While all golfers want to improve their score, high handicap players need and appreciate all the help they can get. All clubs are important but fairway woods are often the last thing on a high handicapper or beginner’s mind. This is unfortunate as the best fairway wood for high handicappers can make a world of difference to your game and of course your score. You just have to know what you are looking for.
We will guide you through what to look for in a fairway wood for your best game and highlight a few popular and quality options.
Best Fairway Wood For High Handicappers
Editor’s Choice: TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood (click to see)
Best On A Budget: Cobra Men’s KING F6 Fairway Wood (click to see)
Premium Purchase: Callaway Golf Men’s Rogue Fairway Wood (click to see)
Best Ladies Fairway Woods For High Handicappers: Callaway Women’s X2 Hot Fairway (click to see)
TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood
Rating: 9.4 /10
- Highly forgiving
- Great ball speeds for a good distance
- Thin Ni-CO C300 face for high MOI
- Quality design technology
- Appealing design
- Good feel and feedback
- Range of lofts available
- There is no adjustable hosel
- Some players find the large head not ideal for fairway use
TaylorMade has long had a reputation for leading driver technology and top fairway woods. Both share much of the same technology. They focus on two of the most important features a high handicapper wants from a fairway wood — forgiveness and distance.
One of the main technologies is the legendary TaylorMade Speed Pocket. This optimizes spin and increases forgiveness across the face of the club. The technology has been popular for some time now and TaylorMade continues to perfect it.
It combines well with the inverted cone design that maximizes ball speed and the split internal weighting that improves forgiveness. The thinner Ni-CO C300 steel alloy face also allows for greater ball speed and accuracy on off-center hits.
Looks, sound, and feedback are seldom faulted on this fairway wood and most players are positive about these aspects. Playability is not the highlight of the M4 but most high handicappers will find it reasonable. This model is known to be a top choice as the best fairway wood for high handicapper.
If you are challenged with distance or accuracy the odds are you will be impressed with this fairway wood.
TaylorMade invests a lot of time and money in research and development and it really shows in the M4. The multiple technologies, advanced materials, and great design combine perfectly to give you an ultra-forgiving fairway wood that still offers great distance and an effortless launch.
Cobra Men’s KING F6 Fairway Wood
Best On A Budget
Rating: 9.0 /10
- Highly adjustable
- Great value for money
- Very Forgiving
- Impressive distance
- Impressive looks
- Not ideal for poor lies
- Not the easiest launch
Cobra is no stranger to technology and quality and the King F6 is a great value for money option for high handicappers. One of the leading features of this fairway wood is the great adjustability. This will allow you to optimize the club in order to get the most out of your swing.
There are 8 loft settings to help you get the best out of your swing speed and style. The CG (center of gravity) can also be adjusted front and back for increased forgiveness and good ball flight and distance.
This is a good example of a game improvement club that will benefit high handicappers. Cobra’s Speed Channel technology optimizes the face perimeter and thickness for good ball speed and distance. The back and low 13-gram weight is fixed but will help with forgiveness.
While looks are less important than performance it does not hurt that these fairway woods look good. They have a sleek modern look. Most players also enjoy the sound and feedback they deliver.
Callaway Golf Men’s Rogue Fairway Wood
Rating: 9.2 /10
- Great aerodynamics
- Good speed and distance
- Impressive forgiveness
- Range of shafts available
- Better players will find the workability a bit lacking
- No adjustability
All leading manufacturers have their own unique technologies. Callaway has invested in R&D and now offer their well-loved Jailbreak Technology in the Rogue range of fairway woods. It consists of two sole top crown titanium bars that make the body more rigid. This delivers more power to the face and results in higher ball speeds and therefore great distance.
This is further enhanced by the thin and fast Carpenter 455 steel face and Face Cup technology. Not only do these technologies work well together to deliver great speed but also improve forgiveness. Most mishits will suffer less and still travel a good distance while solid strikes go straight and far.
Another beneficial feature is the Internal Standing Wave technology. The forward and low weighting helps you launch high with low spin and good distance. Speed Step is another Callaway technology that improves aerodynamics for higher clubhead speeds.
Callaway Women’s X2 Hot Fairway
Best Ladies Fairway Woods For High Handicappers
Rating: 9.2 /10
- Great speed off the face
- High launching and easy to loft
- Great forgiveness
- Quality shaft for good control and feel
- Not great in the rough
- Some golfers found the lift too high
Another impressive fairway wood that uses the Callaway technology is the X2 Hot. This particular fairway wood is made for women but the design speaks for itself. As you would expect from their technology, it is highly forgiving and delivers high ball speeds for great distance.
The weighting is designed to minimize mishits and maximize forgiveness. It has a good and effortless launch that suits high handicappers. It features Speed Face technology due to the thin face. The result is faster ball speeds and greater distance even when you hot off center.
The shaft is also weighted and designed to enhance your shot. It gives control and a good feel. Mishits, slices, and hooks are minimized thanks to the design and technology.
