Golf Fairway Woods
The fairway can be a tough place to navigate on many golf courses, but the right set of fairway woods can help any golfer make it to the green in a few less strokes. With a variety of different options on the market, it is important to find the right wood for your game.
What are fairway woods used for in golf?
Fairway woods were originally named for the hardwood persimmon they were made from, but now they are mostly made of metals such as titanium. Woods include the driver and the fairway woods, and these clubs are used to get some distance on your shot. For shorter holes, some golfers will choose to use their fairway woods to tee off rather than the driver, which typically is used for longer holes. For example, a short par 3 hole might be a good time to use a fairway wood to start off. For a longer hole such as a par 5, starting with the driver and moving to the fairway wood after the first shot might be the best plan. It is important to have at least one or two fairway woods so that you have options depending on how far you need to drive the ball. Some fairways are spacious, and getting to the green can take a few shots.
Things To Consider
When looking for a fairway wood, you'll want to consider the following:
- What kind of fairway wood are you looking for?
- How much are you looking to spend on a fairway wood?
- What degree of loft are you looking for?
What are you looking for in a fairway wood?
- Matches your handedness
There are a few different types of fairway woods, and having the right one or two in your bag can help make for a better round. The main types include adjustable woods and tour woods.
While some people prefer to carry a few different fairway woods, others prefer the adjustable wood. The adjustable option allows you to use a tool to quickly change the angle of the club face to alter the loft on your swing. This can help modify the club to better fit the course or weather.
- Can carry one or two less clubs
- Can adjust to weather and course conditions
- Have to take the time to use the tool and adjust the wood
- Often expensive, with models over $200 from top brands
Typical fairway woods used by professional players on tour come in a few different forms. 3-Wood, 5-Wood, 7-Wood, and 9-Wood are all used, but the 3-Wood and 5-Wood are the most common. The smaller numbered woods are used for longer shots, and therefore many golfers on tour only need their driver, 3-Wood, and 5-Wood to make it to the green. Using tour fairway woods is not an inexpensive endeavor. Having to buy multiple clubs, all likely over $150, can be expensive, and tour models can cost over $1,000 per club.
- Have a unique specially designed club for each shot
- May only need to carry two for longer holes
- More weight to carry than the adjustable
- Can be expensive, especially when more than one club is needed
There are many popular golf brands that produce fairway woods, including Titleist, Taylormade, and Ping.
Titleist offers three varieties of fairway woods, all priced around $300. They sell lefty and righty clubs to fit your needs and also offer adjustable options to help lighten the load. Titleist promises their cutting-edge technology used in the production of their clubs will help improve your swing.
Taylormade offers a wider variety of fairway woods, including some less expensive options under $200. These designs are meant to inspire confidence in your stroke by offering a light, easy to swing club that can help get the desired launch. They also offer women's models.
Ping has recently added an adjustable model to their fairway woods collection, and they have updated the head shape of their woods to provide more forgiveness on swings. They offer a wide variety of models with varying degrees of loft, typically selling woods from $200-$300.
In what situations should you hit a fairway wood?
Fairway woods are used for the first swing on shorter holes such as par 3's or even a short par 4. Using a 3-wood for these holes can help deliver the ball close to the green, where you can switch to a different club option. For longer holes such as par 5's, it is appropriate to use your fairway wood after first teeing off with your driver and landing the ball on the fairway. You may still have some ground to cover before the green on long holes, and the fairway woods are perfect for that.
How much do fairway woods cost?
Depending on the brand and the type of wood being purchased, they can range from $150 to over $1,000 for clubs used by professionals. Many of the top brands sell a variety of woods, and figuring out if you would prefer to buy one adjustable wood, which can be a more expensive club around $300, or multiple standard woods priced between $150-$300 is important. Another option is buying an entire set of clubs that would include woods, irons, wedges, and a putter for several hundred dollars.
How far can you hit a fairway wood?
The smaller the number of the wood, the more distance you can potentially get on a shot.
3-woods will typically max out around 125-235 yards, which is about 20% less than you might be able to get from your driver, but the wood can make for a more precise shot. 5-woods generally shoot between 105-210 yards, and again, the shorter distance is meant to come with a little extra precision. Sometimes you simply do not need the additional distance on your shot to land near the green, which is where a 5-wood can come in handy.