A 3 wood is an essential club for a mid handicapper. Although the three Wood can be tough to hit from the fairway, it can be a lifesaver hitting the tee box. For beginners and mid handicappers who have not learned how to straighten out their drives, the three Wood is a perfect way to learn and eventually work your way up to a driver.
As the longest club players often hit from the ground, these low lofted options can be complex for many. Each fairway woods in this list creates a nice balance of high launches and longer distances to help mid handicappers looking to upgrade their equipment this year.
As you continue to improve your game, fairway woods can add that extra length and accuracy you need. With many different options in loft and length, we will help find you the best option.
Let’s get started.
Callaway Golf 2019 Epic Flash Fairway Wood
Callaway’s Epic Flash fairway wood and Sub Zero range of fairway woods have taken the golf world by storm since their release in January.
Launched alongside this and Epic Flash Sub Zero drivers, the new fairway woods from Callaway received many of the identical technological additions as the drivers, including Jailbreak and Flash Face – designed to give golfers of all levels more incredible ball speeds and distance.
Both models of woods are fitted with the shorter, lighter OptlFIT Hosel, which has allowed Callaway’s engineers to reposition the center of gravity, resulting in a high, long-carrying flight.
Also aiding these woods in fastball speeds is the forged 455 Carpenter steel construction, which, combined with Face Cup technology, allows for more distance on-center and off-center ball striking.
The key difference between the Epic Flash and the Sub Zero is the latter has what Callaway calls “precision shot-shaping technology” through adjustable sole weighting (16g and 2g), which allows for spin control, launch, and trajectory.
The stock steel shaft is a Project X Evenflow Green, while there are two graphite options: the Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black and the Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue. Available in 3-wood, 3+-wood, 5-wood, 7-wood, 9-wood, 11-wood, and Heavenwood.
- Satisfying carry and total distance
- Flexible loft options
- Provides better ball speed than most other woods
- A good blend of technology
- Amazing forgiveness.
- It has a smooth feeling and mild sound.
- Quality materials and construction make this Club very much durable.
- The Club provides better ball speed than most other woods
- Looks great on the golf course.
- Accessories are not very much available.
- Only a few selective grips can be used.
Callaway Golf 2017 Men’s Great Big Bertha Epic Fairway Wood
The revolutionary “Jailbreak” technology made the Epic driver such a hit this year for Callaway. Though this fairway wood shares the same GBB Epic name, the technology is not quite the same.
You still get that ultra-lightweight triaxial carbon in the clubhead, a Speed Step crown, and the fast Face Cup design, though.
All that amounts to a fairway wood that is very lightweight and easy to swing, with the weight focused towards the sole for playability and forgiveness. You also get a wide choice in lofts, from 3 to 9-wood.
The Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Fairway Wood is one of the best mid-handicappers Wood for ball speed and distance.
You get a club that combines various features that boost speed and distance like; an overall balanced and lightweight, triaxial carbon in the clubhead, fast Face Cup design, and a Speed Step crown.
The Wood also offers optimal forgiveness, accuracy & control, and a wide range of playability options.
If you are a mid-handicapper looking for a wood that offers the highest ball speeds and distance on the course, this is a club worth trying.
- Weight saved by the ultra-light triaxle carbon crown is repositioned to increase MOI and lower the CG for easy launch and added power.
- Fast head speed from speed step technology – developed with Direct Input from aerospace experts to improve aerodynamics for fast swing speed and distance without extra effort
- Equally comfortable off the tee and on the fairway, a great option if you want a well-balanced wood.
- It’s an excellent distance on shots, with faster ball speeds due to the Face Cup design.
- The Wood is straightforward and lightweight to swing, with reasonable amounts of forgiveness.
- Looks great in the glossy black finish with neon accents.
- The feedback and sound are not the best in class.
- Probably not a good fit for the better swingers in the mid handicap range.
Taylor Made Men’s RBZ Fairway
The TaylorMade Men’s RBZ Black Fairway Wood is a popular choice amongst mid-handicappers that do not want to break the bank. With a mid-size head and great forgivability, the RBZ is a very playable club.
The slot on the bottom of the Club makes hitting off any lie a breeze. A player can expect to make a substantial impact from any playing condition without the bottom of the club dragging.
