Face SS20 club face. 

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The face on this club is one of the hottest in golf. You will get tremendous ball speed and higher launch angles, and you can also get some draw bias. The leading edge on the Mavrik Max is a unique looking design that is built for the mid to low swing speeds.

If you are looking for a club that will help you from the tee or from the fairway, the Mavrik Max can undoubtedly do the trick. For golfers who have struggled to get a 3 wood off the ground in the past, the lofts on this club will undoubtedly improve launch.


King Radspeed 5 Wood

Best 5 Wood

KEY FEATURES

  • Lower center of gravity
  • Very forgiving from the rough
  • High ball speeds
  • Available in a variety of lofts
  • Carbon crown
  • Brand new technology
  • Lower profile club face is not quite as appealing to the higher handicapper

The Cobra King RadSpeed fairway is another brand new release on the market. We have this club as one of our best fairway woods because it has adjustability, low spin, and tremendous performance. Cobra has been pushing the limits with their speed technology the last few years; the early indications on these new King Radspeed are that they will take player’s games to the next level.

The RadSpeed is a traditional looking fairway wood that will help golfers gain confidence from the fairway while still providing plenty of speed. These fairway woods are going to look a bit like the Cobra King Speedzone with some additional technology.

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The Hollow Split Rail technology is continued in the Radspeed to make this one of the best fairway woods for hitting out of the rough. Typically speaking, your 5 wood will be a better shot out of the rough than a 3 wood. You may as well play with a club that will give you even more, launch and speed from a poor lie.

The CNC milled face is another feature that Cobra Golf has been adding to their golf clubs for quite some time. The CNC face helps to increase ball speed, even on a shot that you have missed the center of the club face.

In the last few years, we have seen that the Cobra Fairway woods have started to appeal to both high and low handicappers. With the club head’s adjustability, you can set this fairway wood to feel like a custom golf club for you. 


TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Best For Distance

KEY FEATURES

  • Twist face technology for forgiveness
  • Available in many lofts
  • Improved turf interaction
  • Easy to get the ball in the air
  • No adjustable hosel

The TaylorMade SIM Max fairway woods were the best woods on the market. They flew faster and higher than any of the other 3 woods that we have seen. The SIM Max golf clubs feature the impressive V Steel design and the lower center of gravity. However, it was time for TaylorMade to release the new SIM Max, the SIM Max2.

We are glad that TaylorMade decided to stick with the SIM Max name on these clubs as we weren’t quite finished with the impressive SIM Max technology. The new SIM Max2 is a large 195 cc head design with precision weighting and a low center of gravity.

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As always, if you are looking for incredible distance, this is the club you will want in your bag. One of the best things about the SIM Max2 is that you will get a very high launch regardless of the loft of the club you have in your hand.

When it comes to forgiveness, the Twist Face technology is going to help players that miss the center of the club face. The fact that the twist face is also made from steel increases the MOI that you will get with this SIM Max fairway wood.

Last but certainly not least, the fairway woods of 2020 features the thru slot speed pocket. In 2021 this has not changed for TaylorMade. Their Speed Pocket technology is still alive and well. When you combine the speed with the V Steel turf interaction technology, the feel and performance of the SIM2 Max are unmatched.


Ping G425 LST

Best For Low Handicapper

KEY FEATURES

  • Low profile streamlined shape
  • High ball speed
  • Best fairway wood for controlling shots
  • Better spin than Ping G410 Fairway
  • Impressive face technology 
  • New release, pricing is quite high

When Ping releases a new club, heads start to turn. The G425 is a long awaited arrival to the market, and it is jam packed with technology that players are looking for. The brand new G425 has the new Facewrap Technology and Spinsistency. In other words, you will get a lot of distance and controlled spin with the LST.

The G425 is available in three versions, the LST, SFT, and the G425 Max. We like the LST for the lower handicap golfers because of the fast ball speed that is possible. The head of the G425 has a minimal profile and looks like a club that a lower handicap player would enjoy having in their bag. Overall the look is a bit more streamlined than the G410 fairway woods.