What to look for in Fairway Wood as a high handicapper
As a high handicapper, you will probably want all the forgiveness you can get. Fortunately, most modern fairway woods are designed for higher handicap players and are generally highly forgiving. They have a large head size and larger sweet spot. The materials, design, and weighting are all optimized to be forgiving and minimize mishits.
Club head size
A bigger club head size will give you more confidence at address and will be more forgiving.
Along with accuracy, loft is one of the biggest challenges for high handicappers. The right fairway wood will be an enormous help in this regard. You have to give some thought to your intended use of the fairway wood as well as your swing speed.
The 3 wood will be used mainly for distance and will, therefore, have a relatively low trajectory. With the 5 wood, you will want more control and this will have a higher trajectory.
The weighting of the head will also impact the launch. The easiest ones to launch will have the weight positioned low and back in the head.
As much as launch, forgiveness, and accuracy are important you still want to achieve a good distance with your fairway wood so this has to be taken into consideration. Again, the design of most modern clubs helps to maximize distance while still offering the other important features you want and need. They have, amongst other benefits, a high MOI (Moment of Inertia) and low spin to give you greater distance. MOI means that there is less twisting and greater forgiveness when you contact the ball outside the center of the face. It will improve accuracy and give you better distance on mishits.
Adjustable lie and loft
Each golfer has a unique swing style and speed. As a high handicapper, you are likely to develop and evolve as your game improves so this changes over time. Two things many high handicap golfers have difficulty with is lie and loft. An adjustable hosel allows you to tweak the fairway wood to work with your unique swing.
With the lie adjustment, you can lower or raise the shaft position at address. This will improve the lie for your swing and maximize the shot.
Adjusting the loft will alter the trajectory up or down according to your swing speed and style.
The main aspects to consider when look at the fairway wood shaft are the length, the materials, and the stiffness.
Lower clubs, as with your irons, have less loft and a longer shaft. This is to ensure higher clubhead speed in order to launch the ball and carry it a good distance. Higher number fairway woods have more loft and can, therefore, have a shorter shaft.
The most common shaft material is stainless steel as it is durable and affordable. The downside is that it is rather heavy. This limits the size and weighting options of the club head.
Graphite shafts, while more expensive, are much lighter and allow for a range of flex options. Other materials are strong and relatively light titanium or versatile multi-metal composites.
Graphite shafts are popular on modern fairway wood and other clubs.
High handicap golfers generally have a lower swing speed and would benefit from a shaft with a fair amount of flex. Low swing speeds are roughly around 65 to 75 mph.
Many golf clubs will have a facility to test your swing speed if you are unsure. If you have a high swing speed then you would want to look at a stiffer shaft.
While performance is most important you want fairway woods that will complement the clubs in your golf bag. There are many great looking options available so take the time to consider the look and style of the club before making your decision.
Most golfers will have to consider their budget when making an investment in clubs. Remember that a quality fairway wood will last you a long time and many rounds of golf. There are some very well priced options available so consider your options carefully.
Fairway woods vs hybrids for high handicappers
Many golfers, high handicap players in particular, tend to prefer hybrids over fairway woods. While hybrids are very handy clubs it is still wise to have a decent fairway wood or two.
Newer golfers are often intimidated by fairway woods but this should not be the case. In many ways, they are actually easier to hit then hybrids. They have a larger head and good weighting. They also allow you to hit down on the ball which is a more natural way to strike.
Sure the shaft may be longer and the club might feel less familiar in your hands but don’t avoid fairway woods. There are many situations where they will be the best club in your bag.
As a high handicapper, you want to appreciate the benefit of a good fairway wood. It will increase your options and lead to a lower round. The more choices you have the better your options. Many shots are best played with a fairway wood.
Having the best fairway wood for lower handicapper will lead to a more enjoyable round and a better score.
While we have only highlighted the best of the best, one fairway wood stands out for high handicappers. After much research and careful consideration, our top rick is the TaylorMade M4 Fairway Wood. It is a great combination of style and function and ideal for the high handicapper.
Before making your selection from one of the great options available give some consideration to your swing speed and style. Play a few rounds with a quality fairway wood and change your game for the better.
Who makes the easiest 3-wood to hit?
Ping makes the easiest 3-wood to hit. The Ping G425 Max is simple to hit and forgiving. It is lightweight and equipped with a huge sweet spot that allows golfers to launch it high in the air. You can also buy other lofts aside from the traditional 14.5 degree version such as in 17.5, 20.5 and 23.5 degrees.
What is considered a high handicap in golf?
A high handicap in golf is usually around 25 or more. If you’re handicap is around a 20 then you’re shooting in the low 90s usually. A person with a 25 handicap will often shoot mid to high 90s and even in the 100s occasionally.
What is easier to hit fairway wood or hybrid?
A hybrid is easier to hit than a fairway wood. Hybrids are designed as “rescue” clubs and are made forgiving. The ball will launch higher in the air and spin more than a fairway wood. A wood will travel further but have more rollout.