The new Legendary Speed Pocket technology included with the Club provides a player higher ball launch and increased distance. The profile of the clubhead is lower to the ground allowing for comfortability making shots from the fairway.
TaylorMade also added a mass pad that optimizes launch off the clubface while delivering a high-quality sound and feel.
The Legendary Speed Pocket also reduces spin and the increasing launch, which gives a player more distance without sacrificing accuracy.
The refreshed design of the RBZ model uses a satin black trim with crown details, allowing a player to dial in their alignment.
The lightweight 55 RocketFuel stock shaft provided with the RBZ model increases speed and distance, making the Club very comfortable to swing.
Players looking to dial in their loft can use the adjustable hosel to decrease or increase based on their course needs.
With all of the new high-level upgrades to the RBZ model in play, a player could guess the Club to cost somewhere near $300.
Great news, arguably the best feature provided with the RBZ model besides increased distance and accuracy is the fantastic price.
- Titanium weight in the rear of the driver promotes higher launch
- A very forgiving driver that helps keep the ball in the fairway
- Speed pocket delivers exceptional swing velocity and added distance after impact
- Stable throughout the swing with terrific feel and response throughout the swing
- High launch and low spin
- Good trajectory control
- Helpful alignment graphics
- Not the largest sweet spot
- Kind of a lame standard headcover
Callaway Men’s XR 16 Fairway Wood
It is pretty usual for fairway woods to try and be tiny to give you the appeal of a better player. The Callaway Men’s XR 16 Fairway Wood, however, is a big and proud contender.
With a substantial footprint and around and asymmetrical shape, there is nothing small about it. This Club has been specially designed to look and feel easy to hit.
Did you know that an easy way of examining a fairway wood is to hear the sound that it makes on impact? The Callaway XR 16 makes a prototypical sound, almost like a metallic ink proof of good contact.
The manufacturers claim that the face cup has been redesigned to make it thinner and hotter so that the feel is more supportive. When you hit your shots, it will feel like they are jumping off the face.
When it comes to the performance of a fairway wood, what matters the most is how forgiving and easy the launch is and also by aerodynamics and speed. The Callaway XR 16 gives you all of these four things and more.
The product makes swinging easier than ever before. Because it is well-balanced and light, you will receive just enough feel for the head. Even if you are a beginner, you will be glad to notice great Club and ball speed.
What comes across as the best feature of this fairway wood is how easy it is to hit shots that are high and straight.
Covering distances is often a matter of concern for beginners, but you might also be amazed at the total distance that this Club helps you cover without much trouble.
- It has a round and symmetrical shape.
- It gives out a metallic sound on impact.
- High and straight shots.
- They redesigned the face cup.
- Playable enough to blast balls as well as for gentle draws.
- Even with huge misses, you will end up in the right places.
- Twists on missed hits help players to identify their errors.
- They are shaped comfortably.
Cobra Golf 2019 F9 Men’s Speedback Fairway
Many high handicappers know the Cobra F9 Speedback is the best fairway wood to take you from high handicapper to mid handicapper.
The Cobra Baffler technology was continued with this fairway wood, making them easier to hit options on the market.
Even though we don’t always recommend hitting a three wood from the rough, the F9 will be your best chance at it.
The CNC Precision Milled Face is what helps lead to the fantastic feel of these golf clubs. Golfers want to be rewarded when they hit a great shot, and the F9 Speedback allows for that. We love this Club both from the tee and from the fairway as well.
The F9 is also incredibly adjustable. If a three wood in your bag is a bit of stretch for you, you can increase the loft to make this a better match for your golf swing.
- SPEEDBACK aerodynamics delivers more clubhead speed, more incredible ball speeds, and more distance.
- The CNC milled driver face ensures that each driver’s face is built to the thinnest and fastest tolerances.
- Adjustable loft sleeves and weight configurations make sure that every golfer receives the ideal launch and spin characteristics at any speed.
- Cobra connect technology
- Baffler rail technology helps increase forgiveness.
- Lots of distance
- Highly adjustable
- Smaller profile clubhead, some golfers like the more extensive profile for confidence
Cleveland Golf Launcher HB Turbo Fairway Wood
The Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo has the new turbocharged cup face technology and a very low center of gravity.
The low center of gravity will allow beginners and high handicappers to launch the ball much more elevated and land this Club softly when needed as an approach into the green.