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The G425 LST is very easy to line up with the 3 dot alignment feature on the club head’s top. If you are a golfer who likes to know where your shots are going and whether your game is staying on track, the Arccos technology will be a huge benefit. With a sensor in the grip, you can keep an eye on how you are performing and whether or not you are getting more distance with your fairway wood.

One of the most common mishits on a fairway wood is to hit it low on the face. Typically shots hit low on the face won’t get a very good launch, and the distance won’t be nearly as much. However, the new Ping G425 has 2.5 degrees more loft on the bottom of the club face to make up for the common miss.

This is an impressive new release from Ping and the best fairway wood for the player who likes to control their golf shots. You can work this fairway wood yet still get plenty of distance and performance.


Cobra F Max Fairway Wood

Best For Senior

KEY FEATURES

  • Large sweet spot 
  • Good for slower swing speeds
  • Improved turf interaction
  • Slight draw bias with offset technology
  • Lightweight carbon crown
  • Club head is a bit large

Senior golfers will end up relying on their fairway wood quite often during the course of a round. The Cobra F Max fairway is the best fairway wood for the senior golfer. These clubs are easy to hit, work for mid to low handicap players, and a large sweet spot.

The lightweight technology on the Cobra F Max Fairway is part of what makes this one of the best for seniors. Most senior golfers start to lose a bit of swing speed as they age. Looking for clubs that are lighter and can help increase ball speed are going to be the best choice.

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The shaft in the Cobra F Max Fairway is five grams lighter than previous versions. This means that you can swing it faster and get the distance that you need. The F Max is an offset fairway wood that allows some forgiveness for those that tend to slice the golf ball.

One of the recent technology advancements in these Cobra golf clubs is the PWR Ridges. The PWR Ridges help golfers to set their fairway wood up square to the target each time. When golfers set a fairway wood down on the fairway, they tend to leave the clubface a bit open to the target. For better players, this can help to promote a slight draw. For those that already slice, this club face angle could cause issues.

You will find lots of speed, a variety of lofts, and improved turf interaction with this new Cobra F Max Fairway in your golf bag. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Many golfers tend to take a few years to replace a fairway wood. Since the club is not always used, golfers often have quite a few questions when it comes time to replace the fairway wood. Here are some of the common questions and concerns that golfers have about the best fairway woods on the market.

How Many Fairway Woods Should I Have In My Golf Bag?

Most golfers will have between one and three fairway woods in their golf bag. There is no perfect number that you can have; however, there are a few things that you should consider about the number of fairway woods in your bag. 

If you are a golfer that has more of a sweeping type swing, you will probably find that you struggle with hybrids. Your natural swing pattern encourages you to hit up through the ball. For golfers like this, it is probably best to have a 3, 5, and even a 7 wood in the bag.

Golfers that tend to hit down and through their shots will get lots more spin and control. They will likely have better luck using more hybrids in the bag. This is a player that will likely benefit from keeping just a 3 wood in the bag. The 3 wood can serve as a backup for the driver on the days when it is needed.

Should High Handicappers Use A 3 Wood?

High handicappers need to be careful about the 3 wood that they put in their golf bag. A 3 wood has a very low loft and can be challenging to hit. Players with higher handicappers need something with a slightly larger sweet spot and better forgiveness.

The 3 wood is not always the best choice for this. If you are a higher handicap player who feels like the 3 wood needs to be in your bag, go with something that is slightly offset or draw bias. This wil help you to straight shots out and still get the necessary performance from an otherwise hard to hit golf club.

High handicappers should not rule out a 3 wood, instead, just be aware of the forgiving attributes of a 3 wood that you place in your golf bag.

What Is The Difference Between A Low Handicap and High Handicap Fairway Wood?

Knowing which fairway wood is built for your game can take a bit of patience and research. When we did our reviews of the best fairway woods on the market, we tried to help you see which clubs are for which players. There are some keywords that you can be aware of to help you know who a fairway wood is for.

The lower profile, smaller club head golf clubs are almost always for the better player. These clubs will have lower tolerances for a miss, but they will still get players plenty of forgiveness and distance.