The Cleveland HB 3 wood is designed with the HiBore Crown, making this a lightweight and easy-to-hit fairway wood for the high handicapper.
The only real problem with the Cleveland Launcher is that it focuses more on forgiveness than on distance.
If you are serious about getting the most distance possible out of a fairway wood, this is not the Club for you.
If you want a reliable fairway wood that stays straight and keeps the ball in the fairway, then the HB Turbo could be an excellent choice for you.
Another positive is that Cleveland always remains relatively fair about the pricing on their fairway wood.
- It delivers a competitive and very off-the-rack presentation at a reasonable price.
- It feels fast, steady and the draw bias will help slicers find additional fairways.
- The external and internal weight reduction redistributed low and deep for an advanced launch and more forgiveness.
- Hire technology for a low center of gravity
- Very forgiving fairway wood
- Great for slower swing speed golfers
- Not the best fairway wood for distance
Callaway X HOT Fairway Wood
The Callaway X Hot Fairway Wood was designed while keeping two things in mind. The first intention was to maintain a low center of gravity that would eventually allow a better and higher launch angle.
The second intention was to ensure that the speed of the ball was the fastest possible off the face of the Club.
The manufacturers have excitingly accomplished these two motives. The Club has been designed in two separate pieces.
The first is a fused stainless steel face cup that allows you to experience fast and consistent speeds across the Club’s face.
The second piece is the casting of the clubhead that is also made of stainless steel. The Internal Standing Wave that is included in this piece takes the weight towards the face as much as possible, which helps lower the center of gravity.
For golfers who are not too fond of bright graphics, this Club is the perfect product to buy. The crown of this fairway wood has a matte grey finish that completely stays away from distracting designs and thus reduces glare.
There are patches of red and black on the back of the crown to match the same on the Club’s bottom, but that is quite minimal. This redesigned version also comes along with a traditional alignment mark from Callaway.
You might notice that the shaft is half an inch lesser or so, but if you can hit in the center of the face, you might not even feel the ball coming off it.
You could very well get a feeling that you are swinging the Club in mid-air. You might feel the impact of the ball if you hit it on the toe or towards the heel, but there is no doubt about the fact that no other fairway wood would give you the feeling as amazing as this one when hitting a pure strike.
It is also definitely 10 yards better than the earlier version. All in all, it is a very workable club and is bound to find a more permanent place in your golf bag than other fairway woods that you might have experienced.
- It is constructed of 455 carpenter steel.
- Lightweight shaft.
- It comes along in two separate pieces fused.
- Produces flatter roll and renders higher shots.
- Requires minimal effort to move the ball from one side to the other.
- Significantly reduces sidespin.
- It covers a decent distance even with the worst hits.
- It lets the ball rebound effortlessly.
- Pleasing and less distractive graphics.
- Some users have reported that the misses feel a lot like center hits.
Adams Tight Lies 2013 Fairway Wood
This here is nothing short of perfection when it comes to playing on course. It has an outstanding design that ensures you have your best performance whenever you play with it.
In this product, three things come together: Velocity Slot Technology, Tri-Level Sole, and a shaft made of Bassara Eagle steel. It comes along in three different flexes; regular, stiff, and X-stiff flex.
The Velocity Slot helps to enhance the ball speed across the face because it makes the club flex a lot more when there is impact. What’s more, there is a Ghost slot that works invisibly to enhance launch and ball speeds.
The tri-level sole significantly reduces turf interactions so that golfers can benefit from all types of lies. The steel shaft is lighter but also highly durable at the same time. The Club comes along in an attractive design and a functional pear shape.
- Increased playability from every type of lie
- Easy to produce high launching shots
- Ideal for long par-4’s and par-5’s
- Cut-through, velocity slot technology creates a hotter face for greater distance.
- A low-profile, upside-down design produces a larger area of impact below the golf ball.
- Smaller heads and lower profile make hitting from all lie types very convenient.
- The Club minimizes sidespin and thus keeps the ball on target.
- It offers consistent distance coverage.
- Attractive appearance.
- Traditional sound on impact helps a good deal.
- The shadowed face takes a bit out of its playability.
- Some golfers do not like the small head.
Cobra Golf 2020 Men’s Speedzone Fairway Black
The Cobra Speedzone fairway is the update of the Speedback woods that were released in 2019. The Speedzone comes in three models. The standard Speedzone, the Speedzone Tour, and the Speedzone Big Tour Fairway.
We recommend staying away from the Speedzone Tour as a mid handicapper as this model is built for the lower handicap player.
The good news is that the Speedzone Big Tour is very similar, but because of the size, it offers more forgiveness. The Big Tour is a high launching and low spinning fairway perfect for players looking for maximum distance.
The Standard Speedzone model focuses on distance and forgiveness. All models come with the CNC milled face that Cobra introduced last year.
All of the Speedzone Fairways are adjustable and come in the 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8 lofts. Another fantastic benefit of the Speedzone is the Cobra Connect technology that helps you keep track of your distances and accuracy.
A sensor in the grip will track your shots for you. This is a fantastic option on an adjustable loft club, so you can get some feedback on how you are hitting it.
The brand new fairway woods retail for a very fair value. This is great considering all the technology packed into this Club.
- CNC Milled face ensures face is machined to precise specs for optimal performance and maximum speed
- Hollow split rails help generate a 70% larger hot spot area to promote higher launch and increased ball speed.
- Carbon Fiber Crown shifts weight lower and deeper for even higher launch and increased playability.
- Smart looks
- Friendly size down by the ball
- Baffler rails help with turf interaction
- Cobra Connect will improve your golf if used properly
- Some golfers may favor loft adjustability
- The flight was a little inconsistent
- One Length hybrid concept was not for me
TaylorMade SIM MAX Fairway
We all know that TaylorMade puts out some of the best fairway woods for mid handicappers year after year. This year we felt like the SIM MAX is one of the longest options available.
The new V Steel sole helps to improve turf interaction so much that it just makes the hit cleaner and longer. When playing from a tight lie, it can be challenging to hit fairway woods perfectly clean. The V Steel helps give you that confidence you need out of tight or difficult lies.
The perfect option to consider is not just for a fairway wood to use off the tee, but a long fairway shot into the green.
TaylorMade used a C300 ultra-strong steel face on this fairway. Manufacturers have played around with different face materials for the last several years. This face seems to provide some explosive distance for golfers of all levels.
One of the best things this fairway wood has to offer is the twist face technology. TaylorMade uses this on many of their clubs to give off-center hits the distance that they need.
Hitting the Club slightly off-center can result in the distance lost upwards of twenty, thirty, forty yards. This can be a real problem for golfers already struggling with getting the length they need.
When you look for the best fairway wood for the distance, you always need to keep forgiveness in mind. A ball hit a long way in the wrong direction will not help your game or the house of the people living off the side of the 7th fairway!
The Sim Max retails for the same as the Mavrik as it is a new release. Players looking for custom shafts still have the ability with this Club, but the stock shafts are great as well.
- Market-leading ball speed and launch in the category as well as a choice of three models to cater to different golfers
- Also fantastic looking
- More forgiving feel from the deck
- Good, tight dispersion
SRX ZX Fwy 5 18 Riptide 6.0 RH
Srixon is easily the most unspoken-of top brand on the market. Matsuyama won the Masters with them, and I play their irons. This fairway wood is excellent for those approaching the par-four greens with fairway woods.
They are creating some of the best clubs in the market, and the ZX range is an improvement on the prior Z785 and Z585 clubs.
Srixon doesn’t release new clubs every six months like some manufacturers, preferring to make impactful changes in their clubs, releasing every couple of years.
Even though the ZX fairway wood has some offset, the face sits nice and square to the ball when you place it at the address. The head has a shiny crown and a more triangular shape than a lot of fairway woods.
Srixon has created a “Rebound Frame,” which separates the face from the crown and makes a sort of ridge across the head, which looks quite close to the PXG and Callaway.
The fairway woods create a low spin number but a couple with a high launch to stop on the greens instead of bounding on. This means longer carries that land at a steeper angle of descent for quick stops.
- It has a competitive distance, robust feel, and pleasing aesthetic, especially at address.
- Modern looking and the latest as seen on the tour
- Long carry due to lower spin
- Higher launch to create steeper landing angle to prevent bounding on approaches
- Explosive feeling and sound at impact
- No adjustable lofts or weights if you’re into that
Choosing from a variety of different fairway woods available can be a difficult task. Luckily, each fairway wood comes with different strengths and weaknesses. Matching the stability of your fairway of choice to your swing will be key in making the biggest impact on your scores. Here are factors you may consider.