The larger club head with the big sweet spot is going to be the best choice for the golfers that have higher handicaps. Since the higher handicappers tend to miss the center of the clubface at times, this club can help to make the difference.

Higher handicappers also need to look for offset or draw bias type fairway woods. These help to straighten out a slice and get the ball going straight down the fairway. Over time you will be able to quickly look and tell which golf club is suited for which player.


Testing Criteria used for Evaluation

Now that you know everything there is to know about the best fairway woods on the market, it’s time to make sure that you get the right one in your golf bag. Here are a few of the things you should consider before you purchase your next fairway wood.

Loft Gapping

When you add one of these best fairway woods in the game to your golf bag, you will need to make sure that you are paying close attention to the lofts. You must check the loft on your driver as well as the loft on your hybrid to make sure that you are correctly filling in the gap between them.

If you have a 19 degree hybrid, chances are you don’t need a 19 degree fairway wood. Make sure that you are giving yourself a variety of golf shots that you are capable of hitting. You will want high launch and low launch options, as well as clubs that you can hit out of the rough. Remember that the best fairway woods are those that work best for your game. If you need something with an adjustable loft to make that work, you have that option available.

Shaft

All of the best fairway woods are going to come with graphite shafts. You will have to pay attention to both the launch and the flex of the shaft. The faster swing speed players are going to need a stiffer shaft with a lower launch.

Golfers that have a slower swing speed need a more flexible golf shaft that is going to give them a bit more launch and height off the tee. There are lots of great shafts out there on the market. For the majority of golfers, the stock shaft that comes with the club head is going to be a perfect choice.

If you go for a custom fitting, you may be fitting with a different shaft; however, this only applies to a small percentage of golfers.

Forgiveness

If you need a club that is forgiving, look for one with a large sweet spot. A fairway wood with a low center of gravity, large sweet spot, and high launch will be the most forgiving choice on the market.

Forgiveness is especially important when you are purchasing a 3 wood. With a 3 wood having a lower loft than other clubs in the bag, it is naturally less forgiving. Most of the time, forgiveness and distance are going to go hand in hand.

The only downside of choosing a fairway wood with extra forgiveness is that you may lose a bit of workability. If you like to hit fades and draws, the forgiving fairway wood will likely not be the best choice.

Adjustability

Not all fairway woods are adjustable. The best fairway woods for adjustability are generally the Cobra models. Having this adjustability in your woods will let you hit a variety of shots and set the club to work appropriately for your golf game.

Adjustable fairway woods are typically no more expensive than clubs that have no adjustability. If you are a golfer working on fixing a slice or a hook and need the help of a closed or open club face, a fairway wood that is adjustable will make all the difference.


Conclusion

NAMEEDITOR'S CATEGORYPRODUCT
Callaway Mavrik Fairway WoodBest OverallCallaway Mavrik Fairway Wood
TaylorMade M6 Fairway Best For High HandicappersTaylorMade M6 Fairway
Callaway Mavrik MaxBest 3 WoodCallaway Mavrik Max
King Radspeed 5 WoodBest 5 Wood King Radspeed 5 Wood
TaylorMade SIM2 MaxBest For DistanceTaylorMade SIM2 Max
Ping G425 LSTBest For Low Handicapper Ping G425 LST
Cobra F Max Fairway WoodBest For SeniorCobra F Max Fairway Wood

The choices for the best fairway woods on the market can be a bit overwhelming. Each of these clubs has unique benefits that can help you grow your game. We are impressed with each club on this list, although the Callaway Mavrik truly stands out. The Mavrik will apply to a wide range of handicaps, and it offers performance regardless of your swing strengths or weaknesses. The only problem with the Mavrik Fairway is that you will want to fill your golf bag with them!

Brittany Olizarowicz
Brittany Olizarowicz

Britt Olizarowicz started playing golf at the age of 7. She played Division 1 College golf at St.Johns University, where she won two tournaments at the collegiate level. After college Britt became a Class A PGA Professional, her love for the game spans almost her entire life. Today Britt loves sharing her knowledge of golf through her writing. She also has two young children to who she is enjoying introducing the game.