As a mid handicapper, you may still be fine-tuning your swing.
If a player is looking to add more accuracy to their fairway wood while still achieving distance, look for a higher lofted wood.
This occurs in slower swing speeds; more loft makes it easier to pick the ball clean off the turf to accelerate the long ball distances. A comparison to make is the pitching wedge is easier to hit than the four iron.
This is because the pitching wedge maintains a higher loft than the four iron, thus making it easier to get the ball up and going forward. Fairway woods that carry a 16 to 17-degree loft are much easier to hit than the standard 14 to 15-degree lofts.
2. Ball Control
When considering which fairway wood to use to make key strides towards a single-digit handicap, ensure that the Club maintains the ball control needed from impact.
Fairway wood with more ball spin will tend to have more control of the ball flight. In addition to the higher wheel, look for a ball that uses a lower launch as well.
These two factors combine for the most accurate of shots for moderate swing speeds.
Different combinations of ball spin and launch provide different results of distance, accuracy, and control.
If a player is highly confident in their swing and wants to achieve a greater distance, then opt for a club that produces a high launch, with lower ball spin, opposite of the more accurate high ball spin and lower launch.
When choosing the fairway wood that you want to purchase, make sure you consider the Club’s adjustability.
A mid handicapper looking to move into the single digits wants to have the ability to customize their fairway wood.
While a player may know what they want from a fairway wood, having the ability to adjust loft and weights makes a big difference as play improves.
After determining the best feeling fairway wood for your game, look for the clubs that contain adjustability for weights and loft.
Adjustability allows players to fit the Club they desire to swing instead of fitting their swing to the Club.
Features that may be manipulated include loft, lie and inherently face angle. Drivers carry the same sort of adjustable hosel technology that the fairway woods do.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Driver vs. Fairway Woods: What is the Difference?
The most significant differences between a driver and a fairway wood are its head size and purpose. These clubs may share the same loft or length but often differ in these as well.
Drivers are designed to be used when the golf ball rests on a tee and is difficult to strike effectively when the golf ball is on the ground.
Fairway woods have shallower faces and curved soles that help them to increase their versatility and strike the ball effectively from either a shorter tee peg or various ground conditions.
2. What is the difference Between a 3 Wood and a 5 Wood (3 Wood vs. 5 Wood)?
In general, three Wood will have slightly less loft and about half an inch longer shaft length than a 5-wood.
This may result in a 3-wood playing about 7-10 yards longer than a 5-woods but will depend on your swing speed and delivery conditions. 5 Wood is better for different weather conditions than three Wood—each manufacturer designs three Wood and five Woods with unique abilities.
3. What degree 3 wood should I get?
The most crucial factor to consider when choosing the correct loft for your 3-wood is your swing speed. As a general rule, the faster your swing speed, the less loft you will need to launch the ball high.
If your swing speed with a 3-wood is over 100 mph, the loft of your 3-wood should be between 13-15 degrees.
4. Should I carry five Wood or three hybrids?
Which one should I carry, a five wood or a three-hybrid? The majority of golfers should select the three hybrids. It provides excellent versatility both off the tee, out of the fairway, and rough. However, some golfers may still prefer the five Wood for several reasons.
5. Why do I hit three Wood farther than the driver?
Players who hit their 3- or 5-wood as far or longer than their driver typically use too little loft with the driver for their clubhead speed. In contrast, with the driver, you have to match the loft angle of the clubhead to the golfer’s clubhead speed to get the most distance.
6. Why is a three wood easier to hit than a driver?
One of the primary reasons your three Wood goes as far as your driver is that your driver may have too little loft for your swing speed. The added loft of your three Wood is more optimal for your swing speed and therefore lets you hit the three Wood at the same distance as the driver.
Adjustable features can be a nice plus, but they are not necessary for a club to become the best fairway wood. And this fact is borne out by our top pick out this shortlist.
The Callaway Big Bertha Fusion has to be the best fairway wood for intermediate golfers, with a delicate balance between playability, distance, and forgiveness.
Always invest time and energy in reading reviews and consider the disadvantages as much as you look at the benefits of the product.
There are other factors to consider, like your own budget and preference for buying fairway woods.